Sunday, February 28, 2010

Anger management

Yesterday, a group of young teens threw french fries at me when I was having lunch. I had shopped for some cheap boots - how stupid to buy them during the fag end of winter season - shopping always makes me hungry. I was sitting alone in a corner in a generic KFC, reading and munching on a burger, when I felt these soft thingies hitting my neck and hip.

Two years back, I'd have either confronted them or complained to the floor manager. But in this north London neighbourhood or Holloway Road, I was not able to get angry at these kids (who, by the way, all were at least 5 inches taller than me, and i'm 5'5"). Instead, I could only muster forgiving thoughts. They were clearly looking for trouble, and I wasn't going to give that to them. God knows how much trouble they have already faced in their lives.

I have finally understood that not everyone can be as privileged as I am, and that I should not feel guilty about it. Instead of feeling angry or trying to fix the problem, I have learnt to just let it be and move on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I critiqued a piece today. It was just a couple of 100 words, but the relief it brought me was enormous. I felt good. That is what is different about me now. I am able to FEEL more. Yes, I am doing less, writing less than EVER, but inside, I feel like I am expanding in a different direction. Moving, growing, spreading myself.

Living and travelling in UK has its ups and downs. More ups than downs, IMO, though others would beg to differ (their most powerful argument being that I am wasting my peak years doing nothing related to my career, which was kind of in super speed until I decided to resign and run to UK).

While that's technically true, I don't think it's that bad. By putting myself out of my comfort zone, I have learnt many lessons. I have almost lost in touch with the world I knew and the work that I was familiar with. I do not write for a living any more. I do not see familiar faces from my country. I do not speak my mother tongue, I do not do what I used to be good at.

Instead I am learning stuff. I now have a new vocation, one I am learning every day. I have new dreams, new insights, new wisdom. I am not as arrogant or confident as before. While I still have personal and professional issues, I feel like a different person. I think, from time to time, you need to shed your old skin and feel fresh and new. It gives new meaning to your life, and spurs you enjoy every second of it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So I failed on the fifth day, when I had to go back to reality and do my normal chores. Temptation was too much to resist!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dr. Joshi's Detox - Day 4

It was almost a perfect day.

I woke up with no appetite. Just had a handful of Food Doctor's Seed mix.

Lunch was a bowl of steamed french beans and sweetcorn. I seasoned it with a few drops of olive oil, rock salt, pepper and lemon juice.

I then went to the National Portrait Gallery with my friend. Wlaked around quite a bit, adding exercise to art appreciation.

Evening snack was a bowl of boiled chickpeas. Dinner was my trademark curried one-egg omelette with spinach and ginger.

Dessert? An ice cream bowl of cut banana mixed with yogurt, and flavoured with honey and cinnamon. I also added walnuts and some slivered almonds.

You would think that such a good day would have a good ending.

It did not. Because I just finished a mini tube of Smarties.

Caved in on the 4th day of the detox. Of course, I bitterly regret it now, but I learned a good lesson. As I bit into the first Smartie, my mouth was filled with a bitter, metallic taste. I really didn't enjoy those chocolate buttons, because, I think, my body has learned to identify the junk that it actually is.

And now that my tongue has told me how vile the artificial colouring on chocolate is, I will never go near them again. Even as I write this, my mouth is tasting so funny and bitter. I have to brush again!

I had given myself 3 times (out of 3 weeks), to stray from the detox, if it is unavoidable or too overwhelming. The first time had happened today. I will try my best not to let it happen again.

But I do know one thing. The next 2 times, if they happen, will NOT happen because of chocolate. After completing this detox, I may eat them now and then... may be at the movie hall or during a party - but I know I will never be addicted to chocolate again.

So may be it IS a perfect day, after all!

STRAYED? Yes :(. one small hexagonal tube of Nestle Smarties. 172 calores. Sigh.

SURPRISED? - That I could spend a day on so little food.

REPELLED? - Initial taste of chocolate was just plain horrible.

