Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And We Stand Tall

I also have a similar blog on a women forum called Indus Ladies. Its a fabulous site where thousands of women connect.

I had an opportunity to interact and know so many women there who decided to fight weight issues in spite of their health problems. If you visit the site you can check the keep fit section and read extra ordinary stories of women who stand up to defy all odds against weight problem.

I would like to end this year by telling the story of 2 amazing ladies (both of them are Indusladies members). Both of them have gone through medical problems and still they stood up to lose weight.

If they can then why can't you


I started at 88kgs,last december, actually i was 84 for the past 4 years before that and my cardiologist was really going beserk when he could not find any problem with my diet and activities. the problem started when a check up of my bone density (because i was complaining of body pain all the time) showed a figure that indicated risk of osteoporosis..and i covered all the risks..bronchitis, surgical menopause, obesity and heart gyneac wanted me to start on HRT immediately,but wanted a go from my cardiologist. so when i met him he told me HRT had side effects, and since i am a different case, who can put on weight because of corte-steroids and hormonal (i have steroidal abuse..), that i could easily touch a century soon. he told me very clearly that my heart was working fine, and he did not want to put more strain on it, he said let us try our best to reduce weight, before going for hrt.

he asked me to go to a dietician. i went to the one, he recommended..and she was so rude, that i felt like giving her a piece of my mind. she asked me, you know your bmi, you know what is healthy, and what is not, you know what are your restrictions, and yet you are this obese..i just kept quiet and came back..

that was when i said i have to think about what i am doing wrong. a background check. i was very normal healthy weight at 58kgs when i was married. I was on hormonal injections because of histories of threatened abortions and PID. i was 64 after the first delivery. second was 3 years later, with the same problems, and i was given primolut-n injections twice every week till the end..(which i am told today was the reason for my obesity, and bone weakness, and uterus problems..though my the then gynaec refused to accept and blamed me for going ahead inspite of her explaining all the side effects.) by the time my son was removed 40 days ahead, i had severe problems in my uterus..and i was somewhere at 80kgs. and i was stable at that for almost 8 years. and then i started having problems severe ones..excessive bleeding and i was anaemic landing at below 7 sometimes.. and i had a chronic anemic condition that i could not absorb iron in any form..

fastforward to 2009, i fell down in the kitchen in november, and x-ray showed a mild fracture and ligament tears, and the doctors again told me the risk factors that were hanging over my head.. I started slow and steady..walking and just walking. no gym because of my spinal injury and sciatica that i have.

What did i do.. i reduced rice from my diet (we eat ponni raw rice at home), added more vegetables, lots of hot water, less oil. green tea, no sugar in coffee or tea. and what never happened before, my weighing scaled dipped and i was like wow, this is a great feeling..greens something like 10/12 varieties..every week 3/4 times.

jan 2010 i lost 2.5kgs..and by may 2010 i lost 10 kgs..and i was again having some problems, and when we went for a scan, we found i had 5 stones in my kidney.and i was put on more diet restrictions.. but still i have been working with what i can eat. all the veggies that can be eated during weight loss, like tomato, cucumber, ash guard were a no - no for me, as were some of the greens..

but here i am after losing 73..and now my cardiologist wants me to learn to maintain my weight before i lose any. he says i should now learn to lose 1 kg and then learn to maintain and then lose again so that my body and mind will learn to maintain.A big thanks to that man who really is so patient when he explains.

so here i am at 73..with a target of 65 that my cardiologist has put for me. he says if i reach 65 i should be fine..and i am aiming this by dec-2011.

The main factor that played a great role are my kids. we stay alone and dh works abroad. with nobody to assist us during my sick phases, my kids were really depressed and upset because of me. and this year my dd writes her 10th and i thought i should not be on her mind all the time..and this weight loss is more a dedication to my husband and my kids..who put up with a lot of my emotional tantrums, depressions.

After six surgeries, a spinal injury along with sciatica, heart condition i say if i am trying and even succeeding to a certain extent, anybody else can.

It is all about fighting against all odds, in something you believe you can do it. it is more about believing in ourselves, and doing something for self, which we forget during the course of our married life, where our priorities change and SELF goes down the table.


Before marriage I was thin chick and every one used to give me tips to gain weight.. will you believe me I was 44 kgs(underweight). After my marriage I gained weight and was 54 kgs... happy with my loving DH.

