It has been more than a week of suffering from the worst flu I have ever had. Perhaps they all seem the ‘worst’ but this one was quite paralysing. The torture was not just grappling with the high fever, chills and rigours but also the mental agony of not being able to exercise, not being able to follow my diet pattern, not being able to cook what I wanted to etc. I had worried about weight gain too but I actually lost a kilo last week which I seem to have maintained without gaining or losing anything this week. I am still feeling weak and my tonsils have not healed (pus in the crypts is what they call it) but I needed to get back to the routine today if I wanted to reclaim my sanity. I restarted the 7 pm calorie curfew today and will intermittent fast 16 hrs to 11 am tomorrow like I usually used to do. There has been a derailment in my strength and progress, true but I am gonna keep my chin up and head high and just stay on the course, looking ahead. No option but to crawl back on the wagon.
Brekky @ 10:30 am – Two egg salad sandwiches (one with brown bread and another with what they are calling vitamin bread – dont ask), some extra salad (lettuce, onion, tomato, mayo, seasoning, boiled eggs) on the side, wafers and a cup of tea. A prune and mixed seeds after.
Lunch @ 1:45 pm – A beautiful home cooked spaghetti with mixed peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes and chopped up chicken seekh kebab. Half a sandesh later.
Coffee & Grub @ 5 pm – Was at my usual cafe hangout in the evening. First had a mocha and half the plate of toast with zucchini & babycorn in cream sauce. Then the boys there served me a complimentary latte. Gosh, am gonna be inconsolable when it shuts shop a few weeks down the line. A bar is gonna replace it. Damn!
• 57 min Walking – Lord I was so happy to return to physical activity after being laid up in bed for so damn long I thought my muscles would atrophy. Didnt have stamina but had loads of steely will so trudged longer than my usual quota.
• Arm routine – Didnt truly have the strength for it but had been itching to try out my new dumbbells of 2 kg each so decided to put in one set of 15 reps of the following – lateral raises, front raises, bicep curls, arm curls, tricep extensions and shoulder/chest press.
Monday recap: Please note as I type this we have been without power for 40+hours. Have very nearly gone mad. A heartbreaking concern is a fridge-full of premium grocery that will have to be binned now. I cannot think straight. One solid rain and this is the civic havoc unleashed, such is the preparedness & competence of our worthless municipality. Health & nutrition were the least of my concerns today but strangely it wasn’t too bad a day on those counts. Here is the log for monday:
FOOD (day sixty-four of 16 hrs intermittent fasting)
Brekky @ 10:50 am: Chicken stir fried with peppers. A glass of whizzed yogurt (lassi) with it.
Dinner @ 5 pm: A cup of latte, Caesar Salad and half of a fish burger (with fries) at my usual cafe. I learnt today that this favourite hangout of mine (not for its food but for its ambience and the space it provides for professionals-on-the-go who need to park themselves for a while) is headed for closure in a month and a half. I am beyond inconsolable at this news.
- 50 min walking : We took this in the afternoon to work off the annoyance cum anxiety we were feeling at this botched up management of the power cut we have been reeling under.
- Resistance band workout: Returned home around 8pm, only to discover that the power had still not been restored! This makes it a 40+ hour power outage, a first in my entire life. Hubs & I were at our wits end what to do with ourselves. So guess what, we decided let’s clock in some strength training, given that most other activities to pass the time looked out of bounds. So I did a resistance band workout (2 sets, 15 reps each) composed of 10 exercises: Arm curls, bicep curls, tricep extensions, trapeze lifts, internal rotation twists, lateral raises, front raises, lower back extensions, cross extensions and shoulder press.
FOOD (day fifty-three of 16 hrs intermittent fasting):
Brekky @ 11 am – A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to start the day. Then the Courgetti from yesterday (made with a ton of veggies, mushrooms and sliced seekh kebab) with some makhana (foxnut). A serving of rice pudding after.
Fruits @ 3 pm – Two slices of Dasheri mango, tamarind and two slim bananas.
Vegan shake @ 4:45 pm – A coffee on the rocks (coffee with soy milk) at a cafe which often acts as my makeshift office.
Dinner Part 1 @ 5 pm – Half the Cafe’s Fish Kamonia which meant one grilled fillet, some sauteed spinach & sauce and one slice garlic bread. Left the rest for hubs who would join me an hour & half later.
Dinner Part 2 @ 6:30 pm – Was quite hungry. Ordered a fish burger – had half at first, leaving the rest for hubs. But was ravenous so ate half of the rest too making my consumption touch three fourths. Thankfully left the whole of the coleslaw and most of the fries for hubs, who is being treated as a bit of a dumping bin lately😜😈
• 10 min elliptical (fasted)
• 25 squats (fasted) – Had planned to do many many more but my lower body has been rather sore whole day today. Clearly the number of squats yesterday plus three continuous days on the elliptical have made their presence felt. So even though I was energetic and wanted to squat, I realised it wouldn’t be wise to attempt that range of motion again today because I would neither be able to do as many as I wanted to nor manage to keep correct form which is more important to me.
