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Nutrition 101

By Karim Waheed

Food is fuel. You need to eat the right food to fuel and energise your body throughout the day and through your workouts. Think of your body like a high performance race car. Always use the highest octane in order to get the best results. Always use nutrient-dense power foods to provide enough energy to really boost your performance so you can run at optimal levels.

Key factors:
Learn how many calories your body needs per day
Include a lean protein source in each meal
Eat enough protein for your bodyweight (chart below)
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day
Get rid of processed sugars from your dietary plan
Daily protein needs (according to your training goal):
Bodybuilding - 1.0 - 1.6g/lb bodyweight
Power and speed - 0.9 - 1.1g/lb bodyweight
Dieting - 0.35 - 1.0g/lb bodyweight
Endurance - 0.7 - 0.9g/lb bodyweight

Focus on nutrient-dense foods, which include lean protein (chicken, fish, egg whites), wholegrain carbs and the right kind of fats (nuts, fatty fish, soymilk, olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil). You need food to fuel your body and increase your metabolism. The less you eat, the lower your BMR (basal metabolic rate) gets and your body eventually goes into starvation mode where it holds onto fat as much as possible.

Remember to “eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a peasant”. Your breakfast should be large and each subsequent meal smaller than the last. Your dinner should be much smaller than your breakfast. Your body is slowing down at night and does not need high calories to fuel it. Stick with a salad with lean meat (chicken, fish) and steamed vegetables. The main focus should be on eating clean, nutritious food while eliminating all the empty calories from your nutritional plan.

Happy eating.


Know your treatment

By Sadia moyeen
Beautician, La Belle, 13/A /2 Kemal Ataturk Avenue , ( 3rd/ 4th fl ) Gulshan -2

As I was flicking channels on my television I came across tales of horror at different sub-standard beauty salons that are mushrooming faster than weeds around every street corner in Dhaka. There were ladies whose hair had fallen out due to incorrect hair straightening procedures. I cannot imagine anything more horrifying and distressing than losing your hair overnight and more so if it's due to the inept, ignorant handiwork of unprofessional salon hands.

Please be warned and visit reputable organisations that have been trained by professionals and those that ensure the use of quality products. The best quality products are now being imported by suppliers in the country and are very easily available.

Keune, Wella, Loreal, Schwarzkopf to name a few have excellent hair products for straightening, rebonding, hair dyes, hair treatments, shampoos and conditioners. Why then should you compromise and risk the health of your hair and skin by exposing yourself to sub-standard products and services.

As a client you are well within your rights to ask your salon which product brand they are using to straighten or colour your hair.

The process of rebonding involves changing the structure of your hair by breaking the bonds of the hair and then rearranging them straighter. It makes the hair look like the advertisements -- shiny, silky, smooth and straight. Unfortunately at the end of the day it is a chemical procedure and it has its downsides. If it is done incorrectly or poor quality products are used it can end up a nightmare. Patches of hair can break off at the root or it can become frizzy and dry. Scalp irritation may also occur.

A post-care programme must be undertaken for the general health of the hair. Start by using a shampoo that is specifically designed for chemically treated hair followed by a good, rich conditioner every time the hair is washed. Follow it up with a leave-in serum to lock in some moisture that might have been stripped. Deep conditioning treatments at a good salon are a must twice a week, after straightening.

Detoxifying scalp and hair treatments that revitalise the hair are a must if some damage has already occurred. It's important to know that use of any chemical on your hair requires an after-care programme. Whether it is straightening, highlighting or dyeing.

Weekly hot oil massages followed by a hot towel wrap is also very important. Protein and keratin wraps are a good revitalising option too.

The other thing I feel we must know about is that the so called 'kaali mehndi' or black henna cannot be as chemical free as it claims to be; no amount of coffee or 'amla' infusion in natural henna is going to give it a black end result unless there is some chemical or dye added to it.

I find it so damaging and drying for the scalp and hair that I stopped using it at La Belle. I have noticed hair thinning among women who have used it for a long time. Natural henna will give a rust tint and when infused with coffee and 'amla' will enhance the colour into a deeper shade of the same colour. Grey hair coverage is fairly good if they are scattered, giving it a highlighted look but as the grey increases using dye is the better option, especially if you want to avoid the orange touch.

A lot of places claim that fair polish is chemical free -- that is a load of bunkum, although it is safe to use twice a month or so, and gives a very good result. It is beneficial for oily skin as well as skin that tends to break out, but overusing it will dry out your skin, make it sensitive and lead to swelling, redness, itching and in some cases burning. You should just be aware that it does contain bleaching agents.

