Hi everyone, I am here with a different sort of post today. Last month, I went through a medical procedure which can be considered minor but it changed my life forever. I had been seeing a Gynecologist for about 6 months when we discovered that the Uterus mouth was closed, the Fallopian tubes were blocked and just a few hours before the operation, the Ultrasound showed a 10mm Ovarian Cyst. I was heartbroken. Of course, the doctor and nurses tried to calm me down by giving me the statistics, about how it is a routine procedure these days. I was still terrified. And even now (that it is over), I do not like to remember the 3 days I was there.
This is the first time I am openly talking about it but I am not ashamed. It was a condition and it has been treated. All of my other reports were normal so I know the problems was not entirely about what I eat. But somewhere in my heart, I believe the studies that claim these conditions to be more prevalent in overweight people. And I have been Overweight, Obese and then Overweight for more than 15 years of my life now. So anyway, two days after my operation I decided to change my lifestyle and fortunately came across a book that gave me ideas on how to implement it. I am talking about “The Great Indian Diet” by Shilpa Shetty and Luke Coutinho.
Book: The Great Indian Diet
Author(s): Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Luke Coutinho
Claim: Why run after the West when we already have the best?
Join Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Luke Coutinho as they tell you just how nutritious your locally grown and sourced ingredients are and that there’s no need to look beyond borders to tailor the perfect diet. The book touches upon various food categories and not only tells you how to take care of your nutritional intake but also how to burn fat in the process. The combined experience of a professional nutritionist and an uber-fit celebrity who swears by the diet will open your eyes to why Indian food is the best in the world.
I read this book cover to cover in one day, it helped that I was on bed rest. And even though I knew following all the tips 100% of the time was not going to be my cup of tea, I made the decision to take 5 tips and apply them to my lifestyle. I will share my progress report later in this post, but let me first give you a little idea about what this book ,and “The Great Indian Diet” this book endorses, is all about.
The book starts with an introduction about how the authors met and how they came together to create this book. We all know Shilpa Shetty Kundra. Well I didn’t know about Luke Coutinho so found out that he is also famous holistic nutritionist, speaker, exercise physiologist, lifestyle medicine and integrative healer. He is also the author of “Eat Smart, Move More, Sleep Right – Your Personal Health Coach“.
They busts many myths about Indian food and also share details about the benefits of spices and other condiments used in Indian Cooking. I was glad to see the synchronicity between the messages that they shared and with what I had read in Rujuta Diwekar’s “Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight” and “Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha“. And I also advocate the “Eat Local, Think Global” lifestyle so I was mentally nodding while reading.
I found the section on Indian spices, cooking oils and balanced meals interesting. It helped me find out that I was missing out on my Fruit and Veggie Servings. I am a vegetarian and for many reasons my diet has been protein deficient. I found many tips to meet this challenge too. For people who like to cook, there are recipes in the end section to try out. I cook for 5 adults all times of the day so it is not possible for me. I liked the inclusion of Shilpa’s before and after photos from her post natal weight gain and loss. She has always been so fit, it was interesting to know how she faced this challenge. I think she looked fabulous in her chubbier avatar. But yeah, she’s svelte and is so disciplined. She is such an inspiration!
5 Tips I Incorporated from The Great Indian Diet to my life:
- Drink Green Tea. I have never really loved Green tea, it takes a bit of getting used to, but I don’t really hate it anymore. I knew the health benefits it has but I was not very particular with consuming it regularly. So now I drink one cup of Green Tea with Honey everyday in the evening after walk. It helps me relax while also giving me some comfort since it is so cold outside.
- Eat more servings of Fruits and Vegetables. I have always been a huge fan of salads! I like most fruits available in India but I somehow was a bit lazy in consuming them everyday. I would have a slice or two when I cut them for the family. Same with vegetables. Now I make salad and ensure a (little) bowl is there for me at least once a day to consume. And I take it before my meal so that I feel full fast.
- Use Healthy fats (especially Clarified Butter). I have always loved Ghee but for years there has so much negativity about consuming it that I stayed away from it. No doubt my skin has gotten drier over those years too. I now ensure that I consume a little bit of it either by adding it to my dal or applying it on my chapati. I use Patanjali Cow’s Ghee these days.
- Exercise regularly. 7 days after my operation I had to start doing the household chores. My stitches would hurt occasionally. 3 days passed and I kept on procrastinating going for a walk. Then one thought changed it all. I realized I was doing stuff for others even bearing pain then why did I not do something for myself too? That day I went for a walk and came back (in slight pain in the stitches) within 25 minutes. Slowly I have made it to the 1 hour walk. Today is the 30th day after my operation and I feel 90% recovered.
*I do not recommend exercising immediately after medical procedures. My gynaecologist suggested walking on the day my stitches were cut off. All these days, despite my responsibilites, I have kept a keen eye on how I am feeling. I stop when I feel too uncomfortable.
- Eat Balanced meals. I am guilty of eating Carbohydrate rich meals. I do not drink milk. I do not consume curd at night. I used to detest green leafy vegetables. But now I try to incorporate all the 3 main components of food – Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. I am trying to specifically increase my protein intake through pulses, peanuts, dry fruits, cottage cheese etc.
My Old Lifestyle:
I used to eat 3 main meals with 2-3 chapatis , veggies and curd for breakfast and lunch while I had 1 chapati with dal and/or veggies for dinner.
I also had a cup of tea either in the morning or evening (or sometimes both) which I replaced with Green tea occasionally.
I did not exercise a lot specifically, but my household chores started at 6 am and end at 11 am (of course the chores are never ending but the main work does) and since I was standing and doing something during these 5 hours so I considered that a workout.
I consumed a couple of cookies/Lays with tea and I ate out (Pizza or burger) not more than twice a month. I was not a huge fan of Fizzy drinks. (This diet started in July 2015 when I shifted to Delhi. My diet was considerable unhealthy before this time)
*My weight has stayed stable for over 4 years (so my main problem is losing the weight I gained long ago since I have not gained weight all these years.)
My New Lifestyle:
I eat 3 main meals a day with only Lunch time when I consume chapati. I have switched from Whole Wheat flour to Whole Wheat flour + Gram Flour + Oatmeal chapati. I have 2 Besan + Oats chilla in the morning or a whole wheat bread + veggie sandwich for breakfast. For dinner I have Tomato soup and veggie + fruit salad or Dal and Veggies + Fruit salad. If I am hungry in between meals, I like to snack on peanuts or almonds (a handful or less).
I do not drink tea more than twice a week but I consume green tea with honey every evening. I try to limit myself to 1 Oats cookie.
I go for a 1 hour walk everyday. I am yet to do brisk walking (it has been less than 30 days since the operation) but I have managed to build my stamina for this time frame. I sometimes use the stationary bike in my home to burn extra calories (not more than 10 minutes right now else I get cramps).
No sugar-y drinks. I have not eaten out in more than a month.
I have not weighed myself but I see a change in how my clothes fit. I will be weighed on my next visit to the Gynecologist and I am expecting a weight loss of about 4-5 Kilograms. Since I was given about 20 bottles on Glucose when I was hospitalized, I expect that to show up and eat my progress a little 🙁 But I am sure I will do better next.
I will definitely share more about my Weight Loss journey in the future. I will start taking Before and After photos as well. To be considered slim, I need to drop at least 12 kg more so I have no idea when it will happen. I mainly want to be fit (generally in life and also for the baby I want to have.)
If you are looking into changing your lifestyle, be more fit or lose weight, I would highly recommend The Great Indian Diet! I think it is one of the books that will give you simple tips to improve your lifestyle without making you go insane.