Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 7, Issue 29, Tuesday, July 17, 2012




Why women should lift weights

By Karim Waheed

Admit it ladies, you're terrified of weights. You won't go anywhere near weights as you don't want to “bulk up”. Well, here are some facts:

Women are not genetically built to “grow” as men do from lifting weights. Women do not have nearly as much testosterone as men. In fact, women have about 15 to 20 times less testosterone than men. Because of this, women are not equipped to grow muscle at the level men do.

Women look “toned” when they develop muscles through weight training. Muscles tend to occupy more space in the body, reducing the amount of fat someone has. This gives the impression of a more toned, well-defined body as the muscles begin to shape, reducing the amount of fat one holds.

Heavy lifting in reality promotes strength, not size, for women.

Muscle takes up less space than fat (muscle is more dense). “This means I will weigh heavier?” -- you might think. What this means is that muscle accounts for one third of a woman's weight which does affect her metabolic rate (faster) since muscle is metabolically active. In simple language: muscle eats up calories even when you are not lifting weights.

The equation is simple -- if you eat more than what you burn, you will gain weight and obviously if you eat less, you will lose weight. There must be a balance between your food intake and the caloric exertion in order to achieve a lean, toned and above all, healthy physique.

Muscle doesn't turn into fat if you stop weight training. Many women fear that if they build muscle and at some point need to go off their training programme, it will turn into fat. This is equivalent to saying that gold turns into brass. Fat and muscle are two totally different things. Any person that stops training usually ceases to follow a diet programme as well. Due to the inactivity, muscle is lost and combined with poor eating habits the impression is given that the person's muscles have turned into fat. In reality, muscle is lost and fat is accumulated.

Weight lifting helps decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Combining weight training with an adequate amount of calcium can help minimise the risk of osteoporosis.

You can decrease back pain and arthritis pain through weight training. With lifting, not only do you increase your strength, you also build stronger connective tissues and have more joint stability.

So, go ahead Superwoman, own your cape and lift some weights.


You can't win

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Quote of the week: You may have lost the battle… and you will also lose the war.

When it comes to women and babies, men just can't win. Sometimes they do but in reality it is an illusion. They haven't really won; they've just lost without knowing. Dads are the most disillusioned in this aspect.

Take for instance negotiations. With my one-and- half-year old, the word 'negotiation' is more like a battle between the diminutive David and the massive Goliath. And in this case, David keeps flinging little stones fed through a chain-driven heavy machine gun. I could try to reason, he will counter-reason and these arguments go in a few ways that eventually turn adults into children as well.

I sit at my computer ready to type out wisdom filled words such as this only to have my kid ask for his current favourite movie to be played: Daat gaari (car with teeth). In case you're wondering that's the movie Cars where characters are all cars that can speak, cry, jump and have teeth. So I tell him that I really need to work. He says, “Daat gaari”. I give him other distractions such as random toys, pots, pans, rolls of tape . He says, “Daat gaari”. So I explain how I will take him out for a trip to our local field where a little furry dog comes by to play. He thinks for a few seconds and says, “Daat gaari”.

Soon I am running out of options. I offer him money, car keys, permission to go poke the dogs at home, I even give him the most dangerous object of all, a felt tip marker. He invariably says, “Daat gaari”. I tell him he can't sit now. He again says, “Daat gaari”. So I give up and we settle for the 54th time watching the same show.

At one and a half, some say he has not yet grasped the concept of negotiations. After a while I ask him to go play and leave the computer so I can work. He hands me the car keys.


Chicken all the way

By shawkat osman

Come Ramadan, health often takes a back seat; the lure of the greasy delicacies is sometimes a little too hard to resist. Determined to guide our readers to healthy Iftars, we present to you some recipes our columnist, Shawkat Osman suggests for our valued readers.

