Eating the GM Diet way

An increase of a few pounds and heightened stress levels in the past few months have been driving me quite crazy of late. So I decided to go on the  the GM Diet to get some control back in my life. Now, I have done this once before. But like may be 10 years back. And what from I remember it was not bad at all except for the fourth day when I fainted. So I girded my loins and went for it. And boy was I wrong about it being easy. Luckily, I had 2 partners in crime who did this diet with me. That’s the only reason I survived. Read on to know more. 

For those of you who don’t know what this diet is all about; here is a brief description. The GM Diet was developed by the General Motors Company for the health and wellness of their employees. It involves disciplined eating of only certain pre-approved foods for a period of 7 days. When done in strict accordance, one could lose 7-10 pounds during the course of the diet. But the other benefits like heightened energy, a detoxed system and beautiful clear skin are what make this diet truly worth it. This is the GM Diet schedule and pictures of what I ate on each of the days. 

Day 1: Only fruits (except bananas) 

  
Day 2: Only vegetables 

  

  
Day 3: Both fruits and vegetables 

  
Day 4: Bananas (4 nos) and milk (3 glasses) and vegetable soup

  
Day 5: Only beef and tomatoes / rice or legumes and tomatoes for vegetarians 

  

  
Day 6: Only beef and vegetables / rice or legumes and vegetables for the vegetarians 

  
Day 7: Only vegetables and fruits / rice or legumes, vegetables and fruits

  
Haha! No, this isn’t what I ate on Day 7. Just checking to see if you are paying attention. 

(No milk, except on Day 4 and no alcohol on all days.) 

Simple enough right? Wrong! I know of a couple of people who have not survived beyond day 2 because this diet isn’t a cakewalk (pun intended). So here I’ve put together a cheat sheet to ensure you stay the course. 

– Co-op a friend to do this diet with you. Alcohol on the GM Diet is a no-no. That means going to to dinner and drinks is not going to happen for a week. And if you don’t want to feel like a social out-cast do this diet with a friend so you both can wallow in misery together or watch Star Wars like we did 😛 do not contemplate doing shots of NyQuil because you cannot drink!   

– The first day is the easiest because you will probably be all charged up and enthusiastic. The degree of difficulty increases on Day 2. Give yourself a pep talk and stay the course. 
– In my opinion it’s easiest to fall off the wagon on days 2&3. The diet is relatively new and you will have violent cravings for regular food and also you will think you have the least to loose because you are just a couple of days into the diet. 

– Day 3 is when you will feel the weakest, physically. Try to make sure this falls on a weekend. If not then you may end up working from home like I did. 

– Drink plenty of water on all days. And if you are like me and don’t like water then have lemon tea or iced tea or green tea. Just keep hydrated. 

– Try to workout as often as you can. It will take your mind off food haha

– Day 3 is the absolute worst. DO NOT FEEL SORRY for yourself on this day. The thought of fruits and veggies may turn you off but think of being 10 pounds lighter and keep going. 

– Day 4 will be better, trust me 🙂 Don’t skip the soup because it will fill you up and provide nutrition. 

– Day 5 is a delight for beef lovers. Sucks for us vegetarians but you can reward yourself with some cottage cheese (paneer) or soy chunks to supplement protien from the legumes. Tomatoes are super important as they are acidic and will cleanse your system. 

– Day 6 and day 7 should be relatively easy as by now your body is in the rhythm of the diet. Just take it easy and try to not go overboard when the diet ends. Your body is super cleansed and it’s best to carefully ease into the cycle of regular meals instead of stuffing your face with Burger King the minute the diet is done. 

I think I’ve made my point – this isn’t an easy diet. And some of you who follow me on Instagram have asked me this – so was it worth it? Here’s my answer. 

I am 6 pounds lighter, my clothes fit better, my skin is the best it’s been in years and my energy levels are also crazy good post the diet. Hell yeah, it’s worth it. But the real victory is the victory of mind over body. Of will-power over temptation. And that to me was the icing on the cake (pun intended 😉). 

Do the diet, it will make you feel the best you have felt in years. And after the diet when you sip your first beer, I promise, you will feel heaven on your lips. And you will get buzzed after just one pint too haha 

All the best and let me know how the GM Diet goes for you. If you have any questions about it, ask away. 

SAEM Facemask – Review

I am an absolute sucker for facemasks. Brightening masks, pore tightening masks, cleansing masks, I’ve tried them all! Recently, I was gifted a range of masks from Korea. I have been trying them out sparingly as I know they will all be bomb – Koreans know their beauty and make-up like no one else afterall. 

