Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Pause

Couple of months back I discovered that a small tiny creature is growing inside me.

Few days back I came face to face with the one who resided inside me for 9 months. I came face to face with the boy I instantly fell in love with. When I held him in my arms and I looked into his eyes, I felt as if the whole universe has stopped, nothing mattered more than the two beautiful eyes that stared right back at me.

I am pausing this blog for few days but I will soon return with stories about my pregnancy and my struggle to lose weight yet again.

How will this fatchic Mumma lose weight again is the question yet to be answered.

Introducing Baby P to the whole new world.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Roti Maker

One of the most important aspect of sustainable weight loss is to concentrate on diet i.e to cook tasty low calorie food. As we all know that life is not always very rosy and once the honeymoon weight loss period is over a sudden realization, that you are spending most your time cooking food,hits home hard.
Common sense told me that I should reduce my intake of simple carbs and move to healthy complex carbs. In past I used to take rice for my lunch to office because it was easier to cook. With roti not only I had to knead the darn dough but also have to roll it, wait for the pan to get hot,make it and finally wash the utensils as well. Its next to impossible for me to make roties in morning, I am really lazy at that time of the day to do anything except eating my breakfast.

I came up with methods like preparing roties for a week and then reheating them in microwave which I still agree is a good way if you have less time on your hands. I prepared my husband's lunch box at night(with sabji and roti and all). I continued doing it for a long time but the charm of fresh hot roties always haunted me. Roties prepared in morning remain soft and fresh till lunch but the problem was that I hated rolling and making them at that time of the day.

Then one incident made me the proud owner of the magic cooking wand. I had called few people for dinner and right at the time of rolling out roties the gas cylinder gave up on me. I had no idea what to do with so many hungry guest waiting for dinner. Suddenly my friend told me not to worry, she asked her husband to get the roti maker from her house. I stood there and watched the magic work, we finished making steaming hot roties for 10 people in maximum of 5 minutes. I was super impressed with the result. The roties that we were making were the ones that we eat during fasting (Navratri time), if you have ever made these roties you will understand how cunning they are, how difficult it is to roll and cook them. On that day, at that time I made up my mind to purchase a roti maker.

Ever since I got my roti maker I have stopped making roties the traditional way. What I like most about this machine is the ease with which I can make different kind of parathas YES parathas with extremely less oil. The steam and the heat help the parathas to cook evenly and whatever little fat I apply on top gets evenly spread.

You can do lot of variations with roties, from simple milk roties to grated veggie stuffed roti, just let your imagination run wild. All you have to do is knead the dough, make the dough ball, press the damn machine and viola roti is prepared.

Points that impressed me about this machine

1. Quick preparation time. For my husband's tiffin I can make the roties in matter of 2 minutes and they stay soft till lunch.

2. No washing of utensils (thank god).

3. Variety of roties that I can make. Sometimes carrying a tiifin of roti and veggies is not possible, so instead of eating lunch at office canteen a healthier verison would be to take stuff parathas (wrapped in a foil) which can then be eaten with market bought curd.

Few of my preparations

1. Payaaz Paratha

2. Methi Paratha

3. Oil free thin Khakras

4. Multi Grain Roti

5. Lauki Thepla

 Now the big question - Will you lose weight if you buy a roti maker.

Ofcourse Not. Roti maker simply helps you to make variety of roties faster. If you have less time or the task of rolling out roties and waiting for the pan to get hot seems boring to you then give this machine a try.

How much does it cost - 1500 rupees (approx).

Which brand should you buy - Any brand which suits your budget and is durable.

Please read the Disclaimer


The products reviewed under the review section are products that helped me in my weight loss journey or made it a little easier. I do not endorse or guarantee the products. They are just simple objects that helped me to save time when I was in a rush or gave me an alternative route to achieve my goal.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weeks to Weight loss

Most part of my life I attempted to lose weight and with every attempt I failed, with every failure I got confused and I became sure of the fact that I will never lose weight.

