Monday, January 25, 2016

The journey of 'Myfitness pal' continues

Progress: I have documented every morsel of food in my mouth in the app. Yes. I have been +10% of calorie intake, which is well ok I guess. My percentage distribution of food sucked. My FitnessPal recommends 50% carb, 30% Fat, 20% Protein. I have been blowing that for sure, it has been more like 50% carb and 50% fat. So though the calorie intake is farely ok, the kind of food I have been consuming is not that great.

What this means, in plain English is: Since protein is not up to the mark, I get hungry more often and I snack more (read unhealthy snacking) and as you know I can't stay hungry since my crankiness is directly proportional to my hunger, I snack more.

So aim for week 2: Well the obvious, continue tracking progress and then this week, may be increase the protein intake and 'try reducing' the unhealthy fat intake.
Plain and simple. Nothing fancy, nothing out of the world. Increase protein so I stay fuller longer.

Weight Wise: I am at the weight I was before my India trip implying, the weight I gained in India is off. So Yay for small achievements!

What's worked for me this week: Home lunches! I know Sumit laughs now when I say that I will carry food from home! He has been nagging me for years now. But definitely brown bagging lunches has helped. Most importantly for portion control. I still take the Kachori and the Mithai for snacking, but even then knowing the exact intake helps.

I keep coming back to why this model of tracking food in an app works for me: I can eat everything I want. I am foodie and for me to 'diet'is the biggest form of punishment!
So last night at my friends place, I happily ate the pizza and the kidney beans and the Bread Rolls. Knowing that I was still at decent 'balance of food intake'. And I think that's the key for a sustainable model: 'Eat everything, make the right balance and this way you can enjoy food and shed some pounds'

I am hoping to re-start yoga (Re-start after 2 years!!!!) next week, so if anything else, I will strengthen myself. Since I have learned, Yoga does zero for weight loss and wonders for calmness!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Ooooh the Jalebi story!

We were in Ahmedabad at Vishala: A theme restaurant with delicious Gujarati food. At dinner, our Little Lady (3 year old) is dancing around and eventually offers Sumit a Jalebi.

Now, if you have been following my Little Lady Chronicles, this one stands out: She loves her mithai and chocolates.

So her sharing 'Jalebi' her favorite Indian dish is a surprise. Sumit, the doting dad that he is, very happily eats it immediately followed by a long 'eeeeeeeeeeew' by my Older chatterbox Miss V.

She says: 'You know what Little Lady did, she licked it, sucked all the sweet stuff out and then offered the half eaten jalebi to you'

Both Sumit and I went 'eeeeeeeeeeew' as the Little Lady chuckled and continued dancing

This my friends is 'the Jalebi story'

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tween in the house!!!

 Miss V, My wonderful 8 year old, here is wishing you a Very Happy Birthday. To continue our 
tradition, here is my annual letter to you:

Miss V, Miss Chatterbox, Miss Know-It-All, My adorable munchkin

You are an amazing and smart kid. I know you know it. Keep up the amazing work and continue being as humble as you are. I get thoroughly impressed at how easily to navigate challenges, be it physical, academic or even personal ones. I love your inquisitiveness and how with a book in your hand you are the happiest. 
You will try all cuisines and attempt the spicy sauces. Your favorite foods this year have been Kutiyonam and White Pullav. Sadly, my daal-baati has fallen off the list.

Babes (I know you hate me calling you that!!!) stay simple. Please, no matter how old you are, how smart you are, your attitude is your true character. And right now, you are awesome: friendly, frank, caring to the point of forgetting about yourself and completely selfless.  Above all you are honest!

I see you with your little sister; you are her fierce advocate, her protector and her role model. I love of how you put her needs ahead of yours. You scold her but if I scold her, you come in the middle and tell me: 'I Got this'.

