Tag Archive | health

Day 15 : Fulfilling meal

What constitutes a meal that is nutritious, healthy and most importantly that satiates all your senses?. The smell, texture, taste that is not only appetizing but also very fulfilling is something that I look forward too. When you have food, it should be energizing as well. That is one such recipe I came across and I loved it very much. I usually look for vegan/vegetarian meals at various restaurants that I keep trying. When I came across this organic cafe Live Alive,  I fell in love with variety of food options that nurtures soul and body. I would look forward to trying different item on the menu every time I happen to visit that café. I carefully made a note of all the veggies, the style of cut, texture and taste, it was so delicious that I have decided to give it a try at home.

So, I scouted the entire world wide web for making the dressing recipe.. until I landed on this website, this turned out to be exactly as I tasted there. I made a batch of it that serves for up to 6 meals.  I had cooked quinoa, and layered with steamed broccoli, cooked & diced beets, steamed diced carrots and also added for some spicy-crunchy taste – dry-roasted and semi- blended peanut-chilli powder-coriander seeds-cumin-garlic-mustard seats. It turned out to be amazing. I just cannot stop bragging about how much I loved it. This is all refrigerated, all you need to do is organize, warm it for 30 seconds in microwave, add the dressing and have it. I have had it dinner & lunch for two days.  It was absolutely terrific. Highly recommend trying it.

If you were my regular blog reader, you would know how I keep struggling with food options and always on lookout for variety of cooking channels to get ideas for easy-to-prepare dishes. I want to minimize my time and optimize the options and easily scale for as many people as I want to serve. This recipe definitely goes under my favorite list.  What about you? And also, I do give reference links every time I like something and try it out. When I re-visit it In the near future, most of the links just does not work anymore. That is why, I plan on building my favorite recipe index, albeit copied, the references will be provided along with the text version of the recipe.  Between, I see the trend in food industry is shifting to grain bowls, mostly with kale-quinoa, kale-farro, kale-brown rice as a base, and all the other options are placed on top without mixing by giving an picturesque appeal to mix them up and eat. It just looks lovely and very appetizing. What appeals to eye and taste buds is a real winner –and before you assume, definitely not those junk foods that are deep fried and that are served in larger quantities.

I read somewhere, gut is the root cause of disease and food is the real medicine. If you ea t right, then you don’t have to visit any doctor. Please do share any simple veggie recipes you have.  Looking forward to hear from you.

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Day 10: Breakfast routine

Do you have a breakfast routine?  What does it comprise of?

By writing those two sentences above, I just learned the grammatical difference between Do and Does. And when should each be used.  You must have figured it out by now the huge number of grammatical errors in my writings.  Ok, the topic was not about grammar but about breakfast.

I have been averaging to 5 hours of yoga in a week, i.e 5 classes. The classes are missed mainly coz my instructor cancels at least one morning class in a given week and I on the other occasion. I have been having pretty light dinners lately and that will make me very hungry in the mornings. I am looking at simple but healthy choice of food(s) that gives me enough protein, calcium and all important nutrients that are necessary for a balancing meal. Please share if you have any suggestions that are easy to assimilate into my routine.

One of the ideas is to have lentil/oat creeps, soak the lentils of different varieties, grind them up and spread it out on a hot flat pan. Have it with hummus/peanut sauce/tahini or with any steam cooked veggie combinations every day.  Lunch should be simpler that it should be no brainer and I have not settled on some ideas yet. I know that I have been going back and forth on simplifying the menu and never getting around it. I have also noticed that, I am consistently ignoring to include greens in my diet.  Making it a point to include diverse range of options is very challenging. And which is why, I am on lookout for simple, yet nutritious meals to consume.

Someone said, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper.  Something of similar sort has been suggested by my yoga instructor in order for me to bend flexibly during yoga session.  But, I love my food and prefer to have really heavy dinner. Since, my love for yoga exceeds love for food at the moment; I am trying my best to be conscious on what I eat, when I eat and how much I eat along with the amount of water I consume on a daily basis.  I have also ingrained into my morning routine to have lemon-honey-warm-water combination first thing as soon as I wake up to help kick start my metabolism.

It feels good to know that, once you kick start one thing, without forcing yourself, you would be doing other things and it all feels very natural and logical. Do you have any such things, that you have started as an experiment and that gradually put you in a path that you once thought was difficult to get there? I would love to hear your thoughts on that. Please share.

Writing this post today made me look into usage of has vs have, that vs which, do vs does and as vs since. I hope to learn, remember and correct myself when the opportunity presents itself in the near future.