After trying endlessly for many years there came a point where I gave up and accepted that I am fat and will be fat always. When you accept then you become what you accepted.

There were times when I wanted to attempt weight loss but had no idea how to start it and how to continue it with success. There were endless diets and suggestions flowing from everywhere, any random person thought it was a great idea to give me advise on losing weight. But the problem was I was not the person others wanted me to be neither was I the person who could give up food and stick to a strict diet. I was me, simply lazy, like it or hate it but that was who I was and I was not willing to change.

I did try following few diets and I gave them up in 1 - 2 days max, I could not bring myself to live a life where I had to give up a complete food group.

After long years of struggle, the most sensible thing that I did was to work my way to weight loss according to my likes and dislikes and my choices of food to eat and to stay away from. My life, my control and absolutely my call.

Lot of diets ask to say NO to dairy but I cannot imagine my day starting without tea, its not that I cannot give it up but more importantly I don't want to give it up. I was very firm of the fact that I am not going to give up food groups that I like, I have one life to live and I would like to enjoy it with food.

I did make adjustments and negotiations and opted for healthier versions of my favorite dishes. I finally found a way of life where I neither felt hungry nor deprived.

So if you are confused how to start your weight loss OR have given up on weight loss try these week by week pointers, they worked for me, may be they will work for you. Trying is free of cost and it won't hurt.

Week 1 - Detoxifying - I always cringed at the word detox diet because it meant giving up on most of the food that you eat and worse it might even suggest that you go on only fruits for a week. I never was good with any detox diet BUT I have my own version of detox diet and mind you its damn difficult as well.

In the detoxifying week you have to say NO to any kind of junk food. You will have to say No to biscuits, fried namkeen, fried food, chaats, outside restaurant food and of course sweets. What you get to eat is your home cooked meals, have your roties, daal, sabji, rice, bread sandwich. We all know the obvious culprits called as junk food, just say NO to them.

Sounds simple, its not. There will be always that one biscuit that you will end up eating OR a handful of namkeen that you will be tempted to eat OR a piece of cake from someone from office OR a big weekend party.

Staying away from high calorie food is a very difficult task because even if we want to stay away we are surrounded by a society which will hunt us down and make use eat what want to avoid.

How do you prepare for the week - Most of the time we are aware of the life schedules. For example I always know there will be some party on its way every alternate weekend. So its best to prepare yourself in advance. Don't store junk food in your house, give that piece of cake to someone else and if there is a party eat dinner at home and keep drinking lots of water at the party, so that your stomach is full and you are not tempted to eat the food. During the party nibble on small amounts.

Think about it, most diets ask you to give up food that is part of your daily basic diet, here you get to eat your home cooked food, all you have to do is stay away from the food that even you know is bad for you and your weight loss.

If you slip - Its ok just don't repeat your mistake and continue with your plan.

Weigh yourself at the end of this week. Depending on how much junk food you used to eat you will see the changes in your weight. Even if there is no change, your body will get over the addiction of eating that
"something fried and yummy ". This week will teach you how much you are addicted to junk.

Mantra of the Week - Eat Healthy.

Week 2 - Starting the diet - I met someone recently who told me that her diet and appetite is not much BUT she is unable to lose any weight. I know this person and I know she eats normal portion size but still weight gain was there. She went to the kitchen to prepare some yummy upma for me and herself. When I went inside the kitchen I could see the onions and potatoes being nicely fried, I took the cooking utensil and drained the remaining oil in a separate katori, to my horror there was half katori of oil in that upma for just 2 of us. And thats where the culprit hid, her sabji, her breakfast are all drenched with oil.

1 tsp oil is 120 calories, imagine how much calories she was adding to her meals.

So be aware of your oil. I make my dishes in less oil, there is no pouring of oil instead I measure and use 2 tsp. Food does taste good with less oil, all you have to do is give less oil cooking a chance.

Also in this week you will have to give chance to Salads, Soups and healthy Raitas. When I say soup I mean a big bowl of any lentil. Get creative with your plate and try to eat as healthy as possible.

