Week 29: Why Whole Fruits Are Better Than Juices

This week’s tip on 50 Tips for BigLoser is about whole fruits being better than juices. While this might not sound new, many still ask me why I keep telling them to set aside that juice and pick a fruit instead. So have you ever wondered about which is healthier – the whole fruit, or its juiced version?

Not heard The BigLoser India Podcast #029? Check it out here.

First let’s talk about packaged juices.These are produced for maximum flavour, and what you ultimately get is high on sucrose or fructose corn syrup. Read the nutrition labels on each packaged juice carefully and try to figure out where the real fruit really is. You’ll be shocked to see that some of your favourite packaged juices will have very little traces of actual fruit, if at all. And, consider the fat, sugar and calorie content as well.

Next, fruit skins are full of healthy nutrients like carotenoids and flavonoids that studies have established as beneficial to our health, mostly due to increased fiber content. When these skins are removed, as is done with apple juice, grape juice, and tomato juice, we receive a much-depleted version of the fruit in a tall glass with lots of sugar and salt. What’s the point of drinking fruit juice for health if that’s what it takes to make it palatable?

However, there might be some merit to juices with pulp. Since fruit pulp is also high in fiber content and in some fruits; it is the richest, healthiest part of the fruit. For instead, white pulp in oranges is the primary source of flavonoids from oranges. But, juices sold with ‘added pulp’ might not have the same ratio per glass as a whole fruit can offer you, and we don’t really know what the quality of that pulp is. Also, is it natural pulp, or has it been sweetened for added taste? Whole fruits win on this account as well.

Lastly, when looking at loss of nutrients as per volume, all you have to do is look at how many whole fruits need to be juiced to give you that one glass of drink-able juice. Whether it’s orange, apple, or lychee juice, what you ultimately get is a much reduced, much cleared and therefore much less healthier fruit product. Stick to the whole fruit and you don’t miss any of the fruit’s original goodness and appetite controlling properties.

Now, of course you can always find a healthier way to juice fruits – mix them with vegetables, try to retain as much pulp and fiber as you can, leave the skin on, pulse instead of puree, etc. The market is loaded with fruit and vegetable juicers that promise maximum retention of pulp and fiber after the juicing process. These steps seem okay and healthy enough. But if you ask us, juicing three apples to get one globful glass of thick, difficult to swallow apple juice seems quite unnecessary compared to just picking up a fruit and munching it on your way out every morning and evening. So even if you prefer freshly squeezed orange juice or a healthy v8 with your breakfast, make sure that you also eat a whole fruit for morel goodness a little later.

#Bglsr Breakfasts: Carrot Spice Muffins

A moist, light and delicious muffin full of freshly grated carrots, loaded with fiber and flavored with warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Baked with a combination of whole wheat and rice flour, cranberries, walnuts and topped with toasted coconut. These muffins are great for breakfast on the go or as a late-morning snack.

#Bglsr Breakfast: Carrot Spice Muffins
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Muffins, Breakfast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/3 cup honey or 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup oil or 1/3 cup melted butter or 1/3 cup applesauce (I used rice bran oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I used cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients- flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice.
  3. In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients- honey/brown sugar, egg, buttermilk/yogurt, oil, vanilla and the carrots, raisins and nuts.
  4. Gently wet and dry ingredients together until just moistened.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean
Google Recipe View Microformatting by Easy Recipe

For more delicious and healthy recipes visit Baker Street

The BigLoser of the Week #029: @MonikaManchanda

BLOTW aka Big loser of the week is something we all #BgLsr folks aspire to be sometime. The reason is simple: it reiterates the fact that yes, we are doing something towards what is important to us and in the long run critical to our wellbeing. So when I got a mail from @b50 I was pleasantly surprised.

Weight loss has been something I have somewhat struggled with all my life, growing up I was never a very thin girl but yes never FAT either. Then marriage happened and somehow along with that came a series of health complications. Without going into too many details, there were a couple of surgeries, a complicated and difficult pregnancy combined with hormonal and steroid therapy, which took my weight to a number which I was even scared to think of. A full time IT job, an infant and a toddler to take care of along with health issues, I tried all things that a person desperate to lose weight does, irregular gymming, fad diets – Atkins, GM, name it and I have tried it, only to go nowhere or may be lose weight and put more than that right back after quitting the diet. So finally about 1.5 years back when my health got a little stable and I took a break from my IT career, I decided to do something about it and started consulting with a diet counsellor. I worked with her for about 8 months and steadily lost about 11kgs of weight, post which we both decided to give the body a break and let it adjust to the weight loss. Trying to maintain what I lost was a tough task in itself. I gave myself a 3 month break and started again about 6 months ago. I have been slowly and steadily losing weight since that time (I do get a yo yo effect in between though, a vacation , a wedding does throw things off). The total weight loss I have had in the past 1.5 years is about 14kgs and alas I am still a long way to go from my fitness target.