MOOD? - Sheepish and guilty but wise and relieved...

Dr. Joshi's detox - Day 3

Day 3 went okay, but I had my first craving today. It was not a nice feeling :(

I always breakfast on a curried egg omelette and a tall glass of warm lemon water, so I will not mention it again from the next post... do not want to be a parrot!

I had 3 feta rice cakes as a mid-morning snack and two more as an evening snack. This time I topped it with Food doctor's original seed mix, a savory mix of dry-roasted sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, hem and linseed seeds(this is a must if you are doing the detox, bcos on spoon of this will keep your sugar levels good between the meals and stop any cravings). It was okay, but I will go back to plain linseed topping. Seed mix is great only when munched on its own!

Lunch was a big bowl of roasted carrots and brussels sprouts, with home made hummus dip. There is pretty much no hope for brussels sprouts, but if you slice your carrots really thin (use a grater), add a few drops olive oil+rock salt+pepper and roast them for 30 minutes, they come out as these incredible chips. It is almost like cheating, lol.

Dinner was a small bowl of lentils mixed with brown rice, accompanied by masala salmon. I took one slice of salmon, chopped it, and sauteed it in 1/2 a tsp of olive oil, with a generous sprinkling of garam masala and chilli powder. I find that I am very reluctant to cook for dinner... I have the energy to experiment in the kitchen during the day, but as soon as it becomes 8pm, I start getting sleepy, and by 9pm, I cannot wait go to bed, so I just heat up whatever is in the fridge as have it as dinner. Hmmm, must do something about this... brown rice may be healthy, but I won't be losing much weight if I am eating it everyday!

Dessert was a banana, bcos for some reason, I did not want to have the cinnamon yoghurt. I have been pee'ing a lot during the day, which is tend to happen, I guess, if I drink 2 litres of water. I did wake up in the night today around 2am, but went back to sleep promptly.

Strayed? - NO

Surprised? - Carrot chips was yummy

Repelled? - There is really no way to make brussels sprouts tasty.

Cravings? - Had my first longing for hot chocolate today when I watched an ad on TV (this was during the 8pm-9pm FRIENDS telecast on E4). Then for about 30 seconds, I considered dropping the detox and stuffing myself with chicken biriyani and chocolate fondue. I immediately got up and had a banana, and the feeling reluctantly went away.

Mood? - Calm but a little uneasy

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dr. Joshi's detox - Day 2

Something incredible – no no, three things incredible have happened and I HAD to blog in the middle of Day 2.

Incredible thing no. 1:
I woke up at 7am. I slept at 9pm last night and woke up at 7am today. In case, it doesn't strike as unusual, I am used to waking up AT LEAST 3 times during any night. No, not to go to the loo, but just wake up randomly, look at the ceiling for a few minutes, and then go back to sleep. I was not an insomniac, but I certainly was a disturbed sleeper.

That I went to bed at 9am itself was a surprise, because I have never done that. I usually stay awake till 11pm, and even if I needed to go to bed early, it is always because of an fatigue-filled day or if I HAD to get up early the next morning. So when I slept at 9am and got up at 7am on Detox Day 1, without even waking up once... gosh, I do not know when that happened last. Years and years ago, I am sure!

Incredible thing no. 2
I made myself a one-egg omelette of breakfast. My recipe for omelette is a little detailed. Beat an egg in a bowl, and add a tablespoon of rice milk, along with a pinch of table salt and 2 pinches of Korma curry powder. Put a non-stick tava or flat pan on medium heat. Saute ½ an onion in ½ tsp of olive oil for 3 minutes, add green chilli, ginger and garlic , and saute for two more minutes. Now add ½ a cup of fresh spinach leaves, and saute for three more minutes.

Now, pour the egg into the pan and twirl the pan around to distribute the egg evenly. Sprinkle fresh ground pepper according to your level of tolerance and let the egg set for a minute. Then flip the egg over (doesn't matter if it breaks!), turn off the stove, and remove the pan from stove top. Let the omelette remain in the pan for one more minute, and then transfer it to a plate.

