girl sitting cross legged on a yoga mat holding dumbbell and spatula

Healthy Lifestyle: much easier than you think!

by Rasi

Many of my Indian friends ask me this when I tell them I work-out or go to to the gym as a routine: ‘but you are already thin! Why do you need to go to the gym?’ Needless to say, I judge this stupidity (and these people). Hard. Sigh. Going to gym keeps you healthy and healthy lifestyle is a personal choice.

Health has less to do with having abs and perfect cuts, and more with energy and mental health balance. The kind that the physical discipline and healthy diet brings. And the peace that it brings to your loved ones because they don’t have to tend to you when you fall ill (BECAUSE of YOUR poor health choices). And obviously so that one does not face the worst time in their aging years.

girl in white crop shirt chopping vegetables in kitchen

I would NEVER enter the kitchen wearing a white shirt by the way! but I WOULD totally be always this happy around chillies!

Old age is not kind to anyone but a careless thing such as being overweight will seriously amplify and worsen anything that happens even as a part of aging. I don’t think I need to explain the strong established correlation between bad food habits/poor BMI and high blood pressure/diabetes/heart diseases/stroke/issues with joints+arthritis in older age etc. If you don’t know this basic simple equation, then I just gave away the suspense ending anyway!

We tend to take health for granted, till we fall sick. Most people want to find their own excuses for somehow twisting healthy habits into unhealthy messes. The grind makes it extremely difficult to find time (and control) to fit-in a healthy lifestyle. Erratic working hours and chaotic lifestyle hardly leaves any time or energy make conscious health choices. But even people with means and house-help at their disposal fail to make certain changes because of lack of awareness.

Now that I have spread such joy with my news of doom and gloom, on to some tips that we could actually implement in our routine.

girl sitting cross legged on a yoga mat holding a dumbell and a spatula

The joy is real when you know you are making healthy choices

Only a few mindful choices and this becomes a way of life. (And not simply a curative measure once things are already out of hand; or just a panic phase because your wedding day is coming closer!) Health is at least 70% controlled by what we eat and 30% by active workout. It is also totally true that if we were to follow allllll the healthy habits recommended for food and physical activity, 24 hours would be much too less!

Desired results might not come overnight but they definitely come sooner than you would think

What does hold merit is mindfulness of the little things consistently. Desired results might not come overnight but they definitely come sooner than you would think. Most just give up too soon and that’s not even AFTER having sincerely followed simple things. We begin bending the simple rules right from day 1 and then complain about not seeing or feeling any difference!

Firstly the idea of “dieting” does not mean starving yourself to achieve a short term goal.
I DO NOT cut carbs. In fact, I refuse to give up my wheat flour rotis, breads and pasta! I am however, particular about:

  • eating dinner early and keeping a minimum 3-hour gap between dinner and sleep.
  • taking 4-5 meals a day to keep satiety, hunger pangs and over-eating in check.

I love my pastas, pizzas, sushi, pakodey* and other such fancy items just as much so I also include those in the menu, but ALWAYS with healthy ingredients and methods.

girl in white crop shirt posing in kitchen with a red chilli in her hand

These veggies started out as props but legit went into my salad and the chillies became a side that will be showing you soon!

Agreed that getting a six-pack is not the realistic goal here. But doing everything possible to limit/be smart about unhealthy items in the diet and following just a small amount of disciple, is more than enough! Do not confuse “healthy” with hipster choices though! You do not have to go all organic, gluten-free, cheese-free (gasp!) on your diet. Just being aware that you can sub commonly used harmful items very easily, is good enough for making healthy choices. Like plain flour and sugar in baking, or too much grease and oil in normal cooking. Items like sour cream, butter, are all replaceable with healthy and easy alternatives; and it won’t require you to begin farming or something.

I love my pastas, pizzas, sushi, pakodey* and other such fancy items just as much so I also include those in the menu, but ALWAYS with healthy ingredients and methods.

Being on a good diet does not imply that we give up certain things forever. Sugar and grease being the most commonly loved poisons. Being on a diet simply means enjoying these things for only taste and mild satiety, and not eat these items as actual meals or far too often. For example, get your fill of sweet cravings every Sunday by sharing a small portion of your favourite item for a few small bites. DO NOT quote Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s Sunday binge portions to me. The amount of working-out she does with other facilities at her disposal, she can actually afford to do that. Us all mere mortals, can only try to control our minds; to realise that gluttony with known unhealthy items is always a bad idea.These items are not for sustenance, only for pleasure and in seriously limited quantity.

girl in white crop shirt posing in kitchen with a red chilli in her hand

The boxes are important and symbolic. That part will be explored more in my next post of course

Psst, I will also tell you a secret: once you consciously choose healthy, your body begins reacting negatively to unhealthy foods and you actually lose taste for those things too! Happened with me and absolutely anything fried.

After all the harping, I am sure many would argue that this is extremely time-consuming; and with kids etc., it is downright impossible. But that is where meal-prepping/planning come into play. I will be sliding smoothly into that topic in my next related post. I will also be sharing healthy and easy recipes on the blog.

Cheat sheet*

Shilpa Shetty Kundra is an Indian actress and now an internet star who shares health and recipe ideas. She is seriously one fit mama and her Sunday Binge videos make many believe that they can get away with doing what she does with the binge. All the other things she sticks to-most of us ABSOLUTELY do not.

Pakodey are like fritters where you dip veggies or mixtures in chickpea flour batter and deep fry.

Where’s the hygge?

Taking active care of your health will manifest in all aspects of your life. Mental health strengthening, increase in energy and confidence are not the only things to make me care (although these are extremely big ones), this is a huge step towards securing a better future. Insuring your health in the truest sense.

All images in kitchen setting by Jack Mohr. Editing by Me.

Laters, people!


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