Kavita Mukhi has studied eco-nutrition & lymphology in USA over two decades ago. She had the good fortune of learning with some of the best teachers of self-healing and has pioneered the awareness of organic foods (Conscious Food) in India in 1990.
Kavita Mukhi is also a naturalist farmer, using her years of experience to write, lecture and counsel on living in balance for the realization of human potential.
She shall answer your queries on healthy living through proper diet.
Kavita Mukhi's basic food guidelines
Question 1. Why have people begun eating fruit on an empty stomach rather than after meals, as has been the practice in the past? - Mohamed Arif
Most people still eat fruit after meals. I feel this is because in spite of all kinds of foods being eaten at meal time, few really supply the body with what it needs. So the instinct is to get some pure direct nutrients in the form of fruit sugars into the body.
However, this does not happen because fruits need quick digestion in the intestine. When the rest of the meal is sitting in the stomach being digested with much heat
generated, the fruit putrefies and causes
the whole meal to be a waste of time,
energy and nutrients.
Typically the full feeling after a meal like this is not of cells being satisfied, just the stomach being full.
If you havenít begun doing it already, try having fruits on an empty stomach. It is the simplest change you can make. You are not foregoing anything, simply rearranging the timing of your food. The benefit far outweighs the effort involved in this subtle change.
Question 2. I seem to have a lot of wind in my body. Help. - Gaurav pandey
If you read the answer to the first question above, you will know one of the causes of wind. Then there are other similar causes
like too many kinds of food at a single meal. The body does need a variety of foods but surely not at one meal. So if you have a regular Indian meal with a snack, dal, rice, vegetable, roti (maybe a non-veg dish too), dahi, fruit, dessert Ö you are in for wind issues. Simplify meals.
Overeating and eating melons in the evening, non-seasonal foods, cold foods with hot foods, foods with lots of additives like baking soda will also cause this problem. If your digestion is weak then even otherwise healthy foods like chana will cause gas formation in the intestines. Those who are lactose intolerant will have wind with the intake of milk.
For some, cooked cabbage and cauliflower cause wind. However, the same two foods in the raw form will not cause the same problem. Of cabbage, my teacher said, ďEat a tub of it.Ē You can never have enough of it. It is an excellent food.
Question 3. What is your opinion on drinking milk for health? - Rachna Tyagi
Even if you were to consider milk to be the ultimate food, you must contend with the bad quality of commercial milk and the cruelty to animals in milk production.
Although making an attempt to find good organic milk is not a bad idea, eat calciumrich foods if calcium is what you are worried about. Some of these foods are: all greens including leaves of most vegetables, whole Bengal gram, rajma, horse gram, amaranth, rajgira, dry lotus stem, dried coconut, palm jaggery, artichoke, almond, walnut, sesame, sunflower seed, watermelon seed, poppy seed, lime, apricot, fig, raisin, date, dried karonda, betel leaf, mango powder, roasted tamarind seed, most spices, tapioca and fish.
How much calcium you get from milk especially when sugar is added (which leaches calcium from your bones) is questionable.
The other fact is that most Asians lose the enzymes to digest milk after the age of three (upto which time humans are meant to drink motherís milk). Given these facts, you can decide for yourself whether it is worth drinking milk. There are so many natural foods to choose from, so why would one want to drink something that may contain urea; why would one want to create pain and harm to the beautiful cow? Let the cow feed her young, so we have better breeds of cows and bulls to plough our land and make it rich with their dung which is ABSOLUTELY indispensable for the soil of our land on which our food chain and security are dependent. On which our very being is dependent. So letís revere the cow, not the milk!
Question 4. What is the best snack or filler when on the move? - Ajit Dhaka
Ready eats such as nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine, and seeds like pumpkin, cucumber, watermelon are a good option. Peanuts and chana are also great. Buy them non-fried & non-salted and salt them yourself with rock salt.
Many health and organic food companies sell snacks such as granola/cereal bars, fruit and nut bars, nuggets, chickis, little khakras, or chivda. Whole meal biscuits/crackers are also available. Washed fruit is the healthiest snack, albeit a bit messy.
Even chocolate, if healthy, is fine. Always read labels before buying snacks. Very often, the salt and oil used are not good for us.
Avoid labels using words you cannot understand. Prefer chickis made with jaggery. Or make it yourself.
In fresh food sandwiches are the simplest. Be imaginative. My mother makes a fabulous snack by mixing left -over brown rice with vegetables, herbs and onion and baking or lightly pan-frying it like a patty. Easy to carry in between two slices of whole bread or even roti if you want to avoid the yeast. Any leftover vegetable rolled in a roti makes not only a good snack but a good meal too. Garnish with raw cabbage and coriander leaves. Indian foods like dhokla, patra, idli are easy to carry too. Get the packaging right so things donít leak. My other favourite is raw or steamed vegetables with some cold-pressed oil and seasoning, often just salt and pepper. Cheese if unprocessed (even organic) is a nutritious, satisfying and easy to carry snack too. So, have a tasty trip!
Question 5. Some people tell us not to peel fruit while some tell us that, nowadays, it is better to peel them before eating as pesticides are often used in farming. What do you think? - Parmjeet Kaur
Let me place some facts before you:
• Quite a bit of the nutrients are close under the peel. So unless you peel real thin, you lose out.
• The peel, besides being nutritious, is also good fibre content. A clean digestive tract being primal to good health.
• Pesticides harm us infinitely and also destroy our fields, waterways and air. They harm us not just in this lifetime but in several generations.
• Do not stop eating fruit. Choose organic. Promote it. Remember the choice is ours.
• Choose more local and traditional fruit like ber, jamun, little apples and oranges, little custard apples, any small berries, gooseberries, lotus seeds, fresh dates, coconuts, desi papayas, water chestnuts. In all probability, they will not have been grown with pesticides because many of these grow wild.
• Seasonal fruit is safer. If you have to eat non-organic fruit, scrub the skin well. If it still feels waxy, then peel as thinly as possible. If it tastes bitter/bad, spit out immediately. You can also soak and wash in a solution of one tablespoon apple cider/ sugarcane vinegar mixed in half litre water.