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Blog: Social Hearth

The "Three Sisters"

Read Time: 4 min.

We fondly refer to the three flavors of GET FIT Roti as "The Three Sisters". Beyond offering flavor and variety (which are important!), the three sisters are meticulously designed to work in harmony to support your health.

All three flavors are made of the same base flour - almonds, flax, amaranth (more on this wonder seed in upcoming blog posts), non-GMO wheat. Together they provide an amazing mix of nutrients, that you could never get out of the best whole wheat roti/ wrap/ tortilla. Scroll to the bottom of this page and read 10 Reasons To Switch To GET FIT Roti.

Lower carb content, more protein, more good fats, more natural fiber, Magnesium, Vitamin E, and absolutely no additives or preservatives - and a great tasting staple above all!

1. The Classic

This is our most versatile flavor. Made with just the base flour blend, it has a natural earthy simple taste that allows you to enjoy it as part of your traditional meal as a roti, tortilla, taco, wrap... Our team loves making simple delicious desserts with it - think cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered or coconut sugar, strawberries, cream...mmm. Look for more ideas in our Recipes.

2. Spinach-Cumin

This flavor has added spinach and cumin, designed to provide essential calcium and pre-biotics for gut health. Spinach is rich in calcium and pre-biotic fiber that promotes healthy gut microbiome.

We add toasted freshly ground cumin to it. Cumin increases the bio-absorption of calcium from Spinach and other foods consumed. Cumin has a powerful  “osteo-protective effect” and is comparable to that of the hormone estradiol (1), which is known to prevent osteoporosis. Cumin is also beneficial for insulin metabolism and weight loss (2).

3. Turmeric- Black Pepper

The third flavor contains pure turmeric and fresh ground black pepper which provide enormous health benefits.

Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. Many high quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain. Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.

Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time... it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (3). These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high... it's around 3%, by weight.

Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.

Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, then you could take an extract that contains significant amounts of curcumin but because curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, taking a supplement alone does not get you the right amount. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine... a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (4).

Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with fat - the kind of heart healthy fat found in GET FIT Roti.

Together, turmeric and black pepper are cardioprotective (5), a rich source of antioxidants that counteract the low grade inflammation caused by obesity, food additives, preservatives, industrial oils such as palm, soya, sunflower & refined carbs (6), improves brain function (7), prevent or treat diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's and arthritis.

We bring all three flavors together in the Assorted GET FIT Roti pack. We recommend that you consume all three flavors and enjoy the health benefits.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which roti is the best of all?

Author: Ruchi Digwekar Read Time: 5 min.

If you've walked the aisle of a grocery store and felt overwhelmed with the  choice of flours, four blends, rotis, tortillas and flatbreads, you're not alone. Read Ruchi Digwekar's assessment of options and see what she chose for her family (Reproduced from www.desinutritionauthority.com)

Healthier, Tastier, Better for you?

I was walking through the atta (flour) aisle of my local Indian supermarket when an atta bag marked as Multi-Grain, Diabetic Atta, boasting a new slogan of “Sugar Release Control” grabbed my attention.

I lifted the heavy bag to check the label to see what was in this new product and if it really was healthier. To my dismay, I found in the ingredients list mostly genetically modified (GMO) wheat flour, along with processed Soy (defatted soy flour), oat flour, besan (gram flour)  and token amount of methi (a herb that actually does help with sugar management) 

This “Sugar Release Control” atta was 96% processed carbohydrates, which is never a good sign,  especially if you are diabetic, pre-diabetic, or trying to  loose or manage weight. I put the Aashirvaad Sugar Control atta back on the shelf.

A common trend among big name food companies has been to turn their typically unhealthy foods into seemingly healthier alternatives to attract the increasingly better informed public with mis-information. Aashirvaad atta is manufactured by ITC,  a company that masterfully honed its marketing skills selling cigarettes .