This omelette is incredibly light and tasty, but also incredibly inadequate to be a filling breakfast. But today, instead of half an onion and half cup of spinach, I added one onion and one cup of spinach. After finishing this, I didn't feel like I need another omelette! Aha! So that's the secret. Increase the amount of veggies.

Later, around 11am, I spread some marinated feta on a rice cracker and bit a bit piece. As I started to munch, and felt as if someone kicked into my throat. I started coughing like mad and had to drink some water. Then I returned back to remaining rice cake, and took baby bites. Tiny nibblings, and this time, I didn't cough. God! Was that actually my own body telling me not to wolf down food and savour it slowly??? Phew!!!

Incredible thing no. 3
So this is what happened – last night, I weighed myself in the new digital weighing machine. It showed 70.21 kgs!!! Eeeek! Then I remembered – clothes add to the weight (especially if you are living in wintry London and wear three layers!). So I weighed myself in my birthday dress. The scale 69.55 kilos. Bleh.

So today morning, on walking up, I did my business in the loo and my eyes fell on the weighing machine. Again, stripped and got on it. Now I am 69.15.... hmmmm.

So I did my breakfast and usual bits of writing and then it was 1pm... time for lunch. I had to pass the bathroom to go to kitchen... you know what I did not, yeah, weighed myself again. And the machine showed..... 68 kgs!!!!!!

What the heck?? Is this even possible? I have not been eating any junk food for only 2 days, and I have already lost 1.5 kilos??? Either the machine is faulty... or this detox must really be magical!!!


Lunch - A bowl of boiled green beans and carrots, with a peppery olive oil spray on them. I also had an incredibly supersweet corn on the cob

Snack - Rice cakes with marinated feta and chopped onion, sprinkled with linseed

Dinner - Salmon with dal and brown rice

Desset - There was a bit of the yogurt+honey+walnut+slivered almonds gop left in the fridge, and I did not want to throw it away (I can never throw away food, I was once jobless in London and almost starved). I added a pinch of cinnamon in the yogurt and wow! what a transformation!!! Instantly, the mess became bearable, even enjoyable. I licked the cup clean :)

Strayed? - NO

Surprised? - A pinch of cinnamon did what a teaspoon of honey didn't

Repelled? - Frozen green beans is definitely not similar to fresh green beans.

Cravings? - None whatsoever

Mood? - Feeling strong and empowered

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dr. Joshi's Detox - Day 1

The day has begun!

I did a dry run in the past 2 days and most of my craving and fears were spent on those two days, so I was surprisingly calm and tensionless today. Physically, I am not quite okay as I have a racking cough, a runny nose and a lethargic mood, due to sinus problems. I even had a temperature, and not much of an appetitie, which was a blessing in disguise, otherwise I would have never been able to resist my unending hunger for junk food.

So here's Day 1 menu:

On waking up, 7am – 1 tall glass of warm water with a tbsp of squeezed lemon. Supposed to cleanse your liver and stomach, after a night's fasting.

Breakfast , 8:30am – 1 egg omelette, scrambled with onion and spinach. Added a small green chilli and a bit of Korma powder, for flavour. It was yummy, but I SO badly wanted to have another egg omelette I then took a deep breath and started eating a banana, and the craving passed.

In about 10 minutes, I started getting ravenous. I then consumed two thin Kallo rice cakes. Surprisingly, I did not have any cravings after that. I was able to work on my writing quietly, till I went to the kitchen around 12:30pm to start cooking and my gaze fell on Food Doctor's original seed mix. Yummy! Had a couple of tbsp of it, and instantly felt energised.

Lunch (1:30pm) – I cooked! I made ladies finger (okra) fry, brown basmati rice and boiled lentils. I am used to eating mild lentils, so I made the okra spicy. Funny, but I made enough for 3 days!

After cooking I realised something... what Joshi was actually advertising was Indian brahmin cooking! That's not a tough thing at all... I have been missing Indian food so much, I have absolutely NO problem eating mild Indian food for the next 3 weeks!

