How to Make Good Choices at … Cafe Mezzuna

How to Make Good Choices at … Cafe Mezzuna

Cafe Mezzuna is really new and really hip. Just as a review … I super recommend it. Its very pretty, all the food is of great quality, and for the ambiance and the food the pricing is extremely reasonable. It can be compared to places like Smokehouse Deli but isn’t as expensive.

Cafe Mezzuna
Isn’t it beautiful?

Anyway, unlike at Smallys, I actually felt like I made some pretty good choices here, so let me tell you what I ate.

The Appetizer

AA, PP and I shared a Mezze Platter. The Mezze Platter is huge. It comes with hummus, green chutney, beetroot hummus, sour cream (?), baba ganoush, and one more red dip I couldn’t identify. It also came with a great deal of lavash bread. It was just the right size for three people to share and still be able to eat something else. Plus, it was reasonably healthy,

A rough estimate at MyFitnessPal put this at about 350 calories, though I tried to overestimate a bit because I wasn’t sure what a lot of the things were.

The Main Course

Because the appetizer was quite filling (and I’d been eating a fair bit all day), I opted for a salad: in particular, a goat cheese, slivered almonds and tomato salad with a mustard-orange vinaigrette. May I just say that the salad was beautiful, and so tasty that I didn’t covet my friends’ cheesy/meaty dishes, and quite filling as well. I really enjoyed it and it didn’t leave me stuffed.

A rough calorie estimate of 200 calories for this according to MFP.

The Dessert

Oh my god their Philadelphia Cheesecake is TO DIE FOR. However, predictably, it is a calorie bomb. We reduced this calorie bomb by splitting it three-ways. It was just enough cheesecake to enjoy and not enough to feel like we were bursting out of our pretty black dresses.

A rough calorie estimate of 200 calories (a large slice of blueberry cheesecake with blueberry compote and whipped cream is about 400 calories, so I’ve overestimated slightly).

The Drink

I was already eating a huge meal (and I had a cold) so I opted to not have alcohol or one of their decadent mocktails or milkshakes. I picked a chamomile tea that was refreshing, didn’t make me feel like I was the only one not having a drink, and soothed my throat. All at zero calories.

Total Calories from Meal: 750.

Total Calories that Day (given I’d eaten lightly otherwise): 1728. I know this is above 1550, but it isn’t drastically so, and it is the kind of deficit that can be covered up with some of my calories from exercise instead of being a thousand calorie excess that would be difficult to recover from.

Win!

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How to Make Good Choices At … Smally’s Resto Cafe

How to Make Good Choices At … Smally’s Resto Cafe

Since most of our alumni have come down for Convocation, I was looking forward to meeting some of my old friends who have now graduated. So, in order to meet my favorite senior ever, we decided to plan an outing for Monday. We went to (what seems like) the place EVERYONE is talking about these days … Smally’s Resto Cafe.

smallys
And now I know why.

So how do you make good choices at Smally’s? 

You don’t. 😦

tried. Though we were all sharing, I decided I’d order a Russkamo Salad (their only vegetarian salad) and mostly eat that. The Russkamo Salad is described as russian salad with pasta with variety of lettuce & fresh orange dressing with cucumber & carrots. Which was … exactly what it was. However, it was kind of sad looking and wilted and I hated the pasta so I mostly nibbled on all the veggies (and given that it wasn’t a “heavy” dressing and the veggies were … veggies … I’m sure it was a very light salad).

Everything else on your menu? Can you say cheese, oversized burgers, decadent shakes, and gooey cheesecake? Add some more cheese on top of that.

I was mostly just taking bites and sips from the common food, though I’m sure that added up to a lot too.

I did, however, eat a reasonably light breakfast (at my uncle’s house) and a very moderate dinner. I’m sure I was still pretty far above the calorie limit for the day, but it was a great outing and all the food was very yummy (well worth the hype) so eh, c’est la vie. 

As long as I eat well for the rest of the week.

How to Stay Healthy When Life Goes Crazy

How to Stay Healthy When Life Goes Crazy

Hi everyone!

As mentioned in my last post, it was all set to be a crazy week. I had:

  • Wonderla.
  • A very important job interview.
  • Family get-together over three days (friday, saturday and sunday)
  • General deadlines in terms of work.

