Spiced carrot salad

 

I love a good salad. And a spicy salad that takes just minutes to make is always a good idea to serve with dinner. Coming from India, we definitely love a little heat in our food and this salad is just brimming with Indian flavors.

This is a favorite in my house – we hardly go a week without this popping up on the menu.

Spiced Carrot Salad Recipe:

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: none
  • Total time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

The ingredients you need for the spiced carrot salad are:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Peanut Powder
  • Roasted Gram Powder
  • Spiced Chillies
  • Salt
  • Spiced Oil
  • Lime/ yogurt

Instructions:

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix! Serve with roti’s or as a side to rice.

If you are looking for simple, healthy, vegetarian recipes then be sure to follow me!

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking? Aint nobody got time fo dat!

Cooking? Aint nobody got time fo dat!

The idea of getting into the kitchen to chop, stir, heat, roll, steam: ┬áseemed like the adult version of playdoh – except the longer and more irritating process.

Well. Things have changed now.

Ever since I realized how important it is for me to be actively involved into what I eat – the idea of cooking changed from being loathed to something which needed to be done.

Once I made up my mind – the challenges that came my way didn’t seem so bad. Now – I’m 3 days into my journey – and I’d like to share with you the experiences I have had – and things which you can expect to go wrong if you are starting from scratch – just like me.

1. Make a list of healthy foods that you love to eat – my included: salads, sauteed veggies, hummus, sandwiches, ragi malt [I’m vegetarian] and some smoothies.

2. Start small. Do not try over ambitious foods that require the culinary skills of Gordon Ramsay. Pick out one simple recipe [that will take less than 20 minutes to execute] for every day of the week. I think starting with cooking one meal a day is a great start – more than that would be too much for me to sustain.

3. Make a shopping list: Trust me – I have the experience. I went to the store every day of the week to pick up basics.

Chances are – if no one has been cooking these things at your place – then you don’t or won’t have the ingredients you need.

I had forgotten things like lime, chilly flakes, olive oil; and I only realized when I was half way through cooking.

Hence the list!

4. Go grocery shopping: make sure you get everything on your list – but if something healthy and new interests you – go ahead and pick it up!

5. You can now begin cooking!

I’ve been cooking for a few days – just one meal. One simple, healthy meal. And I feel great about it! Not only do I feel healthier [I’m pretty sure its all in my head, but I’m sure it’ll start to show over the next couple months], but its started to excite me.

I can now eat – ANYTHING I WANT, without making any compromises on my health, and I don’t need to spend endless hours at the gym.

THE ROUGH ROAD

The road wasn’t all smooth sailing though – I had my own fair share of hiccups and I’m sure I will have more. But these are two important things I’ve learned that the most experienced cooks never tell you [because its much too basic].

1. When something is on the stove – stand over it and watch like a hawk.

I was making this ragi malt: Prep time: 2 min.

It took me 45 min. The reason: I figured I’d check my email and be back in two min. Well, when things heat up – they act really differently – and tend to overflow and spill everywhere. So if you are trying a new recipe or working with new ingredients – your best bet is to keep an eye on everything.

2. Chop your veggies before you start cooking. [This post is for beginners!] I ended up with some burnt veggies instead of sauteed veggies because I thought I would be able to chop fast enough. Well, until I get better, getting my prep done really helps.

Does anyone else have any tips for me?

Are you making this mistake?

Are you working out – giving it your all – but nothing seems to be happening?

Well, you may be making a few simple mistakes.

1. Eating Unhealthy

What you eat is so much more important than I thought. Turns out 70% of the way your body looks and feels is based on what you eat. 30% includes exercise and other things. 70% is way more than I ever imagined, so this came as a real shocker to me.

Working out all week, and cheating heavily on the weekends could be a big reason why you aren’t seeing any changes.

2. Not drinking enough water

I always knew I didn’t get the amount of water I needed, and honestly – I felt fine. Or so I thought. The first week or two after I started counting my intake – I spent a lot of time filling up my water bottle, drinking water and rushing to the loo – but it was so worth it.

  • Muscles are mostly made of water – so – drinking enough water gives them more definition, and my workouts improved. They say water helps reduce muscle fatigue as well.
  • Skin Benefits: I always believed that I had dry skin. Well, guess what – it wasn’t dry skin – it was dehydration. I rarely use moisturizer any more – because I don’t need it and my skin is glowy-er too.
  • c. Knowing my kidneys and liver will thank me for this in the future.

3. This is the most important one: Not being in control of your meals.

Yes. This is the biggest excuse most of us give – I can’t because – I eat at the canteen, someone else does the cooking, I don’t have time so I eat out.

Not being in control of what is being cooked is the biggest mistake you can make if you really want to be healthy. Even if someone who loves you [a mother, a wife, husband, room mate] is cooking for you – there are a few main reasons why you should get involved in the process:

  • They may not know that what they are putting into your meals is affecting you. Just a little bit of oil over a week will make a substantial part of your calorie intake by the end of the week.
  • Sometimes – the healthy way is the harder way. If you need to have steamed veggies at night – someone’s gotta buy them, wash them, chop them – you get the idea. It can be a lot of effort for someone who isn’t as committed as you are – at the end of the day – its their energy, time and effort!
  • Belief systems: I have this issue with my Mom [who used to do all the cooking for me because I didn’t have time, and also I didn’t know how to cook] – she used to believe that carbs at night [in the form of white rice] was ok – because her ancestors and all the people alive that she knows have been doing it for years. I’ve explained it to her a million times – but some times – belief systems are harder to change than anything else.

