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January 2011 eRecipes

Posted on 09/25/2011 at 06:05 PM by Madhu Gadia

January 2011
Happy New Year

Dear Madhu,

January is a time of new beginnings. Although I don’t make New Year’s resolutions per se, I do think about what I would like to accomplish in the coming year. Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, and eating healthier. You may hear that the statistics against sticking to these resolutions are not very good, but I would say once you set goals, you are more likely to achieve them than if you did not.

Eating Healthfully: I just got back from vacation and I’m still stuffed. My whole family, 21 of us, rented a house near the beach and spent a week eating, laughing, and just hanging out. It seemed the most important focus of the day was eating… isn’t that what holidays and vacations are all about? We all brought tons of food, we cooked, and we ate out. I feel like I ate everything in sight, definitely more than I typically do, and the scale verified it. But oh well, I know that in the next 1 to 2 weeks I will lose that extra weight. It will require some diligence to make better food choices and watch portions. Here are some guidelines I give my clients as well as follow myself to lose weight, whether it is 2 or 50 pounds.

  1. Eat 3 meals a day. Do not skip meals. Add snacks only as needed. (If you prefer to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day, that’s fine too.)
  2. Focus on vegetables. Eat 4 or more servings of vegetables per day. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber. A serving is 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked vegetables.
  3. Include 2 to 3 fresh fruits every day. A serving of fresh fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.
  4. Monitor portions. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Over the years the size of food portions offered in restaurants or grocery stores has grown by 2 to 4 times what they used to be. To make sure you are eating the right amount, use measuring cups, spoons, and food scale.
  5. Keep a diary. It is so easy to eat a bite here and a bite there and not realize it. A very powerful way to really know what you actually ate is to write it down: everything that goes in the mouth goes in the food diary.
  6. Exercise regularly. It takes more motivation to be active in the winter, especially if you live in the cold, snowy parts of the country. Find a time of the day that works for you and make sure you do it. Or join an exercise class—I find that I always work out harder in a class and enjoy it more.
  7. Make meals tasty and satisfying. I am a firm believer that healthy and tasty foods go hand in hand. Make sure the foods you’re choosing are satisfying and tasty to you, only then you will stick to your meal plan in the long run.

Meal Plans: For your convenience, I have planned 2 weeks of 500-calorie Vegetarian Meal Plans. The recipes are from my two books, The Indian Vegan Kitchen and New Indian Home Cooking. These plans will help you get started and guide you to create your own variety of menus.

January Recipes: This month I am sharing my recipes that appeared in the November/December issue of Diabetic Cooking Magazine. The article is titled “Healthy Whole Grains,” and features wholesome main dishes and sides. You will find five recipes with an international fusion of flavors; Whole Wheat Pasta with Seafood and Greens (305 calories), Beans and Spinach Bruschetta (215 calories), Quinoa Pancakes with Tomato Chutney (265 calories), Farro Veggie Burgers (256 calories), and Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Tomato-Avocado Salsa (152 calories).

Whole Wheat Pasta with Seafood and Greens
Beans and Spinach Bruschetta
Quinoa Pancakes with Tomato Chutney
Farro Veggie Burgers
Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Tomato-Avocado Salsa

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

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