If you have been following me on Instagram and have paid attention to my stories, you would know that I started my Whole 30 journey last month. As, I am now a proud graduate it was only natural for me to share my journey, my learnings and of course the results with you all. 

I must admit that I started on this journey with a lot of trepidation. Diets have never interested me and the idea of restricting certain types of food has never compelled to the foodie in me. However, several of my friends tried this last year and they swore that it has completely changed their relationship with food. 

This intrigued me, since the last three years, I have noticed that my stress eating habits had spiralled out of control and no amount of Crossfit, yoga, running and walking was helping me. I admitted to myself that no exercise can outdo a bad diet or like in my case a slightly bad diet.

As I said, I do not have a bad diet as such; thanks to my women-only fitness group,  Crossfit box, an Instagram full of my athlete friends, health bloggers, coaches, yogis, bikini competitors and whatnots, I have managed to stay motivated with my workouts and 75% clean-eating. But despite all that I was not seeing the results, I was hoping for. I knew I needed to change something and re-visit my food habits. Enter Whole 30. 

So, what is Whole 30?

Whole 30 is all about eating real food. The program was created by wife and husband duo, Mellisa (Hartwig) Urban and Dallas Hartwig in 2009. They are certified sports nutritionists who first co-authored the book “It Starts with Food” in which they argued that all our health problems start with food and hence having a healthier relationship with food can help us to manage most of the conditions or even break away from bad habits. 

Whole 30 and how it helped me to overcome emotional eating

In the book (pictured above, yes I read it cover to cover), they clearly mention that Whole 30 should not be taken as a weight-loss diet, in fact, you should not even step on scale or measure yourself during the 30 days but really understand your relationship with food and how it might be affecting any issue you have. 

Now, my research (before starting this) also threw many critics of the program calling it too extreme, likely to affect your social life and random and bizarre grouping of banned food. (more on that later, fact-checked here). 

My friends who did this earlier swore that it has helped them re-define their food relationship, tame the sugar demon, manage stress and generally be happier. So, I weighed the pros and cons and as it is only for 30 days, I decided to give it a go. 

One key criterion to do this program is you have to commit for the entire 30 days, so if have a little slip or cheat day, you need to start from square one. So yes, there is no half-ass(ing) this one. There is a line of tough love in the book, “Quitting heroin is hard, battling cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee, black, is.not.hard”. Making this line my mantra, I powered through. 

What’s allowed and what’s not allowed in Whole 30?

The rule is to eat the above- mentioned items and food that are natural and unprocessed.

You can eat vegetables (even potatoes), meat, eggs, seafood, fruits, plenty of good fats from fruits, oils like olive, coconut, or avocado, nuts and seeds. 

You can also eat ghee (clarified butter, as milk proteins, gets destroyed in the clarification process), coconut aminos, green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas (as they are more of a pod than a bean), dates (exercise caution as they are high in calories) and vinegar.

You should completely avoid for 30 days the following things: 

  1. Sugar and sweeteners. Including the “healthy” options like honey, coconut sugar, agave and jaggery. 
  2. Alcohol (even for cooking) and tobacco. 
  3. Grains and pseudo-grains like rice, wheat, oats, quinoa, corn, buckwheat etc. 
  4. Legumes like kidney beans, lentils, peanuts (including peanut butter), chickpeas etc. 
  5. Soya or soy forms like soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame and soy lecithin. 
  6. Dairy including cheeses, yoghurt, creams etc. 
  7. Carrageenan, MSG and Sulphites. 
  8. Paleo treats even if the ingredients are Whole 30 complaint. 

It is also advisable to not snack between meals if after a meal you feel like eating a sweet, ask yourself, should I rather eat another round of the meal? If the answer is yes, then eat another portion of the meal. If it no, then it is just a craving. Most cravings would pass within 3 minutes (this, in fact, is true, as I learnt). 

My breakfast was mostly eggs, nuts, a teaspoon or two of nut butter with fruit. Dinner and lunch was mainly chicken or fish with plenty of vegetables. For snacks, if I had it was a fruit or a date. I took my coffee with almond milk or black. 

That’s a hell-lot of Do’s and Don’ts is this even worth it?

How Whole 30 helped me to overcome emotional eating. Standing on a brown floor wearing purple leggings and blue workout vest.

ABSOLUTELY! I followed it to the T and I am so glad I did! In the Whole 30 book, the duo mentions that what we eat creates hormonal reactions which usually causes most of the conditions we have. 

To reiterate, my goal was not just to lose weight, but deal with the larger issue of stress eating, mindless snack (especially on sugary stuff). I also wanted to deal with adult acne (I have been suffering from this for the last 2.5 years), PCOS, thyroid, dysmenorrhea. I suffer a bad case of period pain; often I have had to call work sick, not go to the gym and eat Ibuprofen 3 times a day. While regular exercise has helped, I still depend on painkillers. 

Within 2-3 days, my skin started clearing (although it was hubby who mentioned it, I took it with a pinch of salt! but he was right),  my periods went unnoticed, I felt energetic (for the most part), did not crave chocolates and did not use painkiller even for a day! 