It was then I was diagnosed for psoriatic athritis and I could not walk also..there was swelling in my knees and ankles and I used to hold walls while walking in house as well...MY routine was get into Auto at door steps and land in office and again take an auto from office and land at door steps...All house hold chores my husband used to do..He used to give hot water fomentation on my knees and ankles(We should be happy to have such a understanding and supporting husbands) in the evenings and mornings so that I can sleep..such was the pain..

My medicine dosage so doubled and steroids were given to kill the pain(it was so terrible)..

When I used to walk a bit faster(to catch the bus, later on after 6 months) my legs used to tremble like anything...This condition continued, my medication continued and my weight also correspondingly was 1.5 years after my diagonises and I was 72 kgs..

Then I was carrying and again the swelling in knees and ankles continued during my pregnancy period and post delivery my weight was 78 kgs...

I started believing that I have to stay fat life long as I can't even walk for 10 min...Here when we start believing something we don't give a try to it as well..I never dared to go ahead and see if walk for 10 min what will be consequences.. Will I able to do it or not...

When I went to this thread and read the posts over here..My mind said let me give a try...when a person like shiva(her original weight 85 kgs) can do it why can't even I give a try to it.

If I can make it, I will loose weight which will be beneficial for my health..anyways there is no loss in trying...I made my mind and started first changing the diet.. reduced oil, nights had soups....

First 2 days I could walk 15 min...though slowly which earlier I felt I can never do it...
1 week I walked only 15 min and controlled my diet and then slowly increased to 20 min..

Now I am walking for 30 min and increased my speed as well.

Believe me now I have gained the confidence and now my heart says "The Day is not far when i can run as well(though slowly)". It is our mind what needs to be said "U can do it.. and all going to be well".

I do this when I feel I can't walk any longer..I say to myself "It is only 2 rounds left out Preethi and it s not a big task...Come on u can do it" and I end up in walking 1 or 2 more rounds during my morning walk.


Remember, its up to us to give into to our difficulties and be happy the way we are BUT Its also up to us to stand tall against all odds and challenge the life.

If life has the power to throw difficulties at us then its up to us to stand against the life and shout with all our strength "how dare you try to show me down", its up to us to roar and tear the sky, to hit the ground and split it in two. Such is our strength.

In the end the choice is always ours, to stand tall or to fall defeated on the ground.

Original Post can be found on the indusladies website here

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pizza Paratha

Credit of this recipe goes to my friend Sumedha

Sumedha and her daughter both are into low cal eating and both are into weight loss as well. When Sumedha narrated this recipe to me I could already see my husband blessing her. It was mouth watering to hear and mouth watering to eat as well.


Anything that is in your fridge. I used

1. Cabbage finely chopped.

2. Onions finely chopped.

3. 1 handful sweetcorn shells.

4. 1 handful panneer.

5. 1 Capsicum cut into length wise pieces.

6. Grated carrot.

7. Oregano and chili flakes

8. Black pepper according to taste.

9. Salt according to taste.

10. Half cheese slice (optional)

11. Tomato sauce 2 tsp (optional)

12. Salt according to taste

13. Roti dough made from wheat flour, bran and wheat germ. You can use type of dough.


1. Stir fry all the vegetables on high heat in 1 tsp of oil. First add onion and saute for 2 minutes and then add the other veggies. Add in sweet corn and panneer as well. DO NOT ADD SALT.

2. Cook the vegetables till they are done. Make sure that there is no moisture in the veggies.

3. Lastly add salt, oregano and chili flakes. Grate the cheese slice. Use a small grater so that even less cheese can spread easily over the whole vegetable dish. Mix well.

4. Add in sauce and mix well. Keep aside to cool.

5. Now roll out the dough, on half side spread the vegetable mix and the close shut by rolling the other half over.

6. Transfer to a pan and grill. You can use little oil/ghee on both sides of the paratha.

7. Once the paratha is grilled properly from both side, transfer to the plate and slit open.

The taste is awesome and does have a hint of pizza. I just loved it. You don't need any side dish with this.

There is something very convenient about frozen pizzas. When you enter the house late at night and toss a frozen pizza in the microwave and just eat it watching your favorite program BUT there is also something about the calories in the damned frozen pizza, they make you put on weight.

So, when you are in mood to cook healthy, make 2 -3 of these pizza parathas and freeze. They have the same charm as a frozen pizza but will have far less calories.


