Aug 9, 2009

Watching weight and a craving

Dal Methi (Lentils with fenugreek leaves)

As relaxing as my vacation in Atlanta was the side effect of uninterrupted reading and gorging on delicious cooked food was bound to result in my gaining two pounds in five days. As some of you know from my earlier post I had put on a few pounds while in India and had managed to shed, well, exactly two pounds before gaining them back. Now, I am up four pounds since I lost two pounds and up six before I went to India. Confused? Let me break it down.
Before India trip: 114 lbs
After India trip: 118 lbs
Lost in two months: 2 lbs
Gained in two month: 2 lbs
Before Atlanta trip: 118 lbs
After Atlanta trip: 120 lbs
Need to lose: 120 lbs – 114 lbs = 6 lbs
Now, I know six pounds may not seem like a lot to blog about but when you are 5ft1” and approaching 36 in a matter of weeks, the scales move slowly and the clothes either hang too lose or too tight for comfort.
It doesn’t help that I have stubbed my little pinky on my foot not once but three times in the last four weeks. That means no closed shoes or sneakers and no gym. Tushar has come to the rescue again and suggested I take up spinning instead of running on the treadmill. I will attempt it tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
This week’s Time magazine cover story is about how it is eating the right foods that help you lose weight and not high intensity exercise. In the event of my not being able to handle the spinning class, I will have to resort to watching what I eat. So, here are some of the rules I am going to try and stick to:

1. No sugar except my two cups of tea in the day.
2. No ice cream or chocolate.
3. No chips or store bought snacks of any kind.
4. Eat three wholesome meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
5. No snacking between meals except on dry, roasted nuts like almonds, pecans and raisins.
6. Try to include all or at least one of these -- daal(lentil) or beans, leafy and root vegetables, fiber (in the form of cereal and salads) and dairy in each meal.
7. Eat at least one fruit for dessert.

To that end I made methi daal yesterday not only because it covered clause 5 but also because I was craving the bitter taste of methi that I have come to love over the years. Also, I had two cubes left over from two months ago in the freezer and needed to finish them off before making my monthly run to the Indian grocery store.

1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 cup masoor dal (split red lentils)
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
2 cubes of frozen methi leaves or a bunch of fresh methi leaves

For tadka:
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine (optional)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 tsp asafetida powder

Combine and wash the daal under cold water two to three times. Soak in some water and keep it aside. Thaw the methi leaves in the microwave or wash and chop the fresh methi leaves.
Heat 1/2tbsp oil in the cooker and add the mustard seeds. As they pop, add the cumin, turmeric, asafetida, red chili powder and garam masala. Roast for a minute before adding the garlic cloves. Turn the heat on med low at this point or the garlic will burn quickly.
Add the tomatoes and let them soften before adding the methi leaves. Cook for a few minutes before adding the dal. Add salt and water before putting the lid on. Cook for two to three whistles before turning the gas off.
Note: I ate two rotis and some cucumber slices with the dal. For dessert I had a nectarine.
This delicious Dal Methi goes to My Legume Love Affair hosted by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.


  1. Hii...I really cant believe how un-cannily similar our lives are..we are almost the same age too ! Last year I took upon myself to loose some much-gained weight and now stand @ 120 lbs in my 5 ft frame ! Do you have curly hair by any chance :))
    Also, have you tried some weight training ? It builds muscle which are leaner than fat and hence make you look has worked for me very well...Im sure youve tried that..if not maybe after your toe mends ...take care until then..

  2. Dal Methi is delicious Jaya, i was planning to make this tonight with rice :)
    Oh dear i have been trying to lose few kgs from almost a yr now but cant live without ice creams and chocolates :(

  3. Yes Dips, it is unbelievable. And yes, I do have curly/wavy hair. I have tried some weight training in the past but couldn't stick to it for more than a few days. Shld take up again. Thanks for the good idea. I do like to do 20 min Pilates which they say is like lifting your own weight. I guess it counts. :)

    Parita, I know what you mean. From now on no ice creams in my house except for my 3-year old. :)

  4. I love Dal Methi. and yours look too delicious to resist. I will have to make it this week. I am planning to follow your plan if you dont mind for loosing weight.

  5. hi jaya...came here from Anju's blog ....and i was happy to see a mom trying to reduce wt. like me..
    i am a little older that you ..will be 39 this month and lost 12 kilos in the winter months early this the summers wt. was static n i am moving the scales once again...
    i blog about the healthy food inspired by macrobiotic diet ...check out.
    also, i i agree dipps....wt. training may be good as it strengthens the muscles...especially you should work upon strengthening you hamstrings and triceps...these are the large muscles and eat up the bulk of your calories.

  6. Mints, I don't mind at all. :)

    Sangeeta, wow, 12 kilos (6 lbs) in the winter months! That's usually when I put on weight. Would love to find out how you did it. Am considering weight training seriously now.

  7. Jaya, I can never stick to a diet, so I find it really admirable that you have a clear plan in mind. I especially find it hard to resist those in-between-meals snacks.
    What does work for me, though, is exercising moderation with the foods I love. When I try to give up something altogether, I find I crave it more than ever after which I end up binging on it. And although I have been making lots of excuses to avoid the gym these last few weeks, I must confess that working out helps me a great deal-- despite what Time magazine has to say. :)

  8. I hear you, Jaya, about even a few pounds on a small frame. I'm 5'3" and fine boned. When I'm watching my diet, I can't even eat nuts or raisins (too much concentrated calories), so I switch to air-popped corn to fill me with fiber and some carbs.

    This is a lovely dal. I've been enamored with fenugreek lately, so I'm very keen to try this.

    Thanks for sharing another recipe for MLLA.

  9. Hi Jaya, first time at your blog - try getting this book by Rujuta Diwekar called 'Dont lose your mind, lose you weight' - its a great book which explains what needs to be eaten when - no diet as such - just health tips - i have started working on too 36, 3 yr old son :) but weight much more :(


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