Tangled earphones ruining your workout? The UltraProlink Pro-Fit+ Wireless Earphones can solve that! I tried them, and here’s my review.
A whole month of the low carb diet, and goodness, so many changes! But we’ll talk about my progress in a bit. First, let’s talk about the food!
Breakfast was a Peanut Butter smoothie, and it was yummy as ever! It really is a lovely drink to start the day with, and the fact that it’s loaded with protein just makes it better.
Lunch was the Ultra Low Carb (ULC) Rotis with Chicken Korma. The rotis were as good as they usually are, and the chicken korma was yum! Had a lovely, almost homemade flavour to it.
This was also a day I wasn’t feeling too great (ugh, PMS!), so I made myself some coconut milk coffee around mid-morning. I’m quite liking this version of coffee. It’s super creamy! Have you guys tried it yet?
Dinner was Chicken Tikka skewers with Mint Chutney. These were very tasty, but honestly at this point in the diet, the skewers are getting a little monotonous. Not bad at all, but yes, a tad boring.
Today was the Guava Smoothie again. A few of you asked me on Instagram whether the Guava Smoothie genuinely tasted good, and I must say, it really does. The smoothie is very creamy, and the guava flavour is fresh and delicate.
Lunch was a big block of cheese. It was labelled ‘Aubergine Chicken Parmigiana’, but it was so much cheese I could barely see any of the aubergine or chicken! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all. It was beyond delicious, and probably the only way I could ever eat aubergine.
I mean, look at it!
Dinner was the ULC Cheese & Chicken Paratha, and man, this one’s a goodie. Here too, they’re super generous with the cheese! I usually pop it in the microwave for 30sec just to get the cheese all melted and gooey before I eat it. Mmmmmm!
Today’s smoothie was the Mango one, and this one’s probably ranks in my Top 5 for Grow Fit’s smoothie collection. The flavour is fresh and not synthetic like so many mango drinks usually are. It’s almost like having a mango milkshake for breakfast (speaking of which, I’m missing Elco so bad!)
Lunch was the ULC Chicken Cauliflower Falafel Wrap. This one really wasn’t great, and I couldn’t finish more than half of it. Needed a lot more flavour, and it was way too dry for my liking.
Dinner made up for lunch’s disappointment, though. The Aachaari Chicken was wonderfully spicy and tangy, and paired really well with the ULC Rotis.
The Strawberry Power Smoothie is probably my third favourite, after Coffee and Peanut Butter. So I was more than happy to start my day with it!
Lunch was Chicken Shaslik with BBQ Sauce. While this was another skewer recipe, this one avoided the monotony I mentioned earlier by incorporating BBQ sauce. The resulting skewers were juicy, with a nice smokey flavour. Delish!
Dinner was a chunk of cheese again. They called it Cauliflower & Chicken Au Gratin, and I juuusstt about managed to find some cauliflower and chicken under all that glorious cheese! Man, if all keto food is this good, I could get used to this diet.
This glorious Saturday started with an Orange Smoothie. Not one of my favourites, but it definitely isn’t bad.
Lunch was PIZZAAA! *does happy dance*
I swear, I look at each week’s menu and check for when there’s pizza, because this is THE BEST GODDAMN PIZZA I HAVE EVER EATEN, and you can quote me on that! If there ever were a meal to convince people to try the keto diet, it is this.
I went out for dinner with old friends from school, and they were awesome enough to pick an Italian restaurant so I could find keto-friendly food. We headed to Toscano’s, where I ordered the Grilled Arabian Sea Bass with lemon-caper butter sauce and grilled vegetables. It’s normally served with roasted potatoes too, but I asked for extra grilled veggies instead. I also had a glass of Sula Chenin Blanc, which I sipped on through the night.
After a super restful sleep (despite sleeping later than usual), I awoke on this lovely Sunday to my favourite, the Coffee Power Smoothie. Great way to start a Sunday, I must say!
Lunch was Ema Datshi, a Bhutanese dish. This got J super excited, because he grew up in Bhutan! It was a mix of veggies and chicken in a spicy, hearty, coconut milk soup. It was my first time ever trying this dish, and I freaking loved it! (Note to self: Plan a trip to Bhutan soon!)
Dinner was… wait for it… chicken biryani! It was cauliflower-rice biryani, but honestly, you wouldn’t have guessed it wasn’t rice. It was really flavoursome, and the chicken chunks were tender and perfectly spiced. Yum!
