Mango- It’s great for you

(Disclaimer: If you think this is a fashion related post, my apologies. We are talking about the fruit not the fashion label)

For the last month or so, people around me just won’t stop cribbing about the summer.  ‘It’s mangowala season. The heat is worth it,’ I try to see the glass half full.

But recently, be it twitter, gym or even random dinner parties, everyone I meet seems to be appalled that I eat alphonso mangoes almost every day. I have been on a diet ever since I can remember. I am always about eating healthy and dissing junk food and I do count calories every step of the way. Apparently eating a mango every day is inconsistent with the above statements.

Bullshit. Mangoes are health food. I’d be a fool to deprive myself of the joys and goodness that a mango has to offer, based on half-baked information.  This is what the real deal is. Here is what mangoes are all about. Read!

  1. Mango = Lot of sugar: 1 mango has approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar, according to a few well-experienced nutritionists. However, this is sugar is fructose. It is a natural form of sugar devoid of any chemicals. Two nutritionists who are highly qualified and well-informed tell me that this sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar. In simple words, this sugar is easy to digest and fairly acceptable when you’re controlling your calorie or sugar intake.
  2. King of nutrition: Mangoes come packed with Vitamin A, B, C, E and K and what’s more they are a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc. Also, mangoes have a decent amount of dietary fiber that not only improves the digestive system but also aids weight-loss by making one feel satisfied.

Even though they contain a lot of sugar, Mangoes give your body a wealth of vitamins, minerals, fibers and anti-oxidants. With its nutritional content, mangoes are a great snack/meal option.

Why do most trainers and dieticians assume mangoes are a threat to fitness?

Like most foods, Mango is not bad for you but the way you eat it makes it bad for you. Most households serve a mango as dessert right after a meal or serve mango pulp (aamras) with a full meal. Also, we are in the habit of eating 2-3 (sometimes 7, yours truly holds that record) at a go. If eaten in either of the above manner, mango ends up being a fattening food. Let me explain.

Mango is best eaten as a meal by itself. According to Dr. Davare, a renowned Ayurvedic nutritionist, a mango is best eaten as breakfast or a pre-breakfast (before you head out for a workout) meal, every alternate day. If you eat a mango along with a full meal, the excess sugar gets converted to fat. In fact when I weighed 73 kilos and had an impossible target of 20 kilos to shed, I was allowed to eat a mango twice a week.

One is a powerful number: Don’t eat more than one mango. More than one mango means a lot of sugar which, if not utilized for energy, will lead to fat storage. You might think that one mango isn’t enough for a meal. You’d be surprised. It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to convey satiety to your brain. One mango can satisfy your hunger, just be patient.

Eat it raw: Yes, aam ras tastes awesome, so does mango milkshake and there’s nothing is wrong with enjoying these once in a while. However, juicing a fruit up leads to lesser satiety and you end up consuming more calories. On an average, one big bowl of aam ras is made from the pulp of 1.5 mangoes and of course we can’t forget the calories added by the jaggery or sugar. One rarely stops at one bowl of aam ras and there’s always a second helping involved. You do the math.  Also, when you blend or pulp a fruit, the fruit begins to oxidize which brings down its nutritional value (vit C is instantly lost). Blending usually destroys the fiber contained in a fruit. Therefore, any fruit is best eaten fresh and in its original form.

Next time you see a mango, don’t deprive yourself. Go ahead, bite into the aromatic, juicy fruit. Let the experience of eating a mango leave pale yellow stains on your t-shirt. As you bite into the pulpy Alphonso, let the juice drip into your palm. Extract every bit of juice, pulp from the ‘guthlee’ or ‘koy’ using your teeth until the fibers on the guthlees start looking whiter and whiter.  Enjoy the experience of eating a mango the way you did as a kid. Leave the guilt at home! If anyone tries to induce guilt, tell them to get in touch with me.

(Source: Common sense, Science textbook standard IV, my own pursuit of healthiness and Rujuta Divekar’s Lose Your Weight, Don’t Lose Your Mind)

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Be good

Be good
Be happy
Be proud
Be blessed
Just be
Just you

(found in my iphone’s notes. Little scribbles, lost and found after a while can bring such joy!)

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Of Planet M, Boyzone and the days we used to pay to posess music

No matter what they tell you… A hot air balloon and god looking boys singing to me…

That’s what I remember of this song. I was a geek who couldn’t get words right in a song back then. Whenever the song played on the radio, I’d pay close attention to their voices which were as smooth as their clean shaven faces… How I longed to own the cassette and just as I finished saving up the paisa, BCCL launched their music store, Planet M. My dad decided that it would be a great Sunday activity to trudge all the way to VT and spend the afternoon surfing. The afternoon turned into late evening as we browsed through CDs, cassettes and what not. CDs used to cost about Rs.600/- back then and the good daughter that I was, I picked all the CDs of the albums I wanted and asked someone to help me locate the cassettes. They cost Rs.125/- which was also a huge amount for the teenager I was, but hey!

My dad saw what I was doing and put his hand on my shoulder. ‘CDs are far better and they are the future, forget the cassettes, get the CDs,’ he told me. He picked up rock and roll, R&B, Rock, Soul and I stuck to Hindi films, boy bands and a load of stuff that a teenager’s music dreams were made of. I glanced at his pile, and I wondered why I didn’t have my dad’s taste in music. I was afraid he’d be ashamed of my bubble-gum taste in music. Even if he was, he never let me feel that way.

At the cash counter, we realized that we had picked up CDs worth nearly 16 grand. No point in being greedy and with a heavy heart we downsized our shopping baskets. Eventually we coughed up nearly 9 grand on CDs and though it was a number that looked better than 16K, it was an exorbitant sum.
“Why can’t simple things like music be free Dad?” I asked, afraid that with my Rs.200/- allowance, I’d never be able to make such a big purchase again.
He shrugged. About six to seven months later, I discovered Napster…

‘Dad, come come let me show you this,’ I gushed about Napster and how music was now going to be free.
‘You’re lucky,’ is all he said. He continued to listen to his CDs and admire his LPs but on his 51st birthday, me and the sister gifted him an iPod. The fat, 40GB one, And all his CDs were sent into a cupboard…

I guess I’ll never be able to thank him enough for being so generous to me. I guess I will never know the kind of effort he’d gone through back in the day to lay his hands on an album he wanted to listen to. I guess I will never understand how he had to deal with parents who didn’t appreciate loud ‘Kiristav’ (Christians in Marathi) music blaring from their very ‘Marathi’ household. But I know this, I will always be grateful to him for making me and the sister who we are today. We will always be thankful to him for giving to us, his musical ear.

I don’t know what spurred this post on… I was looking for something and landed on a pile of Rolling Stone magazines from the 80s that Vivek Kaka gifted me, and then I found dad’s LPs and then I found the CDs we bought at Planet M. It’s always good to give your memories a chance to flow out on paper, isn’t it?

No matter what they tell you… A hot air balloon and god looking boys singing to me… That’s what I remember of this song. I was a geek who couldn’t get words right in a song back then. Whenever the song played on the radio, I’d pay close attention to their voices which were as smooth as their clean shaven faces… How I longed to own the cassette and just as I finished saving up the paisa, BCCL launched their music store, Planet M. My dad decided that it would be a great Sunday activity to trudge all the way to VT and spend the afternoon surfing. The afternoon turned into late evening as we browsed through CDs, cassettes and what not. CDs used to cost about Rs.600/- back then and the good daughter that I was, I picked all the CDs of the albums I wanted and asked someone to help me locate the cassettes. They cost Rs.125/- which was also a huge amount for the teenager I was, but hey!
My dad saw what I was doing and put his hand on my shoulder. ‘CDs are far better and they are the future, forget the cassettes, get the CDs,’ he told me. He picked up rock and roll, R&B, Rock, Soul and I stuck to Hindi films, boy bands and a load of stuff that a teenager’s music dreams were made of. I glanced at his pile, and I wondered why I didn’t have my dad’s taste in music. I was afraid he’d be ashamed of my bubble-gum taste in music. Even if he was, he never let me feel that way.
At the cash counter, we realized that we had picked up CDs worth nearly 16 grand. No point in being greedy and with a heavy heart we downsized our shopping baskets. Eventually we coughed up nearly 9 grand on CDs and though it was a number that looked better than 16K, it was an exorbitant sum.
“Why can’t simple things like music be free Dad?” I asked, afraid that with my Rs.200/- allowance, I’d never be able to make such a big purchase again.
He shrugged. About six to seven months later, I discovered Napster…
‘Dad, come come let me show you this,’ I gushed about Napster and how music was now going to be free.
‘You’re lucky,’ is all he said. He continued to listen to his CDs and admire his LPs but on his 51st birthday, me and the sister gifted him an iPod. The fat, 40GB one, And all his CDs were sent into a cupboard…
I guess I’ll never be able to thank him enough for being so generous to me. I guess I will never know the kind of effort he’d gone through back in the day to lay his hands on an album he wanted to listen to. I guess I will never understand how he had to deal with parents who didn’t appreciate loud ‘Kiristav’ (Christians in Marathi) music blaring from their very ‘Marathi’ household. But I know this, I will always be grateful to him for making me and the sister who we are today. We will always be thankful to him for giving to us, his musical ear.
I don’t know what spurred this post on… I was looking for something and landed on a pile of Rolling Stone magazines from the 80s that Vivek Kaka gifted me, and then I found dad’s LPs and then I found the CDs we bought at Planet M. It’s always good to give your memories a chance to flow out on paper, isn’t it?

Free

Consume me, haunt me

Live within me, be me.

Light up the dark inside,

Make me see that dark side…


You, you, you’ve been teasing a while

You, you, you’ve been watching me a while,

You, you, you’ve got to help me cross over,

Just do me this one last favour…


It is my soul, I exist to write

But an empty mind refuses to type.

A quill, a pen, a pencil… the hand is uninspired

Give me my soul back, don’t make me fight.


It has been a long journey,

It has been a love story of sorts.

On paper they shimmer,

My ideas, my thoughts


I am greedy, and I want more.

Pages unblanked, stories retold.

You, you, you stop torturing me.

I beg of you just set me free


Free to wander in a land of fantasy,

To relive and retell whatever I see.

To write and scream and be a writer,

From this storm, that’s my only shelter. 

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