Sumedha's Words of Wisdom

1. I grated cucumber and squeezed out the juice. I drank the juice but added the fiber to the vegetable mixture.

2. I have also add grated bottle gourd and white radish in this.

3. Instead on stir frying I steamed the veggies.

4. My daughter just loves it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Transformation Begins

2004 When I was comparatively young








December 2010 - A Free Bird

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Roti Pockets

Those of you who have read my blog regularly knows my constant struggle of making my husband eat healthy.

This guy refused point blank to carry a tiffin to his office. He just felt weird eating out of the tiffin and then he hated to manage the boxes after the lunch. No amount of threatening worked, he simply refused to budge.

Most of the days he would skip lunch the result was that he would be extremely hungry in evening and would eat anything in sight. If the hunger hit hard during lunch time he sometimes opted for outside food. Both the scenarios were really bad for his health.

Finally, I decided to keep sandwiches for his lunch. He was happy. Sandwiches meant just to eat and throw the aluminum foil in the bin BUT I was not very happy about the amount of bread he was consuming. The devil spirit in me wanted to give him roti sabji and snatch away the lovely sandwiches that he was enjoying.

It was after lot of thinking that I came up with this concept of pocket roties/parathas. They are like roti rolls in an aluminum foil. All my DH had to do is to bite from the roll and once finished throw the foil in the bin. He just loved the idea and the rolls. He told me its so convenient to type from one hand and eat from the other (can you believe this guy).

One important difference that my DH noticed was that he felt much fuller with the roties than with the sandwiches. The reason why he felt full was because I used to stuff the pockets with loads of vegetable.

They are very easy to make. Just roll the roti, drop few drops of oil or ghee on the flattened dough. Then fold and press half the side, leave the top half open. Then grill on pan with few drops of oil/ghee and your roti pockets are ready. Fill them with cooked vegetable and roll in a foil. They are very easy to eat and can be easily carried in purse.

Unlike the normal roti rolls you can stuff these ones with loads of vegetable. Just slightly press the sabji inside the pocket and accumulate as much as possible.

Fold the roti and press sides of the lower half together, leave the top half open.

Grill on the pan.

While the roties are still slightly hot, you can separate the layers and create the pocket. You can use a spoon or a knife to slightly separate the layers.

Wheat -oats-bran- wheat germ roti pocket

The rolls are easy to carry and its a full meal in the pocket. Its far far better than having outside food.

Have fun with Wrap and Roll.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lentil Salad

A fabulous friend of mine always has a salad plate ready whenever she invites me for dinner. Every time I have been to her place I am greeted with different kind of salads.

When I ate this one particular salad, I just couldn't believe how good it can taste and how it can be a very good snacking option.

Credit of this recipe goes to Rekha & Sanjay Bharti


1. 1 katori/bowl yellow mung dal. Soak it for 2 hours or until it swells.

2. 1 grated carrot.

3. Few mint leave chopped.

4. 1/2 finely chopped raw mango. If you want to avoid this then use lemon.

5. Coriander leaves finely chopped.

6. 2 tsp grated coconut (optional).

7. Green chili finely chopped.

8. Slat to taste.


1. Boil water in a pan, when the water start to boil, add little salt and add the soaked lentils. Boil for 5 minutes. Lentils should be cooked but firm. 5 minutes is more than enough for them. Drain and wash with cold water.

2. Mix the lentil with all the other stuffs.

3. The salad is ready. It tastes best when served cold.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Weightloss and the Stuffed Paratha Trick

One of the greatest pleasures of life is stuffed parathas. The yummy hot flat bread stuffed with different stuffings and eaten with cold curd and melting butter. The sensation is pure divine. Its very very sad and seriously very sad that weight loss and stuffed parathas don't go hand in hand.

I am a great fan of stuffed parathas specially during the winters and my husband needs them atleast twice a week. Giving up on the stuffed parathas for the sake of weight loss was way too much a sacrifice that I was not willing to make.

Lets see why stuffed parathas are bad for weightloss.

1. The dough used to make the parathas is bigger in size because we do not want the stuffing to spill out. So 1 paratha dough is equal to almost 2 chapathi dough. A fat stuffed paratha not only looks delicious it tastes delicious too.

2. Because its a paratha oil/ghee is used while grilling it.

3. Its either eaten with butter or pickle.

My Take of Stuffed Parathas.

Stuffed parathas actually make for a very filling meal. If we take care of the carbs and the fat that goes into making this paratha, this dish can actually give you a chance to eat lots of veggies. Moreover, its very easy to carry. So all those of you who do not want to take roti and sabji to office, can actually take a vegetable stuffed paratha wrapped in an aluminum coil. For office goers its a great way to avoid outside food.

2 of my favorite stuff parathas are cauliflower and white radish parathas.

The trick.

1. I take a dough ball which is big enough to make 1 chapathi and divide it into too. I dust the dough balls nicely with dry what flour and roll out too thin roties. Make sure that the dough is firm.

2. I lavishly put the filling on 1 roti and then seal the filling with the second roti. It becomes a packet. The cauliflower and white radish filling is raw and it is cooked inside the sealed paratha packet, which gives a tasty crunch to the paratha.

3. Grill the paratha with less oil. Because of the heat of the pan, even less ghee (1/2 tsp) is more than enough to grill the paratha beautifully.

The idea is to have more of vegetables inside and less of dough outside.

Because we are aiming for weight loss aloo parathas are not made this way. It will increase the carb load. If you want to have aloo paratha, make it the usual way and grill it in less ghee and have for breakfast. Aloo paratha should be limited to once a week (or even less) but other vegetable parathas can be eaten more frequently.

Cauliflower Paratha

1. Grate the cauliflower (avoid the stem.).

2. Add finely chopped green chillies, grated ginger, coriander leaves.

3. Add roasted cumin powder and garam masala powder. DO NOT ADD THE SALT.

4. Roll out the doughs. Take out the filling that you require for one paratha separately and add salt to it. Spread the filling nicely on top of one rolled out dough and cover with another one.

5. Grill and serve hot.

White Radish (Muli) paratha.

Its my favorite.

1. Grate muli and add salt to it and keep aside for half an hour.

2. After half an hour squeeze the water out nicely. Press firmly so that no water is left.

3. Use the muli water to make the paratha dough. If there is lots of water, you can use it to make cucumber raita.

4. Now, in the grated muli mixture, add green chillies, coriander leaves and red chilli powder. I like it with this mixture, you can go ahead and add more spices.

5. The stuffing process of the paratha is similar to cauliflower paratha.

Vegetable Stuff Paratha

1. You can use any cooked vegetable. French beans and cabbage are the best.

2. Lavishly fill the sabji in the paratha and grill with less ghee.

These parathas even taste good when cold and they freeze beautifully.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Getting Back on Track

There are days when we make a resolution to start our diet and loose weight no matter what


There are days when we eat and eat and eat and tell ourselves 'let me eat today and then I will diet tomorrow' OR 'I have already eaten so much and have gone off track so let me eat today'.

The next morning that follow such days, we rise and shine, have light breakfast or probably because we have decided to diet we skip it altogether. By afternoon we are hungry and because we have decided to diet we eat less. Hunger pangs strikes us in the evening and by night we have again eaten everything in sight. We go back to bed with a resolution that from next morning NO Matter What we are dieting again.

The pattern keeps repeating which might lead to weight gain or depression and the realization that weight loss is so damn tough.

When I was young I wrote a dairy and it is full of such pattern. Everyday I told
myself I will go on water diet and end up eating like hell by evening. I was obsessed with water diet back then.

So what is a great way to get back on track OR to start dieting.

Get back to the basic foods and never stay hungry - Its actually very easy. Even if you had eaten and eaten and stuffed yourself the previous night don't make the mistake of skipping your breakfast the next day in the name of diet .

The smartest way is to pick a basic food like roti, daal or khichadi (this works for me) and eat that food. If you think about it, we all have a specific dish which is low in calories and which fills our stomach.

What I do is I eat that dish in good quantity which satisfy my mind and my hunger as well. Its up to you how you make it as healthy as possible.

My favorite is the khichadi. I use 1 handful of rice and lentil (3 times the amount of rice), I add lots of vegetables to it and pressure cook it. I have it for my lunch with a bowl of raita (the one shown in the pic is not very healthy but that was all I had in the house, try experimenting with cucumber, carrot, bottle gourd raitas) and I also have it for dinner.

It ensures that I have my little carbs with protein and vegetables. As a small quantity rice results in a full pressure cooker of khichadi, I can have stomach full of it.

As my stomach is full I no longer feel the urge to eat something high cal nor do I become so weak that I end up eating anything in sight.