I joined #BgLsr about 2 months ago, when I heard of it I thought it was an amazing way of buddying — a group motivating each other! And the fact that you know someone will actually benefit from something you need in life is wonderful. @prateekgupta and @booksplease are my sponsors and the fact that there is someone you are kind of answerable to keeps one going

As far as my fitness regimen goes I am person who likes variety and gets bored with things pretty soon, so I keep changing between the kind of work outs I do. I like Changing up the cardio between swimming if the weather permits, cycling in the weekends, @LeslieWalks 3-mile home walk workout. Something which is constant is a 3-day a week yoga which I do in the morning and 12 minute XBX stretches I do in the evening everyday.

Apart from this I try and eat healthy. Over time I have realised that a full balanced meal with occasional indulgences is the only that one can sustain for a long time and I stick to that. Sugar to a minimum, deep frying to a minimum possible, a healthy and a good breakfast to start my day with and a no carb dinner by 7:30 pm in the evening are the basic rules I live by these days, and, ofcourse, there are days when I crave for a cake and samosa and I go indulge in those post my workout a time when the body actually can digest the fat carbs

My final fitness goal is to lose about another 10kgs, But more than these numbers, I think my fitness target also is to increase my stamina and general health per se and a have a fitness schedule that I can maintain all my life to some extent. Plus being able to walk into a store and buy the top I want without having to think whether they will have this in XL or not. Yeah, after the gyan I admit I am all shallow that way 😉

Wish me luck folks and a big thank you to the big loser team for motivating us everyday.


Congratulations to our #blotw @MonicaManchanda who wins:
* a gift hamper from @Staeta soy milk
* an umbrella from @theBombayStore
* a session from @PlacidSalon
* a 6-month subscription to @PopSciMag

The BigLoser India Podcast #029 (fruit vs juice)

Get your fitness on!


Episode 29 of the #bglsr podcast brings you all your fitness information in a quick and easy format. First we give you 50 tips for BigLoser. @Sashg tells us about fresh fruit vs fresh fruit juice vs canned/bottled/packaged juice! Then we have a roundup of what went down in the last week from @b50 – discussions about new members, weight loss, achievements, goals, charity, and much more. Finally, we also have our #BLOTW – big loser of the week – @MonicaManchanda!

All in under 10 minutes – hosted, as always, by chhavi and produced by Sonologue.

#Bglsr Desserts: Blueberry Tea Cake

A low cal cake which is soft, moist cake batter with swirls of sweet and tart blueberries.

Recipe: Blueberry Tea Cake
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 cup White Flour
  • 11/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg, room temperature
  • 1 Egg White, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Milk 1% (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar
  • Juice of Half a Lime
  • 2/3 cup Blueberries or Blueberry preserves (I used preserves as fresh were not available)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 6 cup bundt or a square baking pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat oil and sugar until light and creamy and combined.
  5. Add the egg and egg white to the butter mixture. Mix till well combined.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and lime juice.
  7. Alternately adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture in thirds, starting with the dry and ending with the dry. Mix gently and do not over mix the batter.
  8. Pour half the batter into the baking dish.
  9. Top with blueberries or preserves. Cover with the remaining batter and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Serving size: 1 Calories: 129.4 Saturated fat: 06 Unsaturated fat: 2.6 Sugar: 14.2g Fiber: 0.9g Protein: 2.2g

If you do not have buttermilk on hand, combine the milk and vinegar, this will take about 5 minutes to curdle. Set aside.
– If you’re using fresh blueberries, you can increase the amount by almost a cup

Use the same recipe to bake blueberry lemon crumb squares:

zest of 1 lemon in place of the lime juice and
Use 11/2 cup of fresh blueberries

For the crumb topping:
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1/4 cup White Flour
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon Canola Oil
Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, and oil into a bowl. Mix until all ingredients are combined, this will form a crumbly mixture.
Add the streusel on top and bake till a toothpick comes out clean

Google Recipe View Microformatting by Easy Recipe

#Bglsr Breakfasts: Homemade Granola

A healthy evening snack. It’s delicious; packed with flavors and nutrients. The recipe can be easily adapted and you can add in nuts and fruits of your choice.  The recipe requires for 2 cups of dried fruits. This is where you can really use your imagination and play with flavors you like. I used a combination of dried berries, tropical fruits and dates.