The final day of week 4!
Breakfast was a Thandai smoothie. Not one of my favourites, but that’s because I’ve never really liked the flavour of Thandai.
Lunch was ULC Rotis with Chicken Paneer Curry. An interesting mix, the curry had a very Butter Chicken flavour to it. Much yum!
Dinner was Cheese Grilled Chicken. A delicious end to my keto journey with Grow Fit!
Yes, my nutritionist has now switched me from a low carb keto diet to what is known as ‘carb cycling’, which can be summarised as switching between low carb and burst of carbs. This process is said to help build lean muscle faster, when combined with more protein intake (which I’m already on).
Before you think that this means keto is a bad idea, allow me to clarify. I’m being switched to this pattern because my workout routine is fairly intense, and I was losing muscle mass. My nutritionist assures me that this change in my diet will allow me to continue to lose fat, without also losing muscle. And I trust her. 🙂
Now that we’re done talking about the food, let’s get down to how the diet has made me feel. I think 4 weeks is a decent measure of time to judge these sort of results, and so here goes.
Let me start with the most measurable change, my weight. In just 4 weeks, I have lost a bit over 3 kilos. Since I know that could easily have been water weight, I also got a BMI body scan done at my gym, which showed that I had lost 1 kilo of fat in a little under a month! Anyone who has been trying to lose fat knows that that is pretty great to accomplish in such a short time. Even my trainer was astonished!
There are less measurable benefits of the keto diet too, of course. My skin has become so clear, soft, and radiant, that I’ve been receiving compliments on a near daily basis. My energy levels are great, and I no longer feel any sort of slump by afternoon. In fact, I barely drink coffee anymore, that’s how high my energy has been!
I also sleep much more soundly, and wake up less groggy. My digestion has improved significantly, as well. I find I’m no longer bloated by the end of the day, and rarely have any acidity or flatulence. And my PCOS has been considerably reversed!
So what’s my verdict? In all honesty, I would recommend the keto diet for people looking to lose stubborn body fat, manage their blood sugar, and/or combat inflammation. In just 4 weeks, I’ve seen a massive amount of positive results in those three areas. I cannot comment on long-term effects or sustainability, because I have not tried it myself. That said, I know several who have been on keto for months, even years, and have zero complaints. The results are there for people to see.
It is difficult, I will admit. I had the luxury of Grow Fit sending me my meals, but had I been preparing my own food at home, I know I would have found it far more difficult to stay committed. While keto food is delicious and not always difficult to prepare, some ingredients can be expensive or hard to source (Erythritol, for instance).
It boils down to your commitment, and how strong your willpower is. You will find it difficult initially, and possibly even later. But as with anything related to health and fitness, you need to stay focused if you’re in it for the long haul.
Of course, ALWAYS remember to consult a professional when you’re looking to change up your nutrition. They’re called ‘professionals’ for a reason, and are the best people to guide you. No amount of internet research can substitute in-depth education and experience.
Will you be trying the keto lifestyle? Let me know in the comments! And remember, if you’re interested in trying out a meal plan or any of the foods from Grow Fit, you can use my coupon code TGF15 for a flat 15% discount.
As you already know, I have recently adopted the Keto diet – the Low Carb High Fat diet that everyone is talking about. Meaning I have drastically reduced my carbohydrate intake, while increasing my intake of healthy fats (ghee, coconut oil, and butter). As promised, here’s the first of my week-by-week updates.
I’ll start by saying that the keto diet has so far, been rather enjoyable! The only thing I probably really miss is my morning milky coffee, which has now been replaced with either black coffee with heavy cream, or coconut milk coffee. I’m getting used to the flavours of both, but still kinda miss my regular coffee. And as for the food, while I initially struggled with (and got quickly bored with) making cauliflower rice and butter-fried chicken every day, the wonderful people at Grow Fit saw me flailing, and were kind enough to step in and take over my nutrition for my 6-week experiment!
I hate weighing scales, but for the purpose of this experiment, I shall be logging it weekly. My starting weight before getting on the diet was 70.2kg.
So what have I been eating? Take a look! (I’ve left out my troubled days of homemade stuff, but if you want me to share those meals and recipes, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll do a separate post.)
I started out a tad nervous, to be honest. I mean, the concept of being put “on a diet” was an unnerving one for me. I had visions of lacklustre salads and bland meat flashing before my eyes.
Boy, was I wrong!