Psychologically, my mind and body perceives it as NO Deprivation. I am eating at free will.

Once we start eating this kind of food for lunch and for dinner the urge to binge decreases, we can then proceed to bring other changes like opting for cracked wheat/ daliya instead of rice, etc.

This works for me but for you it can be something very different. The point is the dish that you pick be it idli sambhar OR khichadi Or roti sabji, it should be less in calories than what you have been eating for past couple of days (and are off track in terms of your diet).

With 2 or 3 days of such low cal food which I love eating (stomach full) I am back on track and there is a shift in weight too.

So, the thumb of the rule when getting back on track is to eat all 3 meals properly. The more you decide to eat less to get back on track the more you will keep derailing.

Eating basic healthy food and not being hungry is the smartest way to start your diet. Give it a try, it might work for you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Navratri Special - Salad.

Before I tasted it, I never thought how tasty a salad could be. This salad is damn simple and its bombardment of flavors in the mouth.

As it has carbohydrates like potato and natural fats like peanuts and coconut, this salad makes a complete meal.

It actually is a very good diet food during fasts. I eat it without fasts too.


1. 1 large or medium boiled potato, peeled and chopped.

2. Cabbage finely shredded.

3. Handful grounded roasted peanuts.

4. Grated coconut 1 tablespoon.

5. Green chilies finely chopped.

6. Coriander leaves finely chopped.

7. 1 lemon.

8. Salt to taste.


Mix all the above ingredients well. Squeeze the lemon on top and add salt just before serving. It taste real good when cold.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Navratri Special - Sabudana - Sinhgada Drop Oil Bhajiyas.

One thing that I used to look forward during Navratri was sabudana - sinhgada bhajiya. Hot bhajiya dipped in cold curd tastes just awesome and mind blowing.

I loved them so much that I used to make them all the 3 times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bhajiyas will be there for sure. I used to make the batter in bulk and there will always be oil in the kadai. All I had to do is just fry the lovely beauties, dip them in curd and put them in my mouth.

No wonder I was what I was.

This is a almost non fried version of these bhajiya and they still taste mind blowing when they are eaten with curd.

Ingredients :

1. 1 medium size potato finely chopped into square pieces.

2. 1 tsp cumin seeds.

3. 1/2 katori/bowl sinhgada aata/flour.

4. 1 katori/bowl sago seeds. They should be pre soaked overnight or for 2 - 3 hours.

5. 1 green chili finely chopped.

6. Little coriander leaves.

7. Salt to taste.

8. 1 and half tsp oil.


1. In a microwave safe bowl, put half tsp oil and then put the cumin seeds. Microwave for 30 seconds, keeping the bowl covered.

2. Add the potato, mix well, cover the bowl and microwave for 3 minutes. Open the bowl and check if the potatoes are cooked or not. If not microwave again for 2 minutes.

3. Now, add the sago/sabudana seeds, sinhgada flour, green chilli, coriander leaves. For half katori flour you need 3/4 katori water. Add water slowly because we need a thick batter. Just incase, if the bater goes thin, you can add more flour or if the batter goes thick you can add water. Lastly, add the salt.

4. Take a pan and rub 1 tsp oil on it. Rub it with your hands so that the pan is nicely coated.

5. Now switch on the gas, you need to put the oil drops on the place where you will put the bhajiya batter. So, start by putting the drop of ghee/oil and then putting 1 spoon of batter on that drop. Then, again put 1 drop oil/ghee on the batter and cover the pan. One side takes 2 -3 minutes to cook on medium heat. Once one side is grilled brown, flip over and again cover the pan.

The drop which we put on the bhajiya batter will seep inside the batter and will cook the bhajiyas evenly from inside.

The reason why we cover the pan is to cook the bhajiyas in steam, so the inside of the bhajiya is all soft where as the outside crust is crisp.

You need to adjust the heat between low and medium. If the pan gets too hot, switch to low flame and then one you put the batter and cover the pan switch to medium flame.

Both the side should be crisp and brown.

6. Take the bhajiyas out on a tissue towel, this will further drain any oil.

7. Serve hot with curd.

Quick Tips

1. Remember, these are pure carbs so you cannot eat endless amount. 7 - 8 bhajiyas are more than enough for a meal.

2. You can make the batter and keep in fridge.

3. The bhajiyas freeze beautifully.