"I want to lose weight. But... I just can't give up rice. Please tell me what to do."
A lot of moms who are trying to lose weight and have been told to immediately drop rice from their diets, ask me.
So the fact is - that there is no need to drop rice from your diet to become thin.
In fact for most Indians who are used to eating rice as comfort food - not eating rice can be so stressful that it is counterproductive.
There are three things that are important to remember here -
1. How much rice are you eating. Always measure.
2. What rice are you eating. Brown rice is more nutritious that white rice and par boiled rice is better than white rice.
3. What are you eating it with. Rice must be eaten with dal or beans. This increases the protein, fat and fibre content of the meal and fills you up faster and for longer. Which then means you eat less rice for satiety.
If you eat white rice at all meals without enough dal. You will never be able to lose weight because you are eating only starch.
Have you ever contemplated removing rice from your diet?
PC: Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash
I have been doing the same workout now for the past 10 years.
"How boring are you?" Is something I am often asked.
Well.... Very boring I guess.
And quite unintelligent as well - it would seem - because I still don't know the routine by heart.
I need to play the video every day and follow the instructor's moves and instructions for about 45 minutes.
But I make no attempt at change Or improvement.
I just ignore the insults and carry on...
Because I get some of my best ideas during my workout.
I would say - I am at my creative best when I workout.
I find amazing ways of explaining complicated concepts in medical science through the use of humorous examples from everyday life as I move.
And I use those examples in my parenting workshops, consultations, writing and videos to make parenting 'fun' instead of preachy.
I have always been curious about what goes on in my brain when I am repeating 10 year old moves with the help of explicit instructions.
And I have found a lot of research on the role of accustomed exercise in convergent thinking.
When you are fit enough for the exercise you are doing - when you don't really have to think about what you are going to do next - and when your busy mind is otherwise blank.
What you know from reading - from experiences - from conversations - from having fun...
All come together - converge and give you exactly what you need to express yourself.
In other words an alert mind that is not thinking is ideal for convergent thinking.
The neuroscience of creativity is fascinating.
I am speaking about it in a workshop this month.
What do you do that makes you creative?
Do share. I would love to know.
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
On the last day of 2020
My 14-year-old tells me excitedly.
"Mom we had so much fun this afternoon. We sang and sang to our hearts content on a call - just like we used to in school."
You were singing?
I was sitting right there. I didn't hear you sing.
I say - a little confused.
"No. You can't hear us when we sing online. We play the song and listen to it with our ear phones. And as it plays, all of us type out the lyrics in chat simultaneously.
Many of us are not allowed to be noisy at home you know.
So we have found this new way to sing.
In between we also laugh at each other in text with lol and rofl.
It is great fun."
I have no words. I just hold her in a long hug.
2020 has not been an easy year.
And it has been the toughest for children.
And it is from them that I have learnt the most about resilience and happiness in many incidents like this one.
I hope 2021 will be kinder to them.
And I hope that in 2021 we adults will be kinder to them.
Children need to be noisy - they need to play - they need to sing and to laugh.
Let's not push them into living life in text.
"I feel she is too little for discipline. But then I find myself screaming at her all the time. What should I do?"
Many new parents ask me at consultations.
The problem is that most people think that
Discipline = Punishment
Discipline = Control
And because they love their children so much they cannot bring themselves to either punish or control them.
But discipline is neither.
Discipline comes from the word 'Disciple' meaning student.
It involves you transforming into a teacher and behaving in a way that your child can copy.
It does NOT involve control. It involves building trust.
You lead the way with your behavior and trust your child to follow.
You can start with discipline as soon as your baby is born.
Because it involves changing yourself - not your child.
I am sharing a step wise approach to discipline in this article that I have written for the Morisons Baby Dreams blog.
Yes. It is possible to avoid punishment and shouting by starting discipline early. Let's do it.
PC: S&B Vonlanthen Unsplash
Do you cook with the peels of vegetables?
Or does the idea sound absurd to you?
If you find it absurd you are not alone.
I was exactly like you
Until one day I visited a friend and her mom insisted I stay for lunch.
Lunch was something called Khoshar Chorchori which in Bengali means a dish made of mixed peels from various vegetables.
Of course I was hesitant to begin with, but once I started eating the dish, I just couldn't stop.
Aunty told me that she had spent a good part of her life in the Sunderbans Delta, where there was little land and frequent flooding.
That meant that vegetables were precious.
And that is why nothing was ever thrown away.
