Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Daily Abs Menu: Oct. 5

So I thought I would start posting my daily menu. Just so you know, This is what I plan to eat today. Sometimes my stomach is too full to eat all of it. Specially when I drink 1 liter of water every day. But I thought it would help you get some ideas.

Meal 1: B'fast -- Bagel chips, hummus, and avocado with olive oil dressing.
Meal 2: Snack -- Plain yogurt and sunflower seeds.
Meal 3: Lunch -- Garbanzo bean salad with cottage cheese, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and taco seasoning. Banana.
Meal 4: Snack -- Whey Protein drink
Meal 5: Dinner -- Spinach soup, homemade crotons and pan fried lentils.
Meal 6: Snack -- Almonds

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Breakfast Ideas

So happy to report that I am losing inches with the abs diet. A coworker of mine recently not only complimented me but also asked me what exactly I was doing.

Compliments are good but when someone comes up to you and asks you, "what exactly are you doing? Tell me. I want to do it." That's when you know that your diet or lifestyle change is actually working.

I really like the abs diet but I am particular about what I eat. No way I am going to eat microwaved eggs. Or all that meat. I don't like bland food and had to actually CULTIVATE taste for fruits.

But... I am losing inches! In the right places and I feel so energized!

So here are some unconventional breakfast ideas that I want to share with you. The portions that I write are based on the amount I can eat. So modify it according to your appetite. Remember... The next meal is in 3 hours!

  1. Half a bagel with cream cheese, salmon, capers, green onions and sliced avocado.
  2.  One slice of bread with peanut butter, honey and banana.
  3. Sliced avocado with olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Serving of cottage cheese.
  4. Anything taco. Stuff a tortilla with any leftover meats or beans. Add cheese or plain yogurt.
  5. Spinach omlette with one slice of toast.
  6. Asparagus fritata.
  7. Sprouted lentils pan fried in olive oil.
  8. Savory oatmeal. Oatmeal cooked in broth, with a dash of olive oil, soy sauce and green onions.
  9. Scrambled egg, cheese and refried bean taco. I assemble the tacos and pan toast it with a little butter. The cheese helps bind all the ingredients of the taco and this is the perfect "to go" b'fast food. Pack a little salsa with it.
  10. Leftover food. Pasta, rice, chicken, anything you eat for dinner, you can eat for breakfast. If you can eat breakfast for dinner, why not dinner for breakfast? Remember, you should consume most of the calories per meal for breakfast. It took me a while to change my mindset but I can now eat something like leftover pasta sauted with spinach, cottage cheese and tomatoes for breakfast.

 OK. So some of these may not be unconventional. But some are. And in any case, I am trying to expand the kinds of food I eat. So there.

Do you have some breakfast ideas? You know the ones that don't include sugar? I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Protein Ideas

I was recently appalled when a relative of mine told me that she rarely ate protein. Not being a meat lover, she kept running short of ideas. Protein is a key fat buster. Your body needs it. So don't eat a single meal without protein!

Here is my list of healthy protein ideas:

  • Egg- any variation
  • Dry mung dal
  • Hummus
  • Chole or garbanzo beans
  • Sprouted green mung
  • Tuver dal
  • Quinoa Indian style Upma
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Peanut butter
  • Kidney beans salad
  • Black beans salad
  • Soy milk
  • Soy beans
  • Soy nuggets (available in Indian stores)
  • Whey powder
And of course meats and fish.

I plan on posting recipes for all of the above soon. If there is something you want to see first, let me know!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sample Menu 2

Eat every 3 hours

  1. Breakfast: Dry mung dal and cottage cheese
  2. Lassi and 5 nuts
  3. Lunch: Cucumber, avacado, alphaha seeds and cream cheese sandwich made with 1 slice of bread. 6 blueberries.
  4. Tomato juice and sliced cooked beets.
  5. Dinner: Spinach and mung dal with 1 roti and salaad.
  6. Fruit

Indian Store List

If you are just starting to cook Indian food, here is a list of some staple spices.

  • Cumin seeds
  • Corriander seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Chilli powder
  • Garam Masala
This will get you started. As you get more comfortable cooking indian food, you can always add more spices to the list.

Dry Mung Dal


Dash of olive oil
1/2 cup yellow mung dal
Mustard seeds
Chilli powder
Salt to taste


  1. Soak the Mung dal for 30 minutes or so.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat oil and add the mustard seeds.
  3. Once they start crackling, add turmeric.
  4. Add the soaked mung dal with very little water.
  5. Add Chilli powder and salt.
  6. Cook on slow heat until the dal is well done. This should take approximately 20-30 minutes.
Serve! Typically I eat this with some plain yogurt.

