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.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Navratri Special - Vrat Waali idli

The food that we eat during fast is high in carbs. Moreover, the goodies are usually fried. I remembered having crisp fried potato chip, sabudana vadas, fried peanuts, Sihgada bhajiyas, puries and what not. The food is tasty and thats what bring the fun in fasting :) (atleast for me).

I do not fast but my husband does. He keeps all the Navratri fasts and one big challenge that I face is to manage his diet during these days.

Its easy to say that stay on fruits. But when you are out in sun and working then fruits are not enough to sustain one self.

Agreed that food eating during this period is high in carbs but you can actually save calories by cooking the same thing in less oil and opting for a balanced meal. Staying only fruits is not something I agree upon.

I will be putting up recipes during these days. I hope they help you in some way.

You can check microwave sabudana khichadi here

Microwave Sabudana Khichadi

The recipe that I am going to mention now is made from Samwat rice or "vrat waale chawal". This rice is eaten during fasts.


1. 1/2 or 1 bowl samvat rice

2. Curd as per the need.

3. Salt.

4. 2 tsp oil.

5. 1 tsp mustard seeds.

6. Green chilies as per taste.

7. 1 tablespoon grated coconut (optional).

8. Finely chopped cabbage.

9. Curry leaves.

Procedure :

1. Its same like the way we make rawa idlies.

Soak the rice in curd for 2 hours. The reason why I did not write the quantity of curd is because you need to adjust it according to your batter consistency. SO start by adding 2 tsp and mix well. Then again add more.

The batter should be like idli batter, neither too thick nor too runny.

2. Just before steaming the idlies add the salt and arrange the idlies in the steamer. Steam for 15 minutes.

They just come off easily when they are cooked, you can also emerge a knife in the idli to check, if the knife comes out clean then the idlies are ready.

3. In a pan, take oil and add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves and slit green chillies. Then add cabbage and stir fry till the cabbage is cooked. Add coconut, mix well and then add salt. Remember, salt should be added after the cabbage is cooked. Then Add the idlies, mix well and serve hot.

I try to put in lots of cabbage, its one of the ways to eat this lovely vegetable. The taste of this dish is fresh and crisp.

In case you want to carry it for lunch to your office, all you have to do is soak it overnight but keep the batter in the fridge.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Weight Maintenance- The art of staying thin forever

Even before you start with weight loss you will hear people telling you "Weight loss is easy, weight maintenance is hard". The same thing you will hear from others all through out the period when you lose weight. There also will be bright souls who want to help you by telling you how they lost weight and put the weight right back on.

You will soon wonder if it is better to lose weight or be just the way you are.

So what is maintenance and how you can keep the weight off for life. Here are few points to ponder.

1. Weighing Scale - I know I keep saying this like a parrot. But I want you to remember this even in your sleep. So while in sleep if I ask you "What is the most important thing to maintain your weight", you should answer "Weighing myself weekly mam".

Think about it, one reason why we put of weight is because for so many months or years we had no idea how much we weighed.

This is the first and the most important principle of weight maintenance. Never assume your weight, you have to be sure of what you are.

2. Eating - If an old alcohol addict who is all clean goes back to her old ways what will you call her. You will call her an Alcoholic. Same principle apply to weight maintenance.

When I lost 8 kgs few years back, I was over the cloud. I used to be 80 kgs and I came down to 72 kgs and I felt so powerful and wonderful with the compliments. Most importantly I felt thin and I thought I can eat everything now. I went back to my old habits and I gained double the weight I lost.

You are free to eat whatever you want but not like the old days.

I usually go on maintenance when I dip low. I went on maintenance when I was 69 kgs and then again when I hit 64 kgs.

So here is what I did to maintain the weight.

I ate out - but not regularly, I ate only on weekends and that to only one meal . When I had eaten out I used come back and go back to my healthy eating habits like having one meal of soup, salads and veggies.

If you compare this with my old self, I used to eat out 3 -4 times a week and never bothered to eat healthy at home. So you see I no longer am going to my old ways and be tagged as an addict.

