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Day 23 – Transformation Challenge: Time for Change

I’m so proud of myself for getting this far because I’ve never lasted this long on a diet and workout regime before. In the first 3 weeks, I’ve managed to lose a whopping 5.6kgs (12.35lbs) and it’s really starting to show on my body.

I have, however, started to plateau and I’ve barely lost any weight over the last 3 days it’s time to change some things around!

Starting from Sunday – which is Day 25 – I will be moving from a Low Carb Diet (LCD) to a Keto Diet for 28 days straight with absolutely no cheat days. This also means that I will be saying goodbye to my great friend, Carbohydrates. I’ll be exploring the differences the existence of carbs in a diet makes over the next four weeks to see what works and what really doesn’t work.

I’m so excited for this change because I’m part of a keto and LCD diet group which posts these delicious recipes and stuff all the time but they’re mainly keto recipes and I’ve been on LCD. My body and I are totally ready to introduce chicken and almonds into the diet.

So, until next time (when I will most definitely be complaining about my yearning for rice), keep grinding, fit fam!

Current weight: 91kgs

 

Day 15 – Transformation Challenge – Popeye doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

So, I fell off the grid for a few days (nearly two weeks – my bad) but I’m happy to say I did not fall off the wagon!

The first two weeks have been gruelling and tough but I have persevered and I’ve managed to lose a jaw dropping 4kgs (8.81lbs)! I’m happy about the weight loss and I’m excited to continue on; however, I want to take this opportunity not only to revel in the successes of my first two weeks, but to also address the real side of this process that most people don’t talk about.

People undergoing transformation challenges usually post the like-worthy pictures on social media. The beginning and the end products do not portray the hard times that individual has endured to reach their final goal – that’s if they reach it at all.

I fell off the grid over the last couple weeks because things got hard for me. While I was full all the time, my body craved more spice, fat and things that generally tasted better than light curries involving spinach and paneer. I quickly realised my hatred for spinach and that negative feeling only grew with intensity as the week went on.

This hatred for something so insignificant started to take a toll on my mood from the time my first meal came to my plate until the time I went to sleep. Meal time had gone from one of my favourite and exciting times of the day – as mother and I tried to make the most of the few ingredients I was allowed to use – to one of the worst due to the constant appearance of my mortal enemy: Spinach. My only salvation during these days was the 4-4.5 hour period in the mornings of intermittent fasting when I focused solely on the gym and walking 2-3,000 of my 10,000 daily prior to breakfast. I didn’t have to think about food then – it was only about getting that weight training done.

This mood slowly took over my life – I retired to my room for the majority of social gatherings. I became accustomed to staring at the ceiling fan or being comfortable with being by myself. I did not want to be around my friends or my family. Netflix was my only best friend and writing was no longer an option as my words only brought out angry suffocating tears that I didn’t understand.

Things were going from bad to worse when I contacted my trainer and asked for an alternative to the daily torture of tasteless spinach. It turns out, he’s not a big fan of the leafy vegetable himself! He told me I could replace the spinach with fenugreek, lettuce or broccoli. I have never run to the market so quickly in my life.

Broccoli, lettuce, fenugreek and I are all in a wonderful, loving relationship now. Things are going well and I don’t foresee a separation or divorce any time soon. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Until next time…

TL;DR Spinach is my nemesis. Dieting puts me in a bad mood. I have a weird relationship with my vegetables.

[Current Weight: 92.6kgs]

Green Eggs and Pan(eer) – Recipe

As promised, here’s the recipe for Green Eggs and Pan(eer) – and yes, that’s a Dr. Seuss pun.

With a limited list of allowed ingredients for my diet, mother and I are trying to get as creative as possible with my meals to keep me motivated.

Ingredients:

  • 100gms Spinach, boiled
  • 4 egg whites
  • 0.5 tsp garlic paste
  • Half onion, chopped
  • 50gm paneer
  • 30gm boiled rice 
  • 5gms butter

Method:

  1. After cleaning and boiling the Spinach, mix it in a blender for a couple minutes until it is a smooth purée. Make sure only the Spinach is blended with no additional water.
  2. Separate the yolks from the egg whites and add to the blender with the garlic paste. Blend for a couple minutes until Spinach and egg whites are a smooth green colour.
  3. In a pan, heat the butter and lightly fry the onions and paneer. Once the paneer is slightly brown and a little crisp on the outsides, remove it and the onions from the pan and set to one side. 
  4. Scramble the eggs and spinach in the same pan using the residual butter left over. Be sure to do this on a higher heat as simmering the eggs and spinach will lead to water escaping the Spinach. 
  5. Combine the eggs and paneer once the eggs are cooked and serve with a dash of salt. (optional: serve with a side of plain boiled rice)

Ta-dah! You now have Green Eggs and Pan(eer)! 