Evening snack – This is where I usually stuff myself with chocolate bars or cakes. I had been scourging the net for Joshi-friendly recipes and came upon a wonderful site called, which has many detox-friendly recipes. One was called Marinated Feta. As per the recipe, I cut the feta cheese into small blocks, put them in a glass bowl and added 1/4 teaspoons of coriander and turmeric, and one chopped green chilli. I poured one tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil and one tablespoon of and chilli-infused olive oil. I then sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano, thyme and rosemary.

The mix was supposed to be marinated for at least a day, but greedy me couldn't wait and pounced on it at once. When I tossed the mix, the feta blocks broke and the whole thing kind of became gooey. Not a problem, I just spread them on my Kallo rice cake and topped with finely chopped onion. Yum-my!

Dinner (8pm): Since I had rice in the afternoon, I thought I will keep it light and veggie-friendly for dinner. THOUGHT being the past tense. I rally wanted to have curried carrots, peas and sauteed Brussels sprouts, but I did NOT feel like cooking, after spending an hour today afternoon in the kitchen. So I just had another bowlful of lentils and brown rice with the okra fry.

I am not sure if this constitutes "cheating", but I did not consume any forbidden food... in my defence, dinner was a very small bowl and I was full very soon - which is a miracle by itself.

Dessert (9pm): A small cup of live yogurt, with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of walnut pieces+almond slivers. Pretty much bleh, but at least I could keep the sugar cravings aside.

It quarter past 9 now and I am feeling sleepy! Never happened before... am I going to get a good night's sleep? I hope so... I stil hav a blocked nose and phlemy cold, so I am looking forward to a peaceful trip to La-la land...

Strayed? - No... (I think)

Surprised? - Marinated feta on rice crackers... super!

Repelled? - Plain yogurt with honey and apricots does NOT taste nice

Mood? - Upbeat and hopeful

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dr. Joshi's DETOX for 21 days

I am embarking on a diet from today. Yeah, yeah, I know this must be the millionth time I have said THAT, but I am very positive about this one. It is based on Dr. Nish Joshi's Ayurvedic principles. It is not based on starvation, rather we are encouraged to eat till we feel full... but what we eat is the key here. It is a detox diet, which means that the food is going to be so fresh and homemade and additive-free that the body pushes out the toxins stored inside, in order to welcome the new, healthy sustenance.

We CANNOT eat -
Red meat
Seafood, except oily fish
Dairy produce
Fruits, except bananas
Wheat, gluten and yeast
Veggies belonging to the nightshade family, i.e., mushrooms, augergines, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and green/red/yellow peppers
Jams and spreads
Coffee and tea, except herbal
Sugar, chocolate and sweets
Artificially produced flavourings, such as ketchup, vinegar and mustard

I know, what is actually left, jeez!

Actually, plenty. In the next 21 days, I can consume reasonable quantity of:

Goat's cheeses (like feta)
White meat – chicken and turkey
Brown basmati or long grain rice
Live yoghurt (unsweetened)
Dark green leaves and vegetables, except avocado
Eggs, no more than 3 to 4 a week
Fish, especially oily but NOT shellfish, tuna or swordfish
Gluten free/wheat free cereals, rice crackers and breads
Olive oil
Pulses, lentils, chick peas
Soya and tofu products

I stocked my pantry with the following items (cost me £25 at Waitrose) – Live yogurt, Rice milk, Brown Basmati, Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, carrots, red lentils, salmon (4 big pieces), onions, fresh garlic and ginger, mild green chillies, green tea, walnuts, fresh coriander.

(I already had extra virgin olive oil, lemons, and all herbs and Indian spices at home... this is a staple if you want to do this diet, invest in the Indian spices to make your detox tasty... at the barest minimum, you should have: Ground coriander, cumin seeds, black mustard, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, korma powder, garam masala, rosemary, thyme, oregano)

Wish me luck!