My breakfast on the first day was Grow Fit’s Ketogenic Coconut Flake Cereal. Loaded with coconut, flax seeds, chia seeds, and a whole lot more, this substitute for breakfast cereal is delicious! I opted for the vanilla one, and it was like a delightful puddingy dessert for breakfast. Great way to start the day.
Lunch was my first “meal” from Grow Fit, and I was expecting the blah stuff I mentioned earlier. But when I checked the day’s menu on the Grow fit app, I was pleasantly surprised — Chicken Satay! I confess, I did a double-take when I read that. How could Chicken Satay possibly be “diet” food?!
The handy nutrition label on my food delivery box allayed any doubts I may have had about it being healthy. Talk about low-carb!
By the way, did I mention that the meal included dessert? That’s right, DESSERT! And not some insipid little token dessert, it was an honest-to-goodness coffee coconut pudding, and it was creamy and delicious. Perfect end to the meal!
And if you thought that was good, take a look at dinner.
That’s right. Pizza! Chicken Tikka Pizza, to be precise, on a low-carb crust. The crust had cauliflower and cheese in it, and it was crispy and absolutely scrumptious. By far the best pizza I’ve ever eaten, and no, they didn’t pay me to say that!
I should also mention, both lunch and dinner were accompanied by one of Grow Fit’s signature Power Drinks, which are a blend of electrolytes, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These help balance all the keto diet-induced imbalances in the body, and minimise carb flu symptoms like fatigue and headaches. Each meal had a differently flavoured drink — Lunch was accompanied by a slightly spicier drink (I tasted cumin for sure), and dinner was sweeter (couldn’t identify the flavours exactly).
My second day on the keto diet started with a Power Smoothie, that had been delivered to me with dinner the previous day. Loaded with protein (25g!) and super-low on carbohydrates, it made a great meal replacement and a filling start to the day. It was butterscotch-flavoured and just a little thicker than normal milk, so it wasn’t a struggle to drink or digest.
Lunch on the second day was a Chicken Black Bean Burrito with Sour Cream. The wrap itself was made from Grow Fit’s signature Ultra Low Carb Flour, so it barely dented my carb intake. And goodness, it was delicious! (I know, I’ve been saying that a lot, but I swear it’s true!)
And yes, there was dessert again! This time it was a light and spongey vanilla cake. Had a delightfully homemade feel to it, and was just enough to give me that hit of “sweet” to wrap up the meal.
For those of you wondering, all their desserts are made using healthy and natural sugar substitutes like Erythritol which offer the sweetness of sugar, without the carbs — meaning they do not spike your blood sugar. You can use Erythritol at home when making sweets or baking cakes, to significantly reduce your carb intake.
Dinner was Grilled Chicken Steak in BBQ sauce. I’m going to spare you the description and just show you the picture, and let you imagine my Churchgate-to-Borivali grin.
Dessert was cake again, so that grin stayed on a while!
This was a day I had to make most of my own food, since the Grow Fit kitchens were closed for Diwali. But awesome people that they are, they sent me a huge box of ingredients and snacks to make it easier for me to stick to my diet plan.
Breakfast was the Power Smoothie that had been delivered to me with the previous night’s dinner. This one was Mango flavoured, and yummy!
For lunch, I decided to try out the Bamboo Seed Dosa mix that they had sent me. Preparation was simple enough, just mix the powder with water, add a little salt, and use as you normally would a dosa batter. One of the main ingredients in the mix is curcumin, which is derived from turmeric, so the dosas are really yellow! They taste something like Tamilian adai that I’ve eaten earlier.
Since Day 03 was also Diwali, I was going to visit friends. Since I knew I wouldn’t have many keto diet options to eat in a festive home, I made myself a 3-egg cheese omelette (fried in butter) for dinner before heading out. In addition, my hostess was kind enough to make me some butter-fried cauliflower with cheese to munch on. And no, I didn’t eat any sweets — Hooray, fauji willpower!
On this day too, the Grow Fit kitchen was closed. So I made myself one of their Ultra Low Carb Meal Replacement Smoothies for breakfast. Preparation of this was pretty simple — add the mix and some cold water in a blender, whip it for about 15 seconds, and ta-daah! I tried the strawberry one, and it was a nice delicate flavour, not the overpowering synthetic flavouring you find in a lot of milkshakes and mixes.
They recommend that you sip the Meal Replacement Smoothie slowly, over maybe an hour even. This is because the smoothie contains all the nutrients of a full meal, and drinking it too quickly can overload the stomach. I sipped it over about 40-45 minutes, and had no trouble after.
