Spice of Life

Alamelu Vairavan, a Whitefish Bay resident, is an author and culinary instructor. Alamelu has a passion for educating the public about the use of spices and legumes in preparing healthy and tasty foods. She is also interested in educating the public about the growing research that points to the enormous health benefits of spices in preventing many diseases. Her mission is to enrich people's culinary experience and to inspire them to discover that cooking and sharing healthful foods can be an especially joyful experience.

Visit Alamelu's web site, CurryOnWheels.com.

Supplements to Replace Fresh Foods? No Way!

TV commercials, Food and Drug stores all publicize endless list of nutritional supplements. Recently I attended a lecture by a visiting scientist at a local university. He talked about the great health benefits of cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and how they can prevent a host of diseases including cancer. I was so excited that he was talking my language until I found out that he has a company that takes the nutrients from these vegetables and makes supplements for sale!

Do we really want to pop nutritional pills when we can get the nutrients from real fresh foods? Should we really replace fresh fruits and vegetable with supplements? No way!


These days, in our society we want everything with little or no effort. Why can't we learn to cook these cruciferous vegetables in an appealing way?  We can also eat some of them as fresh salads. Why can't we encourage people to learn to cook?   Why we should gulp a supplement pill, I thought. First of all, pills in bottles are expensive. They have no taste, no aroma or flavor. They do not satisfy our appetite or hunger. On average, people are already consuming too many medications. On top of it do we need to take supplements to replace healthful fresh foods ? No way!

Fresh foods are fresh foods. They are great for your body and mind.  Fresh vegetables can spark your creativity in letting you prepare different vegetable dishes. Consuming 5 to 8 servings of vegetables and fruits helps your digestion and curbs your appetite and helps you to lose weight. Vegetables and fruits are so much cheaper and are amazing healthful foods. They are like food and medicine all in one. It is important to take personal responsibility for our own health. Eating right, exercising, and being involved in the community, helping others in need all keep us healthy, vibrant and alive.

Supplements have their place when they are used as supplements but not used as substitute's for real healthful food. People who dislike vegetables or do not know how to cook vegetables may be attracted to these supplements. So how can we make vegetables more appealing? One possible answer can be found in the world of spices, legumes and herbs. Vegetables come alive when enhanced by spices. The result can be tasty and aromatic foods that are hard to resist. Spices and legumes are inexpensive and are easily available.

People often feel they do not have time to cook or they do not make cooking a priority. Cooking often takes a backseat in terms of priorities. This attitude should change because eating is an essential part of life, and cooking connects us better to the food we eat and to the people with whom you share it. Taking time to prepare food with children or for ourselves is a very creative, nurturing experience.

So, my fellow Americans, come on! Let us learn to cook and eat fresh vegetables and fruits. Let us teach our children that the effort to prepare wholesome meals at home is worthwhile and enjoyable. Feel free to contact me if you need suggestions. Just remember, we are worth nourishing with real fresh foods!!!

Please contact me via my website: www.curryonwheels.com

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