This post is on the SAEM Natural Pomegranate Mask Sheet. I got a one trial packaging piece which is super convenient when you want to just sample the wares. The instructions say that the mask is to be placed appropriately on the face avoiding the eye and mouth area. I tried to do just that but it was the slipperiest mask ever, and kept sliding down much to my chagrin. Oh well. Sanity should have prevailed and I should have lay down to avoid the mask sliding around, but no; I am much too stubborn to let a facemask get the better of me! 

  
After letting the mask soak and slide all over my face for 20 mins, I took it off and squeezed the nourishing serum from it and patted it into my face. I let the serum soak into my skin through the night. In the morning, I splashed my face with warm water. And I must admit that my skin felt soft and utterly glowing! Such a lovely sensation – my pores appeared tighter and my skin had amazing bounce…just like a babies bottom lol 

I give this mask a big thumbs up and I cannot wait to try my stash of other face masks soon. Watch this space for more reviews. 

(Insert appropriate adjective here) China!

China, to me, defies being defined. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. Usually, when I visit a new country, I KNOW very clearly if I like it or not. And I like things to be that way – in black and white. China put me in a grey territory; figuratively and literally.

Here are my impressions of Beijing where I spent a little more than a week in May.

Immigration at Beijing Capital International Airport
Immigration at Beijing Capital International Airport
This is my very first impression of China – too many people at China Immigration. And I say this coming from India! I must admit that I discounted China’s population. Phisth! How can 1.3 billion be more intimidating than 1.2 billion?! Boy was I wrong…

Grey China
Grey China
China is grey. Enough said.

Bars, micro breweries
Bars, micro breweries
China can be super fun. I have vague memories and pictures (taken a couple of days later) of bars I went to one wild night which took me 24 hours to recover from.

Glorious Food
Glorious Food
Food in China can be weird but tasty.

Bicycles locked down
Bicycles locked down
Chinese people are ingenious. And psyched about being robbed.

Dior
Dior
I saw a Dior art exhibition in Beijing!

Chinese Rock Band
Chinese Rock Band
Chinese rock bands rule!

Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China
Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China
History is just around the corner.

Chinese Dog
Chinese Dog
Dogs in China are very fashion-forward.

  
And to wrap it up, beware your mini-bar in China. You never know what you will find there 😉 

So yes, China was not bad. It was fun, even. I did scratch one item off my bucket list – The Great Wall of China. That made the trip totally worth it.

Messing with the Mallus at Fort Kochi

Mallus will rule the world. Correction. Mallus rule the world already.

If you have Malayali friends you would know this is true. They have the uncanny ability to innocuously coerce you into doing their bidding; all the while making it appear that it was your idea, while they surreptitiously goad you to the edge of a cliff.

Yes, Mallus rule the world.

Well, two Mallus certainly ruled my nutritional choices this past Monday. I found myself at a Malayali restaurant called Fort Kochi (at 1 MG Mall) around dinner time. I entered the restaurant and looked up at the wall on the far end. I wish I hadn’t. The design on the way gave me the hee-bee-jee-bees. Were these projections a skin disease? Were they fungi? What in the world were they? They looked most unappetizing. Better sense prevailed and I chose to ignore them. Have a look, if you dare. Barf.

barnacles

The ruling Mallus I was with didn’t see anything wrong with these ‘projections’. Barf.

I turned my attention to the menu, which luckily was not replete with projections of any sort. While it definitely catered to carnivores, I did find a few, albeit limited variety of vegetarian options to choose from.

Fort Kochi Menu
Fort Kochi Menu

The menu is an interesting selection of Syrian Christian food, Malabar food and Coastal food with a Portuguese influence. The bar is decent. Fairly impressive collection of wines from all over the world.

My dining companions (both insisted I call them that) and I ordered some Kingfisher beer (could have been colder) and a couple of starters – roasted wild prawns in Kerela spices and some fried paneer-batter thing. The paneer was edible but my dining companions could not stop ooing and aahing about the prawns.

Paneer thing with fries
Paneer thing with fries
Wild Prawns
Wild Prawns

Moving on to the main course, we ordered a seer fish in mildly spiced coconut gravy, egg roast and lots of appams; which were served up fresh off the fire, one-by-one. The fish was probably better off in the river I was told but the egg roast…oh. my. god. To die for! I would probably go back to Fort Kochi and brave the ugly barnacle encrusted wall for just this one dish. Paired with hot appams the combination was killer.

Seer Fish
Seer Fish
Egg Roast and Appam
Egg Roast and Appam

The Egg Roast saved the day was the unanimous decision.

So overall, it was an altogether decent experience. My Mallu company was certainly scintillating. The food was not bad and moderately priced. But I do wish the restaurant folks do something about that weird barnacle wall.