This week get introduce to the concept of bulking. Salads and soups bulk up your meals and you feel full with less amount and less calorie food.

Start with smart switches, for example its a known fact that rice does lead to weight gain So if you are fond of eating rice, start with alternate day plan of having rice one day and roties the next day and don't forget to bulk up your plate with salad and soup bowl.

Mantra of the Week - Beware of Oil and bulk up your food.

Week 3 - Opting for smart carbs - Vegetarians do tend to eat more of carbs and I don't see it going away from my diet. The best way to cut down on carbs is to make smart choices like, opting for multi grain roties and opting for daliya instead of rice.

There are few typical dishes like daal, rajma, chole which I love to eat with rice. I decided to follow once a week rice schedule in my house. So I ate all those dishes with daliya (broken/cracked wheat), I liked the taste. Once my sister saw my strange combination of daliya with one of my favorite dishes and she asked "How does it taste?? How can you eat this". I told her to taste and see herself and she ended up liking the taste.

 Most of the time we don't try because in our head we convince ourselves that certain food combinations will only work. So get adventurous, think about it, if you start liking daliya, rice threat will be over for life.

Week 4 - The cut down -
Portion size does play a role in weight loss and this week you should train yourself to eat smaller meals. I eat smaller lunch and people comment "How can you eat so less?", the thing is I eat again in next 2-3 hours.

Try a lunch plate of 1 multigrain roti, sabji, daal and salad and you will certainly feel full. After 2-3 hours have a bowl of salad or fruits. By following smaller meals every 2-3 hours you will feel full and satisfied, there will be no breaking down at the sight of the food.

If you are making these changes in your lifestyle then you will for sure see difference in your weight. You can follow this plan to start your weight loss, once you see the scale moving down you can then think of other ways to get yourself going.

Its important to weigh yourself at the end of each week to understand your progress. Remember, you will not lose all the weight in just 4 weeks, this will just get you started.

Few hard facts of Weight loss

1. Exercise - Yes I know most people hate it but exercise is a must, not only for weight loss but for your health as well. Think of exercises that appeal to you, it can be dancing, swimming, yoga etc. If you cannot do anything then just go for a walk. Walking works wonders. If you cannot go outside for walking make use of your balcony or terrace. Take up something that you will stick to throughout your life.

Exercise is a best ME time, shut your worries, house, kids, husband out of your mind and just move out and dedicate 30 -60 minutes to your body and soul.

2. Cooking - The only downside of weight loss is cooking. I make quick meals but still I have to cook. If you have a cook then train her to make meals according to you else Google up quick low calorie meals. Depending upon how much you like cooking, you can devise a plan to invest the amount of time in kitchen.

3. Craving - Yes cravings will be there. When I started with weight loss I used to avoid any fried food at all cost. I used to tell myself, let me lose so and so amount of weight and then I will enjoy this without guilt. If I really craved for a samosa I would target 1kg weight loss and then would enjoy my craving in moderate amount guilt free.

Never take the kiss of death, that is, never say you are giving something for life. If you are fond of eating some junk food then instead of eating it every alternate day or week come up with a negotiation plan.

Negotiation plans always work, for example, losing 2 kilos and then enjoying dinner at your favorite restaurant. You might have read about negotiation plans in magazines and health books and the truth is THEY WORK.

4. Will I gain back the weight - Stop worrying about gaining the weight back and start losing the weight. I see so many people worrying about weight bouncing back even before they start weight loss. You cannot predict what you have not yet achieved, so stop worrying and start losing.

Leaving you with a short story - Once upon a time there was a little girl who had no friends and who always failed in her class. Once her grandmother came to her house and gave the little girl a magical necklace. She told the girl that whenever you want something, just hold the necklace and wish upon it. With the wish you need to have faith in yourself and you have to put in extra effort to make that wish come true. Without the faith and extra effort the magical necklace will not work.

