Detox, Experiences, Food, Health and fitness

Jan. reflection

I am doing ok with my word of the year – Mindfulness, thanks to the Nutriage workshop that I am signed up for. We are in the third and final week of the workshop. Strike 1 was gluten and processed food. Strike 2 was dairy and caffeine. Strike 3 is sugar and grain. So this week I am on a gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, caffeine-free, added sugar-free meal plan. The goal is to detox and reduce inflammation. For the most part, I am chugging along. Today, I missed black mission figs that I tend to treat myself to after lunch and dinner and craved for some dairy. The temptation passed. Also, this time around, I have been focusing on portion control. This is something that I have struggled with for a long time. One thing that is helping is eating mindfully. When I am eating, I am not doing anything else. Secondly, I have come to realize that the Law of Diminishing Utility truly applies to eating. The first bite is always tastier than the second, the second tastier than the third and the third tastier than the fourth. So overeating has lost its charm.

As part of the workshop, we are required to do some physical activity and meditation. I have not been as steadfast with physical activity but have been enjoying some meditation led by Tara Brach. Do give her a try if you get a chance.

That’s it for now. Take care!

Detox, Experiments, Food

Go green!

The Eat Clean workshop is done. One of the things that I would like to continue is to have green smoothie for lunch once a week. Easier said than done for a reluctant green smoothie consumer like yours truly. For starters, the notion of drinking something green repels me. Secondly, not a big fan of eating raw spinach or kale. Why bother then? I love how the 16 oz of lunch makes me feel – full but light, sated and not craving. Even better, the next meal is so much more tastier because of the clean palate this one leaves you with. Not to forget all the nourishment that your body gets in the process!

If you ask me, it’s worth getting used to. Want to give it a shot? Here’s a recipe I followed last week that I quite liked – baby spinach (one can never get enough iron), celery stick (like the clean aftertaste), avocado slices (good fat for that feeling of fullness), berries (what with all those antioxidants), green apple (added mainly for volume) salt (flavor), aamchur powder (for that zing), ginger and turmeric (anti inflammatory). Blend them all together with water.

Detox, Experiences, Experiments, Food, Learnings, Uncategorized


This week we are detoxing in the Eat Clean workshop. This means we are going caffeine free, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, and refined carb free this week. Of course, absolutely no processed food. It’s only for five days, so that thought is helping give me give my 100% to the program.

Workout for the day included 2 miles of walk/jog and some strength training. Today’s menu was:  

Breakfast – one big pesarat dosai with peanuts chutney

Morning snack – one tablespoon of chia seeds with 12 oz of water

Lunch – 16 oz of green smoothie – spinach, kale, mango, cucumber, berries blended with ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper, machur and water. Also, threw in a few almonds.

Snack – brown chickpeas with onion and tomato, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water, decaf green tea

Dinner – hearty brown rice, moong dhal kichidi

What were my learnings? Chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts are the only source of omega for vegetarians. Apple Cider Vinegar is a miracle drink that does wonders to your digestive system. Vegetables can be fermented and are excellent sources of probiotic. This quote had me nodding away – “What does not challenge you will not change you”

How did I feel – green smoothie kept me full only for a couple of hours. Glad I had a bigger snack. Did not crave for any particular food but have been having mild headache since tea time, which is fully expected.

Detox, Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Eat Clean workshop

I have signed up for Eat Clean workshop led by the same nutritionist that organized the detox and smoothie challenge last year. I really like her approach and find it holistic and sustainable. The workshop is for a month with another month to practice our learnings from this month. The goal is to eat simple and clean. In other words, avoid processed food. Portion control is recommended if you want to shed some pounds.

Here are some habits I have picked so far or would like to pick going forward.

  • Start the day with lukewarm lime water
  • Get into the habit of eating a bowl of salad with lunch and dinner. She recommends 50-50 rule, that is 50% should be raw veggies and 50% should be cooked carb and protein
  • Think rainbow when you plan your daily menu – include food that is red, yellow/orange, purple/blue, green, white/brown, and green! Your body gets variety of nutrition meeting different dietary needs when you choose produce and dry fruits from these colors. Very manageable, just need to consciously make it a habit.
  • No refined sugar. Only one cup of tea or coffee per day. I use coconut sugar from Trader’s Joe as a sugar alternative.
  • Homemade sauces, dips, dressing and pickles – love making these…!
  • Recommended use of oil – olive oil for stir fry, sesame oil for Indian cooking, ghee/coconut for dhal and such.
  • Walk 2 miles per day

Things that I have not been able to keep up:

  • Hydration. Definitely behind on my water intake.
  • Minimize use of gadget before sleep time.

Two more weeks left in this workshop. I am behind by a week but I am glad I signed up and I truly hope this will be a lifestyle change.


Overcoming Temptations

An itchy throat, a lingering headache, and general soreness, nudged me to grab that pack of Knorr Thick Tomato soup from the shelf in the Indian store. I read the nutrition facts just to see how unhealthy this powder of creamy goodness is, which is exactly the mind craved knowing really well that any attempts to please the palate is futile.  “High sodium content but the calories per serving is not as shocking,” I tell myself as I read the facts.  “Probably high on MSG and has all possible artificial flavors and colors. But hey I am sick, if that’s not a legitimate reason to make an exception, what is?” I argue with myself and put the processed food with conviction in my shopping basket. 

I quickly browse through the aisles for other items in my check list and finally place the basket at the cash counter. The storekeeper bills the item one by one and declares that I owe him $32. I slip my fingers into my purse to fetch the credit card. In that split second, I sense my mental wheels making a U-turn, “You can buy it but perhaps not use it” I rationalize. A moment later “….but then why buy it and add to the pantry clutter when you are not going to use it? Remember, you love eating dhal, you can make it just the way you like it. That yummy ginger garlic rasam is not hard to make. And what happened to all grand plans to Detox?  Can’t let the word of the year down so early in the year, can I ?” The inner voice is getting louder and louder. “Speak up, speak up, speak up… NOW…!!!!”  I humbly surrender to the voice of reason and tell the cashier as I handover the card. “Actually, can you remove the Knorr soup from the checked out item.” Then I say it aloud, not for him, but for ME to hear it loud and clear, in no uncertain terms, “I am trying to avoid processed food. So I should stay away from it.” Phew…!  All that drama in my head melted away as I smile to myself with the grocery bags dangling in my hands. 

It’s true that the less junk you eat, the less you crave. But the craving is there, taunting you, enticing you into going astray. And that’s where the hard work is. In letting your voice of reason overrule your voice of temptation. Every. Single. Time.