You Can Have Your Cake And Eat It Too!

Written By

Annelise Piers

You can have your cake and eat it too-02 Loading

So you wake (either with or without the alarm) to another start, another list of to-dos and demands on yourself. For some of you, you might have barely gotten to bed after those late-night business meetings or calls overseas.

You stumble or bolt out of bed, as the case might be. For many of us that step is one of many in our race to the finish line some 16-18 hours away.

From this vantage point I can see well into your future: the choices you tend to make for breakfast, perhaps how you skip lunch as you bury yourself in reports and numbers only to realise you’re ravenous and binge just before you hit the sack. Maybe you then try to count sheep (or clients in the pipeline) to lull your overexcited brain to sleep.

One day after several months of this endless abuse, my body decided to have its say, and it wasn’t pleasant. You begin to realise that your body will stay a silent partner in the business as long as it gets its well-deserved returns. It wasn’t easy to hear what my body was saying over the din of those telephone calls, back-to-back sessions or the overhead flight announcements. I know it was shouting out something foul by way of jet lag to really get my attention.

If you would like to save yourself the hunt for those magic hacks to reverse the damage, read on! I spoke to three experts who’ve shared some very easy and body-loving tips.

My first go-to was Shona Prabhu, a wonderfully practical nutritionist, who is the co-founder of Nutrifymydiet. She understands what it’s like being a woman balancing work and life. She works with clients, and helps them develop a better understanding and relationship with the foods you eat. These are her top hacks:

  • Eat a fruit when you wake up to get the most out of them.
  • Add some lemon/orange/cucumber slices in your water to treat your body to a spa from within.
  • Keep a stash of nuts in your desk or bag so that you can reach for them whenever hunger strikes, as the fats in them keep you satiated longer.
  • Sesame seeds are calcium rich. Use them in your tadkas or in your atta to give your bones some calcium love.
  • If you find yourself feeling drowsy or lethargic post lunch; swap white foods like idli, dosa, white rice with brown foods such as daliya, wheat, brown rice, matta rice.They will keep you feeling more energetic.
  • To satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in a square of 70-80% dark chocolate. Pop in a few raisins or cranberries for a touch of sweetness.

My next chat was with Anitha Narayanamurthy, a certified holistic nutritionist and health coach from The School of Natural Health Sciences, London, and a weight-loss expert. A practicing mind-body nutritionist, her checklist to stay charged mentally and physically include:

  • Eat small, frequent meals at least 5 times a day out of which 1 will be a whole fruit and 1 will be a raw vegetable.
  • Plan your week, prepare a list of groceries required and keep them handy.
  • Indulge in locally grown fruits and vegetables. The longer the shelf life, the less nutritious.
  • Fit in simple stress-buster activities − listening to music, writing, painting, gardening or anything you love to do.
  • Write your health goals and stick them on your mirror or your screen saver.
  • Remember skinny does not mean healthy, so aim for health.
  • For every half hour you sit, stand for 3 minutes. It could be to take some calls at work or just to pass on information to a colleague. Incorporate the habit of moving at work. Wear a pedometer.

I also met Simran Gosain, a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner. Passionate about sharing the powerful food-mood connection, since she has experienced it first-hand, she helps people have light-bulb moments in their health before a crisis strikes.  Her cheats include:

  • Sleep 8 hours every night. In the first 4 hours, your body is repairing itself: purifying the blood, acids are being drawn out of the joints, the liver is dumping toxins to be eliminated when you wake up. In the next four, you’re brain is repairing.
  • Relax! In today’s fast-paced life, find ways to relax getting to and from work, or during your day maybe by knitting, listening to music, and meditating. Remember to squeeze in that body massage.
  • Listen to your body and give it the movement it’s asking for. If you feel fatigue after or during your workout, dial back.
  • Get your daily supply of the sunshine vitamin – D. Remember 20-30 minutes during non-peak (UV) hours! This can be by just sitting, meditating or exercising.

 I’m so glad that over the past 5 years I’ve learned to trust #thebiriyanidiet – our system of eating enough of a good thing and getting a move on. So, for those times when I might have indulged because I wanted to or just because I was so crazed, the one thing my body understood and rewarded was my guilt-free response. So my top hacks?

  • Be easy with yourself – there’s nothing to gain from guilt except more weight.
  • Eat what you enjoy.
  • Concentrate on your digestion – it helps turn off hormonal imbalances that could lead to weight gain, allergies and bad moods.
  • Move in different ways even if it’s just 20-30 minutes – I’ve done everything from aqua aerobics to zumba, and the one thing I know I can take anywhere on my travels are my sneakers and my yoga mat.

So there you go. If you’ve not printed this cheat sheet out and put it on your fridge you’ve already internalised the hacks that’ll work best for you.

Do let me know in the comments section what your top 3 hacks are. Until next time!




Annelise Piers is a hippy yogi (minus the dreadlocks -- for the moment) who has immersed herself in the practice, researching and delivering content in an easy-to-apply design. Women's hormonal-balance coach, health blogger and yoga teacher, writing is her way of staying out of trouble. A corporate trainer/coach gone rogue, her newly-discovered purpose is to help women stop bouncing off the walls ‘those’ times of the month and trade in their broomsticks for magic wands.

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