The little girl was sad because no one came to her birthday party, with her birthday around the corner, she wished for lots of friends to come to her party. She started tirelessly making beautiful cards for her classmates and then went with her mother to invite her classmates. This was something she never did before.

Lots of girls turned up on her birthday party and the little girl was very happy. She understood that the magical necklace works for real all she has to do is have faith and put in an extra effort.

She then wished to come first in her class and started putting in extra hours in her studies, slowly she became the topper of her class.

When the little girl grew up she became a well known doctor and when someone asked her how she achieved success in such a young age she replied "I have a magical necklace which gives me everything I wish for, all I have to do is have faith and put in an extra effort in achieving what I desire."

All the little girls out there, you too have the magical necklace and it works with faith in yourself and an extra effort towards your goal.


You might also like to read - Starting Project Weight Loss

Monday, July 2, 2012

Oats Spring Rolls

We all know the nutritional benefits of oats and I am always looking for ways to add these beautiful white pearls to my diet. Unfortunately, I could never bring myself to eat gooey oats cooked with milk, I just don't like them cooked in the traditional way.

I came across this recipe in a magazine, it made use of mayonnaise and cheese. What got me interested in this recipe was the idea of wrapping saute vegetables in a thin oats crepe which did not look gooey at all.

The first time I made it I had all my doubts about the taste until I took the first bite. The oats crepe is like a simple dosa which can be enjoyed with any kind of chutney and if you are more adventurous then go ahead and experiment with stuffing it with fabulous veggies and paneer. I found it simply delicious and it passed the "Husband likes it" test too.


1. Finely chopped veggies.
2. 1 cup/katori oats powder, just grind oats in a grinder.

3. Tomato ketchup.
4. Soya Sauce (Optional).
5. 2 teaspoon oil.


1. Add water to oats powder, add salt and make a smooth thin batter. If you keep the batter for sometime it tends to become thick, so if you want thin crepes then you might need to add little water now and then to adjust the consistency.

2. Make think crepes using less oil. Cook them well on both side. When I pour the batter I add few drops of oil on top side and cover the pan for sometime. These crepes can be sticky so make sure to use a good non stick pan and flip them only when bottom side of the crepe is completely cooked.

 At this point you can simply enjoy these with a chutney.

3. In a pan saute the veggies in Chinese style i.e throw in ginger and fresh chopped veggies in 1 teaspoon oil and cook them on high flame. The veggies should be crisp and cooked, in the end add the salt and the sauces of your choice.

4. The drill to make a roll is simple. Apply tomato sauce  on the crepe and assemble the veggies and the firmly roll.

 5. Cut into diagonal pieces and serve.
The only downside of these spring rolls is that they are not firm so you have to be careful when you pick a piece, apart from that they are fabulous in taste and nutrition.

Its good to be a little messy sometimes.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Broken Wheat (Daliya) Upma

Healthy breakfast meal broken wheat daliya upma
I was searching for a power packed complex carbs breakfast which was traditional in taste like poha or upma and also went well with tea. My search lead me to this recipe.

We all know the benefits of broken wheat (daliya), combine it with some gorgeous looking veggies and cook it in the style of a upma and you have a delicious combination which makes a great dish. Ever since I made it for the first time I ended up making it regularly.


1. Finely chopped veggies of your choice. My choice you can see in the pic. French beans, small finely chopped potato, finely chopped onion, green chillies, green peas and finely chopped cabbage.

2. 1 katori/cup broken wheat/daliya

3. 1/2 tsp sugar.

4. 1/4 tsp turmeric.

5. 1/2 lemon.

6. Salt to taste

7. 1 tsp mustard seeds.

8. Curry leaves.

9. 2 tsp oil.


1. Soak daliya for the time you are preparing the veggies.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they start crackling throw in onion and green chillies and saute for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, mix well and cover. It takes 5 minutes till the potatoes are almost done.

3. Add the french beans, cabbage and saute well. Cook for 3 minutes. We want the veggies to be crisp and half done.

4. Drain the water from daliya and add it to the veggies, mix well. Add sugar, salt and turmeric and mix well. Keep stirring the daliya for 2-3 minutes. What we are trying to do here is to roast the daliya with the veggies and evaporate the water(if any is there).

