Saturday, August 6, 2016

Paleo Diet - Tips and Tricks

I have been attempting to follow a healthier lifestyle since quite sometime. I have done a variation of Paleo diet and though it sounds easy, it is not quite so once you start with the diet. 

I did some research on what needs to be done to be successful with Paleo diet and here are the tips that I am planning to follow:

Paleo diet can be called as a diet that takes us back to our roots. When I say roots, think Caveman as this diet advises to use food groups which have been easily available right from the beginning of time for our disposal. This diet suggests using fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds and meat as the food categories to purchase food from. Paleo also advises to avoid grains, dairy products and processed food from your diet. In short, the emphasis is on using food items which are in their original form and have not been processed. 

Though the diet might seem fairly easy, it can become difficult to follow as the major constituent of a regular diet, carbohydrates in the form of grains, is missing in this diet. However, there are several hacks that can help you to adopt this diet as a lifestyle option and help with your overall health in the process. 

Tips for beginners:

  1.       Preparation is key: If you are planning to start following Paleo diet, ensure that you do your homework and have done the requisite research. Do not attempt to jump start with the diet. Lay down a detailed plan with the groceries to purchase and stock, meal plans to plan your daily meals and snacks that can help you with your cravings.
    2.     One step at a time: Dependency on processed food is one of the hidden addictions and it has to be treated such. This means that an immediate cut off from processed foods can also cause withdrawal symptoms. Your success in breaking out of this addiction is dependent on identifying this and adopting a phase by phase approach to eliminating processed food. A good attempt would be to eliminate one avoidable food category at a time. Pick the food group you are going to miss the least and start from there until you have eliminated all the non-Paleo food items from your diet. 
    3.     Restock your pantry: If you are considering adopting Paleo lifestyle, a good idea would be to clear out your kitchen and pantry of any non-Paleo food items and restocking with Paleo snacks, vegetables, fruits and nuts. 
    4.     Identify suitable substitutes: Paleo diet may sound easy when explained about. However, look through all that positivity and shiny clouds and imagine this. No rice and pasta, no chocolate cake and definitely, no more potato chips. Not feeling too positive? This is how you will feel three or four days after you have started with the diet. How to beat it? Look for smart alternates to be used in place of non-paleo items. Coconut flour in place of flour, almond milk in place of regular milk and sweet potato chips in place of potato chips will help you soar through this diet.
    5.     Shift your focus: If you are serious about shifting to Paleo diet in order to improve your overall health and wellbeing, you should keep that as your focal point. Do not refer to Paleo as a diet in your mind or in your conversations. You should recondition yourself to look at it as a lifestyle. Think about all the benefits you will be reaping and visualize the new, improved you every time you have the urge to cheat. 
    6.     How to beat your cravings: You need to accept that you will get cravings for unhealthy food and that you will be tempted to cheat. An important step to help beat your craving is to identify the reason for craving. If you identify it as hunger, pick up your favorite fruit or a handful or nuts to snack on and you will feel better. If it is boredom, get engaged in an activity or exercise or simply a small jog or walk to step out of the craving. Research says that the smell of vanilla helps to curb cravings. So, get yourself a bottle of vanilla essence or a few vanilla beans and take a whiff every time you get a craving.
    7.      Paleo on the road: You might argue that maintaining a Paleo lifestyle might be easy only while staying indoors. This is not necessarily a truth and there are smart alternatives to help you. Next time you are going for shopping or meeting friends, have a heavy meal just before you leave. This will help to stop reaching out for that salty chips or soft drink. Carry a Paleo friendly snack if you don’t want to eat before going out.

Paleo is a lifestyle choice which has its own pros and cons, just as any other lifestyle. The key is to identify how to successfully work around the roadblocks and be successful.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Letter For You

Dear 16 year old, 

I was cleaning out our cupboard over the weekend and found the old diary. Sorry for peeking but I couldn’t resist reading the bucket list of sorts one more time. You had mentioned travelling as one of the dreams you wish to achieve. You had written about all that you wish to achieve and hoped to stay best friends with so and so. You sounded so excited about the years ahead and almost sounded gullible, hoping that your world will stay same.