I’ll leave you all with a quote on food to ponder upon:

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~Hippocrates

Day 3: Morning Huddle

Exactly two weeks back, I found out that there are yoga classes in the early morning in a private setting. I prepped myself up by trying to go to bed early and wake up early. It took almost a week for me to wake myself up early and made it to my first yoga class. That day was productive. Knowing myself, well enough that, what I want is not what happens.  So, I have decided to not set any goals what-so-ever and decided to take one day at a time. Every single day, I have this plan to drop it off!  Four days into these yoga sessions, my muscles were so sore, I was in pain and all I wanted to do was take a day off from work and do nothing. But, one day lag will set me back, I trudged on in that pain, in the cold (yes, it’s Fall season and very cold here).

It’s been a week, due to cold weather here, I fight with my inner self every single day to get out of the bed, to get ready and get to class. Just last week has been great so far.  I have accomplished many things at much faster pace at work than I usually do. Early mornings are quiet, with fresh mind you would task yourself to finish one thing at least before people roll in and drag me into inane number of scheduled and impromptu meetings.  That one pristine hour for your self-nourishment is totally worth waking up for. Plus, I have been disciplined in cooking somewhat healthier food and getting a good night sleep.

Any yogi’s here? I have always wanted to yoga, in fact the first post of my this very blog speaks about yoga I’ve done in Bryant Park for free and how I wished I could incorporate it in my everyday life routine. I guess, one can wish for many things and not take any steps. Also, they say, it takes 21 days for your body to get used to get addicted to. And just yesterday, the TV show I was watching mentioned it takes 28 days to get into a habit and that your body starts craving. 21 or 28 days, if you truly want it, you will find a way out. I am not there yet in this aspect. But, I do feel proud of my little accomplishment, despite the cancellation of my yoga class once in the last one week, I have managed to get in 20 minutes of yoga.  Being independent to some extent, gives me a new ray of hope to continue on the path that I have always hoped for. Only time will tell.

How about you all? Do you have any such routines for your fitness? And what kind of foods do you eat? I feel bloated in the mornings and that leads to difficulties in performing some poses.  One suggestion, I got though was to eat light for dinner and eat ahead of bed time. That itself is very challenging for me. I love to eat, and eat heavy!

I’ll leave you all with the quote that resonates with my present state of mind.

“Man is a creature of habits. When you do yoga, you unlearn your habits.”  – Bharat Thakur

P.S: It is part of 500 word challenge, one of the rule is to not edit as you write. So, pardon me with all the mistakes. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Raw vegan food diet????

Before you make assumptions of any sort – I do not eat raw food all the time, but some times. It definitely makes me feel lighter, more energetic, and it’s summer here, so much of fresh produce straight from farmers market will make you want to use those beautiful, colorful veggies.

Many of my friends and family have always told me that I need to eat meat to get protein, If not meat, it has to be tofu. I have never enjoyed any of them. Instead, I had lentils to get share of my protein and I would put that point across.  Technically tofu is made out of soy beans – not my favorite way of processing, so out of scope. Yesterday, while looking up for zuccini recipes, I came across this wonderful raw vegan videos and I almost fell in love with the idea for the great recipes that kristina shares, and she has been following raw vegan diet for 10 years. I went onto wonder, how does one get share of protein if one goes completely raw?  right?

But, here is the truth that I learned from another source, the food when consumed in natural state is not only easily digestible but also has enough protein in it that is sufficient for our human body. The moment we cook our food, we lose that protein % and have to consume more to get more nutrition. It made me ponder, as to what are we really doing to our bodies? I was just speaking to my uncle yesterday, he says back in those days, they were vegetarians for 6 days and would eat meet on every 7th day as one time meal (he also mentioned that his mother never visited hospital for her entire life other than to deliver her kids of course). That is apparently more than enough.

Ever since, I got interested in healthy organic food and produce, it kind of coming down to eating food close to its natural state (no meat please – it takes about 48 hours to digest, so much work by our body to break it up) and if that is grown out of pesticide, even better. This makes me more motivated to grow atleast some veggies/greens in our back yard. If I could, at least include one meal for dinner, the raw vegan food, I think, that would be great. I can’t wait to follow this.

I am not in favor nor against eating meat, it is up to ones personal choices and of course convenience. But, it is definitely worth to include more veggies into the diet.

What about you folks? how do you go about ensuring you are taking care of your health through food?

on Cooking..

Do you enjoy cooking?  if so, why? if not, why not?

I have never really enjoyed cooking and gladly ate what ever my roommates prepared, if not, there are plenty of restaurants around to grab a bite from. Lately, I have become more conscious of what I eat, reading more about food, nutrition, and how it impacts health in general. I have screwed my self up big time with these unhealthy habits, it has reflected on my skin. I have suffered from acne in my mid 20’s. Never in my teens.

