Cheatsheet..to eat healthy!

I was texting a good friend of mine and as we kept rambling we touched the topic of food. She complimented about my skin (Had to type it! :P) and we both started talking about how hard it is for food – lovers to stick to a diet or healthy eating process. My curse is salt while hers was sugar. As we kept discussing it struck both of us that that could be a good blog post idea. So how can you cheat your diet and yet be healthy. Few ideas, tried and tested:

#1 50-50 rule
Eat only half on your plate . Especially when you are eating out, ask for the take out container before you start eating and fill it with 40-50% of your food. Now finish what’s on your plate. If they don’t have take out option then do the same by segregating your plate. Don’t over fill yourself. This discipline itself helped me cut down on over eating and also made me realize that that I was over eating most of the time.

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#2 Stop when you aren’t hungry anymore and not when you are full

This is just another version of the above tip. Meaning stop eating once your hunger is satiated. Just stop, regardless of how much is left on your plate. If you are hungry later you can finish your plate. Initially this might lead to wastage of food but remember your body is not a trash can. So, don’t feel guilty for the leftovers. Store them if you can and over time you will start serving yourself only the right amount you need.
#3 Never skip a meal

Trust me! I have done it a gazillion times and the end result is hogging on the first junk food you see. So never starve yourself. Munch something before you get out of the house in the morning or have a snack at your table when you know your meeting is going to last through lunch. And never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Research has proven that we buy more junk food when hungry compared to when we are not.
#4 Eat your greens first

Start your meals with the good (healthy!) stuff. The salad or the fruit bowl or yogurt and then go on to eat the entree. This will help you fill up and leave less room for the chicken or the yummy roast potatoes or the pasta.

In case of Indian food, it is very hard to resist the pakoras or vadas that are appetizers. Try eating the vegetable curries (entrees)  first and save the pakora for the end. Or take half of what you would if you can’t control yourself.

#5 Make Smoothies if you are lazy

So I am lazy, especially when it comes to morning foods , it is very rare that you will see me have anything other than a cup of tea. For a brief period I stuck to smoothie breakfasts. Do click on the link to read about it. And yes it was great, filling and I realized when you eat healthy first thing in the morning , you tend to tone down on quantities over the day. So that nutribullet is an investment if you like drinkable meals.

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#6 Go on and indulge (with control!)

As I said, I am a foodie and it is hard for me to resist. So, I did indulge but with portion control. Previously, in a buffet I would eat my fill of everything and by the time I reached dessert I would be over-over stuffing myself. And the ride back home would be miserable. But once I started portion-control of  consciously serving myself only half of normal portions. I had enough space for dessert and I enjoyed what I ate better without guilt and/or feeling like an inflated balloon. So go ahead , take a spoon of everything in that delicious buffet and you will be fine (only a spoon though!)

If it makes you feel better, it is extremely extremely hard to practice control especially when delicious food is right in front of you so over indulgences and over eating does happen but make it a habit to compensate by exercising or having healthy few meals. Over time, it will become a natural instinct thing to eat healthy in right portions.

Disclaimer: The above ideas are just ideas to help you balance and not recommended if you are working towards losing weight or toning your body.

So what do you do to stay healthy without following a strict diet regimen? Let me know!

Follow me on Facebook for regular updates and feel free email me at jansdoodles@gmail.com.

 

Its been a Smooth(ie) week!

I am a very conscious eater (thumbs up) plus an impulsive foodie (thumbs down) . Being a foodie is awesomee but I tend to over eat every time I see something I love and then don’t bother to work/burn it out. I buy a ton of fruits and vegetables and hardly finish eating them within a week because I would have had a Thai food craving or Indian food craving and would go to a favorite restaurant for take-out. And lo and behold all my beloved fruits and veggies are rotting already and my weighing machine was smugly grinning with extra pounds. So it started with guilt and turned out to be an amazing way to drink it off for one meal everyday. Healthy and guilt-free!

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Having conversations- a hobby in life!

