Health, nutrition

Nutrition: Developing a simple living.

Are you overwhelmed with the all the advice surrounding food?

Follow me while I get a friend and an expert to debunk myths and shed light on feeding your body as it needs.

Let me introduce you to a dear friend, who never fails to inspire and guide me through struggles of sticking to a diet, supplementing my nutrition and being healthy!!

Hi! I’m, Aahat – a dietitian who eats. I love talking all things health, fitness, wellness and longevity.
I was born and raised in the UAE, studied nutrition in the UK and US for 5 long years and now here I am helping people find balance without restriction. I base my philosophy of eating on using real food and ingredients to nourish our bodies, minds and souls. My ultimate goal is to make eating well uncomplicated, unrestricted and to help people find food freedom because eating food is so much more fun than restricting it.

please feel free to check her IG for the most decadent recipes, ideas and all things health (link above)

Now with a little introduction underway- I took the time and this opportunity to ask her some of my burning questions about nutrition, diet, health and fitness.

  • Most people never consciously think about nutrition till they are in their early 20s – How would you suggest someone find their foot in nutrition?

Cooking your own food! As food becomes more and more available to us, in packages or as fast food, we are cooking lesser.

I really do think part of this exposure comes from our childhood, how much we were helping out in the kitchen, so parents play a huge role but, it’s never too late to start.

Cooking your own food gives you the control of what’s going in the food, it’s definitely fresher than something you’d buy at a restaurant and you are more aware of whats going in the food and how you can better it. You also save some money which is definitely a big perk.

Start with making it a family activity. If you live alone, try and eat out lesser, invite your friends’ home for a change. If you’re new to it, there are plenty of YouTube videos for beginners.

  • In your personal journey through living in multiple places and experiencing different cultures, what do you think is the most consistent whole food habit that needs to be highlighted? (I.e. could be traditional relationships with food, more about fuelling your body and not restricting hating etc.)

I’ve lived in several different countries and something I’ve seen repeatedly is that people are becoming more and more afraid of food once their body consciousness kicks in. As a society, we need to promote more of the idea that food is nourishment, we need it to thrive and that restriction is just setting us up to fail. We need to make peace with food instead of just taking certain food groups out to look a certain way. The focus on weight loss is so vast that people are either forgetting or ignoring the fact that we need food to survive, to thrive and to be our best self. We need to eat real.

  • Eating based on your body’s metabolism is widely accepted. But how do we know for sure (without getting medically tested) which type is ours? And how much do your genes and how you grew up impact that conclusion?

Without medical testing, the only way is to listen to your body. Try and understand what foods work for you and which ones make you feel uncomfortable (bloating, acne, constipation/diarrhea are common symptoms). Eat intuitively – basically listen to your body’s hunger signals. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

There definitely is a genetic influence on what and how we can eat but it doesn’t have to determine your future, you have the power to change your metabolism. So, the genes play a minor role effect but the environment you are in play a much larger role.

  • Apart from growing up, our diets, lifestyles and location impact our nutrition and health- what can we do to better anticipate these changes?

It may sound repetitive but eat real and whole foods with minimal processing. No matter your location or lifestyle, if you are concentrating on eating fresh foods at all times, you can find something wherever you are. Eating local definitely helps, try sticking to the foods local to a certain region because they are farm to form, they don’t travel long distances to be on your plate. This is easier said than done of course but try.

  • We have recently developed a case of “carb-hating” or “carb-fearing” practices. It’s what is generally portrayed across social media, mainstream media such a films and television. What would you like to tell our readers?

If you want to gain weight faster than you lost it and be on a constant low carb or keto-diet, then carb-hating is for you. Carbohydrates are a major food group, they were made part of the food plate to be included and NOT to be removed. We need carbohydrates to thrive and give us sustained energy, our muscles need it to survive. We are only developing a fear towards carbs because we are either eating more than necessary or eating them without a proper balance of other nutrients.