Obviously, all of these exciting events did damage my normal goals. So how did I do this week?

Exercise: 

Monday: Went to Wonderla.

Tuesday: No. 😦

Wednesday: Interview.

Thursday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Friday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Saturday: Swimming for 30 minutes. Also, loads of dancing in the evening for about 30 minutes.

Sunday: Walk with my parents (with a little running thrown in here and there) for about 30-40 minutes.

Honestly, this was as good as it could’ve gotten this week. I’m particularly proud of the end of the week.

Food: 

Monday: 2300 calories. Because Wonderla.

Tuesday: 1422 calories.

Wednesday: 1900 calories (this is because, feeling very happy about the interview, I went out for dinner with two fellow interviewees despite already having eaten pizza at the interview and eaten enough throughout the day).

Thursday: I have no idea! How could I not record it? However, given that I had about 575 calories left over for dinner, I am assuming I ate something reasonable and made it within the 1550 limit.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: With my family, given the varied nature of the meals and the fact that there was a LOT of sharing, I was never sure how to calculate, and so I didn’t.

Lessons Learnt: 

So it hasn’t been a great week, food wise. I hope this blog will not become an “excuses” blog, so I won’t really make excuses, but I did learn how I could make some better choices this week:

Don’t snack between meals: I tried to avoid this as much as possible in my family celebration, because we were eating huge meals already and snacks tend to be super high calorie and nutritionally useless. I didn’t always succeed because, well, banana wafers and caramel popcorn and sakarapara and murukku were on offer, but I avoided it as much as I could. I also saw that the more nutritionally conscious members of the family were avoiding them strenuously.

If drinking, drink low calorie drinks: Think I succeeded in this. Peach snapps with soda, Bloody Mary, and Gin and Tonic over three days of family celebrations. Not crazy, calorie wise. Also yummy. I avoided all other drinks, though I did end up drinking a LOT of coffee and tea  that everyone else was drinking (but with very less sugar). Next time, would avoid or opt for plain milk.

Choose smaller portions of everything: Did, mostly. Went back for seconds only very rarely. Couldn’t resist the homemade Bhel on Saturday night. I especially took small portions of desserts or shared with people, which I’m proud of.

Don’t eat unless hungry: Again, mostly happy about this. Though I did go a little overboard on Sunday.

Stay active: Think I nailed it on this one! Swam laps in the pool on Friday and Saturday (my uncle’s house has a pool nearby). My brother said I’ve become boring in the pool but my parents definitely think my swimming has improved since they last saw it last June. Enjoyed dancing a lot with my cousins on Saturday night. Loved the walk with my parents on Sunday, had a lot of important conversations with them.

Have fun with family: Remember that life is about more than calories and that enjoying with your family (even if you only eat at maintenance and don’t lose any weight at all that week) is good for your mental health. And when your aunt says you look thinner and clothes fit better and you can walk and swim and run without getting winded … smile.

🙂

Looking forward to a great next week.

(Sorry for the long wait for this blog post. I’ll try to be more regular as well.)

Yesterday

Yesterday

Calories consumed: 2300 (or more).

Going to Wonder La, running around for rides, climbing up for water rides, laughing so much I cried with friends, jumping around in wave pools, and general good memories: Unaccountable.

No regrets.

But it does mean I have to eat a lot more carefully this week, given that it’s going to be a really stressful and exciting one (very important job interview, parents coming over for a huge family celebration, submissions for college) and I don’t know how regular I’ll be able to be with activity. I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes!

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Hi everyone! This is my (hopefully weekly) check-in of how I’m really doing with regard to my goals.

Exercise

Monday: –

Tuesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Wednesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Thursday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Friday: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

Saturday: –

Sunday: Swimming for 30 minutes (but not very vigorously, as I was teaching a friend).

I wish I’d exercised on Saturday, but still, pretty close to my goals! I’m pretty kicked!

Eating: 

(For reference, the goal is about 1550 calories a day).

Monday: 1455 calories.

Tuesday: 1537 calories.

Wednesday: 1520 calories.

Thursday: 1557 calories.

Friday: 1570 calories.