Recipe: Homemade Granola
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (I used hazelnut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dried fruit (See Notes)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for coconut and dried fruits
  3. Spread on cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  4. As soon as its out of the oven put it back in a bowl and add the coconut, mix well.
  5. Mix every 10 minutes; the granola is done when it is no longer moist and is a golden color.
  6. Once its completely cool, add dried fruits and store in airtight container.
Calories: 86.7 Saturated fat: 1.0g Unsaturated fat: 1.6g Sugar: 8.8g Fiber: 1.2g Protein: 0.9g

– For 2 cups of dried fruits i used: dates, blueberries, cranberries, mango, papaya and pineapples.
– Serve with yogurt and top with fresh fruit.
– The nutrion value has been calculated keeping in mind that recipe yields around 40 servings, thats about 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup per serving

Google Recipe View Microformatting by Easy Recipe

#Bglsrtwtup 4th Sept 2011 – When Mumbai’s Team #Bglsr Met for the First Time

BigLoser Indiahad its first tweet up on 4th September 2011. 20 BigLoser participants and sponsors from Mumbai’s Twitterati joined us to celebrate this first-time-ever event, held at Gostana in Bandra. While Apple played a very gracious host in her purple and pink jewel encrusted collar, team #bglsr enjoyed healthy sandwiches, soups, salads and pasta.

Discussions swung from diets, workouts and weight loss tricks, to mountain climbing, cycling and Texan burgers. Here are some special moments from the lovely brunch, and here’s hoping that we see many more of you at the next BigLoserIndia tweet up in October (date to be announced shortly).

[nggallery id=2 template=caption]

Week 28: Recovering from a Muscle Injury

Today we’re discussing painful muscle injuries. Quite a few on our BigLoser timeline have mentioned back, neck and shoulder aches over the last few weeks. So let’s give these injuries some thought. Where do they come from and how quickly can you hope to get back on the weight training floor once they’re dealt with…

What we know as a ‘pulled muscle’ is essentially a muscle strain – an injury to the muscle or tendon in which the muscle fibre tears as a result of some distress. This distress can be caused by over-stretching, or by lifting something heavy and unwieldy with incorrect form. So if you suddenly jerk your upper back while doing upright rows, or strain your neck while lifting and squatting at the same time – you can count on waking up with a painful muscle strain the next day.

Not heard The BigLoser India Podcast #028? Check it out here.

But, muscle pulls are not the same as muscle soreness or aches, which are more to do with cramps or neglected muscles being used for the first time.

  • If it’s a dull ache without a center or focal point, it’s probably just a sore  muscle that needs rehydration, nutrition, 8 hours of sleep that night, and a good workout the next day.
  • If it’s a sharp, throbbing, unbearable pain, centered around a particular muscle group that prevents you from sleeping comfortably or moving (even very slowly), then you’ve got a muscle strain – which should not be taken lightly. These muscle groups will typically be your neck, upper back, shoulders, lower back, pelvic girdle, or joints.

How does one recover from such a painful injury?

Rest, rest and more rest. Muscle strains are typically prescribed compulsory bed rest. If your doctor has diagnosed your ache as a muscle tear or strain, don’t even dream of going in to work and sitting upright all day. You need compulsory bed rest. But no cheating here, first find out if it’s a regular cramp or an actual strain.

How is a muscle strain diagnosed: The doctor or physiotherapist will first check for spinal injury by asking you if you feel sensation in your legs (touch tests), and other limbs. Then he/she will ask you to walk, bend forward, stretch backward, rotate sideways, etc to determine how bad the swelling and muscle tear is. Based on how much you can or cannot move you will receive medication. There is no complete painkiller that will relieve you of this pain, as your muscles will be hard at work to repair the strain. This means constant spasms and sharp, debilitating pain. Therefore bed rest is the best way to deal with it.

Popping over-the-counter painkillers works, but takes a while. Also, most of these painkillers cause bloating and might not be a good idea for women. In this case getting a prescription for muscle relaxant meds is a great idea.

Consulting a professional: A must in most cases. If you’re thinking of getting professional help, visit a physiotherapist over a general practitionaer (GP), because a physiotherapist will give you long term solutions to strengthen the injured area.

Warm compresses: If you can handle it, warm compresses may help reduce the muscle swelling. This swelling might not be visible to the naked eye, but is definitely there and most of the pain results from it directly.

Recovery time: A standard, painful but not spine-related, muscle injury will take about 4 to 7 days to heal. The best medicine is bed rest, and the second best medicine is drinking plenty of water and eating the right food. Keeping your body nourished and well rested is the only way you can ensure a quick and healthy recovery. Get back to regular exercise only after a bed rest phase of at least 8 days, or as your healthcare provider prescribes. But don’t let this experience scare you away from working out, since you can get such injuries from any everyday activities.