5. Add water. The ratio of water : daliya is 2:1. So for 1 cup daliya use 2 cups water.

6. Cover and cook till all the water is evaporated. I use frozen peas so I add them when the daliya is cooked. They tend to be sweeter this way. If you are using fresh peas then you can add them before with other veggies.

Squeeze the lemon.

7. Enjoy.

This is one of those dishes that taste good even when it is cold. So it makes for a perfect lunch meal.
 Quick Tip:
If you want to make it for your office and you do not have time to cook this lavish breakfast then you can prepare the mixture at night. You can do the preparation till step 4 and keep the pan in the fridge. In morning all you have to do is light the gas, add water and cook the daliya. It takes maximum 10 minutes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Moti Weighting Factor

I have always been asked that how I kept myself motivated and committed to loose weight. There were people who complained that they loose motivation and give up on weight loss.

In this post I will share the things that got me started on my path to weight loss. What inspired me, what motivated me and what kept me committed.

The wake up call - Renne Williams, who was also known as a half ton mom. I came across her story on you tube and that video made a great impact on me. She was such a beautiful woman but she was an invalid because of her weight. It was easy to say that she suffered from a rare condition where the weight just keep increasing but a little research on her back ground showed that she started off with being over weight and somewhere she lost control of her diet.

She denied that she ate more than was required but there were reports that she would eat till her stomach hurt and would consume 8 burgers. She went through a gastric bypass surgery and died after the surgery at the age of 29. She was too young to die and no matter how I look at this story one thing never escaped my conscious and that is she got morbidly obese because of her eating habits.

Being trapped in your own body is a hell that only fat people are aware of.

When I saw the video I told myself that I would never let food control me and I will be in control of the food that I consume. This story marked the start of my weight loss journey.

You are what you eat - This is a TV series featured on BBC. I started following it on you tube. This series helped me analyze my own food habits.

In the series the dietician arranges on a table all the food consumed by a person in a week. People would start crying when they see the amount of junk on the table. It was very hard to believe that how much crap a person can eat in a week.

As an exercise I visualized everything that I ate in a week on a table and do you know how the table looked

1. 5 sandwiches with cheese.
2. Unaccounted amount of rice
3. 3 burgers with large french fries
4. Unaccounted amount of cold drinks and sweets.
5. 3-4 Nans plus the restaurants dishes.
6. 1-2 pizza
7. Unaccounted snack like potato chips, fried crisps
8. Pasta and 2 minutes noodles.

I used to eat out mostly during the week, grabbing a burger and french fries after work was a ritual followed by dinner at restaurant.

The list above is just a short version of what I used to eat back then and to be honest I never realized that my diet was so high in calories till I visualized it as a bulk.

Before I started with my weight loss I regularly watched the show and I was amazed how much crap can we as humans can really eat. This show made me analyze my own diet and as a first step to right diet I gave up eating outside food for a year and experienced the wonderful changes that came along.

Who can motivate you best - No one but yourself. You will have to find a way to keep yourself going. For me it was the desire to wear good clothes, clothes that I wanted to wear NOT the clothes that I wore just because they fitted me better. I was tired of going to plus size stores, I never liked the designs but still bought the clothes because that was the only size that fitted me best.

Down in dumps - If I tell you that you will feel motivated to loose weight each and every second of your weight loss journey then I am not being honest with you. At least twice in a week you will have demotivating bouts, where you will just hate your body, question why are you pushing yourself so much, hate the world, hate yourself for being fat and will feel angry and frustrated to exercise.

It used to happen to me as well and I always used to talk about it to my sister and my husband and as a tape recorder they used to tell me the same thing over and over again but that same thing used to uplift my spirits. Talking to people dear to you does help.

Sometimes, just going for a fresh air walk used to help as well. Down in the dumps days will be there and you will have to find your own way to step out of the mess.