In fact, regions with the longest healthspans get averagely 50% of their calories from carbohydrates! So really the carb-fear is something the billion-dollar diet industry is making us believe is good for us because it produces fast weight loss results. But how long can you keep up with that?

  • I cannot always splurge out on all organic resources, it’s not wallet –friendly. And at the same time, I don’t have the resources at home to make home made everything. What would be your advice on setting a balance?

Healthy eating is becoming more and more expensive because we are constantly on the lookout for “substitutes” for foods. You want a healthier alternative to sugar – you buy maple syrup. Not to say that substituting is bad, but it doesn’t come wallet friendly. If you stick to eating simple homemade food example – daal, rice, some vegetables on the side – it’s pretty inexpensive, its balanced and provides nourishment. You can spend a little more on buying well-sourced, high quality ingredients which will end up being cheaper than looking for a substitute for everything.

  • What’s your take on our traditional daal-chawal (rice and lentils) food staples?

I love it. It’s perfectly balanced with protein, carb and fat (if you’re putting ghee on it). I really do think it’s the perfect meal. In addition to providing our body with the perfect ratio of the infamous “macros”, for us Indians, its comfort food. It brings our family together on the same table and everyone loves it.

  • What is, in your opinion, the best sustainable diet plan for people in their twenties? Can that be a sustainable diet in their 30s?

Eating fresh and real foods. Let go of the processed & packaged food which is not only not good for us but also the environment. For example, a freshly rolled and pizza is definitely better for us than the packaged processed and dried versions. As a whole, I definitely think we need to stop turning to fast and processed foods available to us at minimal prices everywhere and eat more real food.

The more fad diets you follow, the more un-sustainable your lifestyle becomes.

  • What are your thoughts on “Soul food” (not the southern American cuisine, but the concept of sometimes eating for your soul and not body)

I think eating for the soul is equally as important as eating for the body, of course one needs to find balance between the two. I really do like to believe that when you nourish your soul, you are inviting nourishment to your body. Finding balance between soul and body is key and when you start enjoying and eating fresh foods compared to packaged versions of the same, that balance comes effortlessly.

  • Since a lot of social gatherings and activities revolve around alcohol- what is your suggestion on balanced intake of alcohol whilst not missing out on social opportunities?

Always drink 2 glasses of water between each drink to stay hydrated. Alcohol tends to really de-hydrate our bodies so re-hydrating it whilst drinking definitely helps more than hydrating the day after.

 Stick to red wine for its heart health benefits if that’s your thing or use water with a lemon as a mixer to skip out on the extra sugar coming from juices.

Also, easier said than done, but try not to over-do it EVERYTIME you drink. Sometimes – its ok. I get it, we’re having fun at a party and we tend to drink a tad bit much but i’m all about reducing the damage in the most realistic of ways so just don’t do it every time.

I already feel the cloud of confusion surrounding healthy eating being lifted. Do you? My takeaway from this conversation is – be mindful of what you eat (and how you source it) and everything in moderation!!

To end this lovely conversation, I decided to ask Aahat some very important questions-

  1. Italian or French cuisine? Italian – I love a good pizza or a freshly rolled pasta
  2. Indian or Mexican cuisine? Indian
  3. Daal chawal or salad? Daal Chawal – I’d choose that any day.
  4. Cold brew all day every day or Morning espresso? – Almond milk Latte?
  5. Mango everything or Pumpkin spice everything? – MANGO (its mango season so that might be influencing this answer)
  6. Still or sparkling? – Still – i’m boring sometimes
  7. Cheesecake or chocolate cake? – Tough one! I’d say both but if I had to be stuck with one of them forever – chocolate cake.
  8. Mints or Gum? – Not really a fan of either but gum?

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#banimpulsebuying, #consiousbuying, #nofastfashion, #nofastfood, #recycle, #resell, #reuse, #zerowaste, fashion, Health, sustainable

You can live the most sustainable and eco-conscious life with everything you already have in your home.

Is this the new wave of sustainable living? Or have generations before us always lived sustainable lives?

