Monday, November 8, 2010

Eat to Live ... or Live to Eat ?

Most people eat to live. And then there are some that live to eat, I am one of the latter, and am sure this comes of no surprise! To eat without balance, and by this I mean exercising judgment and one’s body is vital for a happy and healthy life. Hey, I’m no doctor, but it’s a simple prescription everyone knows, but not everyone likes to follow. Of late I have noticed the weight piling on, the angst of discontent with my current body shape and more so my fitness levels.

To be honest, I can’t go further without divulging all the information, or things simply will not make sense. Up until April of this year, six days a week, two hours each day, for the last seven years of my life have been spent dedicated to strenuous cardio, weights and abdominal workouts to ensure my body was in tip-top shape. And to this I must add that I was happy with what I saw in the mirror.

Over the last eight months working in kitchens, standing all day and exerting what seemed to be a hell of a lot of energy every day I neglected the gym and all/ any forms of exercise, yet eating the same enormously, extravagant meals I have always consumed. I just thought the kitchen was giving me a workout turns out cardiovascular motion cannot be replaced with working on the spot, damn!

While I have never been one for diets, my motto – eat extra tonight, run an extra mile the next day, I knew my time was ticking and it was only a matter of months before my rump became juicy enough to roast! Awful analogy I know, but I simply could not resist that one!

Anyways, coming back to me, my weight and enormous appetite has obviously got the better of me and with two Indian weddings within the next two months and my return to India – the land of slim, slender, sexy ladies the heat was and is most definitely on! And oops, I forget to mention New Years in Sri Lanka, with the requisite of slipping into a bikini duh!

About two weeks ago I decided it was time to turn things around. And so I took my first jog in months and boy was it a hit to my ego and my body, because not only was I left huffing and puffing like a penguin, but I was aching and sore the next few days. Getting in shape and gaining back that stamina was hard. What was undoubtedly harder however was trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.

While Melbourne was “supposed” to be warming up with spring midway and summer around the corner the weather was most definitely still wintery with chilly, cold nights and rainstorms deserving of Goulash and Mashed Potatoes, Massaman Curry with Fragrant Rice, or any other hearty carb-heavy fare, guaranteed to warm one up instantaneously. As you can see the odds were piling up against me, it was like I was fighting a losing battle.

Finally after much thinking, trials and tribulations I decided that instead of going from dishes like rich risottos cooked in chicken stock, with olive oil, lashings of butter and drowned in Parmesan cheese to bowls of fresh salad with the highlight being vinaigrette dressing, starving an hour later and finally succumbing to a disastrous midnight snack, that it was better to go half the hog and start with modest changes like taking away excessive amounts of dairy and carbohydrate from our diets, making our food delicious, filling and healthy, rather than being overly ambitious.

In all honesty I think this is the key, both me and my partner (who was initially shocked about my sudden change in dinner plans) felt happy and healthier and honestly I have lost inches, my clothes fit better and I have been at the receiving end of a fair few compliments.

If you are wondering what was on the winning healthy menu, here are a few of the meals I prepared the last couple week:

- - - Hokkien Stir Fry Noodles with Red Peppers, Carrots, Scallions and Beef Strips in a Sweet-Soy Asian Style Sauce

-- -- Beef Mince Tacos with heaps of shredded Lettuce, fresh Tomatoes, Salsa and Homemade Guacamole

- - - Grilled Chicken with Salad (and I had half a chicken left over which I used to make Chicken wraps and served with a leafy salad the next day)

- - - Steamed Cous Cous with diced Red Onion, Parsley and Tomatoes tossed in Lemon Juice and Olive Oil served with Lamb Chops

- - - Pan Fried Basa Fillets in a Lemon, White Wine Sauce with Parsley, Steamed Broccoli, on a bed of steamed white rice (used 1 tbp olive oil for 4 fillets)

- Seared Salmon Fillets with Asparagus and Carrots


Cw Hs said...

Dear, you're ALREADY in good shape. Pls don't trim any further. Otherwise you'll start seeing branches poking out :P
Miss your cooking heaps heaps :( I wish I can kidnap you from Melb to be my personal chef :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Meagan,

Loved reading this post. Would you be in and around Bangalore between November 12 - 21, 2010?

If yes then it would be great to have you come visit us uring Bangalore Restaurant Week (Nov 12-21) - a week-long celebration of eating out. Over 70 of the best restaurants in Bangalore with great discounts, special menus, contests, prizes and fun events.

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Babushka said...

This has always been the case with me as well for I live to eat through and through!

There is really no point in "dieting" considering my love for food and at the end of the day it's the pounds I wanna lose, not my happiness... So yeah, dietary modifications seem the best way to go whilst eating what one loves... satisfaction guaranteed! :)