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clean eating

Food

Easy Ways I Cut Sugar out of My Diet and You Can Too

December 7, 2018

I am not, in any way, the perfect eater.  I was PMS-ing the other day and ordered a chocolate mousse with hot chocolate sauce from Cornerhouse.  The sugar-rush was so acute that I forgot to taste the chocolate.

Fitness is an ongoing journey.  I jumped on the fitness bandwagon because I was tired of feeling crappy.  What I’ve learned is that no one has all the answers.  There are people who maybe be specialists of a particular form of movement or a specific diet, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on them for your fitness queries.  Their expertise might not work for you because that system of movement or eating might not work for you.

I’ve been on various diets over the years (and still experiment with different modalities of eating), and I’ve realized diets don’t work.  Guidelines do.  Minimizing my sugar consumption is at the top of my list of dietary guidelines.  As I said in this Instagram post, there are many reasons for why I did this.  We all agree that sugar is bad for you.  But most of us don’t realize just how much sugar we consume. 

That 1 tsp of sugar you allow yourself in your coffee/tea is not the only sugar in your diet.  If you eat any kind of packaged foods, ketchup or pickles etc, you’re having sugar.

I follow the 80-20 rule when it comes to my diet, so I sometimes manage to literally have my mousse and eat it too.  

What I usually eat.

I love the fact that now everyone is into millets. This is my staple.

I switched over to black teas and coffees when I quit dairy and sugar. It’s made a world of a difference.

 

Below are easy ways I eliminated sugar from my diet.

  1. I stopped ordering in.  Food that you order in is never fresh.  It has excess preservatives, sodium, food colors, sugars etc., that negate all the good work you do in the fitness class.  I found easy recipes for days when I come home dog tired.  Stuff like poha, or pulao or even scrambled eggs.  I order in like once a year, and that mousse it.
  2. I stopped eating ketchup and other sauces.
  3. I don’t eat potato chips or any variations of them.
  4. I don’t drink colas and even packaged fruit juices.  Yes, even your fruit juices have additional sugar and preservatives.
  5. I don’t eat cakes and biscuits that come out of packages.  If I want them I will bake them.

 

These changes didn’t happen over night.  I incorporated them slowly.  There was a time I thought packaged juices are better than colas.  Now I know they are the same.  There was a time I would drench my burgers in ketchup.  Now no more burgers and no more ketchup.  All of us have been through the Marie or digestive biscuits with tea phase.  Mine ended a long time ago.  I used to be someone who actually went out for dessert.  Now it seems like another life.

Sometimes I feel like I didn’t just clean up my diet, I actually deep cleaned it.  And after all this, I have experienced increased energy levels, better stamina and clearer skin.  Enough reasons for you to ditch the sugar!

What I sometimes get away with eating. Maggi and chai on the way to Musoorie last month.

Every once in a while I’ll indulge in a latte at Starbucks.

Uncategorized

The Diwali Detox – What I Do

October 23, 2017

I ate a lot of these while recovering from Dengue fever. In fact, one of my favorite fruits.

I’m not one for crash dieting or diet fads.  And the buzzword right now is ‘post Diwali detox’.  Everyone is on one.  Except for those who are actually healthy.

Fasting-feasting and binge eating does more harm to your body than you can imagine.  Depriving your body and then forcing it to consume more than it needs or can handle is the perfect way to confuse your hormones.  That’s when a lot of women start to complain about hair fall, premature greying, wrinkles or other changes in skin tone/quality, and even an irregular period.

Right now everyone is dreading their plate…or looking at it fearfully and suspiciously.  Except, I’m happy to report, my students.  They have a healthy relationship with food and a holistic outlook to life.  Diwali is about celebrating and indulging and now it’s about cleaning up your diet.

Gigantic cucumber. Spotted it in a dhaba at the foothills of Singhagadh Fort. But I would be hesitant to eat it as I feel this size can only be achieved artificially.

Like I said, I don’t follow a ‘diet’.  But here are five guidelines that work for me.

  1. I try and follow an Ayurvedic diet.  So use your food as medicine.  Use lots of ginger, garlic and spices during the winter and eat lighter food in the summers.  Bangalore is neither too cold nor too hot, so I eat a moderate diet.
  2. Eat a largely clean diet.  Adding a lot of vegetables to your Maggie doesn’t count.  If you use a good quality oil, use organic veggies and whole wheat pasta – that is clean and healthy.
  3. No white sugar.  No sugar (any kind) in my tea/coffee.  There was a time when I used jaggery, but I have a sweet tooth.  And when you have  a sweet tooth you can go a bit overboard with even jaggery.  So I just don’t keep it in my kitchen.
  4. No dairy.  So only black coffee or black/green tea for me.  In my experience even small amounts of milk in tea causes a lot of bloating.  I notice a difference within just a week of having milk tea.  Curd however, behaves differently.  And sometimes I allow myself a little bit of curd.  But again, sparingly.
  5. Fruits – in moderation.  Sugar contents in fruits is very high.  So if you overdo fruit and have the traditional Indian carby diet – then it’s just extra sugar.

 

I love this picture of tiny mushrooms growing on a tree trunk at Amrapalli Farms about an hour and a half away from Pune. I use a lot of mushrooms in my salads.

Every body is different and what works for me may not work for you.  The above list is something that I put together after many years of observing myself.  That said, it’s always a good idea to be aware of what others have tried and tested.  You might be able to incorporate some of their learnings into your life.

What dietary guidelines work for you?  Let me know.