Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One step at a time: Getting healthier

I have a dull gold 2012 diary. I don’t seem to write anything traditionally 'diary-ish' in it – I have my cool Android phone for that. What I do write down is what I manage each day in terms of getting healthier.
So here’s what I’m doing to keep on track with the get-healthier plan:
·         Yoga every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – yes, really!
·         Walking in the little park near the house every Tuesday and Thursday – or on the treadmill at work if I miss this morning 45 minutes.

·         Have bought two pairs of track pants, three new tees, three pairs of new socks – ever noticed how wearing clothes you like helps ease any task?
·         Have got new music on the phone – and ear buds  – so I can distract myself listen as I walk. This actually translates to getting old music: I’m really enjoying the Bee Gees and all the old songs. Thank you, Mahesh and Abhishek!
·         Have bought new leak-proof lunch boxes to take my healthy food options to work with me.

·         I’m really working to sticking to just chicken and seafood on an everyday basis.
·         I aim to take at least three different healthy snacks to work, because ours is an office of foodies, and you need to be not hungry to be able to resist all the treats. Here are some of the 'snacks' I have been taking in to work:
  • Yoghurt dips with cucumber and carrot sticks. Drained yoghurt, minced garlic and – wait for it! – honey makes a good combination.
  • French onion soup in a flask
  • Porridge in a flask
  • Brown bread sandwiches with shredded grilled chicken, non-butter spread and mustard
  • Muesli – I keep a box of cereal in the office so that I have an option when everyone else is going mad.
·         On Fridays, we’ve ordered chicken kababs – chicken chatpata, chicken achari, chicken tangdi...
·         I’m also aiming to fill up on water.
·         But most of all, I’m working on salads, salads that I really like and will actually want to eat.
The basic salad makings include
  • The veggies: cucumbers, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, olives...
  • The garnish: croutons (made in the microwave, not fried), Italianised with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of the oregano that comes with pizzas. These must be carried separately to avoid softening. I love croutons, so this adds a touch of luxury and a different mouth-feel to the salad.
  • The dressing: My current favourite is a Sweet Sesame Dressing (recipe coming). Must be carried in a leak-proof box.
  • The icing on the salad: The grilled chicken! For years, I’ve never really been able to feel satisfied with salads, because I was always left feeling somewhat empty. Adding grilled chicken to salad greens and veggies makes for a satisfying meal.
What I’m really kicked about is this new concept (to me, at least) of the marinade-dressing. Basically, you make a cup of marinade-dressing; you marinate your chicken in half of it, and you reserve the rest in the bottle you shook it together in – as the dressing! How cool is that! I have two great recipes – for a California Grilled Chicken Salad and a Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad – that you’re going to love.
Till then, send me your ideas for healthy snacks and meals-on-the-go! I need all the help I can get, and I’m sure there are a few of you who’d like new ideas too. Tell me, too, if you’re with me – it would be great to know that someone else is trying to get healthier as well!



  1. hummus is a good option too :)

  2. Hi Prima,
    I too am trying to get-healthier, and it's about time! :)
    Your post was very motivating, and I want to practise the tips you've mentioned right away... buying the fitness gear, for instance!
    There are loads of tasty (ok, palatable!) healthy food out there. And though it's not manna from heaven, you could try this raita when you want a change from cucumber: lightly saute grated lauki in a tadka of mustard seeds, kadhi patta, cumin seeds, paprika and season with salt and pepper. Once done, cool and then blend it all in with beaten yoghurt. One likes a bit of spice on an otherwise pious health trip and you can adjust this one according to your taste.
    I am not promoting her book, but I liked Kalli Purie's 'Confessions of a Serial Dieter' because I could find a lot of 'me' in the book. Even if you just want to be healthier -- and exactly looking at losing kilos -- her candid diet and fitness diary gets you wanting to go right back on track, if you've had a day -- or days -- off.

  3. Hey Prima,
    I have a recipe for a salad, see if it works for you. We get a bag of greens (2-3 kinds of lettuce like iceberg, oak leaf lettuce, lollo rosso and romanine, rocket leaves, basil, etc.) from this place called 'Green Tokri'. Get a kg of chicken to one bag, boil the chicken in some water with salt and pepper (or pressure cook it; whichever is easier). Wash the leaves well, then tear them and chill in some ice water. In a bowl, mix about 4-5 tbsps of olive oil, about 7-8 cloves of garlic crushed (more if you can deal with it), add about 2 tbsps of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Shred the chicken into the torn leaves and thrown in the dressing along with a final splash of olive oil and toss to mix well. You could add some of those microwaved croutons if you like.
    Tell me if you liked it...

  4. Oh yes, clean forgot add lots and lots of green olives too...about half of the tall bottle works well.

  5. Hey Prima,
    Join the gang. You're the one who motivated me to get into fitness with rama bans. Well, it's a lifestyle now. Though I must admit - i need to shed the 4 kilos I've put on through my India trip. So count me in with the fitness buzz.
    We can do it!

  6. Here's a refreshing dressing for salads.
    1Tbsp - Olive oil
    Juice of one orange
    1tsp - dijon mustard
    salt and pepper to taste
    And a yum chicken recipe
    Brush or spray oil into a nonstick and heat.
    Add garlic pods and 300gms boneless chicken together and salt and pepper to taste.

    In bowl, mix two teaspoons of light mustard oil with a teaspoon of lemon,half-a-tsp of crushed garlic and fresh coriander.

    Boil a some egg noodles with salt.

    Once the chicken is a golden brown, stir it into the bowl. Still in the noodles and enjoy a bowl of health!


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