Growing up in India in the late 90’s and the early 2000’s, I spent most of my time either in school, the sand box thing at the playground or at my grandma’s home in Kolkata.

I was a child, so I didn’t know much about what sustainability is or what practices were green. But now as kind of an adult I can, in retrospect, confirm that sustainability is not a new concept brought out of recent alarming conclusions on the global climatic conditions.

Our grandparents, parents and even us when we were children practiced sustainable living. It was not marketed on social media or advertised as a specific kind of living. It was the only way we knew to live.

Developing nations, with families of moderate-income group till date have numerous practices in their way of living that would be a struggle to achieve in the first world countries. The reason being- convenience. The ease of convenience which comes along with financial growth and availability is the root cause of non-sustainable living practices.

Let me further illustrate by calling out all the reusable coffee cup users- let me ask you this, while it feels great to bring your cup everywhere you think you might want to have a drink, and most likely get a discount too- do you also sometimes miss the convenience of not carrying a thing everywhere, washing drying it, maintaining it? You can admit it, I know I do. And if you ask most people who do not own or use reusable coffee cups, convenience, or lack there of would be their reason to not join this practice.

I really don’t know about coffee cups my dad or my grandpa used but I can tell you this till date the infamous cha (or chai) in my hometown of Kolkata sold by the street, in the Coffee House are all sold in earthen cups, literally made out of clay. The only places that give you take away paper coffee cups are the new Costa chain coffee shops.

Every Sunday my father and I (when I was back at home) used to head out early in the morning to the baajar (wet markets of Kolkata, also kind of like farmers market). Where he would get the meat and fish (cause of the one time I passed out at the smell and blood of meat) and I would get the produce and wait for him at a common meeting point where we would drink coconut water (no not from bougie bottles, from the actual coconuts), just to make double sure I don’t pass out. Then buy mishti (sweets) for my mother (also for father but he’d never admit it) and head back home. Everything we bought would be carried in our cloth or jute bags to home. For the case of meats, we would bring out one plastic bag that would be properly cleaned and reused the following week. Everything the three of us needed for the week- consumption wise would be bought on one day and that day only. Any other whims and fancies would be denied and accumulated for the next Sunday.

I moved out/away from my home about a decade ago but even now when I visit, father and I do the Sunday bajaar routine. He refuses to go to supermarkets and shop “rotten food”. To him and my family it’s a traditional way of eating and consuming. That’s how my grandpa taught my father, and this is how I hope to someday achieve the discipline in my consumption habits.

Today all across Hong Kong I see stores which are marketed as these lifestyle changing stores and you must be buying everything they have in order to be really sustainable. Or at least that is how they market their brands on social media. You need to own their silicone collapsible lunchboxes which are 300 dollars. You can just keep using your glass Tupperware that you bought for fraction of the price, serves you well and let’s be honest you aren’t collapsing your lunchbox when it has food in it- so is it really saving you space in your work bag?

You don’t need to overhaul your kitchen or bathroom entirely to be sustainable. Sustainability is about being conscious of your buying and discarding habits. Reuse your Tupperware, your coffee mugs, water bottles which you have been using for the last many years.

Keep a check on your buying habits- getting a bunch of new sustainable, plastic free products, straw bag, market bags for food shopping when you already own products in your home would more than suffice, when your tote bag which you got free with a clothing purchase can just as easily be used as your market produce shopping bag.

Reuse materials and things already at your home and when you really genuinely are looking to buy or replace those products think about sustainable options- such as wooden brush for dish washing. Recycle your wine bottles, glass bottles of any kind.

Reuse, reduce, recycle and donate
~Be conscious of your buying habit even when you progress in your financial status~

Take the small inconvenient steps. I urge you to look at sustainability as more than the new hip thing to do. Sustainability is the discipline of life and checking your consumption habits at a large scale.

Finish and reuse items you have already purchased and have been using. Resell the ones you don’t want any more but are perfectly good conditions i.e. furniture, electronics etc. Stop impulse buying behaviour and start incorporating routine into it.