Nugget salad
20 chicken nuggets
5 lettuce leaves
1 small Bok Choy
1 carrot
1 bunch spring onions
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp soya oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
¼ cup malt vinegar

Deep fry the chicken nuggets in hot oil, drain on kitchen paper. When cool enough to touch, cut the chicken nuggets into bite size pieces. Place the pieces in a mixing bowl. Chop lettuce leaves into thin shreds and put them in the mixing bowl. Thinly slice Bok Choy and shred carrot. Carrot easily shreds in food processor with shredding blade and deposit the shreds into the mixing bowl. Chop cilantro and spring onions; add to sliced Bok Choy and carrot, in the mixing bowl.

Whisk the following: oil, soy sauce, malt vinegar, honey, red chilli flakes, salt and black pepper. Toss the vegetable and chicken nuggets with this mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds before serving.

Chicken tenderloin
1 trimmed and ready chicken tenderloin
¼ tsp saffron, soaked in ½ cup water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp ginger paste
2 tsp black pepper powder
4 tbsp oil
3 red onions, sliced fine

In a mixing bowl combine the following: saffron, chicken tenderloin, salt, garlic, ginger and pepper powder. Heat the oil in a pan; lob in the onions sauté till browned. Chuck in the chicken tenderloin pieces, sauté till they are coated with the spices. Pour in enough water to barely cover them. Cover with a lid and cook until the meat is tender.

Spinach stuffed chicken breasts
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves -- pounded to 3cm thickness
500g spinach, cooked chopped and squeezed dry
200g crumbled Mozzarella cheese
25g flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
45 ml oil

Preheat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF). In a medium bowl, stir together the spinach and cheese. Lay the chicken breast halves out on clean surface, and distribute the spinach mixture evenly onto the centres of them. Fold the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks.

Stir together the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. Roll the chicken in the flour to coat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly brown each piece of chicken on top and bottom. Remove to a lightly greased baking dish, and cover with a lid or aluminium foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until chicken juices run clear, and filling is hot.

Chicken liver paté
500g chicken livers
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
2/3 cup apple juice
¼ cup milk

Rinse chicken livers under cold running water; remove fat and connective tissue. In a pan heat olive oil; chuck in: livers, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until livers are browned with only slightly pink centres, stirring often. Pour in Apple Juice; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add milk. Cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Transfer liver mixture to a food processor bowl. Cover and process until smooth. Press mixture through a strainer. Spoon mixture into a serving dish. Cover with a cling film and chill for at least 6 hours or for up to 3 days.

Chicken meatloaf
Do not over cook meat loaf; it should be firm not dry. Meat loaf may be mounded on a flat greased pan or put into a greased loaf pan. The sauce poured over the loaf gives it a good flavour and a light crust.

1 kg chicken mincemeat
1½ cups oatmeal
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1½ cups tomato juice
1 red onion, chopped
3 green chilli, chopped and deseeded
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup 'gur'
1/3 cup ketchup
¼ cup mustard

Preheat over to 180ºC. Grease a 20x32 cm baking dish, set aside. In a small bowl, mix: Gur, ketchup, mustard and whisk until smooth. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Put meatloaf in the greased dish and shape like a “loaf” leaving room on each side and ends. Pour most of the mixture over the meatloaf and bake at 180?C for 1½ hours or up to 2 hours, if needed. Slice the loaf when cold. Serve with a salad or as filler for sandwiches.

Sheperd's pie
This pie is a dish to use your left over meat, vegetables and mashed potatoes for your next day's meals, a boon for the tired homemaker after 'throwing' a large party.

500g cooked ground chicken
1 cup sautéd onions (baresta)
1 cup cooked peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Leftover mashed potatoes

In a mixing bowl combine the following: ground chicken, onions, peas (or any veggies), salt and pepper. Mix and place in a pie mould. Cover with leftover mashed potatoes and bake at 190ºC for an hour or until potatoes are browned.

Note: Use any left over vegetables chopped to pea sized pieces.

Chicken patty burger
6 chicken patty
6 buns
6 slices Cheddar cheese
6 eggs, fried
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch lettuce
6 sweet pickle relish
Mustard mayonnaise

Deep fry the patties in hot oil for 2 minutes; turn patties over and cook another minute or cook to desired doneness. Remove from cooking oil, drain on paper napkins and then transfer onto a plate. Brush the hamburger buns with melted butter; toast them on the grill, cut side down for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from grill and place on individual plates. Place the cooked chicken patty onto the bottom slice of the bun and top with fried eggs, tomato slices, onion slices, one lettuce leaf and one pickle. Spread the topping with ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise or a combination of all three.


