Eastern Perspectives on Health and Wellness From My Mom
July 28, 2014
My mom has always been a great role model for our entire family when it comes to health and wellness and a lot of my own interests in these areas come from her influence. She has a wonderfully unique perspective, which stems from our Indian heritage and therefore, I decided to interview her so we could share her perspective with all of you!
Passion Fit: How did you first become interested in health and wellness?
Mom: “I was always interested in health and wellness and became even more interested when your brothers, sister, you and all the grandchildren were born and I became a mother and grandmother. I was constantly considering all of your nutritional needs, especially during your growing years and have read many books on this subject over the years.”
Passion Fit: What are some of your philosophies when it comes to cooking?
Mom: “I love to use fresh and natural ingredients and spices. I also cook from scratch using things like fresh ginger, garlic, tomatoes, red onions, coriander leaves, mint leaves, cardamom cloves, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder, cinnamon sticks, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and bay leaves. I enjoy cooking different types of vegetables for dinner every night such as eggplants, potatoes, spinach, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, okra and Indian squash. I pair these vegetables with proteins (such as chicken curry, tandoori chicken, lentils known as moong daal or baked fish with Indian spices), carbohydrates (such as brown rice or whole wheat tortillas, known as roti) and other sides, such as cucumber raita mixed with yogurt and fresh tomato chutney. This provides a balanced and tasty meal for our family.”
Passion Fit: What other healthy meals, drinks or snacks do you make?
Mom: “First thing in the morning, I make two glasses of hot water with lemon, cloves and honey for your dad and myself. This morning drink works similarly to echinacea because it helps prevent colds and coughs and keeps your digestive system in tact. I also like to make natural juices combining vegetables and fruits such as kale, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, apples, nectarines and grapes. Your dad and I love to eat roasted nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts because they contain a lot of protein and Vitamin E and are good for your brain. Finally, I like to make healthy snacks using raw, sprouted green lentils with chili, onions, salt and mustard oil.”
Passion Fit: What are your views on diets?
Mom: “I don’t believe in diets. I have always believed in eating natural foods and eating in moderation. That includes eating whole grain bread and brown rice (instead of eliminating carbohydrates altogether), cooking with ghee, canola oil, olive oil and mustard oil (instead of margarine), using brown sugar (instead of white sugar or sugar substitutes), drinking 2% milk with a little bit of fat (instead of skim milk) and eating normal eggs (instead of egg substitutes or only egg whites). In my opinion, these types of foods and ingredients have been around for centuries and therefore, are perfectly acceptable to eat in moderation.”
Passion Fit: What are your thoughts on medicine?
Mom: “I’m not a doctor, however, I don’t believe in taking prescribed medications and antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. I, personally, prefer ayurvedic medicine, homeopathic medicine and homemade remedies. These types of medicines are proven from ancient times, have fewer side effects, if any and are made from natural ingredients. They have also worked well for our family throughout the years.”
Passion Fit: What is your exercise regimen and thoughts on exercise in general?
Mom: “I exercise every day and my mother (your grandmother) always instilled this in me. I like to do yoga, breathing exercises called pranayam, walking and using at-home fitness equipment. This helps keep my knee and back problems in control. Your dad and I also always believed in keeping all the kids in the family, including you, involved in different types of sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, running, volleyball, cheerleading and dance. I didn’t mind driving all of you to your sporting events all of those years because I knew it would be good for you guys!”
Well that concludes our interview! I want to thank my dear mom for having such a positive and healthy influence on me as well as our entire family. I love you, Mom!
That’s it for today, Passion Fit crew. Please note: the ideas and tips mentioned above shouldn’t substitute the advice of a medical or health professional. Please remember to consult with your doctor if you have any health concerns or dietary restrictions. I’ll be back with another blog post soon!