I almost gave up!

Lifestyle

The past two weeks were incredibly difficult for me. It’s safe to say you know what I mean when I say I was so close to falling off the wagon yet again.

My trainer, Gary measures our weight loss in terms of fat loss rather than overall weight loss on a scale. This is especially important because most of us are obsessed with the scale which takes into account muscle mass, fat mass, water mass etc! Who wants to lose muscle or water? Now I know I don’t!

Anyway, coming from DC I had lost 2kg of fat while I was on my ‘holiday!’ Every second of being cautious and calculated during that holiday had paid off!
That week we started training outdoors and I couldn’t wait to see how much I had lost at the end of that week! By we, I mean my husband and I, a male and a female. I lost 0.5kg and he lost 1.7kg!!!!!!!! I felt like my whole plan was crumbling down and I played every action, every meal in my head over and over again. What did I do wrong? I was stricter than he was, I pushed harder…what did I do wrong?

At that moment, I didn’t know but today I know that the answer is nothing. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m a woman and he’s a man, we are built to function differently.

Women naturally store more fat whereas men are inclined to forming more lean muscle. Men have a faster metabolism than women. Read more!

It has been the best experience doing this with my husband, changing our lives together but that day I was shellshocked! I was this close to saying bye bye to all the hard work. I broke down and felt there was nothing more I could physically do. I know many of you are nodding along to this oh too familiar feeling but this time my mind was stronger. After that scan, I did my session! I killed it! No scale in this world can take away how you feel! I had never felt better in my life and I wasn’t going to throw it away because some electronic equipment generated some shocking result!

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Two things pushed me through:
1. I wasn’t gaining weight or plateauing, I had lost 0.5kg which is better than nothing! I was becoming too greedy!
2. Only I am the judge of how I used to feel and how I feel today. I choose today’s feeling!

So ditch that scale and listen to your body. Follow your progress by measuring your body or trying on clothes that didn’t fit you, if you really need to visualize it. You know yourself better than anyone else and you should be the judge of your progress!

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At my last scan, I had lost a total of 7kg of fat in 3 months. I felt great but not as great as I did when I crossed that finish line completing my first 5k at under 39 minutes! That was the real measure of how far I had come! From a couch potato to running a 5k!

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As I head to Bangladesh today for my brother’s wedding, I know another test is ahead of me. This time I actually get to test out my new lifestyle in the place where I will eventually live! Of course it will be challenging but it is so unbelievably worth it!

Set yourself realistic goals, listen to your body and remember this is your journey, when you give up you end up back to square one, instead push yourself on the hardest days because those small steps are the ones that really matter. Everyday you come out stronger, empowered and happier with who you really are! You owe that to yourself!

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Whole wheat banana pancakes and fruit platter

food

I made this for my husband’s birthday! I have to admit that it doesn’t taste like buttermilk IHOP pancakes but they are light, delicious and good for you! No guilt!


What do you need?

1/2 cup wholewheat flour 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1/4 tsp salt 

2 ripe bananas 

2 eggs

1/2 cup skim milk or almond milk 

Oil spray 

Fresh fruits 

Honey 

Unsweetened fat free greek yoghurt 

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Mix the eggs, milk, banana, flour, baking soda and salt in a blender 

Under medium to low heat, spray pan and place 3 tablespoons of the mix in pan. Let the bottom set and then turn the pancake and cook the other side. 

Spray the pan in between each pancake. 

Do not try to do this on hight heat! Trust me! I had to throw about 4 away! 😦 

Place fruits and yoghurt in between layers and drizzle with honey! I served this with a fruit platter with pretty much everything I had at home! Mix together honey and yoghurt for a delicious dip! 

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Enjoy! 

Celebrating our birthdays!

Lifestyle

This week was extra special! It was my birthday followed by my husbands. The person that I am I had to celebrate it to the fullest! 

It’s really easy to dread any upcoming celebration when you are trying to lead a new lifestyle. I was brainstorming for weeks trying to figure out what to do for our birthdays, the healthier way! 

I had a lunch party for my cousins and really also a way for me to show them that healthy foods can be just as delicious! 

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The menu:

Honey Dijon citrus whole roast chicken

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Seafood salad with chili, lime and coriander dressing 

(I simply cooked the seafood with the sweet chili sauce and added in lime and coriander. Tossed that with salad greens!)

Cilantro brown rice

( Warm brown rice + 1 tbsp olive oil + salt + coriander + lime)

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Sweet and spicy ground beef lettuce wraps

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Fresh salsa and guacamole ( one of my friends made this!)