At time, It's been a tricky relationship we have shared this past year. You are testing your limits and seeing how far you can go and I am adjusting to this newfound 'eye rolls' and 'over-enthusiasm' in you. Luckily for us, these limits have been for simple things like screen time, commanding the menu, giving me 'comments' on my dressing etc. Very simple and manageable stuff. You are adorable when you start your sentences with “I don’t want to sound mean, but this….”

To be honest, It's been tricky mainly for me, since I am not sure of how to react to the eye rolls. I know there have been more times that I have yelled at you for simple things, I guess it's a learning process for me and I know I better learn quickly to continue having this amazing relationship we have.

I love spending time with you, be it crafts, board games, walking on Michigan Avenue (Oh you hate shopping right now!!!) or even just observing you as you sulk over your Kumon or attempt at writing stories. You are getting to be older and wiser now, but you are still so innocent.

A few highlights of this year:
1. You joined the soccer league, your true calling and though the Saturday mornings are crazy, soccer is something you can’t skip no matter what!

2. You cried inconsolably when your Mama (my brother) left after his vacation (It was no longer, see you soon, why cry when someone leaves; that's just silly!)

3. You are teaching me Chess, or rather you keeping asking me to learn and I keep saying no. Glad your papa is playing with you.

4. You danced at three weddings/ engagement parties, Diwali parties and just on the deck with the music on. We love your enthusiasm and self- confidence on stage. Standing in India, with over 800 guests staring at you and being the first to kick off the dance night is not an easy feat! You did it with such elegance and grace.

5. You had your first summer camp and you hated every minute of it. This year you had asked me if you could stay in Chicago and see what all the fuss is about, you didn’t enjoy it at all.

6. Piano: You started the class very enthusiastically, however are not practicing or enjoying it, sadly, just like Kumon I am going to ask you to stick with it!

7. Travel: You loved Dells, visited Door County, toured the Packers stadium, Camped, visited Portland and of course the India trip with the forced stay in Istanbul! You do have wheels on your legs, as soon as we got back, your question was, where next?

I love you, even in those moments when I yell at you. I love your agility, your kid and honest heart, your enthusiasm to know everything, your affection towards science, your caring nature, your not-so-clean room, your looking up to your dad as the strongest and mom as the coolest, your passionate heart!

Honey, grow up, stay the same and remember, like I told you, no matter where you go in life, you know you can count on me and your dad. 

We got you.

Happy 8th birthday love.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Uff, Getting Fit is loosing its drive..

I don’t feel like continuing with the My Fitness Paljourney. It's been fairly easy with amazing results and I have been fitter and healthier and it’s easy to continue on.
I know, but I don't feel like it.

I had almost a month long break with my amazing December trip to India. I met family, i ate there, a lot, I mean when in India, I get to eat all my favorite foods with no effort on my end and its beyond delicious. Win Win.

And so maybe I am getting lazy.

The effect of following through the My Fitness Pal for 2.5 months was fabulous. I fit into all my wedding clothes, I felt on the top of the world receiving all the compliments but above all. I felt like I have accomplished something.

I know these are very same reasons why I should be continuing. But for some reason I am just getting lazy. I have re-started using the app since my return, following through my regular pattern of increasing the protein,portion control etc. and above all noting it down in the app. In the 4 days since I have been back, I have blown through my allocated calories not by a lot, but still blown through them. And I am not feeling guilty about it, that's what is scaring me. But I am not as driven as I was last quarter 2016.

Hmm, I think the best way to do this is my small steps.
Step 1: Use the app and follow through for one full week.
Step 2: Come back, report and follow through end of January
Step 3: Let's just get through Step 1 and 2 first.

Phew, So back to square one

Monday, January 11, 2016

Little Lady is 3!! Already!

 Yes she is, I believe 3 is a magical age, they are suddenly more in control of their emotion (aka tantrums), they are chatty (all the time) and they look at the world
with exploring eyes. Above all, they have opinions, strong opinions about how things should be. Call them feisty if you will, but at 3, they are adorable.