If someone tells you their fair polish is 'herbal' and chemical free please know that it's not true. Having said that, using bleach or fair polish in moderation is acceptable; it's the overdoing that I find alarming. Anything that is making you magically fair overnight cannot be totally natural, please beware.

It's imperative that we know about the products we use on ourselves and use them wisely. Use your common sense, moderation is the way to proceed; too much of even a good thing is not good for you.


By Tommy Miah

Restaurant stir-fried shrimp in cream sauce (Bhagari Jhinga)
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1¼ pounds medium shrimp -- peeled and deveined
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water

In a medium bowl, stir together tomato paste, salt, sugar, garam masala, ground cumin seed, ground red pepper, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, and coconut milk. Set coconut sauce aside.

Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, and cook until they begin to pop. Immediately stir in garlic, and cook until garlic begins to brown. Add shrimp, and cook until shrimp is opaque; this should take only a minute or two. Pour the coconut sauce over the shrimp; cook until the sauce begins to simmer. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water; stir into the sauce, and continue cooking until thick.

Fragrant, spicy vegetable rice
Ingredients: 2½ cups vegetable broth 2 green onions, chopped 1 cup frozen green peas ½ tsp salt 1 pinch turmeric powder Ground cayenne pepper to taste 1 cup uncooked basmati rice 1½ tbsp butter
10 large fresh mushrooms, chopped 5 cloves garlic, chopped ½ green bell pepper, chopped ½ red bell pepper, chopped 1 tsp garam masala 1 pinch turmeric powder Cayenne pepper to taste ½ cup dry red lentils 3/4 cup vegetable broth ½ cup almond slivers 1 bunch cilantro sprigs

Method: In a pot, bring 2½ cups broth to a boil. Mix in green onions and peas. Season with salt, 1 pinch garam masala, 1 pinch turmeric, and cayenne pepper to taste. Stir the basmati rice into the pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Melt the butter in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the mushrooms and garlic in the melted butter until lightly browned. Mix in green bell pepper and red bell pepper. Season with 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 pinch turmeric, and cayenne pepper to taste. Stir in the lentils and 3/4 cup broth. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove from heat, and set aside. Increase wok heat to medium. Mix the rice into the wok with the vegetables and lentils. Cook and stir until all liquid has evaporated. Garnish with toasted almonds and cilantro sprigs to serve.

Nawab nargisi kofta
Ingredients: 1¼ pounds ground lamb 1 cup water 1 cinnamon stick ¼ tsp ground turmeric Salt to taste 1 onion, minced 1 egg, beaten 3 tbsp chickpea flour 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste 3 green chilli peppers, minced 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp garam masala ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground red pepper 8 eggs Oil for deep frying 1 tsp chaat masala ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro 8 wedges lime, as garnish

Combine the lamb, water, cinnamon stick, turmeric, and salt in a large skillet over medium heat; cook while breaking the lamb into small pieces until the meat is no longer pink and the liquid has evaporated for about 20 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle; remove and discard the cinnamon stick.

Mix the cooked lamb, onion, beaten egg, chickpea flour, ginger garlic paste, green chilli peppers, coriander, garam masala, cumin, and ground red pepper together in a large bowl until evenly mixed. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Place the eggs into a saucepan in a single layer and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, remove from the heat and let eggs stand in hot water for 15 minutes. Pour out hot water, then cool eggs under cold running water in the sink. Peel once cold.

Divide the lamb mixture into 8 even portions. Take one portion of meat and flatten the meat in your palm like a cutlet. Put a hardboiled egg in the centre and wrap the meat tightly around it. Tie a piece of food-safe string around the wrapped egg. Repeat with the rest of the eggs and meat. Refrigerate the eggs again overnight or for 8 hours.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry each kofta in the hot oil until slightly crispy on the outside (10 to 15 minutes). Cut and remove the string. Halve the koftas lengthwise and sprinkle with chaat masala and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side.


By Abdullah tareq Head Chef Cilantro

Panna Cotta
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert. It is a kind of custard and is very easy to make. You can make them up to two days ahead and keep them well-covered and chilled.

Serves 8
4 cups (1 litre) heavy cream
½ cup (100g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 ½ tsp)
6 tbsp (90ml) cold water

Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean, then re-warm the mixture before continuing.

Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups and then chill them until firm, which will take two to four hours. If you're pressed for time, pour the Panna Cotta mixture into small glasses so you can serve them in the glasses, without unmoulding.

Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmould each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired.


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