I have this terrible habit of not sticking with the stuff that works. I lose interest in it the minute I achieve my goal (read: the weight I want to lose). So, I get complacent and within a year or so the weight just finds me. Would that I could break out of this vicious cycle! But alas! Fast forward two years – if you will – and I am 7 kilos heavier.
Having upped my celebrity status by now (my daughter was married to Imran Khan, who is Aamir Khan’s nephew) I was coaxed by yet another well meaning friend to visit a new celebrity dietitian. Her claim to fame? She was apparently responsible for helping a large number of pretty young things (PYTs) in Bollywood to stay in shape. Aka? Size zero, of course.
Too caught up to read? Listen to the story here:
Slightly inconvenient that I’d forgotten just how ‘young’ these PYTs were – at least 15 or 20 years younger, no less. Naturally then, they had all the discipline, the vigour, the mojo that a 15-year-younger person did, particularly when it came to following the dictates of dietitians.
But when have I ever learned from past lessons?
An appointment was taken and a meeting fixed.
The Flip Side of Celebrity... Raw Vegetables?
My celebrity dietitian proceeded to give me a diet not too different from the ones I had previously followed. There was only one major difference – she insisted that I start my day with a drink of fresh vegetable juice made with any three of these vegetables – carrots , palak (spinach) turi (ridge gourd) lauki ( bottle gourd) and cabbage – topped with fresh coriander and garnished with lime juice and rock salt. I was also to eat about 5 or 6 boiled egg whites in a day – a minor hassle since I wasn’t much of an egg eater.
Wake up to a glass of warm water. Follow up with a 60-minute walk.
Breakfast: 1 glass vegetable juice (to drink within minutes of squeezing – else it loses valuable nutrients) + 3 boiled egg whites
Noon: 1 fruit
Lunch: 1 bowl salad , cooked vegetables, 2 small rotis, 1 bowl of either dal or chicken
Evening: 2 or 3 boiled egg whites
Dinner: 1 bowl of soup, 1 bowl of cooked vegetables, 1 bowl of chicken, fish or paneer, 1 roti or small bowl of rice
When My Dietitian Sparred With My Doctor
I stuck to my guns – and the diet – for a month, before unfortunate things began to happen. I’d shed a kilo or two but out of nowhere, began to suffer from frequent tummy upsets , acute flatulence and indigestion. A visit to my GP – who is also a dear friend – was clearly in order.
When he heard about my diet, the doctor told me categorically that my tummy issues could be related to the intake of the juice of raw vegetables. I was apprised also of the levels of pesticides used during the cultivation of vegetables in India – making their consumption in raw form an easy route to indigestion.
The eating of egg whites too was severely chastised by my GP – if I was eating more than two a day a day, then there was little wonder that I was facing bloating, as large quantities of eggs could cause an excess of protein levels in the body.
I must be fair here and put on record the fact that my dietitian had offered solutions to most of these. I should wash the vegetables in potassium bi-carbonate, she advised; this would wash the pesticides away. Docspeak, however? Pesticides could only be negated by high levels of heat as were generated by cooking the raw stuff. Potassium bi-carbonate was NOT an option.
Cue diettitan? The juice of raw vegetables, as I soon found out, is one of the most healthy things to drink – provided of course that we can ensure the vegetables are free of pesticides.
Sigh. Needless to say, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place – my GP and my dietitian had clearly contrasting views, and my weight loss was the fulcrum of the entire orchestra.
Finally, the doctor won as my tummy issues were sorted once I stopped consuming the juice and the egg whites.
And I was only too happy to give up on this diet as I had found it to be very boring.
So, I bid adieu to my vegetable diet – and to you, who has been so patient with me through my past travails. Allow me simply to leave you with one piece of advice from my doc which I believe will stand you in good stead for a long time to come:
“If it must be eaten raw, it MUST be pesticide-free… therefore, GO ORGANIC!”
(Vandana Malik will be writing in with what she calls a new weight loss “attempt” every week for readers of FIT. Watch this space for more!)
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