I am going to leave a few links for you to check out if you’re looking to recycle and resell items for a circular economy in Hong Kong:

  1. Green Ladies: They are based out of Sai Ying Pun and collect consignments and resell them. You can even sign up for getting a portion of the resell value credited to you.
  2. Waste reduction programme in Hong Kong: Run by the government these are small shops set up across Hong Kong island, Kowloon, New Territories. Bring your wine, beer and any and all glass bottles, items for recycling and better waste management. I personally aim to do this bi-monthly on Saturday mornings, makes for a good routine and declutters the home. Check out the link for the nearest collection point and go for that Saturday morning walk to better help the earth!!
  3. Reselling Items by yourself: There are plenty of great options worldwide however, Hong Kong is not far behind. Check out Letgo Carousell all available on apps on your phone for convenient buying and reselling of items you no longer need. Spread the pre-loved joy!
  4. Collection boxes for used clothes recycling banks: These are usually in public areas such as parks where you can take a lot of items to donate. If you’ve just done the Kon-Mari method, this is an option where you can go to unload.
  5. Other organisations which improve circular economy and bring greater value with growth of population.
    1. The Community Chest
    2. The Salvation Army
    3. Friends of Earth Organisation

If you have more suggestions and ideas you adopt on a regular basis to be more conscious and disciplined in your lifestyle choices- comment below and share the wisdom!

fashion

Crimson, Cherry, Scarlet, Chilli, Burgundy, Ruby or Desire.

The first time I wore lipstick, I was about six years old, which means it must’ve been the good old 2000’s- 2001 to be precise.
Yes, I know it’s a tad bit young to be getting on the make-up train but what can I say – I had a thing for that vintage (now vintage) Chanel coral lipstick my mom had with her all the time. It somehow smelled like her as well and as a six-year-old all I wanted was to be a grown up who could watch all the TV in the world without time restrictions (wanna guess how I spent my weekends now?). Anyway, I wore it to a birthday party and upon returning home, my mother looked at me, paused for ten seconds, went to her vanity and handed me the lipstick.

She actually just gave it to me.

Back then, I did intent on keeping it with me forever but through all the moving around the country, boarding school and what not- I unfortunately don’t have it with me today.

What I do have is a drawer full of lipsticks. And luckily enough for lipsticks in 2019- they come in all forms and states: solid lipstick, lightly molten lipsticks, liquid ones and glossy shiny ones. I do have a drawer full of them, which I clean out semi-annually. Okay, maybe I don’t clean it out but I occasionally empty them on my floor and see if they are all still okay to be used.

I properly began to discover the world of lipsticks in university- I spent my tutoring job money on them. I was almost a real lipstick connoisseur, I was known across campus as the ‘girl with the funky lip colour’. And boy were they funky- I had a collection of purple-greys, blue-greens, straight up grey (I still own this!). But alas! most of my funk collection has been reduced due to hygiene reasons. Why do good things go bad?

My collection of lip armour now contains various shades and combinations of beige and then flips over to deeper, darker shades.  And in the middle of that spectrum, lies my favourite colour- the RED.

Cut to now- I am a serious professional. I have a full-time job, I have client meetings, I go to the gym during lunch hour, all in all I check all the boxes of being a serious professional. And serious professionals do not have funky coloured lips.

And this is where I begin to tell you my experience with the RED.

Red is by far the most common colour that is both audacious and fearsome. You would’ve heard people say “oh red is too much” or “i’m not meant to be pulling off red”. And I bet even the people who say these admire a woman wearing Parisian red lips done well with a trench coat and a pair of blue jeans and white tee. Honestly, that is my dream outfit, which I could wear everyday if I could.

However over the years, I have experimented and tried out the red lips, disheveled hair- jeans and tee look. Although let’s be honest, the crazy hair comes naturally to me, so the real effort were the red lips. And I have got to admit, once done right, I felt like I could own an art gallery and sip espresso on a porch all day kind of woman. This was say two years back- before full time work, responsibilities and trying to make it-struggle.