Little Lady is true to everything above. To continue my traditions of yearly letters to the girls: Here is one dedicated to my 'chamchu'

Beautiful Chamchu,

You are my baby, the cute with puppy eyes and a whole lot of adorable attitude. No matter how old you get, you always will be my baby, my little baby. Your sister continues to be the Big Baby.
You are stubborn and headstrong but you are so so caring. You will be the first one to come and ask 'Are you okay?' kiss the boo-boo away. There are times when you drive me up the wall with the headstrong nature, but I do know you will be passionate about what you feel and why you feel. Right now it's chocolates and Mithai!

I worry sometimes when you continue to play by yourself no matter how much I coax you to play with your friends when they visit. You are happy doing what you do, and you tell me, I am playing! You are just being yourself and I do forget that from time to time. It's okay, I will back off.

Stay Affectionate

You have your preferences with people, I know that. There are some whom you jump to and could stay in their arms forever, you would cry the biggest tears at separating from them and then there are others whom you just smile and get conscious around. But I admire your courage of figuring it out on your own. Your sister adores you and would lay her life for you and I know you'd do the same for her. You help me forget any worries around sibling rivalry. Stay together, you have a best friend for life, no questions asked.

My budding foodie, Okay that may be pushing it a bit. But stay curious about food, I know you are more about how the 'food looks' than how 'it tastes'. But for me, its important you try everything Vegetarian possible under the sun. Life is a lot of fun being a vegetarian foodie, I kid you not. Bur for starters, play less with your food and eat more!

I love you and don’t ever question that. You are a wonderful bundle of joy for us. Your sister and you complete our world and I know any worries that I may have, vanish when I hear your melodious voice.
My little 3 year old monster/ prankster/ adorable munchkin. I love you, your dad loves you, your sister loves you to no bounds!!
Stay Happy, healthy and smiling takes away all the worries possible.


PS: I know I am a little late in posting this, some how this post stayed in drafts

Friday, January 8, 2016

Quick Food Fix_Not so boxed mac n cheese

Yes, I use the boxed kind of Mac N Cheese, yes I am lazy and yes this is my go to meal for kids (and us) when I am too lazy to do anything. However with trial and error, I have learned to 'Improve' the boxed kind to suit our palates (Some say, make it palatable) and enhance with vegetables etc.

So here is our Twist to Mac N Cheese

1. 1 box Aunty Annie’s Organic Mac N Cheese
2. Finely Chopped Vegetables 1/2 cup Carrots, 1/4 cup Green Beans, 1/4 cup Broccoli
3. Butter: 2 tsp
4. 1 cup: Organic Milk (Full Fat/ 2% any works)
5. Philadelphia Cream Cheese: 3 tsp
6. Spices: Crushed Oregano leaves, Salt, Pepper, Chili Flakes
7. Finely chopped fresh basil....Delish!
8. Grated Cheese (We use the Cheddar/ Mozzarella blend): 1/2 cup

1. Boil the pasta per package instructions and let it cool
2. Option 1: Feel free to boil the vegetables along with the pasta
2. Option 2: Sautee the vegetables along with the spices in a separate pan
3. In a heavy skillet, melt butter and add the 'packaged cheese sachet' and stir with milk
4. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes, when the cheese lumps are gone, add the cream cheese
5. Remember, Cream cheese needs to be stirred vehemently, else you will have a 'lumpy' sauce
6. In 5 minutes, when the sauce looks slightly thickened, add the sauté vegetables and boiled pasta
7. Blend in the fresh cheese
8. Garnish with Freshly chopped Basil and enjoy

Another variation for this is, add the fresh cheese: 1 cup, cover with bread crumbs and put in the oven for 15 minutes for a more 'restaurant feel' -I never get around to this step, case in point ' Quick meal fix'
But yes, this modified version is loved by all of us, the kids like that it’s Mc N Cheese, I like that vegetables are mixed in and Sumit likes it because it was fast and delicious!