What does it take to lose weight
- A good pair of walking shoes, healthy diet and strict allotted time for yourself. An hour walk outside my house did the trick for me and I still follow the one hour 'ME' time, I give a damn for the world during this hour. Its dedicated to me and my body no one can share this time with me.

The Cup of Commitment - Being strict for one day and letting loose on the second day is not by any means commitment. I have never been committed in my efforts for weight loss and had always failed miserably.

This time around I told myself either I won't start BUT if I am starting it I will make sure to struggle till the end. This thought made me get out of my house for a daily walk.

There is always a small voice that whispers inside us, in most cases we choose to ignore the voice. Whenever I wanted to ditch my efforts towards weight loss this voice always whispered about my start and finish commitment and it kept me going.

There are no tricks to be committed to something, either you try to push yourself and adopt this virtue OR you can choose to fail over and over again. Choice is always in our hands.

There were times when I didn't even attempt to loose weight because I knew I was not committed and would fail all over again. The thing is you never know till you start. Don't give up without getting the real feel of the experience, just rejecting the thought because you think you have a meek willpower is not a good idea. Attempt weight loss no matter how low on willpower meter you rate yourself, like me you never know how much can you surprise your ownself. Those with the weakest willpower often come out as strongest.

Keeping the fire alive
- Reading health articles, weighing myself weekly and recording the result and experimenting on different aspects of weight loss kept the fire alive for me.

You can achieve whatever you want but the first step of achieving is to have faith in yourself and believing in yourself. More often than we realize we have very little faith in our own capabilities.

Remember, there is only one person who can never ditch you and that is YOU YOURSELF. There is only one person who will stand by you always and that is YOU YOURSELF. Then why not give this person some credit, why not believe and have faith in this person. Why not give this person a fair chance by believing that she will win no matter what.

Its time to stop rating this person low, stop criticizing this person and stop telling this person that she cannot achieve what she desires.

Give yourself a chance by believing in yourself and you will be amazed by YOU YOURSELF.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Beware of Mother Hen

As a woman this is one syndrome I relate to. To me a mother hen syndrome is the constant need to feed food to anyone in sight. Mother hens prepare breakfast and during breakfast think about lunch and then during lunch think about dinner. They not only love to eat but they also love to feed.

There is nothing wrong with mother hens apart from the weight issues they might face OR worse when they force feed a constant dieter like me. When you visit a mother hen, there will be a non stop supply of food and she will force you to eat everything on the plate. Frequent association with mother hen will definitely pronounce doom to your weight loss program.

How to do know if you are a mother hen

1. When you constantly talk about food.

2. You constantly serve your guests with food, forcing them to eat even when they refuse.

3. Thoughts of food takes the center stage.

I once did fall under the mother hen category but I snapped out of it when I figured out that there is more to life than food. Now, I do offer food to my guests but I respect their refusal.

Dealing with a mother hen

There will be a constant reminder of how less you eat and you should leave dieting for at least this one particular party. BUT once back home from Mother hen's house if you feel terribly bloated, want to rush to the loo (to download everything that you ate) then its time to be firm. Mother hens do not take NO easily, they will forcefully keep extra food on your plate and nag you through out the party to eat.

The best way is to stand your grounds and firmly refuse to eat. It will surely break their heart (and probably yours too) to see the food going to the dustbin BUT believe me no one need that much food and once or twice of such crude act will send the signal straight.

Ideally I would like people

1. To respect my decision to eat or not to eat.

2. I am no size zero, neither I am starved nor deprived. I do not need constant advise to eat oil laden food.

3. I fail to see how out side food/oily fried food can be nutritious. If my preferences are home cooked food then it does not mean I am on a strict diet. It just means I have certain food preferences, period.

There will be no dearth of people who will perform the forceful food feeding act. It will be very hard to say NO to them out of love and respect BUT somewhere you will have to draw the line, set your own boundaries and your limits.

At some point of time you will have to say NO and make sure that others respect your NO.