Wheat atta and rotis are staple in most households and alone can contribute to 100- 300 gms of carbohydrates per day! Recommended level of total daily carb intake for South Asians is 100 gms. Dr Ron Sinha discusses in his blog Carb Trafficking the risk of high carb diets. 

So I wanted to dig in and find out what healthy  atta and roti options are there for the consumer?

First a bit of food geek talk.

Low Carb and Good Fats – The best combination
  • In fact, Low Carb + High Good Fat combination works better. A large study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and Nutrition concluded that for every 25g of carbohydrate you substitute in your daily diet with 10g of good fats – unsaturated fats – like you find in almonds, avocados or fish,  you will reduce your risk of cardio-metabolic diseases by 30%.

Lets Dig In!

I selected two attas  and two rotis  to compare, analyze and taste the four options/brands.

  • Two leading Atta brands  –
    • Aashirvaad Multi Grain Atta  and 24X7 Mantra Organic Multi Grain.
  • Two Roti Brands –

I used the following criteria to evaluate how healthy these options are for your families.

  1. Total Amount of Carbohydrates per roti. Higher the carbs,  the less nutrient dense is your food.
  2. Total Amount of Good Fats per roti.  This is a key to any healthy food. I am heartened to see increased recognition of this fact. Indian Current magazine, recently mentioned “… Contrary to popular belief, it is not dietary fat that makes you fat, it is excessive consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods.”
  3. How Pure is the Food? i.e How much added chemicals, sugar, fiber or preservatives are in your roti?
  4. Are the ingredients Organic? especially, the main ingredients, i.e no pesticide and chemical fertilizers.
  5. The strain of wheat being used – Over the last 40 years wheat has been aggressively  genetically modified to give higher yields, resulting in increased chronic inflammation across the population. So rotis made from non-GMO wheat or ancient wheats are healthier.  Plus is it whole wheat or refined wheat, ancient strain or modern wheat ?
  6. Amount of inflammation causing additives  Soy additives, cellulose, Industrial Oils – like Canola, Palm, Sunflower
  7. Taste

My Take-away

I tasted the two roti brands and rotis made from the two Atta brands.

GET FIT Roti is the clear winner both for its taste, purity and health quotient. It is conveniently delivered directly to consumers across the country. Shipping is FREE. They are available at select health oriented grocers in the Bay Area.  It is more expensive. Not surprising considering they use higher quality organic ingredients; ancient wheats and nut flours are not cheap but your health is worth it !

My family has switched to Heart N Spice FIT Rotis!

August 22, 2017

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Posted in #gut


Gluten Free Products - Separating Fact From Fad.

So what is gluten and what’s the big deal about it?

Take a quiz to check what you know.

Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye and related species. 

Celiac disease is a serious digestive disorder related to intolerance of gluten that is increasing around the world. It causes abdominal bloating, pain, vomiting, skin rashes, anxiety, depression, arthritis and other symptoms. It is sometimes triggered or activated by childbirth, pregnancy, severe emotional stress, surgery or a viral infection. The length of time someone was breast-fed can influence the severity and first appearance of celiac disease, with shorter periods (and sooner exposure to formulas and cereals) leading to earlier incidences. New research indicates that scientists have found a link between celiac disease and Type I diabetes. As many as 10% of children with Type I diabetes also have celiac disease and evidence is growing that Type I diabetes may be triggered by gluten exposure.

Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance (NCGS) is a condition where people who are not diagnosed with Celiac disease exhibit some of the same symptoms. Gluten intolerance s 30 times more prevalent than celiac disease. Some of these people can avoid gluten for a while so that their intestinal villi can recover and then slowly introduce wheat products again to a lesser degree.

Wheat Allergy is a condition in some people where they are allergic to wheat, eggs and other foods. This is not to be confused with gluten intolerance. People with wheat allergy can often tolerate other glutenous grains like barley.

Causes of Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance

Chris Masterjohn, editor of the website Cholesterol and Health, outlines three theories about the development of gluten intolerance:

1) Some of us may have a gene that causes our immune system to look on gluten protein as a microbial invader.