Since then it’s been my go-to for a happy mood and also a go-to for a serious mood (you know where i have to be in front of serious people doing serious work business). Have I ever gotten it all over my teeth and continued to talk with people- maybe! Was it mortifying when I found out – thats a definite yes! Will I still keep wearing it- absolutely YES!

What I am trying to get at is if you’re afraid of it- give it a try, there is a red for every girl (or a boy), for every occasion and for every mood. And it’s only a colour, believe me there are plenty of things to be terrified of and a gorgeous red lip is not one of them.

Comment below to share your story with that red lipstick. I would love to hear your own journey with it.

comfort, fashion

Relationship with your heels

The delicious morning brunch smell!!

If you’re anything like me and the remaining seven billion people on earth, I am certain you love weekends. Because let’s be honest – Who doesn’t?

Let me tell you what I love about weekends- I love that I get to sit down and eat my breakfast on an actual plate (and not Ziploc bags or in office coffee mugs), I get to pop down and actually buy fresh produce for my avo-toast-hipster life.

But most of all I absolutely love that I get to rock my Birks EVERYWHERE.
No, really, everywhere- from coffee shops to wet markets to happy hour+ dinners.

Some of you, like my mother, might abhor Birks and consider them to be the worst of foot-fashion world. To you, I say – don’t hate till you step in it. They are comfortable but not overtly soft so you feel like your feet are in a quicksand made of pillows (however, now that I write this, it does sound comfier), and most importantly- THEY HAVE ARCH SUPPORTS. For me that’s very essential to my ‘old-man-like feet’. All in all I think they’re the most comfortable part of my weekends.

At this point, I’d like to tell you that this blog, as the title suggest is not about my comfy Birks rather it’s about my personal collection of stiletto heels. And why if I was ever ‘Marie-Kondo-ing’ my home, I’d never throw them away. NEVER!

Let’s explore why we wear heels (some might even call them medieval torture tools) and what it makes us feel.

The first pair of stilettoes I ever bought was for a job interview way back when I was in university and did not have to pay rent. I still own them. I still wear them. Everything about that pair feels the same- except that I can now actually walk in them without tripping and falling flat on my face and bruising my already tiny nose.  

But I digress.

What I was trying to get at was that a few years back when I bought them, they bruised my feet, I duck-waddled (it’s what you would refer to if you saw me walk with heels back then) in public and might I reiterate I have fallen many a times.

Having said that, there is a very interesting reason I kept them, and actually got more of them over the years.

The few precious moments when I could actually move around, walk in them- they made me feel immeasurably powerful. The tick-tock, the sway you generally get by walking on your toes with limited support, the slower pace (when compared to the bustling city of Hong Kong) all of these made me feel like they gave me a sense of superior, sense of accomplishment and of course it didn’t hurt that I could tower over people and/or meet some people at their eye level.

For those feel-good-feelings I’d happily tolerate few bruised feet any day. Now you might think I am starting to sound a bit shallow but bear with me a bit. Allow me to provide you with more context.

I am twenty-three years, seven months and ten days old and it’s safe to say that I have accomplished absolutely nothing, at least nothing in the real sense of the world. Every day I wake up go to work to try and learn something new and learn to consistently do good. I work in an industry/job field which I never studied for (I went to uni and have a degree in something completely unrelated to my job) and I live by myself in a city four thousand kilometers away from familial support and familiarity.

Don’t get me wrong, those are choices I made and am happy with. However that doesn’t negate the constant haze of unknown, a tad bit of insecurity  and sometimes a feeling of being lost that lingers. On a daily basis it’s just something that myself and many others in their twenties learn to live with and often times this is something that drives us to do better. So it’s something that you’re supposed to feel, just like you’re supposed to feel angst in your teens.

So while I love me my Birks, wearing and straddling around in those pointy-things makes me feel not so lost (even when I AM lost), they provide me with a sense of control and power and often times you’ll see me in one of them for a big meeting or a new introduction or at an event.