A key point to note – If it is a very painful injury, and you don’t rest and recover well, you’re inviting long term weakness in that muscle group. So take care of yourself, respect your body’s needs, and remember that ultimately – when you’re recovering from any injury – strengthening that muscle or group, is Crucial.

The BigLoser of the Week #028: @ItemMom

For once it feels good to be known as “The Big Loser of the Week”.
I told my brother the other day when he called that I am at the Big Loser Tweetup. Aware what a Tweetup is, my brother asked me “But what are you doing with a bunch of losers”. To that I said “These losers are the biggest gainers for me.” Health is wealth.

For me health has always been important. I have been a dancer, sports person and swimmer. I was size XS and lean when I got married. Then I gained 10 kgs. But it was still ok as I was within my weight limits and was a size M. Some time later I gained another 10 kgs, which was not good. I had settled in a rather sedentary lifestyle post marriage. In 2009, I started working out, trekking and dancing again. I lost 10 kgs following this regimen. Happy happy me cause I got into all my old clothes and jeans. And saw the fitter toned version of myself again.

Cut-to March 2010. I had conceived. Doctors told me to quit work-outs (typical of Indian doctors). I still managed to put on a healthy 15 kilos during my full term pregnancy. Happy me again. I gave birth to a cute little angel, a baby boy we named Siddhant in November 2010. I was 8 kgs lighter post delivery. Very very happy me again. I thought, losing another 6 kgs won’t be difficult. I couldn’t start work-outs for another 3 months cause I had a cesarean. I waited.

Sincerely, I signed up for the gym and joined in February. In 15 days I resumed work. Gym had to take a back-seat cause I used to be so tired in the mornings cause of sleepless nights that going to the gym was an impossible idea. I joined the #bglsr team in April for motivation and @MrsSonaL agreed to sponsor me.
Joining the movement didn’t help much initially cause I was still going through the working-new mother fatigue, gym was a distant dream. My biggest challenge was time. Early mornings were still impossible. During this period I had put on another 4 kgs. I was angry with myself. Frustrated. I didn’t want to be a fat auntie. Please. No.

I then started being more interactive with team #bglsr. Reading tweets. Participating. Asking questions. Started walking home from work. Started climbing stairs instead of taking the lift. I could still not start gym. The timing just didn’t suit. It’s really difficult when you are a working mother. You want to spend all time possible with the baby.

I finally decided to take it up as a challenge and work-out in the evening after work. For this I had to get some things in order first. I spoke with mom and requested her to spare me for an hour extra after work, where she would look after Siddhant and I could work-out. She was ready immediately and excited (she is a gym regular too now, I have converted her). I started hitting the gym directly after work since August. 1+ hour of work outs every day: One Day Cardio; one Day weights. 5 times a week.
Fitness for me is not only of the body but also of the mind. I practice Yoga at least once a week and use the postures for stretching after weight training as well. Yoga balances the mind part. I dance for an hour whenever I can. Mostly with Siddhu in my arms now :). From my target of losing 10 kgs I am already 2 kgs down. Happy me. 8 kgs more to go.

Healthy eating was never an issue for me. I love salads. My taste preference is – low salt, low oil, bland. I love chicken. I can eat chicken in breakfast, lunch and sinner. My dietician asked me to stick to my eating routine. I have 6-7 meals. Heavy breakfast. No processed carbs for dinner. That’s my rule. I have one cheat day a week (@SashG would be frowning at this one). My dietician will be giving me new diet plan soon though before I reach a plateau with this one.

My motivation and return to fitness was primarily due to team #bglsr. Constant updates from all the tweeps, sharing and exchanging tips, all helps and motivates. Had I not got the push and the motivation, maybe I would have let the gym membership go waste.
I intend trekking to Everest Base Camp next year. That is my goal. Kilimanjaro. Maybe. If I have the money… Thanks team #bglsr especially @MrsSonaL for being my sponsor, @SashG, @Anaggh and @b50 for answering my constant queries. Thanks @chhavi for the lovely podcasts that you make, it’s amazing listening to them week after week.

On my way to be a Yummy Mummy 😉

Congratulations to our #BLOTW @itemMom who wins:
* a free session at @placidsalon
* a copy of @PopSciMag
* an umbrella from @thebombaystore

The BigLoser India Podcast #028 (muscle injuries)

Get your fitness on!


Episode 28 of the #bglsr podcast brings you all your fitness information in a quick and easy format. First we give you 50 tips for BigLoser. @Sashg tells us about muscle injuries and how to tell between sprains and muscle soreness! Then we have a roundup of what went down in the last week from @b50 – discussions about new members, weight loss, achievements, goals, charity, and much more. Finally, we also have our #BLOTW – big loser of the week – @itemMom!

All in under 10 minutes – hosted, as always, by chhavi and produced by Sonologue.