The sad truth - Once your cells have learnt to put on weight believe me they have adapted themselves forever. Be aware of this fact, being aware will help you in the wrong run.

3. Stop dieting and start eating - I always encourage people not to diet. Having a healthy balanced meal is NOT DIETING this is the way to live.

The irony is when you go to parties and eat endless amount of fried snacks, drink endless cold drinks and then proceed to eat endless main course people will accept it BUT if you eat moderately and refuse fried stuff they will say "are you dieting??". Hell NO, this is the way you eat. Eat in moderation and try saying NO to empty calories.

Having a bowl of soup, salad and snacking on fruits is the right way to eat. People will accept if you snack on fried stuff but have hard time digesting if you snack on fruits. This is a healthy lifestyle and be firm to tell people this is the way you eat, there is no dieting involved (infact if they follow your diet they will benefit too).

4. Exercising - Always pick an activity that you enjoy doing. Like for me walking is no longer an exercise, I just do it.

When you hit your target weight or when you enter maintenance you need not push yourself hard. Just pick up some simple activity that you can do aleast 30 minutes daily.

Here are few suggestions

A) Exercising 3 days of the week - For few people 5 days/ daily exercising is not possible. The best way is to give 45 minutes 3 days a week. That is all.

B) Opting for light activity - If you do not want to invest 45 minutes then just go for light walks on daily basis. There is no need to push yourself. Just let your body glide with the flow and enjoy the light movements.

C) High impact activity - I had a colleague who used to be very fat. I never saw him fat but his photographs told me a different story. He was lean and he ate from canteen. The mystery was solved when I saw him running for one hour in the office gym. He used to do that 5 days a week.

If you cannot avoid canteen food or you have lots of parties to oblige to then its best to take up a challenging activity and do it. The high impact cardio will take care of your extra calories.

Here high impact cardio will not make you lose weight (as you are frequently eating out) but will help you to maintain the weight.

Few Questions You might have in mind

Q1. I am starting with weight loss but I am scared of putting the weight on.

A1) When you have not yet achieved your goal why are you troubling yourself with the future. To get the result you need to give the exam first. Bother about not putting on the weight once you have reached your target.

Q2) I have lost weight and now I want to maintain it but I have this carving for outside food. What should I do???

A2) The carving comes from the relaxed mind. Initially you had a goal to meet and were possessed to achieve the goal now that you have achieved it your mind will try to lure you back to high calorie food.

Its a classic case of THE CHASE. Once the chase is over the chaser feels lost.

The beauty of weight loss is to eat and enjoy everything but in moderate portions. There is no other solution for it.

If you have a craving for a burger. Then go ahead have the whole burger meal but do not forget to adjust the calories the next day and you cannot have this meal on regular basis. Having it once a month is the smart way.

Temptations are every where, if you go back to the temptations you will go back to your old self, always think if it is worth giving up all that you have achieved for a plate of food.

Q3) Now that I have lost weight I feel demotivated to exercise. In fact I have to push myself to exercise and I end up not doing it.

A3) Initially you had vision, now with the lost weight the vision has been achieved. The point is what next.

The best way to deal with it is to stop thinking of physical activity as exercise. Sometimes I don't feel like exercising, what I do is just go and walk on treadmill for 45 minutes, I tell myself this is to keep my body healthy and moving. Do it for your health.

If you walk for your health, if you walk to keep your knees healthy, chances are you will start walking on daily basis.

Q4) When I was losing weight I felt motivated and looked ahead in life with passion. Now I feel lost.

A4) Remember, a winner is always lonely at the top. The best way is to always keep the chase going on. There will always be 1 kilo here and there to lose. Keep that kilo alive and try chasing it. That kilo will help you stay on tack forever.

If you keep the chase alive you will keep the sparks alive too.

After losing weight, the glory is all yours. The compliments will never stop coming and you will glow in the light of those compliments. You will feel beautiful, young and powerful.

The question is "at what cost are you wiling to risk your glory, your achievement and your success." If you are ready to risk it for your laziness and for the taste of your tongue then it is not worth it.