2) Antibiotic use and indigestible food intake may damage intestinal probiotic bacteria. Feeding infants grains before they are able to truly digest them may increase the risk of dysbiosis: damaged gut flora.

3) Low-nutrient diets may interfere with the suppression of certain immune cells that attack harmless proteins.

Others have proposed the following reasons:

1. Hybridized & genetically modified wheat varieties that are low in nutrients, crop-spraying and other modern farming techniques.

2. Industrial methods of preparing bread and other wheat products demanded high-gluten and low-husk grains.

3. Abandoning traditional methods of soaking, sprouting and souring grains in order to make them digestible and nutritious has been abandoned for a fast and convenient method of mass producing food. Researchers are investigating the possibility that traditional preparation methods and the probiotics they generate may alter the toxic peptides responsible for gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

Avoiding Gluten

If you are diagnosed with Celiac disease, NCGS then eliminating gluten from your diet is essential. It is important to eliminate not only glutenous grain but also hidden sources of gluten such as beer, malt, artificial coffee creamer, bouillion cubes, candy, chewing gums, ketchup, mayonnaise etc.

It is important to read food labels where gluten hides as hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), modified food starch (source is either corn or wheat), mustard powder (some contain gluten), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), gelatinized starch, whey protein concentrate, white vinegar or white grain vinegar, rice malt (contains barley or Koji), dextrin, malt, maltodextrin etc.

Non-food items such as glue on stamps and envelopes, laundry detergent, lip balms, lotions, medications, mouthwash, playdough etc. also contain gluten

So what can you eat?

The following grains, the flours made from them, these binders and other carbohydrates are gluten-free: Arrowroot, legumes, buckwheat, amaranth, seeds, millet, nuts, sorghum, corn, potatoes, tapioca, flax, quinoa, wild rice,Yucca.

Caution On Adopting Packaged Gluten Free Products

A recently published study in the journal Digestion found that 86 percent of individuals who believed they were gluten intolerant could actually tolerate it. In such people, eating a gluten-free diet isn't necessarily healthier, nor is it recommended for weight loss – and it could lead to weight gain. It could also lead to vitamin deficiency.

Many gluten-free products are higher in carbohydrates, fat, sodium, additives like gums  and sugar to enhance the flavor and texture to make up for the lack of gluten. They are not suitable for people with issues such as obesity, pre-diabetes, diabetes, gestational diabetes, insulin resistance issues.

_____________________________________________________________

How Good Food Can Help You Manage Bad Effects of Stress

Like most of us, you perhaps obsess about your food and exercise, – the behavioral choices you make – to mange your weight and health. However, stress has been proven and associated with weight gain, increased incidence and risk of cardio-metabolic diseases,  inflammatory diseases like cancer, memory loss and  pre-mature aging.

Bad effects of Stress

An extensive Study (the INTERHEART study) of of 25,000  people across 52 countries has associated stress with serious increased risk of heart attack.

img_55c7e8007cde4In recent study of 235 police officers, their perceived stress appreciably increased their risk (10-25%) of Metabolic Syndrome – a cluster of disease conditions associated with hypertension, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride ( blood fat) levels

The impact of stress seems to be magnified for overweight people when compared to people with normal weight.  Astudy tracked 722 working women over 9 years to understand relationship between stress and obesity. The increase in  Body Mass Index (BMI), a reliable measure of obesity and associated chronic disease risk, was correlated to job stress and the increase in risk was higher for women with higher BMI.

The way I look at it..even if you have the best car and you are great driver, but you are driving on a  narrow, windy road, late at night thru snow and sleet you have higher risk of an accident. Your environment i.e Stress,  is the overlooked environment factor  that can quickly negate the best behavioral efforts thru food and exercise.

Why stress causes these disease risks?

