Saturday, 15 March 2014

Personal Improvements

Last year I went through a minor surgery. It was sudden and a bit painful too. After recovery, I made some quick decisions and they were related with improvements in my lifestyle. I identified key areas where I needed to work on pronto basis. These areas were, Exercise, Stress Management and Diet. Instead of making new year resolutions, I commenced the improvement plan immediately. 

I looked at my current exercise pattern which was haphazard and without direction. So, i started tracking my exercise pattern, increased the time and made regular checks on my progress.  I also got my basic medical check ups done. Blood and Urine Test, Blood Pressure, Sugar, BMI index, etc. I also registered on my company's health web portal and found very useful hints and tips. Now I follow a timetable and track my exercise. Good news is that I have reduced some kilos and fat at the waist line.

I do realize that no matter how well I do in physical exercise, it will go to waste if I don't manage my diet. And I have made very significant improvements in that area. I have assessed my food intake pattern and made some key decisions. Reduce eating out (once or twice a month), add grains, fruits and fiber diets in your intake. In this part of the world, we use a lot of cooking oil (vegetable oil / sunflower oil / canola oil) and a lot of deep fried stuff too. We also use lots of spices and in good quantities too. So, I had a detailed chat on this with my wife and shared the suggested changes that I need in my diet plan. 

  •  Vegetable oil is out and Olive Oil is in. 
  • Increase quantity of fish / chicken (steamed)
  • Add grains and fiber in the diet
  • Reduce cups of tea from 3 cups per day to 2 with reduce serving sizes.
  • Have Green Tea / Lemon Tea after lunch
  • Reduce Carbs
  • Monitor Water intake
  • Absolutely NO to fizzy drinks (especially Cola drinks)
  • Have early dinner (atleast try to have)
  • Reduce Sugar (mainly from chocolate) 
  • Most important, learn to say 'No' to tempting food items

I have taken matters into my own hands and I am happy that I pay attention to what I am eating and would like to eat. I pay keen attention while shopping for groceries, previously my attention was on the bill, Now I want to know what I am buying.

The day begins with glass of fresh water. Honey on toast and half cup of tea (to wake me up!). After an hour or so, I take few bites of granola bars. I have found some very delicious flavors here in local super market.

By mid day, I leave office to pick my sweet little Zoha from school and have lunch at home. I prefer to have vegetables in lunch. My office tea counter serves delicious green tea with lemon, so I take one cup of hot green tea in the afternoon. 

For dinner, I have made weekly plan to mix and match according to mood. Sometimes it is chicken sandwich in Oregano bread, steamed chicken in olive oil, little tomato/chilli sauce and lemonade to slide it down! 

 Same chemistry goes for steamed continental fish sandwich. (they both look the same! but taste completely different!)

Marconi and minced meat prepared with garlic, tomato puree, chilli sauce, vinegar, Chinese salt, black pepper and pinch of salt.

Something that rally gives me pleasure to make and eat is a mixture of Chicken Sausage, macroni, Corn, Blackeye Beans, Chickpeas, kidney beans (Red), Green Peas, Pineapple pieces, Pineapple juice mixed with little mayonnaise. It tastes great when served cold. It's very light and filling.

I also love fish & chips with mild herb sauce.

Add flavor by soothing and refreshing drinks, suitable for summers!

Make improvements in your life style, it will benefit you in the long run. To manage stress I give myself an hour everyday. In a park I sit and listen to music, read a book or play with children. In office, I have looked into many time wasting activities and try to eliminate them or work around them. I have also found traffic free routes to reach home from work without delay and hassle. On week-ends I spend some time improving my plants / flower pots or wash / clean my car. 

During my last visit to Istanbul, I found really good jigsaw puzzles based on Oriental Puzzles. 1000 and 1500 pieces respectively. I really enjoyed making them and got them framed.

I am just trying to say, to manage stress, do something that you really like to do. Something that takes your mind off from the daily work and life challenges.

So far, I am very content with these little changes. I would like to improve them. If you have any suggestions, please share them with me. I hope you like today's reading.

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