Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Corn Bhel and a Lifestyle Change

Corn Bhel, Tomato saar, Cut veggies with salt and red chilli powder

Most people struggle with weight all their life. If you’re born thin and a fussy eater, parents spend years stuffing you to convert you into a chubby baby they wish you would be. That dream stays then you reach puberbity and all at once the skinny thing grows into a healthy woman. Healthy as is "Khate Pite Ghar Ki".

There is a turn around and parents now worry about who will marry their pretty daughter if she stays healthy. Now their dream is to make their daughter the model that would sashay down the street giving the guys hearts a skip. Now the same parent who built the habit of stuffing even when not hungry put tabs on what the young girl needs to eat thus causing eating disorders. Plus once she turns into a butterfly all sports are a no no as her coaching to become a good bride starts. Until the smart young lady decides for herself what is best for her and asks Mom and Dad to leave her alone.

The above is a slight exaggeration of what goes on in Indian homes. Yet parts of it are true in the life of different girls who become fine young women ofcourse because of their parents. The parent’s indulgence is to be forgiven.

Well my struggle with weight is still on. I have tried many diets. I am not much of a sports lover, not even a TV sports lover. So for me its long brisk walks and change in lifestyle that helps me. Diets went on and off. Finally I have chosen something that is working for me and looks like I may be able to keep my pace with this.

I have started following a routine that our grandmothers followed:


Before leaving for work, small portions have a charm accompanied by a cup of tea.
Upma/ Poha/ 4 biscuits/ a vegetable sandwich/ tomato omelet/ thalipith

At 11 am:

A glass of buttermilk made with a table spoon of curd and salt diluted with water.

Lunch at work between 12.30 to 1.00pm:

2 chapatis or 4 phulkas and a bowl of vegetables made with just 2 teaspoons of oil per person.

4.00 pm:

Tea with just one teaspoon sugar.

6.30 pm in the bus while returning home:

A fruit OR a glass of buttermilk (mentioned above)

Dinner at 8.30 pm:

A big bowl of vegetable salad /fruit salad / vegetable bhel with corn/ sprouts of different kinds with non starchy soup/fresh fruit juice

Before retiring for the day:

2 glasses of water


  • I am able to pack more into my work week.
  • Waking up fresh in the morning.
  • Feel little lighter but have a long way to go ;).
  • My habit of napping in the bus on the way to work has changed. I am putting the time to good use.
  • Cooking just once in the morning, feels good to have time for other hobbies.
  • No more obsessive thoughts of what to cook for dinner.


Treat time. One sweet on Saturday and Sunday. One exciting breakfast or brunch. Occasional visit to a restaurant.

This is a plan that will last for sure.

One such dinner we enjoy is what you see in the plate above:

2 cups boiled sweet corn
1 onion chopped fine
1 tomato chopped fine
1 handful cilantro chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon roasted coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
salt and red chili powder to taste

In a vessel you can mix all items together and serve on a decorative plate. I like to mix my corn bhel while eating so I assemble it like this, corn, onions, tomatoes, chopped cilantro, salt sprinkle and all powders sprinkled. Enjoy every spoon while you meditate over your plate of corn bhel. It is very satisfying and calms the nerves as you mix it and chat up with your loved ones.

I have a sedentary lifestyle and a bad metabolic system so this intake in enough for me. I was not allowed to play right from a young age so lost interest in sports. Hope I get a chance to play with my kids, if I ever have some, err at least two.

My formula is not patented so anyone can use it yet no way is it prescriptive. Infact it’s stolen from my grandmothers from both sides and my many grand aunts who were very beautiful charming, intelligent women and who took good care of their health.


  1. Hi Anjali,

    Life style changes last a long time. diets dont work. I dont struggle so much but try to eat healthy.

  2. Anjali, Trying to manage weight is always a yo-yo. When I fall into a perfect schedule, a vacation or a guest stay ruins everything. We let ourselves be, regain our focus and do things the right way. The best thing, I have found out, is not to worry how much you weigh. Thats takes the fun out of everything.

  3. I wish you all the luck, Anjali..your simple and healthy plan is a refreshing change than what I have come across. One suggestion, do try some Yoga poses and breathing techniques...they are wonderful.

    Cheers, TS

  4. Wow..looks v healthy n yummy too.

  5. Vimmi you are lucky not to have to struggle.

    Suganya yeah agree its important to get back focus. Vacations and guest will help to have longetivity fr the plan as we get back with much fervor.

    Trupti have you heard of ghar ki murgi dal barabar. Dad has been a yoga therapist all his life in addition to other things and I always wanted to break away. Yoga is not for me.

  6. good luck to you, sounds like you're off to a terrific start! keep being positive and focused, you'll get to your goal before you know it! it's not that far away i'm sure :)

  7. Hi,

    I am a silent visitor who always peeped not never left any comments. I have been influenced with your cooking and believe me I most of the time get the same authentic maharashtrain taste that I had tasted years back in the hands of Aai (our lovely neighbour, whome we kids lovingly called Aai).

    This your new diet plan looked too good and I could not hold back my comments and so brought it out. I think this should suit me.

    With lots of love for the good work that u r doing, thanx once again.



  8. Looks like a great plan Anjali! Love the way u're day starts.. and good luck to you!

  9. Anjali,
    I have often enjoyed reading your lovely blog. Your plan is overall great, except that i suggest if you wish to lose more than 10 lbs, do not eliminate carbs @ dinner at the outset and do so when you are within 10 lbs of your desired weight. This was my nutritionist's advice to me when I set out to lose weight after delivery.My diet was quite similar to yours except that I ate one phulka in addition for dinner.All the best and may you achieve your goal soon.

  10. hello Anjali, I am a regular reader of your blog and find the food and your write-ups very interesting. About the weightloss, I have managed to lose 20 kgs of weight in 1.5 years time after having tried and then given up a number of times earlier. Kapalbhaati, Surya Namaskaar and lots of water along with balanced diet did the trick. I too had done a detailed course in yoga while in college, but was never interested in trying them out, but believe me, it works! Touchwood!!! So, all the best, and, btw, corn has lots of calories in them, so two cups will be a bit too much for dinner.

  11. Alpa, masala magic thanks for cheering.

    Cynthia I am thrilled to hear that! Thanks a zillion :)!!!

    Rashmi, every ones body is different. This plan is not for reduction but for life. I don' think I need to eat carbs at night. I know my body really well by this age.

    Seema thanks for sharing your experience. BTW the two cups of corn is not just for me alone. I cook for two people,one cup each. Yeah I know corn is high calorie.
    Congrats for achieving 20 kgs weightloss that is something!


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