Those are just few of my thoughts on why I willingly torture my walking limbs.

Leave your experience and comments down below, I bet your relationship with your coveted heels are just as interesting.

Can’t wait to read more!!

Health, new year, Uncategorized

What is it about that damn New Year’s eve?

Hi there- it’s been a month into 2019 and I am not here to shame you into falling into the ‘New Year, New Me’ regime- with the gym memberships, the green smoothies, the reusable cups, the donation bags of old (but so damn soft!) clothes and possibly a cool new haircut.

I am here to check in and ask you – how have you done?

I hope you are feeling accomplished in all the ways you tried and succeeded and if not- you tried. Personally, I took upon myself to do a ‘control experiment’ challenge on myself. Excuse the science-nerd-ness, after all I did dedicate 10 years of my life to science, it tends to stay behind.

It all started sometime around October 2018 and honestly built up till the moment I was sitting in my room on New Year’s Eve with Netflix wine and friends all around and talking about 2019. What is it about that damn NYE that makes you feel all kinds of warrior-hero-who-can-do-anything-they-set-their-mind-to? I am not a warrior hero, I repress my emotions and stress and release them with moderate levels of athletic performance twice a week at my gym and then come home and once a week cry my eyeballs out to episodes of This Is Us (god is it difficult to be emotionally balanced when the show takes off the screens!). All in all not a warrior, not a wonder woman, just a twenty-three year old living in an exorbitant city who likes quesadillas more than she likes humans.

Now having read this till here, you must have realized how much I LOVE FOOD. And yet I wanted to willingly do this experiment on myself.

So getting back to my control experiment- I decided to scientifically implement everyone’s (mostly my mother’s) “suggestions” and “advice” on my health and fitness to the test. I decided to limit 50g of carbohydrates per week (excluding those naturally in vegetables and grains) and cut out alcohol and workout at least 3 times a week (which would include weight and HIIT training).

I ordered active wear over the holidays and decided on being very strict with myself and honestly assess my relationship with alcohol. Now the thing is, this is hard to explain because most of the time people don’t understand why this is an experiment and not a challenge.

The reason is, this is not something I am doing to just complete it. I am doing this with two possible outcomes in my mind. One, I would come out of it ripped and skinny. Second, I would feel fitter and look almost the same. Honestly, we all know scenario one was never going to happen. But did you know that scenario two would have different multitudes to it? Nah, me either.

So all in all it’s been 28 days and I have done alright. Do I feel stronger (both emotionally and physically?) yes, do I look like a different human- absolutely no! Am I going to incorporate this into my life? Yes- parts of it at least.

So now after 28 days of handling myself better, I wanted to know why I endeavored to do this in the first place. I think it has to do with accomplishment, the sense of achievement and honestly feeling of being in control. Even if the control is just for a month.  

All in all- whatever you did do, or didn’t I hope you have had a good first month of 2019.

How did you guys do? I’d love to know your guys’ thoughts on this- comment below and let’s have a chat 🙂

Uncategorized

What is it about that damn New Year’s eve?

Hey guys,
End of January is HERE!!!
How are we feeling about ourselves?
Comment on my blog and share your experiences

Love,
Trisha

Anxious and most likely caffeinated

Hi there- it’s been a month into 2019 and I am not here to shame you into falling into the ‘New Year, New Me’ regime- with the gym memberships, the green smoothies, the reusable cups, the donation bags of old (but so damn soft!) clothes and possibly a cool new haircut.

I am here to check in and ask you – how have you done?

I hope you are feeling accomplished in all the ways you tried and succeeded and if not- you tried. Personally, I took upon myself to do a ‘control experiment’ challenge on myself. Excuse the science-nerd-ness, after all I did dedicate 10 years of my life to science, it tends to stay behind.

It all started sometime around October 2018 and honestly built up till the moment I was sitting in my room on New Year’s Eve with Netflix wine and friends all around and talking…

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