I usually eat reasonably healthy food when I eat at home. But I go through these phases of junk food craving. At some point last month, I realized I was eating way too much junk. Fries and chips. And anything cheesy. It didn’t help at all that a new Hot Breads franchise had opened very close to home. And so ofcourse I had to try everything they offered. Dabeli, spicy-minty pani puri, eggless butterscotch cake . Even Paneer Tikka Masala Pizza. I was especially excited about Hot Breads because I have some childhood memories associated with eating at one of their branches in Madras. I remember shopping here with my cousins and sister, one summer, for a ‘secret midnight feast’ that only my grandfather (the ‘funds provider’) was privy to. Anybody who was brought up on a diet of Enid Blyton books knows just how exciting these midnight feasts sounded when they were described in her books. As a kid, I used to sleep at 8 or 9 at night , so a feast at 12 was one of the most exciting things I could imagine.We bought flaky Puffs, soft vegetable buns and mini crusty pizzas.
Anyway the point was, I was starting to eat way too much junk and was craving sugary food (and I don’t even have much of a sweet tooth) and that was when I came across the 5-day Low Glycemic challenge on City Girl’s blog. I jumped at the opportunity for an excuse to get back to eating healthy food and bought Meghan’s tutorial that accompanied the challenge. It was a very informative tutorial about the benefits of eating foods with a low glycemic index. And I liked having a lot of facts and data packed into this concise format for easy reference. Some of the stuff I already knew vaguely, but having it all in one place with citations and food recommendations worked as a nice driving force to act on.
I thoroughly enjoyed eating through the 5-6 days of the challenge. I craved butter scotch cake and alfredo sauce a few times in the beginning. But once I ignored these ‘feelings’ and found yummy healthy snacks to curb my 4 o’ clock pangs, I was fine. This was, I realized, the key to (my) healthy eating – ALWAYS having healthy snacks around, both at work and home
Other than cutting down on white rice (and our evening jaunts to Hot Breads..:)), our ‘main’ meals weren’t very different from the usual (Dal, Chole, Rajma,soup).
What I loved most about this challenge was re-discovering ‘old’ foods (things that I had eaten in India but hadn’t ever attempted to make at home )and discovering ‘new’ tasty healthy snacks that were so easy to make at home.
Some highlights (a few of these are from Meghan’s tutorial):
1. eating apples with almond butter (from Farmer’s Market) – I had never tasted almond butter before and it was ridiculously decadent with a piece of fruit
2. Discovering Artisana tahini paste
3. Making my first ‘with-tahini’ hummus (with mint and chillies) with the Artisana Tahini paste and eating them with these crackers.
4. Making Pesarrattus (Lentil Crepe made of Split-moong beans) – I hadn’t realized just how easy these were to make at home. And so tasty.
5. Discovered Ezekials sprouted grain bread and pasta at Whole Foods.
6. Eating cucumbers dipped in tahini sauce and lemon basil pesto
8. Discovering that sunflower seeds, almonds and apples dunked in rice milk, make a yummy breakfast cereal
7. I also finally brought out my Pressure cooker, from hiding, to save time while making brown rice khichdi (rice and lentil stew) and this Rajma curry.
The one thing that I wanted to try but didn’t , was making kale chips. But I plan to, very soon!
And so after this successful challenge, I was very excited when Meghan announced her new Superfoods e-tutorial. It has information about super foods- what they are, why they are good for you and how to incorporate them into everyday meals. But wait (oh my god- that sounds like an infomercial!), the more exciting part is, that Meghan is giving away one copy of this tutorial to one of my readers.
Just leave a comment on this post anytime from now to April 6th (before midnight EST) to be entered in the draw to win a copy. Tweet or blog about this giveaway for extra entries (just let me know in your comment). Don’t forget to leave your email id. I will pick a winner on the 7th. Meghan will email a link, to a free download of this tutorial, to the winner!
Update : Draw closed. The winner is Nupur. Congratulations! Please send me your email id- so I can forward it to Meghan.
So, what are your favorite healthy (and tasty) snacks?