If you do try out this recipe, let me know how it goes and if you varied it at all! 

Day 1 – Transformation Challenge

Send help immediately!

My muscles have been destroyed and I can no longer walk like an abled human.

Well, I can – it just hurts so much when I do. I have completed the second day of my new weight-based workout programme and the first day of the new diet.

Let me be real here for a moment – when I started this, I knew both the diet and fitness would be hard but I genuinely thought the diet would be much much much harder. Turns out, the diet isn’t that bad but the workout regime is bloody brutal.

I’m not going to post my full diet chart up here because my trainer, Vishnu, draws up diet charts according to a person’s specific circumstances – this includes an evaluation of their body composition analysis, the goal in mind, previous medical history and conditions, fitness levels and dietary requirements. So unless we’re complete twinsies, my chart isn’t going to work for you – but I am going to be delightful and tell you what I ate everyday because the diet chart tells me what ingredients I can use but it’s up to me (and my mother) to get creative and whip up a masterpiece.

On today’s menu:

Breakfast

3 poached eggs and a spinach soup with a dash of salt and pepper.

Lunch

A repeat of the spinach soup from the morning coupled with butter fried paneer

I’m allowed a specified amount of butter with each meal! Isn’t that fabulous?

For those wondering, paneer is an Indian cheese rich in protein. It’s actually really easy to make so I’m going to try making it at some point over the next few weeks 😊

Before we skip on over the dinner, I had 150gm of fresh plain yoghurt after swimming with the little sis for 1.5 hours at the club. So refreshing in this heat!

Dinner

Green Eggs (and no ham, Sam-I-Am). Spinach puree and eggs whites scrambled and topped with paneer and a small 30gm serving of rice.

I’ll be adding the Green Eggs recipe to the blog shortly so stay tuned for that!

That’s first day of the Transformation Challenge done ✅ Stay tuned for the other 362789 days to go

See Day 2 of my Transformation Challenge.

Big update!

So, over the last week, I have signed up to Squats Academy‘s Transformation Challenge and I am super super excited to start their programme with my mentor, Vishnu!

The programme itself involves a low carb diet and weight training with the help of multivitamin, fish oil and whey protein supplements. It’s a three month programme and I’m hoping that it’ll help me shed at least 15-20kgs over the time period.

I’ve already told all my local Calcutta friends that I will be MIA for at least the next month to ensure that I get into the flow properly without any temptations to cheat with alcohol and eating out.

Aaaaaand because I’m terrible at updating this on the regular (this will probably change drastically when the programme starts and I’m bored at home with no social life), I have set up a snapchat for the blog too! You can catch my regularly (potentially hourly) updates on there everyday! Add it using the username @TheHeavyBlog

I will try and post all the recipes and work out routines I’m using too and while everyone’s warning me of all the side effects of a drastic change in routine (migraines, nausea, etc.) – I’m just too excited about really getting this journey on the road to think about the bad bits. I’m sure there will be plenty complaining in the posts to come though.

So while I wait for this diet chart and workout programme to enter my Inbox, go follow me on snapchat already!

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Here’s a handy snapcode to help ease the process!

Current weight: 96.2kg

The Golden Triangle Adventure [The Delhi Leg 1/2]

So, the silence on the blog was due to a backpacking adventure with my mother through what is known as “The Golden Triangle” of India – a fantastic group of places known for its lavish monuments, rich history and a host of wonderful shopping opportunities.

Mother and I decided that the only way to truly embrace and experience travelling in India was to travel only by train throughout the journey (as you can see from my post about the Rajdhani here.

Let’s take each destination in order…

Delhi

Since Delhi is one of the best connected cities in India transport-wise, we decided to split our trip to the city in half with 2 days at the start and 2 days at the end. On the first half of the Delhi trip, mother and I had a wonderful time with an early lunch at United Coffee House in Connaught Place in the centre of the city.

I decided not to have a healthy lunch on this occasion because I was absolutely starving following skipping breakfast earlier that morning. I treated myself to a chicken steak (pictured below).

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And yaaaas, I ate the fries. Mmmm potato.

We walked off our scrumptious lunch with a stroll down to Janpath where there were clothes and souvenir shops galore. We didn’t do much shopping here as mother was saving herself for Jaipur and all its charming Rajasthani goods.

(I say she was saving herself – she still did buy two pairs of earrings from the stall pictured below – but if you look at the picture, you’ll see it would be quite hard to resist these earrings!)

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Earring Stall at Connaught Place

Following this, mother and I braved the mid-afternoon Delhi heat (it was ~37 degrees) in an Autorickshaw down to India Gate.