I used to stress out when ever I had to cook. Once, I had this roommate who enjoyed cooking and feeding people. She can cook anything with in 30-45 minutes, but she would also create hundreds of dishes. I thought cleaning dishes was the easiest thing to do, and I did all through the courtship. There was not even a single day I ever had to cook. I loved it back then. She started cooking when she was 10 and she became efficient at her skill. 15 yrs in making isn’t too surprising for some one to be good at it when you love what you do. I thought, I can never be like her. True to date, I am still not even close to what she is. I am lazy and prefer simple food over complicated dishes.

I have never enjoyed the idea of cooking, cleaning every day at home. As if, in asian households, the females were and still are expected to cook – definitely not true in my case. I let any guest who comes to my home, become the chef of the home. I had no shame in doing that. Of late, the trend has been changing slowly, I love to expose my newly acquired culinary skills and creative dishes to guests. I love to experiment with variety of veggies, creating new foods, new ideas. I have been watching plenty of you tube videos, and cooking does not take much time as it used to be in the past. Now, I can make a simple meal with in 15-30 minutes. That is my dear friends is what we call “Practice make anyone perfect”. Ok, I am not perfect, but good enough to get by.

I must say, I am finally loving what I am doing (no, not always). In addition to CSA farm share, this 30 day challenge to prepare food at home everyday is making me more creative, health conscious, and most importantly, I try not use up too many dishes to clean. Which is awesome. Ever since, I have organized and cleaned the kitchen , it is the source for my renowned enthusiasm to become creative. I have been freshly preparing food every day in the morning and in the evening. It takes about 2 hours on the average that includes, washing veggies, cutting, preparation, cleaning dishes in the morning as well as in the evening.

It is hard to follow rules everyday, so I cheat once in a while, today I felt like cheating and grabbing food from outside, but decided against it and prepared fresh food in less than 30 minutes. I fell in love with myself all over again.

How about you folks?

Tip for not being overwhelmed in kitchen: Have fewer dishes, clean and plain counter tops with absolutely nothing on them, clean sink and stove = motivation to cook.

Lazy sundays – Fennel pesto pasta

Sunday – it is weird that I woke up early. This is prep work for my month long 5.00 am wake up challenge. And I am strongly determined to follow through my challenge for really really strong reasons that I will reveal, provided, if I succeed at it. I have 10 different things running in my mind to blog about, but I am trying to hold onto it as I have a month long commitment. Besides, I document things for my own benefit for future me to look back as I progress.

Today’s lunch – Fennel pesto pasta. I had fennel leaves from CSA farm share, not knowing what to do,  looked around the web for salad recipes and I could not find any. All of them were using Fennel bulb to make a salad and use tiny bit of fennel leaves to garnish or to add a bit of flavor. I decided to make a pesto by adding few garlic pods, walnuts and olive oil. It turned out to be pretty good.

Pesto Sauce – Ingredients

2 bunches of Fennel leaves including stalks and excluding bulb.

Walnuts – handful

Garlic pods- 4

Other main ingredients

Penne pasta

Jalapeno – 1 whole or more,  sliced into tiny pieces –

garlic pods – 4-5

Salt – per your taste buds

olive oil – 1-2 tbsp depending on your requirement.

Parsley – to garnish

Procedure

1. Put all the ingredients under Pasta sauce in a mixer and grind them to have slight texture

2. In a wok, put some olive oil – add jalapeno and garlic, slightly stir them for about a 1/2 a minute.

3. Add any other veggies like broccoli (if you prefer), tomatoes etc (I did not add any) – slightly roast them, then add pasta,  then add pesto sauce, add salt and let it cook on a high flame for about a minute.

You can add more oil or water depending on the consistency you prefer. I chose it to be bit dry.  Garnish it with parsley- and sprinkle some pepper or Parmesan cheese if you prefer and it’s ready to eat.

Here is the outcome of mine.

Pesto Pasta

Fennel pesto pasta

If you do plan to try this out – let me know how it turned out. As I mentioned earlier, it is pretty good for my taste buds. You may not like the taste of fennel..so, it entirely depends. I had it with cucumber and tomato as a side. It was delicious for me.

Tips: You can technically make pesto with any veggie you prefer as long as you like the taste, it could be with almonds and cilantro, mint-cilantro-walnut, broccoli-walnut, most common is basil pesto. It could be anything. go ahead and experiment, and let me know if you have tried anything other than traditional and turned out great? I would love to try it out.

Office humor

As many of you know, I work in IT industry and in the current project we are bunch of female Indians who are skinny,  underweight (yes, that includes me) and may be malnutrition’ed and couple of guys. Yeah.. speak about women in tech, we stand as the best example. In our particular team, women are more than men.. Surprising but very true!

Our routine during lunch hour is usually who ever are free of meetings would gather to have lunch in our cute little area where we have a round table. I am in favor of such idea of space planning where I believe it is more productive as a team.

I definitely have habit of deviating from main topic.. but I need to give some background for all interested readers out there… isn’t? what do you think?

