“All was well .. until I went to that function and saw others eating sweets!”

“Hey G, I was eating so nicely according to plan. Until that function happened! It could not be missed and I went. People were eating such delicious sweets anywhere I saw. I lost it and how! Since then it’s all been downhill. Now tell me, how not to eat sweets?!”

This was R’s question couple of months ago. I know this is a very very common one too! I coached R and since then she hasn’t touched anything sugar – it’s about 8 weeks and counting! Read on if you too wanna kick your sugar habit for good.

Some background info: R is a big B fan and she loves cooking and baking. Sugary things were her only weakness.

And here’s the highlight of our coaching session.

G: I know just the mantra for you – ‘zafrani pulao mein cheeni nahi dalte!’

Each time you reach out to eat anything sugary, you must say this mantra aloud. And you will stop eating sugary things after this 🙂

R: Whaaat???

G: Have you watched cheeni kam? Remember big B firing that chef in the kitchen – that fellow who had his wife’s pic stuck over his utensil rack and he’d dip into identical jars of sugar and salt for the cooking and he had sugared Tabu’s order of zafrani pulao .. story line yaad hai?

R: Connection kya hai .. am still puzzled 🙂

G: When you’re baking or cooking something sweet – let’s say while you’re baking a cake – and you’ll see some luscious kashmiri mirch you picked up. Would you toss it in your recipe? It’s luscious! Soooo colorful too – why not??

Of course you will not! You will maintain the integrity of your ingredients to the recipe until the dish is created. Actually even after it is created! You wouldn’t serve that damn cake with some avakkai on the side .. hai ki nahi!

R: smilingly agreeing ..

G: Now imagine you are making a dish – savory dish – and it’s called Slimmer-me. There is NO sugar related ingredient in this dish – EVER!! Anytime you lose track of what you’re making, and start putting sugary things into Slimmer-me, you ARE ruining your dish!

All those other people you saw at the wedding, they’re busy making some other dish. It’s a dish called EatNowCryLater! Did you want that for yourself? Then you must start doing exactly what they’re doing. Your only focus must be on making Slimmer-me! Don’t wreck the process carelessly.

R: Oh my God!! Okay, here after am gonna say to myself ‘zafrani pulao mein cheeni nahi dalte’ each time I feel like planting my face in a sweet.

Some 10 -15 days ago R messaged – “damn it G! I am unable to eat a sweet after I say that mantra. I was at Ry’s parents house (Ry is her American husband) and when I reached for something sweet, Ry hissed at me – you don’t sugar your pilaf, do you! Bhaag gayi sab udhar hi chod ke!!”

You’ll feel angry sometimes and sad at other times as to how unfailingly this damn mantra works! The bottom line is, it works 🙂

Try pushing yourself past it, your sweet will not feel so pleasurable anymore!

Year-end Healthy Eating Goals – Tip #2

Just what could you achieve if only you decided to not get disheartened in the process of learning ?

I have had many many teachers who said some or the other version of this – you’re either succeeding at something or you’re learning. Let go of the harshness of the narrative of failure.

Here’s a video that can help you with some useful metaphors for an ideal mindset – it’s short, go watch it!

 

Year-end Healthy Eating Goals – Tip #1

With November fast approaching, if you’re the kind who is feeling a motivation high to get things done – #1 congrats, welcome to the club!

There are many people – myself included – that are the kind who study best the last three months before an exam. I’d like to think of it as peaking at just the right time. So, to make the most of this phase, I’ll be sharing my best tips with you to help you with your healthy-eating goals.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE WHAT YOU CAN GET DONE IN 8 WEEKS, IF ONLY YOU FOCUS!

Here’s  tip # 1.

This particular tip gets all mixed up for perfectionism – and it is sooo not! Please watch the video to see for yourself, what I’m discussing.

 

Are Thin People Required To Watch What They Eat?

Just like most Desi mothers, my visiting mother-in-law took over most of the cooking responsibility while she stayed here. My husband was delighted about getting to eat his mom’s cooking again! And I was pleased (touched, actually!)  for her readiness to eat completely plant-based, just like the two of us eat.

Now, that meant she had no  ZERO access to ghee, buttermilk and curd in our house – that stuff isn’t even shopped for! But she willingly came aboard. Fast forward six months, mom has gone back and here we are, savoring memories of her cooking and fun mealtimes we enjoyed together. Think baingan bharta and rotis, puliyogre with vegan thayir pachdi vegetable sevai with coconut chutney .. yummm!

And since I’ve gone back to being the Chef-In-Chief, old ways of eating are on again – baingan bharta is back to being oil-free, rotis are now zero-oil store bought tortillas, puliyogre has not been made at all yet, and vegetable salad – minus the curd – which is there e-v-e–r-y day, and vegetable sevai now doesn’t come with coconut chutney anymore! 🙂

My husband studiously looks at the food, takes a bite and wonders aloud, “we’re still well within the limits of ideal body weight, we don’t qualify as even being fat, why the hell are we watching what we eat??”

Hmm .. isn’t that a wonderful question. I bet you may have thought it too. I know a part of me still toys with this question when I see some of my favorite fried foods!

Here’s what the research says about it –

What we eat hugely determines how long we’re going to live (longevity)

It also determines whether or not we’re going to die of disease and disability (quality)

And this is true regardless of whether you are thin, heavy or well within the healthy range of weight for your height.

In our desperation to cling to the foods we like, we make very fundamental errors in understanding the basics of Nutrition. This happens not just with lay people, it’s unfortunately seen even in trained professionals. Sad but true.

Somehow, we’ve gotten to believe that only calories matter to our health – to the point of excluding everything else there is to Nutrition!

So, how does this belief or “understanding” play out?

Examples – “Reasoning”:

1. A low fat cheese or paneer sandwich made from brown bread and skimmed milk smoothie/coffee/tea – cheese or paneer is labelled low fat, brown bread is rich in fiber, and the beverage contains low fat skimmed milk – all well under 400-ish calories, therefore “healthy”.

2. One boiled egg and water – plain boiled egg is a maximum of about 100 calories, no salt, no oil, not even pepper – very very “healthy”.

3. Only ONE gobi paratha and simla mirch tomato sabji – made with whole wheat flour, no starchy vegetables like potato or anything, sabji is made of simla mirch and tomato – again, watery vegetables, using only about 3 tbsp of virgin olive oil in all – completely vegan, therefore “healthy”.

4. Skipping a meal or multiple meals and going back to eating one of the example meals described above, in STRICTLY custom-tailored amounts.

Studies have shown how even when people with diabetes were fed enormous amounts of food, their diabetes was reversed! Some studies were designed such that participants were not allowed to lose any weight, and in the process some of ended up gaining weight, but still they experienced significant and lasting disease reversal. Gives you an idea of how beneficial this kinda eating must be to those without the disease burden, isn’t it!

Are you curious what type of food was used in the studies?
It was an unrestricted amount of green leafy vegetables, starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit. These just happen to be low in calories too, that’s all!

When you eat the right type of food, you never have to worry about starving yourself and skipping meals. You don’t have to count calories and restrict quantities. You can just eat till you’re comfortably full, meal after meal and day after day – yet lose weight!

When people mistakenly assume –

body weight (“I am underweight, I can afford to eat x, y or z”)

and calories ( so long as it’s not exceeding 1000 calories per day gimme anything! )

to dictate their food choices, they’re in essence assuming the tail of the elephant to be the elephant itself! It’s really no different than that.

Did you find this post useful? Are you feeling angry or sad upon reading it?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.