Tip: I cook 3-4 dals at one time, put them in small containers in the fridge. This makes assembling lunch easy when you are rushing to work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sample Menu of the Day

Breakfast: It really is the most important meal of the day. Eat it. For years, I never ate it. Most people I know don't eat it. I never ever felt hungry the first thing in the morning. Coffee and go! And starve by lunch time.

Not so on this diet. When you first start out, you may have to train yourself to eat something. After being on this diet for about a month, I am starving when I wake up. In fact, my early morning dreams entail food. I wake up dreaming of b'fast food and am ready to eat.

So what can you have for breakfast? Anything. But remember that it will be the most filling meal you have all day. It is the most starved you will be.

Here is a sample menu for my day. Typically, there is a gap of 3 hours between every meal.

Sample 1

  1. B'fast: 1 boiled egg, 1 toast, 5 berries and cottage cheese.
  2. 5 pistachio nuts and savory lassi: Lassi is a blend of plain yogurt, water and some spices.
  3. Lunch: Sliced turkey, crackers, cheese and soup.
  4. Tomato juice and fruit.
  5. Dinner: Roti, spinach and lentils, yogurt and salaad. Salaad is a tray of veggies served on a platter. It usually contains slices of raddish, tomatoes, boiled beets, boiled yams, cucumbers etc.
  6. Blueberries and unsalted nuts.

To be fair, I never make it to the 6th meal. I am so stuffed by then. You can be successful even if you only eat 5 meals a day.

One thing I noticed is that in the beginning, I would stuff myself with goodies in the morning. And then be repulsed by food the rest of the day. Don't worry if that happens. Your body will automatically adjust. Within a week or so, you will look at each meal and think...." I have to eat in 3 hours. Oye!!!! I cannot stuff myself!"

Another thing... I tend to eat food that is flavorful and tasty. Not too fond of meat. So I substitute with lentils instead.

Watch this space for recipes!

12 Staples

According to the Abs diet, there are 12 staple foods. Do I eat all of them every single day? Nope. I eat what I can. And there is some stuff in there that I don't really care for. But I try to include most of it in my daily diet. Here goes:

  1. Almonds and nuts
  2. Spinach and other green veggies
  3. Dairy product
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Turkey and lean meats
  6. Beans, legumes and lentils
  7. Olive oil
  8. Oatmeal
  9. Rasberries and other berries
  10. Whey Protein drink
  11. Eggs
  12. Whole grain breads
One of the best thing I learned is to combine food. Eat a handful of nuts with some raspberries. Mix and match. Treat every meal like a reverence to you body. How much good stuff can I cram in one meal?

Instead of the traditional diets where you deprive yourself of food and essentials, this is more like a celebration. Eat often. Small meals. Make the meals meaningful. Something you would enjoy and the body enjoys.

Good luck and keep me posted!

Daily Staples

Here is what I consume every day. It is my goal. Do I do it every single day? Nope. I try to. If I miss something, I try not to beat myself up. There is always the next day.

  • 8 tall glasses of water with a few drops of lime juice
  • 2 green teas
  • Milk Thistle capsules: Good to take if you think you are retaining water
  • Flax seed capsules: Helps with metabolism
  • Multi-vitamin
  • Vitamin B

About this blog...

Hello and Welcome!

I am neither a doctor, or a dietitian or even a chef. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

For the last few months, I have been very loosely following the abs diet. And I've lost weight. Numerous friends of mine have been asking me about it so I thought I'd write about what I have been doing and eating.

This diet for me is not just about losing weight. But it is about eating healthy food. And definitely about eating yummy food.

A friend of mine recently told me that she is in a food rut. She is tired of eating steamed bok-choi and fish. I was appalled that she was eating that. There is no way that I could eat such bland food day after day. So she asked me for recipes. And I told her what I had been eating. She asked me to write a blog about it.

Then this morning my sister in law called. She mentioned that she hardly eats any protein and wanted some ideas.

So there you have it. Instead of sending lengthy emails, I'll just post my plan here.

Just so you guys know, I do follow the abs diet very very loosely. I never gave up wine:) And I never gave up on taste.

I hope that you too can accomplish your goals without ever sacrificing taste.