• 50 min walking – It was wonderful and pacy with my man for company today.
• Dumbbell workout: 3 sets of 15 reps each of an upper body circuit including bicep curls, shoulder press, lateral raises, front raises and tricep extensions.
FOOD (day forty-seven of 16 hrs intermittent fasting) All meals today were non-homecooked! Big fail I guess though I admit I quite enjoyed them😑
Breakfast @ 11:35am – Mushroom & zucchini in cream sauce with two toasts and fries. A cafe latte to down it.
Coffee @ 1pm – Ordered a single shot of espresso to inject self with extra pep. This worked till 5pm or so, allowing me to successfully complete a work project plus run an important errand in the afternoon.
Lunch @ 3:45 pm – Veg fried rice with chicken in black bean sauce.
Dinner @ 6:50 pm – Damn! I could have so easily avoided this but got into a totally irrational panic mode that I may get ravenous at a later point if I skipped it. No way to confirm now if the meal was actually a good idea or not. Anyway, here’s what it was – a leftover tandoori aloo paratha with some measly leftover murgh makhani and a squirt of schezwan sauce from lunch (don’t ask!).
• 55 min walk – horrendously leisurely and to think only yesterday I killed the pace. Sigh! I suspect the damn PMS is coming home to roost. Yikes! 😧😰 What else explains a uniquely emotional state while walking as if in a reverie – think jazz blues but also death metal anguish, welling up from time to time, raking the settled sediment of feelings and so on. Practically all fellow walkers on the track overtook me:?! I rather describe me walking using a sanskrit word, namely gajagamini 🐘👣 meaning the sexy gait of an elephant except I fear the joke might be too literal and therefore on me:|
• 90 squats
FOOD (day forty-four of 16 hrs intermittent fasting)
Brekky @ 11:30 am – A coleslaw (beet, cabbage, carrot, onion, cucumber) sandwich with a nutritious chicken stew (made from chicken legs cooked with garlic, onions, carrot, cabbage, capsicum, chillies, tomato, coriander, spinach and beansprouts)!
Lunch @ 3 pm – A cup of carrot-peas pulao from the other day, a spinach-peas-potato-beansprouts saag and an okra-potato dry subzi, both of which I prepared along with the chicken stew in a fresh burst of energy in the morning.
Shake @ 5 pm – An indulgent cherry chocolate shake at my favourite coffee shop.
Dinner @ 6 pm – One unbuttered toast, half a veggie omlette, half a hash brown and half a grilled tomato at the same coffee shop (basically half their omlette platter – the other half I kept for hubs dear who joined me half hour later).
•50 min walking
•Resistance band workout– Upped the number of sets to 3 from my usual 2. Did 15 reps of each exercise in each set. These were:
√Lateral Shoulder Raise
√Internal Rotation Twist.
FOOD (day forty of intermittent fasting)
First meal @ 11:25 am – The veggie hash-like pasta from the other day (the one with the bounty of mushrooms, carrot, onion, zucchini, lettuce, spinach etc).😇 Some pan grilled chicken on top. Makhana for company.
Last meal (Part 1) @ 4:15 pm – Had committed the big mistake of watching a cake challenge episode on Masterchef Australia in the morning. So kinda nurtured a raging craving for a slice of good cake the whole day. 🍰😍 Landed up at this neighbourhood coffee shop located in a bookstore around 4pm in search of the said cake coz I have one of my favourites here. Pronto ordered their carrot cake and a cottage cheese & veggie pizza 🍕 which i have had many times before. The regret is not about the cake because it was beautiful and delivered spectacularly on its promise – warm, fudgy and comforting. Plus i shared it with hubs so ate only half the slice. Nothing to make me feel sorry till this point. The disaster was the pizza – I don’t know what was wrong with the rookie chef who rustled it up because it was nothing like the thin-crust rectangular beauty they usually serve under that head. This one was too cheesy with watery toppings and an underdone base. But here is the silver lining – i took the slimmest slice and decided it was too awful to sacrifice today’s calories over. Hubs ate two slices and came to the same conclusion. We did get it parcelled coz we simply can’t waste food – i will attempt to repair & restore it to some kind of edible tomorrow and give it another shot.
Last meal (Part 2) @ 4:45 pm : Since we were still hungry and now also sort of angry at the pizza fiasco, we stopped by our usual street food outlet and shared a cut dosa (a lentil crepe) with a delicious potato filling and an excellent coconut chutney as the dipping sauce. This calmed us substantially. Hubs ordered a bhel too. I took a few bites from his bowl coz the peanut & raw mango garnish on it was just irresistible.