Rhino chasing manHumans are well designed to deal withacute stress i.e stress that is intense and lasts for a very short period e.g being attacked by a bee, chased by a rhino or avoid being hit by a car. Our primal programming injects hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, into our blood stream that spurs the required physical response to energize all parts of our body to fight or flee the short lived mortal danger/stress. 

tiger2n-4-web
Today we are not hunters/gatherers… chances of being eaten by a tiger are remote. However, we sit in our cubicles or traffic and face a range of non-life threatening mental and emotional stress that lingers for a prolonged period. Most of the stress is caused by life style choices, busy professional life, family and  financial matters. This is chronic stress. Unfortunately our body’s primal response continues to be the same as if it was an acute stress. The same hormones floating around in our body over long periods of time start creating havoc.

Stress_Food-300x200E.g. Stress generates hormones which cause our blood vessels to contract. Well it was originally designed to minimize blood loss in anticipation of a physical injury/attack by an animal. Today, those constricted vessels over an extended period of time show up as hypertension/increased blood pressure.

Stress and Obesity

In primeval times, food /next meal was uncertain. Our bodies are designed to, thru a complex process of enzymes and hormones, convert all kinds of food and store as much of it as possible as fat for that uncertain food tomorrow or a long famine.  (Fat is the most efficient way for the body to store energy ).  Chronic stress causes these same hormones to be triggered, while eating, resulting in excessive fat storage vs fat burning. Excess fat starts creating inflammation in our body initiating its own chronic disease sequence.

Eating to minimize stress.

Slow Mindful eatingWhile it may be impossible to eliminate stress in our life, I have created a buffer zone, thru simple rituals,  between the daily crush of my life and when I eat. You can call it mindful eating. Many principles of mindful eating have been promoted in Ayurveda.

  1. Meditate or just close your eyes for 5 mins in quite setting prior to eating.
  2. Eating without distraction.– No TV. I put my phone on Do Not Disturb mode.
  3. Avoid discussing stressful topics while eating with family. We want to make family dining a joyous experience. It is easy to fall for the trap and feel the need to discuss a supposedly important  topic, because for most families dinner may be the only time when everyone is together. Unfortunately, you are not only hurting your health, but that of your kids.
  4. Eating slowly. Appreciating your food. Engaging your  senses by noticing colors, smells, textures and tastes. This forces you not to rush thru your food.
  5. Stop eating when you’re full. Better in the trash, than trash in your stomach.

Foods that help you manage disease risks caused by stress:

  1. Spices. Seek foods that are high in Anti-oxidants. Prefer meals, wraps, salads that are rich in spices/herbs like cloves, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon. They make your meals taste better and are proven to be super protective from diseases caused by inflammation. Spices are effectively the anti-rust for your body. 1 tea-spoon of cinnamon has the same amount of anti-oxidant as a 100 gm basket of blue berries. Plus, a meal with the right blend of spices can help you manage satiety and prevent snacking and over-eating.  
  2. Next generation food and nutrition companies, like the Bay area based, Heart N Spice, now track and disclose anti-oxidant value of their meals and food products, along with macronutrient information.
  3. Avoid foods / salad dressings made with commercial vegetable oils – Corn, Canola, Palm. Look for  meals rich in Coconut oil, Virgin Olive Oil or non homogenized dairy fats.
  4. Incorporate dark chocolate in your meals. Dark chocolate is rich in anti oxidants, and triggers two hormones that help you relax – endorphins and serotonin. The recommended dose is one ounce per day. Caution! avoid chocolate products with sugar and milk as they interfere with the absorption of the antioxidants.
  5. Flavor your Food with Saffron.  Saffron, commonly used in many Indian, Mediterranean and Spanish  dishes, is found to help the brain use the feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin, that boosts your mood.
  6. Avoid refined carbohydrates and limit carbohydrates.
  7. Eat NATURAL Food. AVOID any synthetic  food ingredients – emulsifiers, preservatives, food coloring, Sugar additives in ANY form. Our body will try to process anything that looks and feels like food. Remember it is programmed to store food for that uncertain food tomorrow. These food additives, although FDA approved (which just means they will not kill you immediately) are being processed by your body as food and stored in your fat cells causing serious inflammation, making you fatter and unhealthier.