Zesty meatball
1 kg chicken mincemeat
1 cup soft bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 cup onion, finely chopped
5 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Heat oven to 190ºC (375ºF). Combine all the ingredients in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into twelve, 2-inch meatballs. Place on rack in broiler pan. Bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes; until not pink in centre and juices show no pink colour.

½ kg chicken mincemeat
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp white flour
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion, finely chopped
Oil for frying

Keep grabbing the mince and squeezing it out through your fingers. Every now and then make a fist and press down on the mince to pack it together. Then go back to squeezing the 'mix' again and repeat.

Slowly add: egg yolk and garlic, ¼ cup of bread crumbs, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and remainder of the bread crumbs, onions, salt and soy sauce. Take a small pinch of flour and sprinkle into the palm of both hands. Make balls with the mixture and place them on a tray.

Heat 1 tsp oil on a hot tawa/griddle, place one ball. Using a strong spatula, with its working end greased, press down hard on the round rissole to flatten it out. Make sure the flattened rissole is less than 2.5 cm thick (about a thumb width). Leave the rissoles for about 5 minutes before turning over to the uncooked side.

When flipped, again press down on the rissole for about 10 seconds so that any remaining cooking fat are pressed out onto the hot griddle. You should hear loud sizzling sounds as fat splatters out when you do this.

The rissoles should take another 5 minutes to cook.

Dip recipes contributed by Rukhsara Osman
Kacha morich dip
1 cup hung yoghurt*
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp mayonnaise
10 green chillies, chopped
Put all ingredients into blender and blend until well mixed.

Curried cheese dip
225g Kissan cheese
150g yoghurt
½ tsp garlic paste
4 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tsp curry powder
2 tsp salt

Beat the cheese with the yoghurt and mayonnaise until smooth. Add curry powder, salt and garlic and mix well. Serve with chicken drumsticks.

Garlic dip
1 red onion, skinned and finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, skinned end crushed
140 ml hung yoghurt*
Combine the onion with the crushed garlic and yoghurt.

Yoghurt and mayo dip
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp hung yoghurt*
½ tsp lemon peel, finely shredded
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped

In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, yoghurt, lemon peel, lemon juice and red onion. Cover and chill for 6 hours.

Honey mustard dip
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp English/French mustard
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp honey

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and honey in a bowl; stir until well-blended. Adjust seasonings, if needed.

* Pour natural yoghurt in a muslin and tie up, hang the bundle over the sink over night. The residue left behind in the muslin is 'hung yoghurt'


Dhaka Happening

People in the city are always looking for a place to hang out, and till now, the only places for people to meet were restaurants and lounges. But the same old restaurants and lounges have seemingly lost their lustre. As the residents turn towards the finer things in life and towards a more cultured form of passing time, art galleries have become the new places to be, although they aren't the only place.

Dhaka's vibrant art and culture scene, which used to be confined to small artsy circles, is becoming more mainstream. Nowadays, young people are on the lookout for concerts, plays and exhibitions. The problem faced by these culture-hungry crowds is the lack of information on these events. Friday evenings are wasted frantically poring over newspapers, or getting frustrated over bygone event reviews. That's where dhakahappenings fits in.

Launched a couple weeks ago, dhakahappenings is a blog with an organised list of the ongoing events in Dhaka, usually with addresses and contacts. Now that everyone stays synced to their phones at all times, they also give you the option to add events to the Google Calendar on your smart-phones, so there's no chance of you forgetting about an interesting event at the last minute. Thanks to the dhakahappenings blog, anyone can look up the events they are interested in on this reliable and timely online bulletin board. Dhakahappenings also counts on its readers to keep it up to date, and readers can send in event listings at dhakahappenings@gmail.com. Check out the blog at dhakahappenings.wordpress.com or stop by at their facebook page www.facebook.com/dhakahappenings or follow them on twitter.com/dhakahappenings.


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