I have been struggling with weight loss for the last 3 years and I have to say, I feel very tired and helpless. But I have faith in myself to keep trying again and again and hope that along the way,i might hit the jackpot and lose all the weight i want to lose,and not gain it back.
Till now,if something goes wrong,I end up blaming my mother for making this with extra oil,or keeping that in my eyesight.But this time,i have decided to become completely responsible for my own meals.I have decided to plan and make everything myself.Since I go to college,it might be hard to make Everything for myself in the morning.But I am going to try and cut up all the veggies/marinade any fish or chicken the night before and get the prep work done myself.
Since I know that I am not alone in my struggle,I am sharing with you the items I have found to be helpful in giving me some creative ideas to try out for my project Plan-My-Meals.
**Sorry,for the lack of photos,but I will do updates every Friday with the week’s meals and their photos,and I will update this post as well,whenever I make the foods listed here.**
Although India has become so “urbanized” and you can get almost everything you want under the sun at some superstores like Lulu Hypermarket or Reliance Fresh, finding fresh and healthy produce is tough and expensive and we have to keep switching out unavailable products from these recipes.
How To Plan Your Meals:
It is pretty easy actually,just get a book and start by writing the month on top of the page and start planning the meal you want to make for each day of the month.Make sure not to repeat the same food over and over again.This is the main challenge in my case,since i know that if i keep eating the same thing i will get bored of it and go off the plan.So you need to keep coming up with fresher ideas and keep mixing up the meal ideas.
Make sure to plan lunch box friendly food for working days that does not require much work and more tasty elaborate lunch ideas for weekend lunches.
I like to keep my breakfasts and dinner fairly light and don’t mind much repetition during these.
But no matter what meal it is,there are some things that i like to think are necessary when eating healthy.
My favorite staples included in my meals are:
Varieties of Salads :I cut up the vegetables the night before and keep them frozen for use the next morning or for my college lunch. I also like to add apples or pomegranates in my salad to give it a spin.I am trying to experiment and make different kinds of salads everyday to keep things more interesting.The dressing i like to use is some curd with a spoon of white vinegar and some salt and pepper and even a little bit of oregano.I am not using oil here either.
The common staples I like to use are: Cucumber,Onion,Cabbage,Carrot,Tomato and Capsicum (Green Bell Pepper), Boiled Egg,Chicken.
Chapati/Roti : Since i am not going to be eating a lot of carbs from now,I am going to make chapati dough in advance and keep it in the fridge so as to make 1 chapati whenever i feel like i need some kind of filling carbs. This will be a great addition to the meal since i don’t like to take just salads/vegetable sautes to college.So i could fill one roti up with some filling and make a very good roll to take to college.
Hummus:We have always been big hummus lovers at my house and I think you should make hummus in advance and keep it in the fridge since it keeps for a long time. I like to use either 1-2 tbsp of hummus as a spread with the roti and some vegetables or eggs. Or you could use 2-3 tbsp of it with some cucumber or carrot sticks for a healthy snack/light breakfast.
Set Curd/Yogurt: You need to keep some set curd/yogurt handy since they can be used either as a snack with some fruits or as a spread with some salt and pepper and spread it on roti or a slice of bread and top it with cucumber to make a great cucumber sandwich. Or you could make a salad seasoning by mixing it with some
Fruits: These can be anything from apples,pomegranate,berries,grapes and watermelon to banana,guava and passion fruit. Just make sure you have some handy at all times for when you hit that sweet craving.
Easy Lunch Ideas:
As you all know,I am a college student and although i want to be healthier,sometimes I do not like to look I am controlling my food and trying to be healthy since that always leads to a lot of questions and conversations that leave me uncomfortable. So here are some healthy lunch ideas that I’d like to take to college.
Chapati Wrap: There are so many options for filling up chapatis that it is endless.
Here are some of my picks:
- Hummus+Onion+Cucumber+Onion+Carrot+Cabbage+Tomato (These are very filling due to the cabbage)
- Yogurt Spread+Hard Boiled Egg+Onion
- Raita +Cucumber
- Chicken Salad
- Yogurt+Apple+Pomegranate+Cucumber+Lemon Juice
- Any Leftover Vegetable Salad
Toasted Bread: I know eating it always is not particularly healthy,but i do not believing in cutting out carbs entirely and eating toasted bread often feels like a true treat and when paired with the above fillings. But make sure not to eat more than 2 slices a day.
After College Snack Ideas:
Most of the days,when i get home from classes I am starved from the 1 hours travel from college and I like to eat something substantial and even succumb to eating the leftover lunch usually,but from now I am trying to eat more healthy and filling food after school and these are some of my picks:
Black Garbanzo Beans (Channa): I like to keep these handy since you can cook this up in a pressure cooker and toss it with some onions,tomato and coriander leaves to make a super healthy lunch or after class snack.But be sure not to go overboard with its portions.
Millets: You can do the same as you did with the Channa to make a very yummy after college snack.These are very filling and are great sources of a lot of minerals and vitamins.
Grapes:For all those days when i am not starving(which are few and in between),I like to eat grapes that are frozen.They taste like real sweet snacks but without all the added sugar.But be sure to keep the portions in check.
Fruit Mix:I like to add various fruits like apples,watermelon,banana,grapes, etc. and toss it with some lemon juice and even add some salt to make a fruit salad to eat in the evening.
Yogurt: Eating yogurt with fruits and some cashew and even a tsp. of honey could be a very good treat when you are craving something very sweet.
Light Dinner Ideas:
I have read almost everywhere that you need to keep your dinner light and need to eat it before 8 O’Clock and here are some of the dinner options that is currently in my meal plan.
Clear Vegetable Soup: For this,i like to toss in almost every vegetable i have at hand,from cabbage,carrot and tomato to pumpkin,Ash Gourd/Winter Melon,Calabash(Bottle Gourd),Unripe Banana.I just wash them,cut them up and toss them in with some water,salt and pepper.I might even add some leftover chicken bone pieces to give it that flavour.
Moroccan Spiced Chicken Breast+vegetable saute:All you need to do is add some garam masala powder to some vegetable/oilve oil and marinade the chicken in this and then just place it on a non stick pan to sear it up real nice.You can serve it with some vegetables saute with minimal oil and maybe 1 or 2 cloves of garlic.