Stay Informed. Stay Healthy !

GET FIT Roti "User Manual"

 Sept 7, 2017 | 5 min read 

Congratulations on adopting Get Fit Roti - you have taken a significant step towards a healthier lifestlye by choosing a better daily staple!

GET FIT Roti is a lowcarb, high antioxidant roti/ wrap but it's so much more than a roti. Experience and judge GET FIT Roti by listening to your body - pay close attention to how it makes you feel while eating it, a couple of hours after you have eaten and after 30-45 days of eating it as part of a low carb lifestyle (and measuring your health markers).

GET FIT Roti is the staple of choice for over a 1000 discerning customers who chose it to:

  • Adopt a healthy low carb lifestyle
  • Replace whole wheat or multigrain roti with a more nutritious staple
  • Manage blood sugar issues related to metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, diabetes, PCOS, gestational diabetes
  • Manage cholesterol & triglyceride concerns
  • Fight weight gain including obesity in children
  • Manage gut health

We'll tell their stories in their words - stay tuned to this blog.

Before You Eat It…Here is the Story Behind The Roti

The base flour blend of GET FIT Roti is a blend of almonds (blanched to neutralize anti-nutrients), flax, amaranth and organic non-GMO wheat. GET FIT roti is hand made. It contains ZERO preservatives. We do not add inflammation-causing soy or cellulose fiber to reduce the carb count (several leading low carb brands do). We use a secret dough proofing process that removes unhealthy mineral leaching phyto-acids from the wheat.

GET FIT Roti comes in three flavors - Classic, Spinach-Cumin, Turmeric-Black Pepper. We fondly refer to them as Three Health Sisters - each one has a different flavor, and health benefit. We recommend you consume all the three flavors across a week for a balanced protective nutrition profile. 

More on the significance of each flavor and spice in a future blog post.

While You are Enjoying GET FIT Roti...

In designing GET FIT Roti, we worked hard to create a roti that is as tasty and can easily be adopted in place of a regular roti. You will find that the roti is soft, satisfying and smells great from the antioxidants in the flour and spices used. You may feel  a peppery itchy sensation at the back of the throat while eating the roti - from antioxidants oleocanthal the naturally occurring compound which tamps down inflammation and prevents Alzheimer's.

Yes, it may sometimes not be perfectly round - it’s because we have drastically reduced the gluten content of the roti.

 In Your Stomach…

GET FIT Roti is nutrient dense with a good balance of protein, heart-healthy fats. This combination ensures low glycemic index and manages your insulin response, releases sugar slowly into the bloodstream and thereby ensures satiety - you feel full and satisfied for a longer time than if you were to eat a regular whole wheat roti. Some customers have reported that they are satisfied with just one GET FIT Roti in place of two regular wheat/ multi-grain rotis they consumed in the past. That's as good for the body as it is for the purse!

You will feel more energized, less hungry because of the good fats and not experience a post-lunch slump because the sugar level stays steady in your bloodstream. In short, you are experiencing the nutrient dense nature of the roti. If you have access to a blood sugar monitor, you could try measuring your sugar level. Our customers have reported experiencing steady blood sugar levels. Try the same after you eat a regular roti and you will see how the sugar levels spikes after eating, causing hunger and energy slump.

Over time...30 to 45 days later

The effectiveness of healthy food choices are measured not only by how you feel when you eat them and immediately afterwards, but also over a long term. The impact of GET FIT Roti is best measured after adopting it for 30 - 45 days while following a reduced carbohydrate diet .  You should typically experience a) reduction in Triglyceride levels (fat in your blood) b) 6-8% reduction of your body weight, and c) reduced joint aches and pains because of the anti-inflammatory antioxidants.