My clothes started fitting better, I hit several Personal Bests at Crossfit and I did lose weight. Overall, I lost 3.5 kgs and a whopping 9.5 inches. The weight loss might not sound big but the needle had not moved for me for over a year. 

And what about my relationship with food and general happiness?

Once the first ten days were done, I felt better, happier and less anxious (the Tiger blood mentioned in the book is real). 

The book mentions that on the tenth day, one would experience extreme tiredness. This was because the body experiences the worst of sugar withdrawal and the best way to combat this was to rest and sleep more. 

I have certainly become a more mindful eater. I read labels carefully and “listen” to my hunger signals.  If I am truly hungry I eat “whole food” instead of junk including the healthier ones like protein bars.  I do not know if I have really defeated the sugar demon but at least I can manage it better. 

My biggest win from this is my healthier relationship with food and not taking comfort in junk food/sweets, during stressful moments.  

Resources:

  1. Whole 30 website
  2. Whole 30 book
  3. Official Instagram
  4. Whole 30 recipes Instagram
  5. https://lifehealthhq.com/

Thank you for reading. Hope you liked the post. Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Being deeply loved gives you strength, loving deeply gives you courage~Lao Tzu

On Monday morning, I rolled out of the bed with a sudden realisation that I have officially grown up, that one more candle would be added to my birthday cake and that the carefree abandon of youth are things of the past. I did not know whether to laugh or cry or just let be. Honestly, the realisation shook me a bit but then I decided instead of brooding about age, I should smile and celebrate the life I have created for myself.

Off Shoulder Top Fashion

Most of us fear ageing and I am no different but one thing I can assure you: never have I felt so sure of myself. And that is speaking a lot. I was your typical awkward kid with no confidence in herself to speak her mind, shy, reserved and always unsure. At the same time, I was strong-willed and determined but my two personalities were in perpetual conflict with each other.

Off shoulder top fashion

My mentor-friend wrote these lines once: And destiny shall rip you into pieces to show you what you are made of. This is true for each one of us. Destiny and the fearful thing called age has shown me my inner strength, my vulnerabilities, my sense of adventure and my most important quality: the ability to not let failures and haters take me down.

How to style bodysuit

Transitions can be liberating as well as gruelling. It is a double edged sword which will make you but only after breaking you several times and there is a certain beauty in anyone who time and again make themselves whole again from the broken pieces. It takes audacity and lot of courage.

How to style bodysuit

Bodysuit: New Look, Jeans: DIY, Belt: Asos, Earrings: Individual designer, Boots: M&S, Red lipstick: Clinique

So, here’s to the broken pieces, the ones you pick to make yourself whole again. Here’s to the ability to transform and mostly here’s to the love that you give and you get despite all the negativities in the world.

Here’s to growing up.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week? Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

“You call it madness, but I call it love”–Don Byes

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“Sometimes, my mind battles with my heart. And often my heart loses the battle. Because what’s winning when we haven’t known a little love or loved back?”

I know you probably came here expecting my weekly fashion post and even assuming that I would have some date-night outfits or other such inane stuff. The truth is I just do not get Valentine’s Day-a day apparently to celebrate love, wear sexy underwear and prance around with fluttering eyes (really, only one day in 365 days???) Do not get me wrong, sometimes I do get sucked into this giant marketing ploy and in my head make elaborate plans for the day.

But when the St. Valentines arrives, knocking mightily on my door, instead of it warming the cockles of my heart the whole thing sends me into a WTF frenzy!! Admit it: Valentine’s Day is one HUMONGOUSLY overrated day in which we are expected to show our love by exchanging a string of undesired gifts (because we are material people living in a material world and all that )and fancy surprises (because love is nothing if does not come with a huge price tag). It’s not reality. It is  another commercialised facade and we are expected to conform. 

And conforming is something that does not come naturally to me.

Hence, this year instead of even pretending to celebrate it, I am going to throw caution to the wind and concentrate on the rest 364 amazing days of love, laughter and friendship because at the end of the day it is the little things that matter. And if you are in mood to celebrate then here are some ways that WILL warm the cockles of your heart no matter what.

Cooking: 

When the husband man without expecting or being told cooks a scrumptious meal. Cooking, is the new candlelight dinner for most parents, add a lit bit of wine and a lot of chatter and you will have a memorable recipe in hand, no matter what is cooking. Any man worth his charm would know that a way to a woman’s heart is definitely through her stomach.

Re-creating the first date: 

Valentines Day unique ideas

Anyone can go to fine dine dating place but why not add an extra zing to it by re-creating your first date atmosphere. This is especially true for those couples who have been together for a while and know everything about each other. This is guaranteed to warm anyone’s heart and give you more than one reason to smile and be thankful for.

Go Outdoor:

Valentines Day unique ideas

No one said Valentine’s Day has to celebrated in an expensive place with expensive shit around. Get out of your comfort zone and go adventurous and pick up an activity you love: be it hiking, a long walk, skydiving or bungee jumping. Outdoor activities take out the pressure of perfection and you would end up having more fun than anticipated and speaking from experience there is nothing more romantic than getting lost up in a mountain or in a woodland.

