Self-Awareness

Top 12 Ways to Beat Your Sugar Cravings

Umm, sugar is so yum. How can anyone have coffee or tea without ‘S-U-G-A-R’!! But it is also the most contagious ingredient and the biggest enemy of the heart! So let’s ‘manage’ it. Bring a balance.

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1. DIAGNOSE IT CORRECTLY: sugar cravings are a lot more about something else and a lot less about ‘sugar’. We crave sugar for a reason other than the sugar. The sugar has a potential to give our brain ‘happy signals’ so what else is your brain missing which could bring the ‘Happy Feeling’? Love? Nutrition? Food when hungry? Relaxation?

2. EAT MORE DARLING: S-T-O-P starving!! It never helps, not in the short term and it 100% harms in the long-term. You rather eat 6 small meals a day every 2.5 to 3 hours than have 3 large plate-fulls.

3. PLAN AHEAD: What are you eating at the next meal? Decide before you wrap up this one. That way you are not scrambling for food when your stomach is screaming ‘Hunger’. What choices to make at the party / travel? E.g. eat ahead and then leave, pack health food, plan to visit places that give you healthy food options, etc.

4. SEEING IS BELIEVING: Our brain is so programmed to ‘see’ things before interacting with them. So let your brain interact with the healthy stuff more and you have won your battle half way through. Right now check what your pantry and snack drawer shows you when you open it? Do you see more sugar or more health? Also, keep your meals READY in See Through containers right at your vision.

5. ATTRACTION IS THE KEY: You are building a RELATIONSHIP with your food, so better make it attractive!!! While you decide on MORE salads, soups, oats and juices, add some nuts, seeds, cilantro, dates, raisins, strawberries or whatever your require to make your body CRAVE for the healthy food in the same way as it craves for the sugary foods.

6. RAKE THE FAKE: Rake out or throw away all your fake sugars – sugar free, diet cokes, Splenda, etc. are very harmful to our brain since they are more processed and contain essences or ingredients that are chemically harmful. You rather have a whole bar of chocolate with sugar in it than have one piece of sugar free chocolate. Your body can fight out the former much more easily since it is much less complex food!

7. CUT THE BRANCH: Stop ‘Hanging Out with your Guilt’ forever. You ate it, that moment is gone forever! You criticizing yourself, thinking about it a 1000 times, beating yourself up will not help one bit. Rather take a pen-paper, write your next goal, stick it on the wall

8. WHO ARE YOUR REALLY?: Ask the Sugar – “Who are you really?” Is the sugar your hurt from past relationships, resentment and bitterness towards your parents, partner or friends? Is it your habit from childhood to protect yourself or to make yourself feel better? Is it your way to relive your happy moments that you miss or just the lack of enough sleep?

9. SLEEP EARLY: Do this for 30 days in a row, sleep before 10.45pm and a 100% you will see a dip in your addiction, weight, stress and a growth in your health. Now, I am in the challenge too, I need to be accountable as well.

10. FOOD JOURNAL: My Dietician Anuvi taught me this in 2006 and it has been my savior whenever I put my mind to it. Note down every little thing you ate, in each of its amount and time of the day and run back on your notes each week. You will surprised how many times you told you mind – “I am only having a little bit” Food Journals have great ‘mirroring’ power, use it to your benefit.

11. KNOW YOUR FOOD: Carbs is also sugar. The chapatti and grapes are sweet tasting because they have carbs which convert into sugar in our body. Do your best to include more proteins, fiber and less sugary veggies in your diet.

12. BUNK THE CALORIES: In the 18 kgs I shed in a year, not once have I looked at calories. Eat clean carbs, more protein and some fats.

Article Credit: Inspired by Kathy – my once upon a time, Fitness Trainer Friend

Image Credit: Flickr found on Google images.

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Cooking

Falafel Fiesta – Yum!!

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Although Falafel is a Mid-East recipe, every Indian knows how to incorporate his /her own taste and definition to a recipe from around the world. In case if you haven’t already heard, Indians are good ‘Creative Copy-Cats (CCC)’, the way I put it! lol

So here is my CCC Falafel half inspired by me watching my talented aunt cook Falafel a few years ago and half inspired by my crazy mind. This purely Vegetarian dish can also be made VEGAN by keeping out the Optional Ingredients and can be awed for its nutritional fillers- high proteins, calcium, iron, with moderate carbs and fats.

We need:

  1. Butter as per needed on the bread slice when preparing final serving
  2. ½ Onion – white or red (in India onions are way smaller in size, may require to use 2 onions, refer to my picture below to know the quantity)
  3. 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  4. 2 cloves
  5. 1 tsp black pepper – crushed or powder
  6. Sesame seeds – ½ cup
  7. * Optional ingredient: Yogurt – ½ cup
  8. Salt as per needed for each time of use
  9. 1 cup chick peas or garbanzo beans soaked for 6hours.
  10. 1 big palm sized potato or equivalent number of small size
  11. * Optional: Paneer – cottage cheese, crushed to make half to one cup. Make at home by boiling and tearing boiling milk with vinegar or lemon. You can find tons of recipes for how to make paneer at home or get Ready paneer from store. In Usa, you will find Paneer in the frozen section of Indian stores
  12. * Optional: Cheese – 1/4th cup
  13. Tabasco: 4drops
  14. Sriracha Sauce: 1/4th to ½ tsp (as spicy as you want

HOW TO COOK IT

  1. 20150408_181124 Roast white sesame seeds in a non-stick pan on med to low heat until they turn light brown. Stir every minute, making sure you are tossing those seeds around pretty well. They do love carousel rides!
  2. Once light brown remove from stove and allow to cool in a cool area of home, preferably out of the kitchen and under the fan (make sure your fan is clean ;))
  3. Meanwhile, we will prepare the base of our stuffing.
    20150408_180147 chop fine. Red onion is ok too.
  4. Pressure cooker or any untensil to boil the garbanzo beans.
  5. In med. to big sized Pressure Cooker (or Rice cooker), 1 Tbsp of oil; when hot, add 2 inch stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 tsp crushed black pepper or black pepper powder.
  6. add onions, roast on med to high flame till translucent in color.
  7. Add garbanzo / chick peas and fill water to 2-3 inches above chick peas.
  8. To make the chick peas softer, add salt to
  9. Boil in cooker with 6 whistles. (Adjust whistle no. as per your cooker)

20150408_180303 Kept to boil in pressure cooker

10. Meanwhile we will make our own version of ‘ Tahini Dip’. Crush the cooled sesame seeds in a dry grinder 1st 20150408_183101

11. Once crushed, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the dry, ground sesame powder. Churn it once if needed. Add 3 Filled Tbsp of Yogurt (*optional, this is my own addition) and store this dip in a tightly covered container to preserve the flavor.

12. When the pressure cooker cools, separate the potato from the chick peas

13. Peel potato skin. Mash the boiled, peeled potato and add paneer – cottage cheese. Top with salt and 1tsp of red chilli powder (add more or less as per requirement)

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14. Add quarter cup cheese

15. Mash the chickpeas, potato, paneer all in one

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16. Add salt, tabasco 4 drops, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (as spicy as needed)

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17.  images All the parts are ready. Unlike Traditional Falafel, I do not make them into balls. I leave it like a paste.

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

18. Take your Bread slices, add butter, layer with tahini dip, chick peas paste, bite into this delightful dish!

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