Food vs Exercise — The 80/20 Rule

The moment we see a friend or a relative who seems to have put on weight, this is what we tend to very promptly tell the person (or perhaps imagine ourselves telling the person):

  • You need to move your ass. Stop being lazy!
  • You need to hit the gym or do some yoga.

We assume that the person “getting fat” is just plain lazy, keeps sitting around the whole day, and does not exercise at all. “Probably he/she should at least go for a walk!” is what we think. Or if the person has been engaging in physical activities, we think “Umm, maybe he/she needs to push harder.”

The end result is the same if we flip the above situation on ourselves; the moment we realize we’ve put on a few extra pounds, we get that gym membership we had been for so long putting off or we head out on frantic morning runs.

How Ketogenic Diet Impacts Women

I started my experimentation with the Ketogenic Diet (or “keto” for short) a month back [that would be the June of 2016]. It involves eating less than 20g carbohydrates per day. There has been loads of researching, learning, tracking, shopping, and cooking. Hopefully I will come back to report my results and share my learning here shortly.

Magnesium supplement

Magnesium supplement

For now, I want to make a note of this experience.

Long Run at Baylands Park

Finally ran on the Baylands Park trail in Sunnyvale this Sunday, our first time here. We were a bit skeptic about the $6 car parking fee, as suggested by the City of Sunnyvale website. However, when we arrived, the ticketing window was closed, though the off- season lasts only until February. We parked close to where we thought the trail began, but it did takes us a while, a run of about a kilometer, to figure out the trail and where it extended. We ran in the evening, a couple of hours before the sunset. I did my first long, slow run of the season.

Cracking the Code of Plain Parathas

I had always sucked at making plain parathas. They invariably turned out with some uncooked spots or were stiff and hard to eat. I was also made fun of because of the plain parathas I doled out, and this was when I had only about started cooking by myself (read, after getting married). Ask me to cook stuffed parathas any day, and I did well. But I didn’t make any progress over the years with churning out soft plain parathas. I kept recalling how mom would roll out perfect, soft ones each time and tried hard to remember the way she performed each step, but to no avail; the magic was not happening with my hands. With some fluke, some turned okay and some were round as well. But there was no systematic procedure to get consistent shape and softness and edibility. This time I decided enough was enough.

Pindi Chole/Chana - The Missing Ingredient

I have been making rase ke chole (chana in gravy) for a number of years now. I recently tried to make pindi chana, which is spicy chana masala with much less gravy; in fact, the gravy has a thick saucy consistency. It goes best with bhature or poori.

I had invited some guests over for lunch a while back, and I made Pindi Chole following Nita Mehta’s recipe from her book “Learn to Cook with Nita Mehta”. I had not tried this recipe before (a big mistake, especially when you’re calling people over; Lesson Learned - always make tried and tested dishes). For this lunch party, I was making twice the quantity of chana from what was listed in Nita’s recipe, so I doubled all the ingredients. The result was not so good; it ended up being too spicy, which I tried to curb by adding a bit of sugar….blah, I was not happy with the outcome.

anardana powder

anardana powder

This weekend I tried the same recipe again, to see if I could make it right by following the recipe to the T.

Elite Ballroom

Trip distance : 8.4 mi (cycle), 6.9 mi (car)

Time to reach : 1 hr 5 min (walk / LRT (VTA train) / walk), 44 min (cycle), 12 min (car)

Round trip cost : $4

About the Class and Studio

Website :

Address : 1042, Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126 (SJ Downtown)

Bike parking availability : None

Class schedule : Mon/Tues/Thurs: 7:00-8:00 PM, Sat: 9:00-10:00 AM

Fee : $10 for dropping in(first class is free); $50 for 5 classes (1 class is free); $100 for 10 classes (3 classes are free)

Studio : Large wooden floor hall. Mirror on the long wall. Well ventilated. Single restroom (separate for men and women) that doubles up as changing room as well.

eLocker by VTA and BikeLink

As part of my trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, I took the VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) LRT (Light Rail Transit) from the River Oaks station. The River Oaks center at North First street also houses the VTA administrative office. This place is a 20 minutes walk from home and 10 minutes on a bike. VTA provides for bikers to carry their cycles on buses and trains; I haven’t used either yet.