The taste and the story stayed with me and then I started reading up on the advisibility of eating peels.
I found out that eating peels are a great way to build immunity because they are the outer most layer of the fruit/vegetable, and rich in phytochemicals and other protective substances that keep the fruit safe.
And so we now try to eat almost everything with the peel.
What do you do with your peels?
Are you using them to build immunity?
PC: Chandra Oh from Unsplash
We are browsing through pics of friends and family on Instagram.
Suddenly I notice a friend's son in the same light pink sweatshirt that my daughter has.... And I point it out to her.
"That sweatshirt was in the girl's section mom!!"
"Did he buy his clothes from there?"
She says shocked.
He may have - I respond.
"Whhhhhyyyyy?????" She says in disbelief.
Why not? I respond.
You like to buy T-shirts from the boys section when you buy play clothes.
Both of us like to pick up our sweatshirts from the boys section.
I love the oversized chappals from the men's section.
If we are allowed to do that - why should we a judge a boy for buying something from the girls section.
She nods in agreement.
2021 is almost here.
After the shocker that 2020 has been, the least we can do is stop judging.
PC: Photo by Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash
Do you believe in Santa Claus? I do. And I encourage my teenager to believe too.
There is something so magical about the image of a jolly old man coming around spreading love and laughter.
And I want my daughter to believe in magic forever like I do.
I want her heart to jump with joy at the sight of the red and white costume. Just like mine does.
Fantasy keeps us going when things are difficult. And I love the Santa Claus fantasy.
There's only one thing that I steadfastly steer clear of... And I said this in an interview with the Indian Express last year.
I think it is wrong to tell children that they will be judged on their behavior before Santa gives them gifts.
Gifts are a symbol of love. And love must be unconditional.
Here is my quote from the Indian Express.
Do you agree?
On Christmas Eve...
Can you resist the urge to buy your child a gift?
A gift is a symbol of love.
And when every child. Is being showered with love - in the form of gifts
There is no way you can make your child feel unloved by not giving a gift.
All of us will give gifts because we want our children to feel good about themselves.
But when we choose gifts it is important to ensure that we create a long term feel good in the form of self-esteem - instead of a short term feel good.
Choose gifts that raise self-esteem
Self-esteem rises by -
1. Overcoming a challenge like by solving a jigsaw puzzle
2. Learning a new skill like learning how to skate / waveboard
3. Caring like caring for a doll or a soft toy
Most children have suffered a huge drop in self-esteem because of staying home through the pandemic.
Choose a gift that will bring it back.
PC: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Published in Addicted2Success(@addicted2success)
My article "3 Keys to balancing work and parenting while working from home"
It is painful to choose between making a living and giving love... But every day I meet a lot of parents who are compelled to constantly make that choice while working from home.
And it makes them feel unsuccessful and depressed.
It is hard to feel successful when you haven't been able to get your work for the day done.
It is hard to feel successful when you have been distracted through an important meeting.
And for many parents... Feeling exhausted, unsuccessful and incompetent has become part of every day life through the pandemic.
Unfortunately a person who feels incompetent makes a parent who is disconnected.
No one wants to be there... But many people are there now.
This article is a 3 point plan for them to succeed: https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/3-keys-to-balancing-work-and-parenting-while-working-from-home/
The first thing we need to understand about teaching is... That it is not easy.
Your success depends entirely on your student.
When your student does not learn... It feels like a personal failure.
And many parents who are trying to teach their little ones... Are now coming face to face with this failure every day.
Of course it is not pleasant to feel like a failure...... It makes you do one of the following....
1. Give up and stop teaching
2. Get angry and punish /shout
But neither of these approaches are useful.
The only thing that is likely to work here is.... Teaching AGAIN.
We must recognize that when we teach children... Our role ends at teaching.
We cannot make them learn..
We can only teach it again....DIFFERENTLY... And hope that that difference will work.
Transferring the blame onto the child is not right
It results in the child developing low self-esteem and a false belief like "I am dumb" "I can't learn" And so on.
Which is counterproductive.
The obstacle here may be that you know only one way to teach.
The way that works for you.
And the solution here is to explore and discover more ways to teach.
Information makes a long journey from the eyes and ears to the long term memory.
And when that journey is done... The child learns.
I love to explain this journey to parents at my workshops and consultations... Because understanding the journey and the roadblocks in that journey is the only way to discover the right way to teach.
In my opinion... If you understand the problem... You can implement the solution much better.
Make the effort to understand learning if you are struggling with teaching.
PC: Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash