“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”
― Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

Foodie And Buddy Are Dieting!

Yesterday evening I had a long chat with my best buddy  Mira.  We were catching up after a short Diwali break. We were discussing Diwali, food, and weight gain along with so many other interesting topics. She said her hubby is bent upon weight loss and hoping to reduce his belly size soon.  He is consulting the third dietician now and he is quite happy shelling out a sizable amount of 20 k for a weight loss package at regular intervals. Hearing this I laughed. These men …!  We also gossiped on many other people going on a diet of eating only two biscuits and tea three times a day. We were talking as if dieting is not our cup of tea. It is meant for others!  She casually said she is ‘x’ kgs now and suddenly I realized I am also having the same ‘X’ kg weight for a few days now which is a bit on the higher side considering my height. It is also progressing upward after the Diwali binge.

Well, it happens. We have the right to gain a few pounds, isn’t it!  There are many more matters which needed immediate attention.

After the long chat Mira loving said  ‘’ Bhabhi you take care, now don’t worry about your weight gain ‘’. (  ‘’who said I was worrying!’’ )

Just before sleeping I took out my mobile and texted Mira;

‘’We will diet from tomorrow. Two is company’’

I didn’t know her words were playing silently in mind.

She replied immediately as if she was just waiting for this moment. Along with a beaming smiley came two-three pdfs with weight loss programmes, probably from her husband’s collection.

I took one look at it and realised it is not meant for me. Meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner were well planned and measured with two snacks in between.

The first square read;

 Breakfast at7 am- 40 gms ragi powder/ oats boiled with zero fat milk. I didn’t read further. I just can’t measure and eat. Eating for me is a measure of the fulfilment of hunger and appeasement of taste buds. These can’t be measured in gms.

I texted her back ‘’ You follow yours, I will follow mine’’.

‘’We will take an account of weight loss at weekends. Let ‘s target 1 kg in one week’’. I charted out a dieting plan for me with sufficient eating.

Day 1

She sent me a photo of the weighing scale with her standing on it. I couldn’t do the same. Well, I was weighing little more than expected. And it embarrassed me.

We kickstarted the regime. I must also tell you she is not a housewife like me, she is a senior Professor and Head Of Department in a highly reputed college. So our access to the kitchen is also different. Day 1 went amazingly well for me. I cheated only twice throughout the day. The morning I couldn’t resist eating one crispy Chakli. And evening at tea time I grabbed a few banana chips which came from native place.

I realized even though I cheated I am quite mindful about it.

I made a list of foodstuff that will help in weight reduction and went to the market. Sunday market was abuzz and very reasonable. I picked up a big bundle of spinach for just rupees ten. And decided not to waste a single leaf of it.

I gorged on Popoey’s favourite vegetable in many forms. Palak paneer, palak raita, palak soup, palak bujias. Palak is such a versatile green, which can easily blend in numerous dishes. But even with the mention of Popeye, my family refused to eat all the spinach delicacies. That made me eat all that spinach all by myself, indirectly helping me reduce a bit.

 

 Two of the yummiest and the lightest recipes of the week I am sharing with you all.

Italian Spaghetti

1 packet of spaghetti noodles

1 small bunch broccoli

2 to 3 tsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves

 

Empty the pack of noodles into boiling water. Boil for five minutes or till they get soft. Remove and drain.

Make small florets of broccoli. Boil adding little salt. Keep aside. Save the stock.  Chop the soft broccoli stems into thin slices. Heat a Kadai. Add oil sauté broccoli stems and chopped garlic. Add little salt and pepper. Add the cooked spaghetti. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add half cup of stock, simmer for five minutes till the liquid is absorbed. The spaghetti is ready now.

Spinach Soup

One small bunch of spinach

5 to 6 garlic cloves

1 green chilli

1 small onion

2 tsp whole wheat flour

2 tsp butter              

1 cup milk

1 tsp roasted cumin seeds

2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tsp fresh cream.

 

Salt to taste

Cooking oil

 Clean and blanch spinach in boiling water. Remove the spinach.  Blend it to a smooth paste. Save the stock.

Take a Kadai. Add 2 to 3 tsp cooking oil. Sauté finely chopped onions, garlic, and green chilli. Add spinach puree and salt. Simmer well.

Heat butter in a pan. Add the flour and roast till the raw smell goes. Add milk and simmer. Add spinach puree. If it is very thick you can add the stock and dilute the soup. Bring to boil. Garnish with roasted Cummins and cream.  Enjoy hot.

 

Day 7

Weighing scale time. I found I lost exactly one kg. I called my friend with the result.

She was not excited enough. She said her weighing scale didn’t budge. She is stuck. I don’t know what to tell her. I said maybe she is facing a plateau. She said she couldn’t give away all the Kaju katlis of Diwali and she made a sheera out of it and enjoyed the double whammy!  I couldn’t help saying ‘’ you should be happy you didn’t gain weight with all that sugar binging’’.

Actually, I did some changes in my diet and lifestyle. Started waking up early by 6.30. Did my meditation regularly on BL app and I added a little bit of yoga stretches to the morning routine. Went for a 40 to 45 minutes relaxed walk.  Tea was reduced to two times a day. Other times I enjoyed green tea. I also ate early dinner. I also became mindful of stress munchings.

 

Day 10

”All you need is love. But a chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”

Charles M .schulz

I was on a high imagining my weight sliding down the scale smoothly like butter. And then  December arrived bringing along the festive spirit of the season.   I love this most romantic month of the year with its green and red colour code.  December 4 th was the International Cookie Day and I participated in cookie baking with great joy.  Following was a  frantic Cookie week.  All kinds of cookies dominated my dream space. The chilling breeze in my kitchen wafted of the warm fragrance of freshly baked Classic choco chips, loaded choco chips, and cinnamon cookies. I don’t indulge in sweets yet, I had already decided to take it easy and relax with my routine. My weighing scale shot up. It was my Mira’s turn for a hearty laugh. Cookie frenzy is frequency is going on and I will share the yummiest cookie recipes with you later.

Day 14

Mira ‘s photo on her weighing scale came.  She is a teacher by profession and a great one at that. There are no lapses in her schedules. I am lucky enough to get a buddy like her.

I am still one kg less from where we started. I am happy with it given all those cookie tastings, shooting editing and posting frenzies. But it was worth the trouble. I succeeded in making different batches of assorted cookies to my great delight!

We had our weekly discussion on the nitty-gritty of our weight loss regime. After two weeks Mira is still stuck at the same weight. She turned a bit Philosophical and send me this poem from an unknown author!

 ‘’ wajan to sirf hamari icchaon ka hai

Baki zindagi bilkul halki fulki hai !

Jai Sri Krishna ‘’

Let me roughly translate it as ;

‘’ Weight is a matter of desires

   Life feels light like a feather

Jai Sri Krishna’’

 

 Mira is quite active and not at all obese. She does yoga and meditation regularly. Now I am seriously doubting her weighing machine is faulty!

Day 15

We pulled up our sleeves again.  Way to go .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Surekha Chandrasekhar

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