Lunch was the Bamboo Seed Dosa again, and dinner was a 3-egg spinach & cheese omelette, with a couple of chicken kebabs on the side.
I also snacked on the Peanut Butter Cookies they sent me (which are keto diet friendly, yay!) I love the flavour of peanut butter, so I really liked these.
This is when the dreaded ‘carb flu’ started to hit. Carb Flu is a term used to denote the feeling of withdrawal your body experiences as it’s deprived of carbs. This isn’t really a flu — there’s no infection or anything — but it can present as flu-like symptoms. Common symptoms are fatigue, headaches, body aches, and even nausea for some. For me however, it was just a whole lotta fatigue! I was falling asleep where I sat, and yawning my head off all day — despite doing nothing! The good part is, this is a sure sign that your body is entering ketosis, and starting to burn fat as fuel. And thankfully, it only lasts a few days. So I’m just going to power through it!
Breakfast was a bowl of the Ketogenic Coconut Flake Cereal again. The kitchens were back in business this day, so I was really looking forward to lunch — and I wasn’t disappointed!
Ultra Low Carb rotis with Chicken Thai Green Curry. I know a lot of you are wondering how on earth I’m being fed rotis as part of a keto diet, but Grow Fit uses their own proprietary flour, which is a mix of almond flour, flax, psyllium, and a whole lot of other good stuff — but no wheat. So the carb quotient is super low, at less than 5gm a roti (as compared to a regular roti which has around 30gm!) The ULC rotis are also doused in ghee, to provide all the good fats I need on this diet.
I was also sent some ghee-roasted almonds to snack on. Yay!
Dinner was… wait for it… Ultra Low Carb Chicken & Cheese Parathas! I know, right?! Look at it, the cheese was literally oozing out of those parathas. Beyond delicious!
Aauuuggh, this carb flu! I’m SO ridiculously sleepy through the day, despite sleeping a solid 10 hours last night. But I’m thanking my stars that drowsiness seems to be the only symptom I’m feeling. And luckily it’s a Sunday, so I’m taking full advantage and sleeping through most of my day.
Today’s breakfast smoothie was coffee flavoured, which I loved! Nutrition and a pick-me-up in one!
Lunch was CauliFalafel with Chicken, which was like little cauliflower and chicken tikkis. Very crispy, and really delicious, served with a Tahini dip. The portion size was substantial, so I even saved a couple for my evening snack.
Dinner was Peri Peri Chicken Wings with a pan-fried salad of white & purple cabbage, green beans, and zucchini. A bit messy to eat (I’m not a big fan of eating chicken wings), but these were really tasty. The peri peri spice had a lovely zing, and really awakened those tastebuds (and my brain!).
One week down! The drowsiness hasn’t let up yet, so I pumped myself with some black coffee first thing in the morning. Followed that up with today’s Power Smoothie, which was kesar-pista (saffron and pistachio) flavoured. That kept me awake for like, an hour. Post that, I started struggling again.
Lunch was a mighty delicious combination of ULC rotis and Chicken Chettinad! My Mallu genes were dancing at the very label, and more so at the flavour.
I was also sent Flax Almond Crackers to snack on, accompanied by a cheesy dip. And you know you’ll never hear me complain about cheese!
Dinner was Ultra Low Carb Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas. Once again, they definitely weren’t stingy with the cheese, or the chicken for that matter. Super filling too, I could barely finish the portion!
Aaaaand that wraps up Week 01 of my keto diet! I am happy to announce that I’m stuffed happy full of cheese and ghee, and not complaining one damn bit 😀
Aside from the drowsiness of carb flu, I’ve felt pretty great on the keto diet so far. I’ve had noticeably better stamina during my workouts, and am able to hold a steady pace on the treadmill for about 10 minutes, which I couldn’t do a few weeks ago. I’ve also noticed significantly less bloating, if any at all. That’s making me wonder what part of my earlier diets might have been causing the bloat, since the major eliminations have been milk and wheat. (Oh dear Lord, please don’t let it be milk!)
In addition, I’ve been receiving a tonne of compliments from people saying my skin has been looking better and glowing, so I guess all those healthy fats have been making their way to the right places!
Stay tuned for my updates from Week 2. If you’d like to subscribe to Grow Fit’s keto diet (or any other) meal plans, or even order their packaged foods or ingredients, you can use my code TGF15 at checkout for a special discount!