“Hey!” she said. A young girl , maybe early 20s with an oval face , beautiful features and a friendly smile. “Are you going to New York City?” she asked me. I was on the train and she was sitting across me. “No, I am going to get off at the airport. Flying to the west coast for the long weekend.” I replied. “Oh wow! That must be exciting. I am going to the city” Over the next few minutes I knew that she was graduating and was starting a job at Wall Street and before that she has a one way ticket to London and all she knew was she is going on a world trip with no agenda for a month. AND that she was on her way to get her lip pierced in NYC.  I instantly felt good to have had the conversation with her. Young, ambitious and yet genuinely charming. These people add a dash of spice in my train rides.

I started thinking about when I started talking to strangers on a train or anywhere. It started back in India where long train journeys are a norm and usually you befriend the people beside you. The conversations revolve around the journey, food, family etc. In fact, my uncle actually visited a person in Europe whom he had befriended on a train ride in India. SO you never know where these conversations lead to. There is always the fear of befriending wrong people or having someone chew your head by talking. But c’mon its all in the game!                                                                                                                      wpid-wp-1434137151731.jpeg

As I went to the airport and got on plane I was thinking who was going to be sitting next to me. I  met a couple who were from the same city as I and who had infact bought idlis with podi ( Steamed rice cakes with chilly powder) and curd rice for dinner, making me feel nostalgic. That was a standard train food during journeys in India. They spoke to me about the place I grew up and classical Indian music and many other things I related to. It reduced the brutality of the six-hour flight. And on my return flight the guy next to me started discussing with me about the book I was reading. We had different takes on it and it was indeed an interesting conversation.

My love for conversation has never ceased, even if the conversation is just analyzing modern art (about which I have absolutely no idea about), football (oh! I am a very good listerner on that!)  or just gossip with my bffs. I feel talking is a therapy (for me!), makes me get my thoughts out and helps churn more. I search for people to have good conversations. Those who can think, those who can interpret the world in their own way and those who have passion to interact with people. Even if they have different opinions, I always appreciate a good discussion. It makes you feel good and you end up learning new things. You are lucky when you have a conversation with a good listener a.k.a one who doesn’t go on and on only about his or her passion and cares to listen to you as well.

A downside of it being when you start having good conversations you tend to move away from mundane ones. I feel like my tolerance for useless (gossips don’t count!), non-intellectual ones tiring.  And I have heard this from my co-conversationalists as well. There is only so much small-talk you can have especially when you are craving for more. And such people develop an inability to read in between lines or understand sarcasm/indirect talk etc when you lose touch . Oh well! Again, its all in the game.

My person:  And I should mention here my close friend and roommate whom I miss (well..she got married and moved. I don’t like you M! :-/) One of the best conversationalists. She can talk about art, philosophy, psychology, movies, series and even gossip(!) passionately. I heart you D 🙂

So what is your take on conversations and who is a conversationalist you miss?

Why I ended up doing a Jigsaw puzzle for a week!

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Have you ever had moments when you suddenly question your utility? What am I doing in life ? Why this? Why that?  Everything feels worthless and a waste of time. Well.. if you had gone through it you know what I am talking about. If not, then wait for it! If you think you would never experience it.. I am sorry for you. So I had one of those moments, after binge watching Gilmore Girls, Sherlock and House of Cards on Netflix ( I know..I ought to have felt it just after the first one!). A pang of emotion when you need to prove to yourself your worth in some way. I felt I had lost my sense of focusing on things. Just sitting and reading a book for hours or learn something without any screens in front of you. We have become so accustomed to moving pictures, flipping through everything on our screens that we have lost the ability to concentrate on one single thing at a time. Be it listening to the  person talking next to you or cooking or even folding clothes. Do not confuse this with multitasking. Scrolling through your Facebook feed when a person in front of you is talking is NOT multitasking. It’s pure evil and shows lack of respect. Anyways .. that’s my story for doing the 500 piece Jigsaw puzzle. That was my solution to prove to myself that I can focus and do something. It took me less than a week and a couple of hours of undivided attention everyday. Trust me you will feel really good when you fix the last piece.

That was not the end of the thought process but actually the beginning.. That week made me realize it would basically cost a lot of money to do a puzzle every week ;). So I do have some ideas to do something better and worthwhile. Feel free to drop in your ideas as well. I am always happy to try new things.

About the puzzle: It’s a representation of Lombard Street , San Francisco one of the most crookedest streets in the world ( or not! But beautiful whatsoever). It’s by Dowdle, extremely good quality and easy to fix pieces. I would recommend to anyone who wants to try puzzling.