Saturday: 1477 calories.

Sunday (gah): 1849 calories. [I did make good choices at Subway! But then I got waylaid by an extra large packet of chips while watching a movie in my room. Eh. No regrets. It was end of week and a long weekend anyway.]

Now, this isn’t exactly terrible! I’m sure the extra on sunday is compensated by the lower values on many other days and by the exercise (though I’m sure a lot of the calculations have been off or lower as well).

But overall I’m really happy with this week. It’s been a happy, productive week. Hoping for many more in the future!

How’s your week been?

Making Good Choices At … Subway

Making Good Choices At … Subway

Hey everyone! Today I’m going out to meet a friend. However, I’ve learnt that if I want to eat out, having gone through the menu in advance and picked a “good” option really helps me to not make terrible decisions. (Of course, that doesn’t rule out spontaneous bad decisions, but those are more fun anyway). So I headed over to the “nutrition” section of the Subway website.

Yay Subway.

Pick First: The Bread

I always try to pick a whole-wheat bread at Subway. I don’t know how much it changes the nutrition because the Subway website in India doesn’t have that information, however, extrapolating a bit from the U.S. website, it seems that they’re all roughly the same. I could pick Hearty Italian if I really wanted to minimize calories, but 10-20 don’t really seem to make that much of a difference.

Pick Second: The Sub

I’m vegetarian, so all options are vegetarian. You can decide your own calculation. So, I thought the best option would be Veg. Shammi because Subway had very triumphantly called it “fat free”, and because it had a lot of protein (about 22 grams), but its also has a lot more calories (352) and a lot more carbs (53 grams) than a Veggie Delight sandwich. A veggie delight has about 230 calories and 15 grams of protein. A quick calculation revealed that its almost the same amount of protein per gram, so Veggie Delight it is!

Pick Third: The Condiments

So, the sauces can make or break your sandwich. I love my sandwich absolutely full of sauces, but I’ve realized that I can’t do that. Since Subway India doesn’t tell you how many calories are there in their sauces, I’ve looked at this website and this  website and decided that ideally my sub will have:

  • Honey Mustard Sauces – 30 cal
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – 40 cal
  • Fat Free Sweet Onion Sauce – 40 calories.

That’s a hundred calories. Also, I’d like to add about sixty calories of cheese because I like cheese and it adds a little protein (approximately 4 grams).

Total Calorie Count of Sandwich: 400 calories. 

Pick Last: Cookies, Soda, Etc. 

Anyone of their cookies (as much as I love them) is an extra 200 calories. I will decide whether to eat them depending on how much I want it at that point, and what else I have eaten and plan to eat that day. Since I’ve had almost no breakfast today (woke up late, didn’t feel like eating) I may pick a cookie to go with my meal (or eat another dessert, like ice cream, with my friend).

I won’t drink the coke under any circumstances. In my opinion coke (and other aerated drinks) are just empty calories. They also make me feel all burpy.

In Conclusion: Eat it All. Just Wisely. Also websites really need to do a better job of giving nutritional info for their stuff. 

Phew

Phew

Guess who swam 550 metres (that’s 50 metres more than last night!) almost without stopping, finally seems to be getting the hang of freestyle, and enjoyed the most delicious filter coffee afterwards?

Filter Coffee
Filter Coffee. One of life’s small joys.

-sighs with contentment-

Its also been a really solid day eating-wise. I did eat my favorite strawberry muffils but it was bookended by masala omelette and sambhar-vada, leaving a very decent number of calories for dinner. I love how with calorie counters, I don’t need to worry too much about enjoying a little chocolate or a treat – as long as everything else is on track. I don’t feel constantly hungry and deprived either. I also had a really enjoyable time on the blogosphere, interacting with people about all manner of things that I can’t when I’m not anonymous: illness, birds, and body image.

I also think I should go buy some fruits now, especially to eat over the weekend, because we’re probably going to have a holiday on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Unfortunately the pool is going to be closed for the next two days as well. I’m going to miss it. Might even have to go for a run!

And that’s a wrap folks. Hopefully I’ll be able to use this weekend to learn how to eat better even when tempted by alcohol and company.

-goes back to enjoying bangalore weather and college work-