So – the solution?

1. Keep a track of the amount of water you drink. I try to get though 1 liter by 12 noon so that I get my daily requirement by default by the time the day is through.

2. Learn to cook. [I’m just about starting this journey, and if you hate the idea of cooking – like me – maybe, just maybe this can change your mind.]

Stock Up

Stock Up

Grocery shopping is the first most important step to eating healthier every day. Just ensure you don’t buy yourself any junk – keep it out of your fridge, out of your kitchen and out of your house – chances are that you will be a lot more likely to eat healthier.

5 ways to lose weight and keep it off

The weight loss dellusion

Weight loss. A trending topic that has so many people on their toes. The concept of weight loss can be difficult to deal with – losing weight isn’t easy, and the kind of choices that need to be made to make it happen are more difficult than we think.

Imagining a life full of healthy veggies, salads and hitting the gym can be quite intimidating. But no worries! Its simpler than it seems. Here are some simple things you can do to make weight loss funner, more meaningful, and long term.

1. Give up the idea of weight loss. Aim instead for a healthy lifestyle.

The idea of weight loss can be quite unhealthy and involve crash [insane] diets, intense [unsustainable] workouts at the gym, stress and binge eating on your cheat days.

Aim instead to live a healthy lifestyle. This will give you more freedom, more flexibility and also remove the stress that you can put on yourself to lose weight.

Achieving your ideal weight, being fitter, stronger, healthier, having an ideal muscle to fat proportion will all fall in place. It is sustainable and you can live healthy till your last breath! Leading to the second point:

2. Create one healthy habit every month

Just one simple switch – like cutting down on one spoon of sugar in your coffee, switching to brown bread, substituting fries for a salad…. [that list goes on] can make a huge difference. At the beginning of the month, it can seem a little difficult – but stick to it, and by the end of the month – you will have created a healthy habit that will last you a lifetime!

3. Find a kind of exercise you LOVE doing

Most of the time when I say exercise – I see eyes rolling, shoulders drooping and a look of boredom on the faces of those I am talking to. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring! Go find something you love doing.

Cycling, running, playing a sport, dancing, yoga, hitting the gym, aerobics. It may not be the best way to lose weight – but having a form of exercise that you love is a great way to get your body moving. It will also get you used to the feeling of living an active lifestyle.

The more serious training will happen automatically – when you want to get better. Which leads to point 4.

4. Set yourself a physical activity goal

There are always events that happen around every sport, marathons, dance recitals etc. Sign up for them!

They will make you train harder, get you in touch with your inner athlete and give you a way to measure how you are doing.

5. Support Network

This is one of the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle. You need to surround yourself with people who are committed to living a healthy lifestyle too.

Most of the time – socializing can mean a night out of heavy drinking and tons of unhealthy food. Go out and have fun, but also consider your other options.

You can go for an adventurous trip, rock climbing, hiking, cycling etc. If you look hard enough – I’m sure there will be a million things to do that will leave you feeling refreshed!

My healthy living journey was changed by these tips. Its been 3 years now, and I feel healthier, stronger, fitter, more energetic and more beautiful than ever before.

I hope they work for you too! If you have any doubts or questions, please feel free to ask me!

Leg Workout Day

Leg Workout Day

I have a theory when it comes to leg work out day:

1. Mentally prepare yourself – way in advance and tell yourself that you are going to follow your workout plan to a T.

2. Eat before you get to the gym.

3. Ensure you carry your post-workout snack with you. Read: Proteins

4. No matter what happens, never skip squats.

How to combat depression

Ok, I gotta make a confession. Not major depression – minor depression. The kind that happens at the end of two days where nothing went your way.

So, here’s the background. I work from home. And for two days – everything that could possibly go wrong .. did. All those people I was really trying to avoid – showed up. I couldn’t sleep – and so I couldn’t work. VICIOUS CYCLE.

Well, luckily for me – I learned the process of how to combat minor depression and get straight out of that vicious cycle.

I had a personal training session at the gym today -with whom I would call “The local personal training hero. ” I was going to get to the gym, tell him that I was really depressed and that I CANNOT possibly do a full work out – I was willing to bargain for half a work out.

Luckily or unluckily for me – I was 5 min late. I got a dirty look – and off to the treadmill for my warm up. As soon as I was done – the training started.

So – here’s how to forget all about your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day:

1. Get yourself a strict personal trainer who you really look upto.

2. Push your limits with his or her help.

3. Get teased by people you don’t mind getting teased by.

4. Meet your best friend and have conversations about plans for the future.

5. Hot shower

6. Healthy, nutritious meal

7. BLOG!

And that – is the recipe for bidding bye bye to depression.