I feel extremely happy to cook for others… and at the same time being a foodie love to treat myself too. I have always made efforts to eat healthy and control my portions however sometimes our efforts are just not enough. Only after I realised my husbands bad cholesterol levels had shooted up, I decided to make some changes in our eating pattern to hit the bad guy!! The reason i am blogging this is because this has worked wonderfully for us… My husbands bad cholesterol levels dropped drastically while good cholesterol levels improved but with a wider scope of improvement. Both me and my husband lost weight in a healthy way feeling really energetic.
So here is my list. Don’t forget to comment below if there is anything else you thing works better and can be added to the list.
1) Bed Tea – I start my day with a glass full of warm water + 1 tsp honey + 1/2 tsp Cinnamon power. Honey and cinnamon both are wonderful natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. Mix of honey and cinnamon helps cleanse the digestive system, improves digestion, helps cure bad breadth, works well for chronic cold, lowers cholesterol, reduces blood sugar levels (so great for diabetics) and to top it all enables weight loss.
2) High Fibre Breakfast – Earlier sandwiches were our favourites. But with the mission of reducing the overall calorie intake and having fibre rich food made me to shift to oats porridge for breakfast. At least 4 days a week we started having oats for breakfast. I cook my oats (3 tbsp.) in one cup of water, 1 and 1/2 tsp. raw sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 5 -6 walnut pieces broken in smaller pieces and a pinch of salt. You can even use flax seed instead of walnuts Once cooked just add 1/4th cup or less low fat milk and simmer till creamy. Oats makes the breakfast fibre rich, walnuts again fibre rich and source of Omega 3 fatty acids, Cinnamon to add up to the benefits. 2 days of the week we opted for Bran flakes with either soya milk or low fat milk. Provomel organic vanilla flavoured soya milk is our favourite. 1 day of the week is a treat day with either one whole egg and 2 slices of whole meal seed bread or 2 egg whites and one yolk omelette with 2 slices of whole meal seed bread.
3) Switch to Brown – We are rice lovers and we love basmati. But recently we switched to to brown rice (have to mention I always have a stock of white basmati rice for the special days). We have 2 – 3 rice meals through out the week and brown rice keeps us up with our fibre rich diet challenge. Brown rice contains much higher fiber content as compare to white. Brown rice being mineral and fibre rich reduces cholesterol, Controls sugar levels (so great for diabetics again) and overall enables weight loss. I buy Tilda basmasti brown rice, however i have tried some other brands in past (which i do not remember) which not being basmati were as good. So take your time to figure out your choice of brown rice. I will soon post the way to cook your brown rice perfectly :-) Also, i switched from white sugar to raw sugar. I had used brown sugar for my bakes earlier but did not know about raw sugar till i saw my good friend using it. I don’t know much about raw sugar but i know i am away from the chemicals like sulphur dioxide that is used to bleach the crystals and also some others like phosphorus acid, calcium hydroxide etc. used to absorb the natural impurities.
4) Add wheat bran to our diet – Bran is again a fibre rich addition to our diet that helps lower the cholesterol. We prefer eating phulkas / Indian flat bread (will soon post a very helpful link on making phulkas). All i did is made the dough with 50% whole wheat flour and 50% What bran. These are as tasty and a healthier version of regular phulkas . Once the dough is ready i just add a tbsp. of olive, knead it and leave it for a while before i start preparing the phulkas.
5) Add Beans to our diet - Beans are again high in fibre and antioxidant rich. I just made it a point to prepare 2 bean meals a week. Majorly I alternate between red kidney beans and garbanzo bean (Chickpea). Also served small portions of bean salad on other days. My bean salad has nothing but beans, cucumber, tomato, olive oil, salt, garlic powder and lime juice. Also Moong sprouts are quite a part of our meals.
6) Fruits - Both of us don’t really like fruits except for some seasonal fruits like mangoes. But we started having a fruit mid morning (after about an hour or two of breakfast) every day. Fruits that we often eat are Apples, Strawberries, Pear, Watermelon, Mango (when available), papaya and Pomegranate.
7) Vegetables - We eat a wide range of vegetables however some that come to my mind right now are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Capsicum (bell peppers), Green bean, Spinach and Carrot. Even though vegetables were very much a part of our diet the preparation would be rich. Now I choose from some simple recipes which need very little oil.
8) Healthy Snacking – Honestly I am not very creative in this zone. I have few things in my list that we stick to and it has worked very well with us. Our favourites are nuts (Walnut, almond, pistachio), Khakra (Wheat crispies that you can find in your Indian supermarkets), Bran Rusk, Wheat crackers, popped rice (sometimes). And of course we all know, fruits are the best munchies.
9) Cucumber everyday! – I made sure we have it everyday. I just make it a salad with some olives and tomatoes, or grate it and mix it with some lowfat curd (with a pinch of salt and sugar). Cucumber has many many benefits… it rehydrates your body, flushes out toxins, enables weight loss, reduces cholesterol, regulates blood sugar levels (so great for diabetics) and improves digestion overall. So don’t you have a reason to add them to your daily diet?
10) Food rich in Omega 3 – For non vegetarian meals we rely on chicken and fish. Some fish (Tuna, Salmon, Anchovies, Sardine etc.) are great source of Omega 3. Some other sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are flax seed, walnuts, beans, spinach, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and olive oil. I use olive oil in my salads, in my stir fried vegetables and while kneading the phulka dough to add some Omega 3 to our diets.
I did not mention in the list above but writing it here as a reminder… DO NOT FORGET TO DRINK ENOUGH WATER!!
This diet has worked for me with controlled portions and use of very little oil in anything that I cooked.
Hope this helps you keep yourself and your loved ones healthy!!