Indian diet has many positive elements with its emphasis on fresh produce, fragrant spices and a variety of tastes. The one problematic part of the diet though is the carbohydrate overload. Most of the curries, chutneys and stir fries cooked are best with and one derives maximum pleasure only when enjoyed with either rice or wheat breads.
While the carbohydrates heavy diet was good for our forefathers who worked from dawn to dusk and did physical work. Carbohydrates were necessary to give energy to the body. Fast Forward to today with most of our jobs being sedentary, eating habits though have not changed much, we still eat the same amount of carbohydrates and have upped the intake of sugar considerably. We sure know how hard it is to get away from a habit formed over a long time.
Besides my doctor brother insists that the Indian diet lacks protein another essential building block. Giving up some of the carbohydrates might make way for some of the required protein, green vegetables and fruits.
While I am certainly not overweight I have extra baggage in the mid-section and thighs and my body could certainly use less of sugar and unnecessary snacks rich in guess what - carbohydrates and salt. As I have confessed in these pages I am a compulsive snacker. I buy snacks saying it is for the kids and whenever I reach for a box of cookies or snacks in the store DH just smirks, he knows who will have their hands first in the cookie jar literally.
Remember on our recent trip to Costa Rica I mentioned staying in a jungle lodge and that a family runs the place. Anyway the lady mentioned about her unique diet and when asked shared with us a book she references for keeping her rheumatoid arthritis in check. She also spoke about how she who was unable to situp and stand without going through pain, is now able to do it without any problems. I read the book which was inspiring and I was determined to incorporate some of it into our diets here.
First and foremost is to add more fruits and vegetables. While I am not a big salad fan there are ways to make a salad palatable (avoid the lettuce!). Do not use store bought dressings that carry an overload of sugar and salt. Make your own, it is easy and light.
On this step towards cutting out some of the unnecessary baggage to cut out the junk literally is when I decided to embark on a no carbohydrate diet. I am planning to do this twice a week. No Carb Mondays and Wednesdays is the plan.
So how is the question,
- First and foremost do not skip any meals.
- Keep fruits and vegetables handy.
- Beans are your friend.
- So is Avocado and home made or plain Greek Yogurt.
- Do not, do not indulge in flavored yogurt, they have more sugar than desserts.
- Snack on nuts or fried green peas or wasabi peas.
- I did not say no to desserts did I?
I do not believe in dieting. I would love to fast for a day but I know I can't and perhaps I will end up indulging in something in a moment of weakness.
Here's is how I tackled my carb free day.
Disclaimer: This is not meant to be dietary advice but a slice of food that worked for me in keeping simple carbohydrates away.
- 1/2 grape fruit
- 2 Breakfast patties - Dr.Praeger's Spinach Pancakes
- Smoothie made with 1/4 cup of mangoes, 1/4 cup of blueberries, ice and water. (you can add 1 tbsp of basil seeds or chia seeds)
- Mid day snack - 1 cup of cucumbers and carrots
- 1 cup of red kidney beans curry (Rajma curry)
- 1 Avocado with chilli sauce sprinkled on top
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt with a tsp of honey and a few blueberries
- 4 chicken meatballs (Costco bought) in a tomato sauce.
- 1/2 cup of home made yogurt (if needed) - I skipped
See when I had a plan there was no need for snacking, this I feel was the biggest revelation. At the end of the day I was not craving for anything and felt good about myself.
One question you might have is how about all the store bought stuff with home made foods. So in place of the breakfast patties I can substitute a roasted or boiled sweet potato. These breakfast patties are very similar to the Indian cutlets so I can make some and freeze, this way they can have all the vegetables I want and leave out ones I don't want. A boiled egg or scrambled egg with peppers and mush room will be a good alternative as well.
If I cannot get hold of Avocado I can replace with sweet potato or a bowl of mushrooms cooked any style I want.
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