Cheese platter and flavored waters 

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Brownies ( I will add this recipe at a later date as it did not turn out exactly as I wanted, some liked it some didn’t so…..)

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Every dish was wiped clean! YAY! I also gave the sweet chili sauces as birthday party favors 😀 

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Since our birthdays were on a weekday, well mine was, I had the lunch party on a Sunday before. I felt so pleased being able to feed my family what I was eating on a daily basis and what was making us feel so good! It wasn’t a no carb thing nor was it a huge table full of death warrants, it was something I could feed my guests, guilt-free! 

Moving onto the mandatory midnight cake cutting ritual, I was really hell bent on not eating a cake at midnight!! I mean I know it was my birthday but c’mon it just didn’t make sense! I have recently discovered my love for unsweetened fat free greek yoghurt and I thought why not a parfait? My husband and I put it together and it looked as great as it tasted!! We scrapped it off! It was full of goodness rather than refined sugars and butter. I didn’t think it would do the job but it clearly did as I repeated the same parfait for Zayed’s birthday, candles and all! 

You can layer is however YOU want! Add any fruits YOU want! So no sieving through prepackaged yoghurt bowls of the things you don’t like! It is also a great mid day snack! 


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What do you need?

Unsweetened fat free greek yoghurt, you can also use natural yoghurt

Sugar free granola or any sugar free muesli or cereal 

Fruits of choice 

Acacia honey or any good quality honey 

Easy to make, full of nutrients and great for your body! 

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I know this is getting quite long but here’s the last part of the ‘homemade’ birthday celebration! I made my husband brunch in bed! 

Whole wheat banana pancakes and fruit platter

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It was the perfect weekend brunch and it allowed us to ‘cheat’ without feeling devastated about it! I mean if you call 1/2 cup of flour cheating! 😉 He was ecstatic saying that he wanted to eat really slowly as he was afraid to finish it! Success! 

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There’s no reason to be scared about falling of the wagon during a celebration nor is there a reason to make yourself believe that it is okay to fall of the wagon because it’s your birthday! I worked out twice on my birthday and went to my favorite japanese restaurant for the the miso black cod! I couldn’t be happier with the way I felt, this isn’t a fad diet or a crash diet, this is my life! 

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Happy birthday to us! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do I do with chia seeds?

food

chia-seeds

In my last post, I mentioned the benefits of these tiny, relatively inexpensive seeds!

Why chia seeds?


In Bangladesh, a substitute for these seeds is basil seeds or ‘tokma.’ They are usually taking during the month of Ramadan to keep feeling fuller for longer. They have the same properties as chia seeds whereby they swell up upon contact with liquids. 

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You can make these cups for a week at a time and they are really delicious for that afternoon pick me up snack or dessert cravings. They are slow releasing so they also work really well as a snack pre work out giving you the fuel to push through, thats when I usually take it. 

Everyone needs that bit of chocolate in their lives, I know I do! This is a great dessert packed with nutrients and satisfies that sweet tooth. 


What do you need for chocolate chia pudding cups?

2 tbsp chia seeds (black or white)

1/2 cup of fresh almond milk or skim milk or unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or baking cocoa powder 

1.5 tsp honey, you can increase it to your liking 

Shaved chocolate for garnish 

Mix all the ingredients together, fill cups and chill overnight. Serve with fruits and shaved chocolate. 

You will make 6/7 shooter cups 


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What do you need for vanilla chia puddings?

2 tbsp chia seeds (black or white)

1/2 cup of fresh almond milk or skim milk or unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract 

1 tsp honey 

You will make 6/7 shooter cups 


Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and fill shooter cups. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy! You can add more honey or nuts or fresh fruits on top when enjoying this cup of deliciousness. 

I also add them directly to my morning smoothie. You can sprinkle them over your salad or soup. There is no one way to enjoy this superfood! 

 

Why shouldn’t you mix Carbohydrates and Proteins?

food

This food plan that I follow is the one devised by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. Their bestselling book “Fit for Life” was first published in 1985, and was re-released in 2010 and contains information in details. Buy the book

Here are the basics:

Till 12pm

You must only eat fruit, homemade smoothies in this period.  No coffee, tea, toast etc.  You can drink herbal teas, and water.  This works as fruits have their own digestive enzymes and only takes 20-35 minutes to digest. Fruits also contain fructose which will aid you to give up sucrose, refined sugar! 