The Ruling Mallu Party
The Ruling Mallu Party

Why Changing your Beauty Salon is like getting into a New Relationship

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  • You consider dumping your salon because they don’t give you the attention you deserve
  • You dump your old salon because they start to take you for granted
  • Things are getting monotonous
  • You are bored of the predictability
  • They know you too well
  • They don’t surprise you any more
  • The new salon seems more enticing
  • The new salon does it better
  • The new salon does more
  • The new salon is taller

Yes, I recently cheated on my Beauty Salon and tried a new place. It was exciting. I doubt that I will go back to my old salon; my ego is too big. But the new place is taking a little getting used to. First world problems 🙂

Lancome Absolu Voyage (and a little bit of Lisa Eldridge)

Recently one of my favorite makeup artists, Lisa Eldridge announced that she is the new Global Creative Director of Makeup for Lancome. While I love Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara, this news got me genuinely more excited about Lancome as a brand. When Lisa was associated with Chanel she really did wonders for them. Her tutorials on the Chanel website were a delight. And I truly admired the way she divorced her personal blog and Youtube channel from all the work she did for Chanel. She was a real asset to Chanel and someone really dropped the ball with her by letting her go to Lancome. I only hope she is able to continue running her personal blog and videos totally differentiated from the work she will do for Lancome.

Anyway, on to the main meat of this post – the Lancome Absolu Voyage. This is a travel edition of makeup from Lancome. Since I just posted on a similar travel makeup palette from Dior – Dior Couture Palette, Voyage Edition, (read the review here) I am quite likely to compare the two…not ideal but I am incorrigible 🙂

The packaging of the palette is not that great. For a palette that costs USD 80 (also available on Amazon), I was expecting much better packaging.

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The palette contains:

2 shades of concealer – Hallelujah!

One blush – a subtle and very chic pink with gorgeous shimmer and a brush

One Virtuose Mascara – very effective in lengthening

6 beautiful shades of eyeshadows – bone, pink, mauves, silver and black. But the staying power of these shimmery powder is very poor – 3 hours at the most! They don’t blend very well either. Huge miss 😦

The eyeshadow brush is surprisingly decent.

One khol pencil which is really good – intense color and very pliable.

2 shades of lip color – a nude shade and a pinkish red shade. Nice shades but not adequate. There is a lip brush in the palette as well.

1 lipgloss

1 lip pencil in a beautiful nude shade called Rose Tea

A translucent face powder with a sponge.

Overall, I think the Dior Couture Palette is a much better buy than this one. The Dior palette is USD 20 more expensive but definitely worth the extra payout. The concealers, the lip pencils, the Khol pencil and the blush are huge plus for this palette. That said I missed my YSL Touche Eclat highlighter pen, more lip colors and my makeup brushes. The eyeshadows were the biggest disappointment and perhaps the main reason I would not recommend this palette.

xx

Dior Couture Palette – Voyage Edition

I am a sucker for travel palettes. The concept of having make-up compacted and set to-go in a handy format is very appealing. Recently, I was gifted the Dior Couture Palette – Voyage Edition (Total Makeover Palette) – quite a mouthful, isn’t it!

The packaging is ultra luxurious. It costs USD 100 after all. It comes in a black box with the trademark Dior texture on the cover. There is a velvet case for this box for added luxury.

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There are 2 eyeshadow quads. One for a nude look and one for a smokey eye look. All the powder formulations are very glittery and moderately pigmented. They blend beautifully though. I tried a smokey eye look and I LOVED the smokey well-blended clouds I managed to create on my lids.

A powder foundation – to suit medium complexions in my opinion

A sponge to apply it

2 lip plumpers – nice!

1 lip color – a pinkish hue suited for day wear

1 lip gloss – and a plumy color that is presumably for night wear but I didn’t really like this one.

There is a blush – subtle pink with iridescent particles. Very pretty.

A blush / contouring brush (the same brush can be folded to convert it to a blush brush or a contouring brush) – quite a decent brush

An eye showdown brush – good for patting on color but not for blending.

A lip color brush – decent

Dior Iconic Overcurl mascara – love!

There is also a little booklet inside that offers ideas on how to use the travel set to create different looks.

I thought this pallet very handy and quite complete. And I tried actually travelling with just this and nothing else – major fail. There are some core items that I found painfully missing and no substitution was possible.

  • While the powder foundation suited my skin tone, it was not the best match. I missed my Clinique BB cream and my Mac face and body.
  • There is no concealer in the palette. I most definitely need it for my under-eye circles.
  • I sorely missed my YSL Touché Eclat highlighter
  • And most of all missed my make-up brushes

Despite all this, I still think the Dior Couture Palette – Voyage Edition is a good buy. Just be sure to supplement it with some additional elements from your make-up must-haves, a couple of good lip colors and I think you will manage with the palette very well. Enjoy!