Now, let me sit you down and explain to you that in a few years, life will change. You will get a job, get married and will have a beautiful baby girl. You are also going to see such a development of technology, you will be amazed. The development of internet will be immense, the extent of which I am unable to explain to you now. Your job responsibilities, travel plans, communications and even grocery purchases will be made over internet. Along with that, you will also see something called social media emerge. You will get the first taste of how influential social media can be through a website called Facebook. You will reconnect with long lost friends, learn new things, find that elusive pair of boots and even learn cooking. You will finally understand what Global village truly means. Imagine that!

Yet, you will also learn that social media will create barriers unimagined so far. Everything from political view to food choice to religious belief will be brought under scanner and be used as a reason to create rifts among people. The tolerance towards a view different from yours is going to dip, hate messages and making fun of anyone who makes a mistake (they call it trolling now) is going to rise. You will also get caught up in this tide and will start wearing mental blinkers and dislike opinions different from your own. Friends will become acquaintances; acquaintances, strangers.

Do not worry, there’s still hope. You ask how? Here’s how; Read this letter any time you get caught in petty arguments and fights and cannot see beyond it or let it go.

“We are from a country with of 122 languages, 29 states, 7 union territories and 6 primary religions. We are 1.2 billion people who have mastered the art of co-existing peaceful. We are a bunch of people who are tied together with two things; emotions, and dreams. 

My dream…is to achieve the achievable and learn about my country and the countless cultures and emotions it thrives on. My dream is not to be an international nomad; it’s simply to open my eyes and mind to a world beyond the small snow globe world in which I exist and learn about my country and its heritage.

 It is to travel, not because I want to check off another item on my bucket list, but to know the life beyond my life. It is to walk through the near sparsely populated Ladakhi towns, dive deep to explore the underwater coral reefs, fight the blush while furtively glancing at the Ajanta Ellora cave carvings and gape in awe at the grandeur of the regal Taj Mahal. 

It is to hitchhike along with the fishermen, listening to their many folklores; cheering on the team winning in the boat race or melding myself into the ever moving crowd and surrounding myself with the smells of incense, sandalwood and flowers at Madhurai Meenakshi temple.  

My dream is to lose myself in the gastronomic paradise called India, enjoying a bowl of Chikvi, relishing the burst of tanginess from yet another gol gappa, drinking from the never ending tall glass of lassi or seating myself cross legged and enjoying a traditional sadhya. 

My dream is to get lost in the opulence of Mysore palace, listen for the tiger’s growl at Bandhavgarh national park and Garba my way to midnight. My dream is to search for the story each state, city, town and village holds to its bosom and calls its own and make it mine too. My dream is learn about the dynasties that have come and gone and understand nothing lasts forever.  My dream is to stand in a Gurudwara, Dargah, Church and temple and learn that only kindness and compassion matters in the end. 

My dream is to be able to open my mind beyond the chains of religions, languages, politics and states and absorb the knowledge that our country is made of heartbeats, smiles, hugs and laughs. It is made out of those moments spent chatting with a stranger over a cutting chai, speaking in signs with the guileless madisar clad patti in train and giggling about the sky full of kites along with the shy five-year old.
My dream is to live and breathe my way through my country, so that I can truly call myself an Indian. It is said that travelling opens eyes, warms hearts and frees minds. My dream is to be able to travel beyond the borders in my mind and discover myself and my country in the process. “

You will learn that there’s still hope because for every technological snob, there will be ten simpletons who will share their lunch, stories and smiles with you in a beat. You will do good if you will allow yourself to look beyond the rat race and will see that a sixteen year old’s dream will help her become a better person. 

And he is the Dalai Lama after all, so listen to him!

So, until we meet again on one of the many trips that will get you closer to your dream, Au Revoir, my dear 16 years old self. 


The 33 year old.
I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra #DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!