Yes Yes we have a round table chit-chat, pulling legs, teasing each other sessions during lunch everyday… (in fact I suggest you guys to have such area .. it is absolutely refreshing and fun to interact with your colleagues on a daily basis about non-work topics)..so this male colleague of our team suddenly switches to a healthy diet .. yeah that’s right .. he got steamed mixed vegetables as a side. Which is surprising for our team to digest.

Image

Lunch sessions…
Image source.. not mine, searched in google and I forget where I downloaded this from..oops!

So one of the lady from our team out of curiosity asks him..

What happened to you Mr? (Let us call him PK)

Him: my wife thinks she is over weight by 10 pounds, (refers to that one healthy lady on our round table, let’s call her Preksha) and may be little weightier than preksha..

*Audience* We all heard it as “Waiter” and were all like “What on the earth waiter is Mr PK.

him: I meant my wife weighs as much as preksha does and she is currently dieting. He goes on telling the story of her dieting regimen… That she wanted to diet and did for a week and she ate the pizza yesterday. And he adds – I do not quite get it when she says ..she is “Dieting” ..

(we all were laughing hard)

and he continues the story – that his wife ended up joining some aerobics and does dancing for the same purpose, his kid who is 3 yr old says “Mamma… no dancing, mamma .. no dancing”..

(at this point, we all burst out laughing)

As much as we all appreciate of her taking her health into account and support the idea.. but the way he expressed it was so funny that we all had a great laughing session.  We all share such some silly and funny stories that are happening in our lives at the table.. all of it taken in light humor by everyone.

We are diverse group, people from different countries as well.. so we have fun sessions imitating actions, mannerisms, pulling each other legs and all in limits…  and we all are little bit racists.

Some one said (I don’t know who) if you cannot laugh at your ownself , then you have no right to laugh at other’s.. Which I believe in and yes.. no day goes by me not making fun of myself..

How about you?

Health take #2 – in Action

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”  ― Mark Twain

In the month of April, I decided to run-a-mile every day for next 30 days.. well I slacked at it and have come up with numerous excuses as to why I could not make it.

Really, Excuses are not an excuse when it comes to staying fit and healthy.

After all, It is your body and be mindful of what you do with it!

After successfully failing at my earlier attempt, today when I woke up, I ended up landing in the GYM with strong determination to put that April “Failed” Decision into Action. .. and I did it this morning.

Here is a picture of the treadmill where I finally ended up working out for 20 min’s – good start! Every big task begins with one small step. So here I am!

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My new Morning Routine on a Treadmill – Staying fit in Action #1

How many of us procrastinate on this very important aspect of  health?  if you are sailing in the same boat as I am and want to step up to make your life style better.. Here we go! Let’s get on board!

Beautiful Thoughts

If you are surrounded by positive thoughts with beautiful images, places, situations and energetic people who generates positive vibes…. Soon enough, you will see only great things happening to you. No matter what situation you are in right now, the “hope” for better will always make you content and drives you with euphoric energy to get there.

Image

(source: Google image search)

Some acquaintance of mine told me that if a person meditates just for 3 minutes a day imagining beautiful surroundings or locations (yes, yes minus your friends, family etc etc.. you do not want to clog your beautiful thoughts by thinking about them or any unpleasant conversations… and it’s not meditation at all), the brain will process good things, what you sow, so will be reaped.. Isn’t?  She says, giving that space to brain really heals any other malfunctioning in the body. After all brain is the CPU.. isn’t? And did I not mention.. she is a Dr. and practicing Pediatrician.

Did I do it? Well, I’ve been planning to do this for years now and thought at least my blog readers might get benefited and which is why I am throwing this idea out in open there.  Grab it, Grab it, Grab it

Let me know if you have done it already? And how do you feel about it?

Health-Take one: April Goal – Run-a-mile-everyday

April Goal - Run-a-Mile-Everyday(Pic Src: Google Images)

April Goal – Run-a-Mile-Everyday
(Pic Src: Google Images)

Spring’s here finally. Yes, I live in east coast and still struggling with winter and you know how difficult it is to wake up early morning in this cold windy weather. Despite, the fact that weather is slightly windy, thought to take some fun action than lamenting about it.

Inspired by a post on Facebook by a friend of mine.  She is subscribed to a group that speaks about setting goals of working out every day all through this month and sticking to them. They [read as: virtual group] keep changing their goals every month and what a fun way to work in team connecting virtually.

I found it very interesting. One of the goals last month was “Run a mile every single day – rain or shine”.  Although, I cannot re-locate that post, but here I am going to get behind the wheels and drive this mountain of laziness away.

Join me if anyone out there is interested in keeping up with this fun idea of this month. It doesn’t matter where you are located or even if you are traveling across the globe.

Yes, I am 5 days late but better late than never. Here we go!

1..2…3.. start.. go.. run!