Posted in Detox, Food, Health and fitness, Introspection, Work life balance

Fitness Diary – Day 5

Intensive work calls, sick child at home, and kids’ dentist appointment – that was my day today.

I had my aha moment this morning when I realized that all this week I have slept well. A nice deep slumber for 8 hours. I have not had this kind of consistency in sleep pattern in a really long time. I thought it was attributable to the stress associated with the business of adulting (cooking, cleaning, nagging,… etc.). That might still be part of the reason but I think the true culprit is my caffeine intake. For whatever reason, I just assumed that my body is immune to caffeine. That an increased intake would not affect me as much. Apparently not. The amount of sleep I get seems to be indirectly proportional to my caffeine intake. Lesson learnt..!

Today’s focus was on nostril breathing three times per day. That is, close one nostril with the thumb, breathe in slowly. Close the other nostril with the pointer and breath out slowly. I did it twice when I was getting stressed out at work. I have to practice more to see if it works or not for me. The way I look at it, atleast it is better than escaping from the situation by surfing, whatsapping, facebooking etc.

Eats – ok. Baked potato for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch, a long list of snack (green tea, corn on the cob, nuts and raisin, apple), and dinner was split pea soup and grain based bread with home made basil pesto spread. Grapes and fig for dessert.

Hydration – did ok I think. Sleep – 9 hours of fragmented sleep. I liked the one hour of no screen time prior to bedtime. Jogging – 17 mins. 

What I am thankful for today?

  • TGIF. Amen to that!
  • I am thankful that intensive work calls are not the norm in my work life.
  • I am thankful that I could afford the luxury of keeping the sick child at home without having to take the day off. I am thankful that the sick child did not hinder my productivity at work.
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Posted in Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Introspection

Fitness Diary – Day 4

Oh boy, leading a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. I tell you, it’s  a full time job! No wonder, I keep falling off the wagon so very often. Nonetheless, it is a goal worth striving for. Baby steps, consistent efforts, incremental results. I tell myself, one day I will get there.  Even if I don’t, it’s worth trying and failing.

Today’s focus in the workshop is avoiding screen time for an hour prior to bedtime. This is very hard for me because that’s the time I spend catching up on pending work stuff, personal emails, writing blog posts, and watching T.V.  I don’t think I can do it on a daily basis. On the flip side, I see value in that idea. I am in front of the laptop for the most part of the day.  I keep wishing that I read more and spent more time with the kids, which is currently non-existent. May be this is an opportunity to see those wishes come to life – may be I can avoid screen time for half an hour before bedtime for 3 to 4 days during the week?  

Eats – not too happy, my portions were not good. Breakfast – chia seeds with fruits and nuts, lunch – good old quinoa salad, snack – poha with a mug of rasam, dinner – vegetable adai.

Exercise – 20 mins jogging. Meditation – 9 mins. Mind still wandering but came back to the present more often too. The sounds around me anchor me in the NOW than the breath. Hydration – again, didn’t count but I have a feeling I met the quota.

Things I am grateful for.

  • My cleaner. As I have written here before, I am fond of her. I am thankful that she cleans my house every fortnight. She does a better job than I would in half the time I would take. One big reason I am able to do volunteering activities is because I get to outsource the cleaning.  I also get the satisfaction of having made a small difference to someone’s monthly earnings.
  • Thank God for dosais and adais. For some the repetition may be boring, but for me it’s a life savior. Eating healthy, tasty, fresh, home cooked, gluten free, wholesome meal that can be made without too much planning as long as you have the batter ready. And how many variations one can make with them! Thankful for South Indian cuisine that makes gluten free diet possible for me.
  • My thanks to Da for taking care of dinner and giving Ram his bath tonight. I had to take care of pending work mails during dinner time to be able to  honor the one hour no screen time stipulation. All I had to do was ask him..!

Hope you are all well in your neck of the woods.

Posted in Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Me

Fitness Diary – Day 3

With all the banging, drilling and thumping in the house due to construction activities, the day seemed busier than it actually was. It was a noisy day, literally and figuratively.