 Lunch

Carbohydrate + Vegetables (preferably steamed as it holds most nutrients)

(30:70 ratio)

 Dinner

Protein + Vegetables (preferably steamed as it holds most nutrients)

(30:70 ratio)

 Do not mix carbohydrates with proteins. Protein is digested by acid and carbohydrates are digested by alkaline. Alkaline cancels out acid and so the food consumed is not properly assimilated and is very difficult to digest.

 Do not eat fruit after a main meal as it will ferment your meal.

 Add a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil to main meals.

 

Why Matcha Green Tea?

food

MATCHA ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS

matcha

 Buy Matcha

6.2 TIMES THAT OF GOJI BERRIES 
7 TIMES THAT OF DARK CHOCOLATE 
17 TIMES THAT OF WILD BLUEBERRIES 
60.5 TIMES THAT OF SPINACH

 CANCER PREVENTER

Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals in the body. The most powerful catechin found in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen4.

A 2003 University of Colorado study confirmed that drinking 1 cup of matcha green tea has 137 times the amount of antioxidant EGCG compared to a conventional cup of green tea1.

 ANTI-AGER

One of the locales in the world where people live the longest is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea1.

Matcha green tea is the most popular green tea in Japan, but is rapidly gaining more popularity throughout the world because of its ability to combat inflammation, oxidation and aging.

 HEART DISEASE PREVENTER: LOWERS LDL “BAD” CHOLESTEROL

A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL “Evil Emperor Zurg” cholesterol concentrations5.

 WEIGHT LOSS

A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that green tea extract rich in catechins has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.

It was found that consuming green tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure6.

Another study demonstrated that exercising immediately after drinking matcha green tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise4.

DETOXIFIER

Matcha is grown in the shade, which is why it is richer in chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving leaves their green color. The Hulk would be proud!

Chlorophyll is purported to detoxify the body1, but this has yet to be scientifically proven. I wanted to mention it because of its supposed ability to clear the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.

 MIND IMPROVER

Matcha green tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea2. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain.

Stress is known to induce the brain’s beta wave activity, leading to a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure1.

Although matcha contains some caffeine, the relaxing properties of L-theanine counterbalance the “jittery” effects of caffeine. Therefore, a cup of matcha green tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without producing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee2.

 FIBER

Matcha green tea leaves contain a high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.

 ENERGY ENERGY

Try a cup of matcha green tea as an afternoon “pick-me-up” anytime you need extra focus. matcha green tea is an ideal substitute for coffee because it provides an energy boost without the headaches1 you might get from a coffee crash.

Reference:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-wonders-of-matcha-green-tea.html

 

My daily everyday

Lifestyle

It’s good to be back home, rejuvenated from a month long holiday! Even though I followed my London routine while I was away, it’s simply not the same.

I used to be pretty much like a sloth before; I went to school, ate whatever, sedentary mostly, sleeping at strange hours (with sleep aid), woke up past noon. Oh! It was a mess!! And by the way I was always tired or felt sick just ask my husband or sisters.

Looking at my everyday now, I must say I have come a long way in just a few short months. Remember it takes 21 days to form a habit!

My day starts with me craving for the fruit smoothie. Blitz the fruits with some spinach and kale. Add in matcha green tea and then stir in some chia seeds.

Why matcha green tea? Why chia seeds?

I drink half of the smoothie an hour before training.

Train with Gary for an hour and half. By that time I am dead beat!

Within 20 mins of training, I drink a whey protein shake with water followed by multivitamins that’s when your body is craving for all that goodness! Then i head to work feeling quite full. At some point before lunch, I take the remaining portion of the smoothie. 

Why whey protein?

 I take lunch around 12:30 pm which consists of carbohydrates + veggies

Between lunch and dinner, I have 2 snacks.

Snack # 1: Either apple with nut butter or seeds or porridge. Anything that is slow releasing. Fruit or milk chia puddings are great too.

Snack # 2: Another whey protein shake with water.

Then I take dinner  by 7:30 pm which consists of proteins + veggies

Why this food plan?

Around 9:30 pm I drink some chamomile or herbal tea

By 10:30 pm, I am already dying to sleep. This is so unlike me but I love it!

And all day I drink a lot of water (4 liters) in many forms and keep nuts and seeds handy. You never want to feel hungry thats a sign of your metabolism slowing down. 

You just have to make it work around your schedule. Everyone’s life is different and there is no template to getting it just perfect. You devise your own plan and make it work for you! Just remember to add in all the goodness so each day you are one step towards your goal. Everything you put into your body should have a reason, when something doesn’t thats when you toss it out! 

You decide what goes into your body, it deserves the best!