Wednesday, 28 October 2015

For the love of Local Food

In the last few months, a lot of people I know are traveling abroad for a vacation. This also follows suite the "big problem" - packing food supplies. In fact, that is exactly how I came to know that they are traveling soon and needed my advice on stocking up food. (Clearly a wrong choice to ask someone who lives on local food where ever I go!) They might be asking because I have visited the places on their itinerary. I am always amazed by the need to stock up on food while traveling for pleasure. I mean, isn't exploring a new place includes the local food as well? Since, my experience of people needing food stocks during travels are much more than people who rely on local food, I am dedicating this post on my love for "Local Food" and its benefits.

Health benefit of local food is that it is grown, cooked and consumed in the same region and climate. It is fresh, cooked with the recipes of that region (lets not forget, staple foods are tagged that way for a reason!) so naturally you digest them better. Someone once told me, "The only feeling better than emptying your filled bladder is emptying your bowels!" Jokes sometimes are hilariously true! Processed food, packed food, preservatives may satisfy your inhibition of trying new flavors, but they will ruin your pleasure when you'll be constipated or gassy or upset with food arrangements all the time! Honestly, if your reason of not wanting to try local food is uncertainty about the tastes, you are only fooling yourselves. Something which is passed on by generations together, plus treated as delicacy of that region has to be brilliant! It is only a matter of how you let your inhibitions rule your mind!

Financial benefit of local food is that it is cheaper than carrying food or eating at places where they serve non-local food. You may call such restaurants as "Exotic Cuisine" or something equally fancy, but when you get the bill, it does disturb your pockets! You'd rather spend that money on experiences pertaining to that place than on food! Personally, I always love to eat at the little local food outlets where you not only get delicious food at reasonable rates, but also get a hang of regular city life! It makes your stay that much more amalgamated.

Think about this, food is something that adds spice in your life (Pun intended!) Keeping mind games to mind can help you make your stay and experience totally worth it! We carry baggage, inhibitions and prejudices in so many areas, sometimes even unknown to us. At least, eliminate food from that list and be open for new experiences! Set your taste buds free! There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind! (How I wish I said that, thank you C. S. Lewis!)

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Tummy Talks

This blog's photo is not what you think it is. It's really not what you think it is! I am not at all promoting over eating! In fact it's just the opposite! I have around 6-7 meals every day and hence the need to plan. Unfortunately we realize weight gain rather late (No, it does't happen suddenly!) and so it feels that losing weight takes hell lot of time. In the pursuit of losing weight, we forget that most difficult is to maintain your ideal weight! My grand father once told me that consistency in your weight for a long time is a definite sign of being healthy! It is good to remember that as I have always been in the normal BMI band (even as a chubby teenager!) I have been in the 2 kgs plus minus ideal weight since the year 2000. I put on 12 kgs during my pregnancy and lost all of it in the next year going back to the ideal weight I had since 2000. The only reason I am sharing this is to emphasize what I am saying is tried and tested! If it worked for me for almost 15 years now, chances are more that it might work for you too!

A few of my rules that have worked wonders!
  • Eat within first 10 to 20 minutes of waking up in the morning. (This is the time I usually eat a fruit or cereals)
  • Eat every 2-3 hours! Sometimes even less if your body tells you to! 
  • Eat 2 hours before you sleep at night. 
  • Only eat while eating! No multi-tasking please. You don't realize you are eating and how much you are eating if you eat on the go, in front of the TV, while reading something, are you getting what I mean? So sit down and eat, this takes only 5 minutes if you are having a mid meal or 10-15 minutes if you are having lunch or dinner! 

Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea and Dinner 
  • Eat everything! Food is heaven and can be healing if you let it! 
  • Moderation including moderation is the key! There's no point in eliminating some food items just because they are supposedly fattening! Have them in moderation, break them up as your mid meals! 
  • Serve yourselves. Pick up only how much you want. It saves you the guilt of over eating under the pretext of not throwing away the food on your plate. 