Eats – went ok. Same oats and berries for breakfast and quinoa salad for lunch. Had roasted poha-nuts-raisin for snack. I missed my evening tea but hanging in there. Dinner was dosai with avocado filling, and beans and sambar on the side. The workshop calls for gluten free menu, so no wheat based products. Dessert was mango and dried figs.

Exercise – 20  mins of jogging. Meditation – 9 mins. Hydration – didn’t keep count but I think I hit the 8 cups mark.

Today’s focus in the workshop was sleep. How well do you sleep? Is getting to bed a challenge for you? You all know that I need my 8 hours of beauty sleep. If I don’t get it, I end up in a vicious cycle of crankiness, high caffeine intake, general lack of discipline, and sleep debt. I don’t get the 8 hours of sleep on most days because either my commitments are demanding or the day has been so intensive that I need to unwind with some Netflix binging. While I cannot always control the former, I can manage the latter. I think I should practice hitting the sack before 10:00 every night.

Things that I offer gratitude for today.

  • I had three work calls today and I made the bad decision to work from home. Thankfully, the construction related noise was not as loud when I had to speak during the call.
  • My thanks to the wonderful wonderful world of podcasts. How would I manage all the dishwashing and the cleaning without the entertainment? In particular, I am thankful to Gretchen and Liz for their weekly Happier podcast, their podcast truly makes me happy. It’s like bantering with your girlfriends. It’s light but not fluffy.
  • Last but not the least, I am thankful for the Nutriage workshop. I have made some incremental lifestyle changes as result of this workshop over the years. And in the short-term, it gives me the focus and discipline I need to get back on track when I go astray.
Posted in Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Introspection, Wishes

Fitness Diary – Day 2

After faltering, falling flat on my face, rising up only to fall flat faster and harder in August, I have taken up the two-week nutrition workshop. God bless the nutritionist for coming up with these seasonal workshops! As part of the workshop, we are are suppose to maintain a daily journal, reflecting on what worked and what didn’t, and express gratitude for three things every day.  I jotted yesterday’s thoughts on google plus. But switching to my blog starting today. 

Today’s focus in the workshop was hydration. For my weight, I am suppose to drink 8 cups of water. I don’t think I had 8 cups but definitely drank more than what I normally would. My eats were ok – oats with fruits for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch, banana for snack, and adai with sambar (poor combination, I know! But truth be told my adai is more like dosai than adai ) for dinner. The banana snack did not cut it out, I need to have something more substantial. I had sugar and caffeine withdrawals late evening. A couple of dry figs made a difference. Meditated for 9 mins – the mind was all over the place but it was peaceful just to sit in one place. I jogged for 20 mins today.

Three things I am grateful for today.

  • I had a productive day at work. Thankful that I could maneuver around a crisis situation at work and could knock of some critical To Dos.
  • Today, my childhood friend’s son turned 15 years old. I can’t believe 15 years have gone by just like that. I feel fortunate that I have been part of this child’s growing up and I am mighty proud of the fine lad that he is blossoming into…!
  • The 87 degrees outside – loved that I could could go out wearing my old salwar without having to worry about a pullover or sneakers.
Posted in Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Life, Me

February reflection

I kept up on mindfulness till mid-February. But the last two weeks saw me falling, falling and falling.  I was disheartened that I had not kept up the momentum but let’s face it. Not falling is not a realistic scenario. Atleast not for me. So may be the goal is to minimize the frequency of the fall and to pick myself up as quickly as I can after the fall. This month I will focus on eats, workout and meditation.

Coincidentally, I have enrolled in the advanced nutriage workshop, wherein we will design our own menu, eating clean 80% of the time, and allowing for indulgences 20% of the time. I want to specifically focus on cooking simple meals. Wish me luck.

Posted in 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!

Posted in Experiences, Experiments, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness

Nutrition workshop

The first nutrition workshop for the year has kicked off. This time it is a 3-week program focused on helping us get back to healthy eating and healthy living.  I have done these workshops enough number of times to know the  drill – what’s allowed and what’s not. I have done it enough number of times to also know that half hearted efforts do not pay;  there is no shortcut to healthy living – you have to devote your time, energy and give it your all.

This week is week one. We are off gluten. One cup of caffeine. 

Truly thankful to this nutritionist who conducts these workshops to create positive ripples in the community.