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! 

Honey dijon citrus whole roast chicken

food

This dish is one of my favorites! Seriously, all you have to do is marinade it and stuff it in the oven! It also really makes the table beautiful with the whole chickens and colorful vegetables!

What do you need?

4 poussin/ baby chicken with skin

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup of cilantro

Juice of 1 orange and rinds

Juice of 1 lime and rinds

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt to taste 

This is what you do either the night before or 2/3 hours before putting the dish in the oven.

Wash and dry the chicken and coat completely with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, orange juice and salt. Stuff the rinds of orange and lemon. 

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Cover the chicken and leave overnight. 

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Take the chicken out of the fridge about 20  minutes before putting it in the oven 

Preheat the oven to 250 C ( I use a fan oven) and place the chicken in. 

For the glaze:

1 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp course mustard 

1 tbsp water 

Let the chicken cook for 30 minutes then brush half the glaze on it. 

Let it cook for a further 25 minutes and when you poke it, the juices should run clear. 5 minutes before taking it out brush the remaining glaze. Take the chicken out and let it rest under foil paper till you make the jus.

Take the drippings from the pan and throw out the oil floating on top. Reduce it under low heat, add cornstarch + water to thicken it or reglaze with some white or red wine. 

I added some corn, tomatoes and more fruits for garnish. 

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It’s definitely a crowd pleaser! 

Enjoy! 

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 Whey Protein?

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What is Whey Protein?

Buy whey protein

Whey protein is a protein that is easier and quicker to absorb than protein found in most foods. While this is convenient, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than foods. Protein is required to repair the tears in muscles from strenuous and intense exercise. When you put stress upon your muscles, you cause tears that actually break down the muscles. And yes this means that technically by working out you are causing your muscles to become weaker.

When you consume protein, whether it be whey, soy, etc, the tears get repaired. Not only do these tears get repaired to their original state but rather the tears become more adapted to exercise, thus leading to strength gains.

Taking Whey Protein After A Workout

 After a workout, your body is starved for energy, or at least is looking for where it can get some to refuel. Typically when your body is searching for sources of energy either from exercise or prolonged stages of under-consumption, it absorbs nutrients much easier.

The time after working out is important, how long do you have to capitalize on taking the protein? Roughly 40 minutes is the best time to chow down.

After your post-workout protein, it is best to eat at least every 2 hours for 6 hours afterwards. Just because you had your post-workout meal does not mean that your body is done searching for energy to recover. This is also the perfect time to take your multi vitamins as it gets absorbed the fastest!

Reference:

http://bodyathletics.hubpages.com/hub/When-Should-I-take-Whey-Protein

 

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! 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner: Sweet and spicy ground beef lettuce wraps

food

Lunch is always slightly easier than dinner as you have the whole day to burn it off incase you eat something extra. Dinner on the other hand is less forgiving which is why by 7:30 pm, I eat the proteins and vegetables! 

I cross a Chinese restaurant almost everyday and today I woke up determined to eat a healthy version of my most favorite dish! Lettuce wraps without the excessive fats, sugars or MSG and I did it! 

I also served it to some guests I had over today and they loved it! I was so happy to have served something healthy and fresh! You can easily make the filling ahead and put it together when your guests have arrived! Very versatile! 


What do you need?

1 whole lettuce bulb

450 gram lean ground beef ( I used 5% fat ones)

(you could also use chicken or turkey mince)

1 cup diced peppers 

1 cup diced carrots 

2 tablespoons of good quality honey 

2 tablespoons of chili sauce or to make it even healthier use chili flakes/paste 

2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard 

2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro 

3/4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 

3 sprays of your oil of choice 

salt and pepper to taste 

You will make enough for 3 dinners! 😀 


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In a bowl, mix together the honey, mustard and chili sauce with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside 

Spray on the oil into the pan on high heat 

Add in the garlic, peppers and carrot with a dash of water to soften and sauté 

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After sautéing for 2-3 minutes add in the ground beef and salt/pepper 

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Stir the beef and break it up and you will notice the ‘fatty juice’ collecting 

Put the lid on and drain that liquid out, it is the fats from the ground beef and its gotta go!! Ech! 

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Return the pot onto the heat and stir in 2/3 of the mixture of honey/mustard/chili sauce that you had set aside. 

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Close the lid and let it cook for about 10 -12 minutes more. Make sure to stir occasionally during that time. You will notice the char on the beef and peppers and then add in that remaining honey/mustard/chili sauce mixture and the cilantro. 

Keep tasting the beef as you cook! Thats just standard operating procedure 😀

Take it off the heat, arrange the lettuce and fill them in! 

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Enjoy while warm! I had it with a side of steamed mixed vegetables!

* You can also add in sweet and sour chili sauce in which case leave out the honey and chili sauce however I would highly recommend using a chili sauce and honey mixture as you eliminate the high amounts of sugar in those sweet and sour sauces. 