• 45 min pacy walking
• 55 squats
• 10 minute high intensity arm circuit (using 1 kg dumbbells) involving four basic exercises and their sub-variants and quite a few reps in total. These included:
i) Arm curls: 25 posture curls +10 roll ups from halfway position+ 10 curl backs to the same position
ii) Bicep curls: 30 alternate arm bicep curls (fast tempo) + 10 rotator cuff moves from halfway position + 20 both arm bicep curls
iii) Tricep Extensions: 25 bent over tricep extensions + 10 pulsing up & down in the extended position + 30 bent over alternate arm fast tricep extensions
iv) French Press : 30 french press + 30 lie down press ups + 40 alternate arm tricep press + 20 french press
FOOD (day thirty-eight of 16 hours intermittent fasting):
First meal @ 12 noon: A vegan soy milk coffee on the rocks, two unbuttered toasts, french fries and akuri (Parsi scrambled eggs).
Last meal @ 5 pm: Takeout meal from my favourite Iranian joint which included Chelo Kebab with buttered rice, one khameeri roti and chicken masala curry. To finish, half an Alphonso mango.
Snack @ 6:20 pm: Bought a pack of roasted makhana or lotus seeds (which are rich in fibre, protein & minerals) today. Had a few.
• 55 min walking
• 45 squats
• 20 dumbbell swings (5 kg)
FOOD (day thirty-six of 16 hrs intermittent fasting)
First meal @ 1 pm (technically almost 19 hours after my last meal – now where is my fist pump emoji?!) : This was a magnificent lunch at a new restaurant and was worth fasting days for. Had 4 pieces of Rainbow Maki (tuna, salmon, crab stick), Pork-Egg fried rice (with bacon) and Wok fried lamb with leeks. Just look at that gorgeous sushi!
Coffee @ 4pm : Shared an apple pie, a few sips of choco latte and a cup of macchiato with a mate.
Last meal @ 6:55pm : One buttered toast cut up in two triangles, my amazing veggie omlette (spinach, onion, green chilly, tomato, mushroom and two eggs) and a helping of the last of the leftover dahi bhalla.
• 35 squats (today i finally felt it getting tough and am loving it)
• 50 min walking : It rained last night and I was pretty sure it would rain at my usual walking hour today too so I just decided to use a vacant hour to squeeze it in before the weather plays spoil sport. Will have to play this game with the weather every day now because we are entering the monsoon season. Have also decided to substitute outdoor walking by elliptical, zumba, aerobics, cize etc. as indoor cardio workouts as long as this season lasts (which could be as long as three months). Whenever I feel the weather is walk-friendly, am still gonna try to squeeze in the walk even if it means I do that at different times on different days. Am trying to look at this less as an inconvenience and more as a dynamic element in the day which I just need to accommodate in my stride, pun intended;-)
• 20 dumbbell swings (5 kg)
• 20 bicep curls (2 sets)
• 20 tricep extensions (2 sets)
• 20 chest and back press
• 20 front and side raises
• 20 trapeze lifts
FOOD (day thirty of 16 hrs intermittent fasting)
Brekky @ 11am: Rice with spinach dal and pointed gourd subzi.
Lunch @ 2 pm: Same as above except 1/3rd the quantity. Half a mango after.
Last meal @ 4:30 pm: Jalapenos cheese croquettes at a coffee shop. An hour later, a bowl of tomato soup at the same place.
50 min walking
Had a very satisfactory, happy day. Lately I have noticed I always have a great day when a part of it is spent at the coffee shop where I spent three hours all by myself today. It has just the right atmosphere – super comfy booths by a bay window with awesome view of a busy college street below; nicely cooled cafe which is a great plus in this scorching heat; not too crowded at the hours I choose to visit it; real pleasant staff well tuned to my idiosyncracies; a whole switchboard panel in every booth to aid charging of devices etc – basically just the ideal place for a solitude-seeking working woman keen to work outside of a conventional office space. I wish I could spend more days in a week at this place – I will have better work productivity for one which will make me a happier person for sure which will improve my energy levels & mood exponentially which should translate into better workouts too, no? At least that holds for the way my day pans out after a visit, nay stay, at this cafe. Am gonna try seek it out more actively now. Anyway, here is the log for today.
FOOD (day twenty-five of 16hrs intermittent fasting)
Brekky @ 11am – Began the day with a glass of lemon & honey warm water, followed by homemade potato patties (tikkis) and a sandwich.
Lunch @ 2:15 pm – A home cooked veggie fried rice (packed with the goodness of carrots, mushrooms, baby corn, capsicum, scallion, green chillies, spinach and garnished with omlette ribbons). Downed it with a cold press guava juice.
Shake @ 5 pm – Bean Magic cold coffee at my new favourite hangout. Skimmed off the whipped cream on top as I don’t really dig it in a shake.
Dinner @ 5:45 pm – Half their southern crusted chicken which included a pan grilled chicken breast, some curried veggies and some potato wedges. Drank half a glass of their chocolate cherry shake with it. The other half of the food & drink were left for my hubs who joined me later so that we could go back home together.
45 min walking
20 min resistance workout (2 sets of 15 reps each) consisting of:
Bicep Curl, Chest/Back Press, Lateral Shoulder Raise, Squat, Tricep Extension, Trapeze Lift and Internal Rotation Twist.