Mid meals that I pack for the day -
  • Fruits (I have mostly Apple and Banana - its just very convenient to carry.)
  • Phutane or Channa 
  • Dry fruits (1 Date, 2 Almonds, 2 Walnuts, 1 fig and 10 black raisins)
  • Cheese slices 
  • Cereals and milk
  • One glass of whole milk
  • Khakra or dried rotis
  • Sandwich
  • Roti roll
One last bit for this post - please wait for at least 4 weeks before you judge if this eating pattern works for you or not! Remember, slow results are long lasting results! 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Beating around the bush

"I feel my day is wasted if I do not work out. I shouldn't be eating so much if I haven't worked out today. I am a loser that I stayed up till late last night and now I am waking up tired. Look at my face all bloated and dark circles under my eyes due to the party night..." and my list of cursing myself at the beginning or end of the day used to be endless. In spite of being regular at fitness regimes and good eating habits, I used to beat myself up so bad that, such days exhausted me! In a nut shell a seemingly insignificant reason costed me a good day, then that night started on a bad note, ruining my next morning because the previous night was bad. This cycle continued until that point when I had my "Aha" moment.

Workouts are supposed to make you feel energized and de-stressed. This type of self-beating only did the opposite. I was confusing discipline with being hard on myself! I do not miss workouts because I am procrastinating. I clearly didn't have discipline issues neither I was struggling with being committed to fitness. It was all there, then why was I exhausted and stressed out all the time?
  1. Is it so bad if I miss workout for a day if it is clashing with a meeting, a help to someone in need or even doing a chore to make time for a long weekend for myself?
  2. Isn't eating with guilt causing me more harm than eating something I like without guilt?
  3. What is wrong in treating myself with a good book after I have finished a demanding week and stay up late at night?
  4. So what if I hosted or attended a party and had some fun once in a while?
I am a full time working woman with a big family and a mother to a toddler who's under 2 years of age. It is okay not to be okay sometimes! We need to stop judging ourselves at every point and give ourselves a break! My only reason to share this is because I know, many may have gone through these struggles. I see them around me all the time and I have gone through them myself! Even if one person is rid of the pressure we put ourselves into, my sharing this would be worth it! 

Thursday, 8 October 2015


Parenthood is a sophisticated word for happiness, multitasking and believe it or not, chaos all at the same time in your life. I really don't think happiness and multitasking need any contextual explanations here. But chaos, well, the chaos in this case enhances your happiness, because a baby makes your world inherently happy. It teaches you to cherish little things as they happen, because they are going to change as the kid grows. And it makes the mess around you seem reasonable, because this is the only mess that won't harm you in anyway! You know you are experiencing Happy-mess when:
  1. You are leaving for work and your baby does potty in his pants. You ditch everything, pick him up and run to the bathroom when he starts kicking in air! (Its so much fun!) While joining him in his laughter and noises, you are deep down hoping the potty doesn't fall off on the way, or worse, on you! Somehow you manage to remove the underwear without increasing the mess it has already made. Flush the potty while holding on to your kid. Again joining your kid in telling you that "The potty is going! Bye bye potty!" Finally cleaning him up, putting another underwear and kissing him good bye for the day!
  2. The ironed clothes have to be put in the drawers before your kid finds them but he takes interest in the open drawers instead. He comes up to the open chest of drawers and starts picking up everything and throwing it out. You join him in identifying each and every item that is being thrown out. "What is this? This is a shirt, what is this? This is a sock..." Ting ting!! You get an idea and show him the hangers for distraction. Wow! He takes the bait. While he is engrossed in the hangers, you quickly put everything back in the drawers. Hush.. Oh no wait, all the hangers are on the floor along with everything that was hung on them! You start jumping with him and laugh while finding another distraction! 
  3. Its meal time and your baby wants to play hide and seek. Fantastic, you tell yourself that it is way better than hooking him up to the TV! Wait for it, your kid runs and goes to places where you can only manage to put your head! You join him in his loud peek-a-boo game and carry his feed in one hand, find a place near by to put it and get a spoon full for feeding, bend down and quickly feed your kid. Thank your stars for not letting this moment clash with your kids head, hands or even toys moving about in superlative vigor! Then you look at the feed bowl and realize its been barely a few morsels till now. Brilliant! You start jumping and running behind your kid with loud noises and dramatizing every bit of your moves!  
p.s. My kid is 19 months old, yet it feels like a lifetime of happy-mess for me!

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