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Autorickshaw Ride to India Gate

India Gate is a fascinating monument on Rajpath which is home to the Parliament House of India and Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Home of the Indian President). The monument itself was built to commemorate those of the Indian Army who lost their lives during World War I, other confrontations in the Far East as well as the Third Anglo-Afghan War. It is absolutely beautiful and due to the sheer size of it, it’s easy to get a good picture of it without including the throngs of people crowding around you (See Exhibit A below).

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Exhibit A

That concluded our first half of the Delhi trip  as we boarded a train to Jaipur the next night – this journey was NOTHING like the one I wrote about earlier here.

I promise the Jaipur post is coming sooner than this did 🙂

Rajdhani – Travelling like a Queen [Kolkata-New Delhi]

Yesterday, mum and I set off on our backpacking adventure. Now, because I’m travelling with mum on this trip, I am afforded much better luxuries than I would if I was travelling on my own or with friends.

We started off at Howrah Station in Kolkata – a historic building quite reminiscent of the colonial era, quite like many others across the city. This place, and New Market, are the only places where I really remember that Kolkata is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The chaos and hustle is like no other. There are large groups gathered and waiting, many availing of the food kiosks, stocking up for their onward journeys, while others gather their families and sit on the floor waiting for their train to show up on the many boards. You can smell and feel the poverty that India is known for but this doesn’t take away from the humbling old school feeling of the city.

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My mum and I traveled on the Rajdhani overnight (~17 hour) train journey in a private 1st class cabin to ourselves. I’ve attached a picture of the cabin below – it may not look like much but the service provided in these places is to die for.

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Upon boarding, we were met with English-Hindi-Bengali speaking attendants and staff members who greeted us with smiling faces and a tray for evening tea. Assam tea, sandwiches, a paneer cutlet and some sweets. What more could we possibly ask for?

Of course, trying to take the healthy approach to travelling, I indulged in a black Assam tea with no sugar (Twinings do a wonderful version of it!) and the paneer cutlet as that was the least in terms of carby sugary content. It was delicious and totally worth watching my mum scoff down her entire plate – since she said the sandwich wasn’t very soon anyway!

Dinner was served a few short hours later and arrived on a course-by-course basis. We started with a mixed vegetable soup served with breadsticks and butter. It tasted great and was extremely lean. In an effort to conserve the diet, I decided to forego the breadsticks on this occasion!

 

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Main course was where I was thoroughly disappointed. I had ordered the “Continental” option which was to be a chicken spaghetti served with veg au gratin and another vegetable medley.What I received in return….well, it was interesting….

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When travelling with Eastern Railway or any other Indian Railway company where food is served, always order the Indian meal for dinner! You’ll be making a colossal mistake if you order otherwise. My mother had a fabulous chicken curry meal (pictured below) which was light and wonderful while mine (pictured above) was drenched in oil and spices that really did not belong in any form of spaghetti known to me.

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Lesson learnt! I shall be having the Indian meal on the way back to Kolkata.

After dinner, Mum and I had a little gossip about her friends and also, the lady in the cabin next door who kept trying to see what the two of us were up to before retiring to our own bunks. I, naturally, took the top bunk to save the old lady some climbing aches and read a fair bit of Jojo Moyes’ “After You,” the sequel to the critically acclaimed (and also my favourite) “Me Before You” which had a very accurate film adaptation released earlier this year.

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If you’re ever weary about taking public transport across long distances in India, try the Rajdhani trains. The service is fabulous, the staff are friendly and tend to your every need. The lovely attendant even came in to provide a turn down service for our cabin. There was a cleaner on hand who cleaned the loos every hour or as necessary and who also swept our cabins after every meal or snack. The air conditioning works a dream and there are armed police guards on board. So forget every horror story you’ve ever heard and give this train a go.

It is totally worth every penny and plus, I reached New Delhi alive, right?

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THB Rating: 7/10

Would recommend!

 

Pre-Adventure Lunching

Now, this may not look like the most appetising lunch but trust me when I say it is. While eating salads with light dressings and vegetable medleys are all well and good, we all know that the best and healthiest foods are usually the ones we have at home because of the lack of additives and preservatives.

Pictured above is a green bean and poppy seed paste mixture with a few light subtle spices. No oil was used to prepare this so this is as healthy as a lunch can get! It’s usually eaten with rice but I’m no longer about that carb-life so I had it on its own with a serving of mineral water.

I love green beans because they’re rich in vitamins but they also provide part of your protein requirement for the day. Poppyseed paste is delicious and slightly nutty in taste – it’s a delicacy in West Bengal. It also works as a wonderful antioxidant and helps to relieve asthma and other chronic respiratory issues.

THB rating: 10/10

Would recommend!

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