Get physical:

Valentines Day unique ideas 

And I do not mean the Fifty Shades kind but something more fun (and perhaps less painful) if you and your partner are gym rats or fitness lovers then why not bond on that? Pick a really interesting challenging, head to the gym, compete and see who wins.

Dress Up:

Valentines Day unique ideas

Now this is an activity you can do whether you are single or celebrating the day with your friends. Dressing up is an expression of self-love and self-love is the foundation of any kind of love.

I hope now you realise that it is not about soppy gifts and pricey experiences but little things that go a long way to fill you with love and happiness. I wish, all you people Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week? Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can”–Frida Kahlo

Welcome to the second last day of the year. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas weekend and made several memories. Each year this time around I am filled with hope and positivity with a little bit of anxiety thrown in. 2016 has been one tumultuous year for many of us. A year which shocked us in many ways thanks mainly to two seminal events: Brexit and Donald Trump. I am not in any way underestimating political and cultural shifts taking place in other parts of the world but there is a certain truth in the saying that when super powers cough everyone catches a cold.

It is also the year when we lost some iconic names from the world of film, literature and music. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds to name a few. If you think all is lost then think again. Few months ago Ebola vaccination was discovered, ozone layer is healing, Giant pandas are no longer endangered and my favourite actor and teenage crush Leonardo Di Caprio finally won that damn Oscar. The point is: there is always light at the end of the tunnel and that hope is something we should never let go off. 

Personally, it has been a year of realisations, persisting despite failures, learning to let go, learning to forgive more. There has been several times this year when I just wanted to give up: on this blog, on myself even on dressing up. But everytime I fell down, I got up, dusted myself and kept going. Because isn’t that what life is all about? To keep going no matter what. After all, the real defeat is when you stop trying. Sartorially, I have tried to push the envelope, go out of my comfort zone and pair the most unassuming things. Here’s the countdown of my favourite looks in no particular order.

dress4 - 1

I loved this velvet and jacquard dress which i wore to celebrate my birthday in Tenerife.

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This summer I finally mustered the courage to show off my legs in a pair of denim shorts which i paired with boho looking cold shoulder blouse.

Bridesmaid dress style

Maxi Wrap dress style shein

I also enlisted the help of my talented photographer friend and colleague to capture these beautiful photos. In the first one, I tried my hand at becoming a bridesmaid although I had no such luck in real life. In the second one, it was all about donning a super chic maxi wrap dress and turning in to an uptown girl.

Shirt Dress Over Jeans

Talking about unusual pairings, who knew shirtdress over jeans would be such a hit?!

When Fashion Meets Art: Van Gogh Starry Nights

Or that I could pull of a Van Gogh painting skirt for a lunch date?

Must have Dress: Maxi dress style

And have the confidence to wear noodle strap maxi dress.

Paisley Print casual look

Polka Dot Fashion

Or go completely casual in this paisley print and polka dots.

I hope you liked these looks that I have picked here. I hope you have an exciting and wonderful New Years Eve and continue to make bucketloads of memories.

Thank you for reading this post. Have a wonderful and exciting weekend and I will see you in the next year. Do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Playing dress up begins at age 5 and never really ends–Kate Spade

Gosh, I cannot believe that this year is almost ending and this is my first post for December 🙁 Truth is, December, has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for me and not because it is the year end. I was unwell for most part of this month, confined to the bed even and piled with work. But hey atleast despite everything I still managed to enjoy my office Christmas party  in style(I do have some awesome colleagues) and I am getting back to my favourite method of unwinding–blogging.

The best part of the festive season (apart from all the presents and the general love and affection amidst people) is of course festive fashion. When it comes to festive fashion (or any other fashion for that matte) my favourite go-to style is dresses. This year, instead of splurging on another new dress (mind you I have done that too) I instead thought of re-styling an old dress.

This maroon-red dress in baroque print dress is my all time favourite and I decided to restyle it for obvious reasons. Red is a colour synonymous with Christmas. Combine it with black and some winter accessories and you have an hands down winner.

Festive-Christmas fashion lookbook

 

Festive-Christmas fashion lookbook

Red dresses have spunk, playfulness and just the right bit of sass to make it a clear wardrobe winner. Pair it with classic winter accessories like over the knee high lace boots, polka dot tights, statement necklace, cocktail ring and a delicate bracelet and you are ready to own any dance floor or dinner event.

Festive-Christmas fashion lookbook

Dress: Debenhams (old) also like this one from Pretty Little Things, boots: Ego, Beret &snood: New Look, necklace: Mango, Bracelet: Pandora

I have also added a fur snood and beret to earn more chic points as well to make sure that i stay warm without compromising much on style. So my top tip for this festive season fashion would be? A little Red dress and over the knee lace boots 😉

Thank you for reading. Hope you liked this post. Have a wonderful week ahead and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest