Category Archives: Diet & Nutrition

The many health benefits of fasting!

There are certainly many benefits of spiritual growth, for those who choose to reflect, while fasting, However, fasting has distinct physical benefits as well.

When the body is deprived of food, it starts breaking down fat content in the body to use as a source of energy. This process typically starts about 8 hours after intake of the last meal. Prolonged starvation, if this process is allowed to continue,  can be very unhealthy, as the body can also start breaking down muscle mass, to use protein as a source of energy. However this is not normally a concern for people fasting in Ramzan, since people observing fast replenish their bodies on a daily basis.

The use of fat for energy causes weight loss. It also eventually causes reduction in cholesterol , blood sugar and reduces blood pressure. Another benefit of breaking down fats for energy is detoxification. When the body breaks down the fat content, it also releases and removes the toxins stored in that fat. After a few days of fasting, higher levels of endorphins appear and you may feel more aware and a general sense of well being. Releasing these toxins from the body will also give you healthier looking skin and you may feel you are much more energetic.

It is important to have a balanced diet during Ramzan. Your meal should contain adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, all essential parts of a balanced meal.

Of course, don’t go too crazy on those fried pakoras and samosas, as delicious as they are!


Fat or Fiction

by Shahnaz Halai


I think it’s safe to say that one of the biggest myths recently sabotaging many diets is the idea that low-fat and fat-free foods are healthy. It first started in the ’50s and was largely a result of seriously flawed research by Ancel Keys. Fortunately, most people are recognizing the fallacy of this myth, but many still believe it.

Here’s why you should choose organic full fat dairy over low or non-fat:

  1. Organic milk is better than non-organic because it has a more favorable balance of these fatty acids – omega 3, typically found in fish and flaxseed, versus omega 6.
  2. Our bodies cannot digest the protein or absorb the calcium from milk without the fat.
  3. Vitamins A and D are also fat-soluble, so you can’t absorb them from milk when all the fat has been skimmed off. This makes fortified skim milk the biggest sham of all – you can pump fat-free milk full of a year’s supply of vitamins A and D, but the body can’t access them.
  4. Milk fat contains glycosphingolipids, types of fats linked to immune system health and cell metabolism.
  5. Contrary to popular belief, low-fat and fat-free diets do not help prevent heart disease, and science has now revealed that the link between saturated fat (long villainized as a cause of heart disease) and heart disease is tenuous at best.
  6. Studies now show that eating saturated fat raises good cholesterol — the kind of cholesterol you want and need in your body.
  7. The world’s healthiest foods are whole foods – foods that have not been processed. Why? The nutrients in whole foods have a natural synergy with one another – that is, they work best in and are most beneficial to the body when they are taken together (not when they are isolated in, say, beta-carotene supplements of Vitamin C capsules). So when you pull some or all of the fat out of milk, you throw its nutritional profile out of whack. Basically, you discard all of the health benefits when you discard the fat.
  8. And last but definitely not least: healthy dietary fat will NOT make you fat. We’ve been taught for years that dietary fat is the root of all evil. But we need healthy fat in our diet for proper body composition and long-term weight maintenance.

The key factor here is knowing the difference between good fats and bad fats.

To learn more about healthy fats email us:


by Shahnaz Halai

Who knew that clarified butter was devoid of both lactose, (the intolerant) and casein, (cause of allergies) and considered a healing agent in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries? That’s exactly what ghee does. Its butter that’s gotten clear of milk proteins and solids and with heating, separates into three parts. The milk fat solids which contains dairy proteins sink to the bottom. The water rises to the top and what is left in the middle is a clear golden healing and delicious oil.THIS IS GHEE!

Three good things about Ghee:

1) It’s lactose and casein free

2) The fat soluble vitamins it contains helps bone growth and organ integrity

3) It has a higher smoke point than most commonly used oils like olive, and is less likely to cause free radical damage so, is ultimately healthier.  Cook your eggs in ghee without getting them browned, and use it in your baking for soft and luscious brownies and muffins!


Shahnaz Halai is a retired Business Owner, who wanted to pursue her passion in Nutrition, she has a Diploma in Nursing and a Bachelor in Education. She is a Certified Health Coach from the worlds largest school of nutrition, THE INTEGRATIVE SCHOOLS OF NUTRITION, N.Y. U.S.A.  Shahnaz leads workshops on nutrition and offers health and nutrition coaching to individuals, parents and families.

Stay tuned for regular health tips by Shahnaz on SecondOpinion and feel free to contact her directly to work with you one on one to create a nutrition plan that suits your lifestyle!


F24/4 block 9 Clifton
Tel: 021-32074918 021-35875932.


By Fuzzy Faruque


Chocolate, candy bars, Nimco chips, ice cream, French fries, cupcakes, . . . it really doesn’t matter what you crave, the important thing is to understand what you crave and why you’re craving it. For me, it’s been my constant battle with sugar cravings since I was a child. However, for the past year I have finally learnt how to deal with my cravings and most importantly understood why I was getting them. Recently, joining the field of nutrition, I have begun to understand that our body never makes a mistake and that it is a reliable bio-computer. Meaning? Our body knows what’s going on and it can fix it on its own. These cravings we get are a message from our body that there is an imbalance in our nutrition.

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