* A great alternative would be to use a freshly made chili paste! That would be ideal especially if you used a mixture of fresh red chili and roasted chili. YUM! I will surely do that next time!

Also I do apologize for not including the calories, thats because I don’t calorie count and you shouldn’t either especially when you are eating clean and healthy! 

 

Practice what you preach

Lifestyle

I loved cooking, I still love cooking. At a time when I feel I am actually making a realistic change in my life, the past and the future really haunts me. The past, because I remember the terrible eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and most importantly the buttery sugary goodies I would create! The future, because eventually I will be moving back to Dhaka in December and I’m scared that this displacement might throw me off along with a couple of ‘societal pressures’.

I have realized two things: people love to feed ‘fat’ people and secondly people love to feed their guests delectable foods that they would dare not eat themselves any other day of the year/month/week!

Believe me, I was the biggest culprit!

I used to cook these feasts for my friends and family with endless additions of butters, sugars and obviously it tasted like heaven! (If I may say so myself) but I wouldn’t eat those foods myself in general then why was I unintentionally harming my family/friends? Or why was I making a doggy bag for the person who is clearly struggling with their weight? It wasn’t like I had these evil intentions, it just happens to be an innate mind set in most cultures unfortunately.

I still don’t know why I was doing that but I do know that I will stop and it’s time we make a change. If I am trying so hard to attain a healthy lifestyle, my loved ones should reap the benefit from it too. Show them how tasty vegetable fried rice (recipe coming soon!) or vanilla chia pudding (recipe coming soon!) can be. 🙂

Society is a strange thing, you will notice families and friends coming together to help a relative suffering with let’s say a drug addiction. They will arrange support groups, rehab facilities and anything to ‘cure’ him. But do you realize that that overweight person is suffering the same way? The sugars and fats are his addiction and it’s time we open our eyes to it. According to the WHO, more than 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight!

I know it’s easier to avoid it because it is such an incredibly emotional and personal thing, make fun of it or simply feed his addiction but then what? Maybe it’ll be too late. The sad truth is that you will come across many ‘pseudo-caring’ people who will be the first to say you are too fat or too thin, first to ask you how you have become this size but when you need someone to really push you and help you, there’s no one. There are scores of silent judgers and no one to really help, so become someone who helps today or ask your sibling/friend to help you. 

So, let’s change, even if you are overweight or at the peak fitness of your life, there is something you can do! Be sensitive, starting with ‘I think you need to lose weight’ isn’t probably the best introduction because believe me they know it and live it everyday! So make it fun, join the gym together or play a sport together. Follow each other on fitness apps so you can monitor your food intakes. Challenge each other to see who can lose more weight. Find healthier alternatives together. Just because you have a gifted super metabolism, don’t suggest eating the greasy fatty stuff, eat healthy together! 

 It’s time we acknowledge this epidemic and do our part. If every person reading this helps just one person, imagine what difference we can make. 

I will begin posting recipes this week giving alternative options for people in Dhaka. Try these recipes out, make them with your friends who are struggling. You have no idea how much pain they are in. They need you more than you need them. I would love to hear your stories. 

One small step at a time. 

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Food Plan : Not a diet plan

food, Lifestyle

So I used to be obsessed with counting calories, I had every app ever to count my daily intake! I didn’t realize while I was focused on the overall calorie count I was avoiding the ‘real’ information i needed to monitor. Sugars sugars sugars!!!!

A low fat yoghurt that I was happily eating on my ‘diet’ contained about 45g of sugar/ 8 fl oz while a full fat whole milk yoghurt contained 12g of sugar/ 8 fl oz!!!!!!!! Mind blown! Read your labels! Most countries (if any) DO NOT regulate the addition of sugars so while there maybe no fat, it is getting compensated with a huge chunk of sugar!

Basically our bodies respond to sugar like any other euphoria enhancing drug, I’m sure we are all guilty of that great feeling while eating our favorite bar of chocolate but ever notice the absolute hell-ish feeling afterwards? That’s the crash! Now you need more chocolate to make yourself feel better. Thus begins the vicious cycle!

Here’s a way to curb/cut off your cravings for refined sugars:

Eat fruits till lunch, fruits contain fructose which does not abruptly cause sugar fluctuations in your body and takes it’s time to digest unlike sucrose in refined sugar. So your body gets that dose of sugar you are unintentionally craving and slowly you will lose your dependency on sucrose and turn to fructose! It took me a whole month! (morning smoothie recipe to follow)

So once that’s covered, here’s the simple plan:

Do not mix carbohydrates and proteins!

Eat the carbohydrates for lunch like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, grains, quinoa, etc mixed with vegetables.

Eat lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fillet, etc mixed with vegetables for dinner.

Take minimal oil by using the spray.

Snack on seeds, nut butters and never ever let yourself feel hungry! That’s the sign of your metabolism going down a notch!

Lastly, water water water is your best friend! (Flavored waters post to follow)

Give it a shot! It is super easy especially when eating out! Just think before you eat!

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