Nutritionally nourished

Women on the go need to plan their menu ahead to stay healthy, writes Anjali Dange Velupuri

health

Whether you are a busy professional in the corporate sector, or an entrepreneur, the tendency is to prioritise work while eating, sleeping, and leisure takes a backseat. For those who have a family, the effect on their health and nutrition worsens as they struggle to find time to buy and prepare nutritionally balanced meals.

Getting started with healthy eating habits is easy, but staying consistent for more than a week is the problem. Try these five easy to follow eating hacks which will contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Plan ahead

If you find yourself starting the week well but falling out of routine by Wednesday, it might be a good idea to consider menu planning and meal prepping on a Sunday evening. Investing a few hours in the kitchen at the end of the weekend is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stick to your healthy eating plan throughout the week. Involve the whole family in the menu planning process to avoid having to cook too many dishes to satisfy everyone’s taste. Finish your weekly grocery shopping according to the menu planned to avoid missing out on any ingredient during the week.

Stock up on nutritious snacks

These days it’s far too easy to reach for a chocolate biscuit when hunger pangs strike. While eating regular meals will help keep hunger at bay, having a selection of healthy snacks on standby will help you avoid sugar and fat-laden treats. Carry a small pouch of almonds (roasted with honey and sesame, if you crave sweet) which you can reach out to when you feel like a nibble between your meals. As little as a handful of these nuts can give you glowing skin (Vitamin-E rich) and keep the heart healthy (rich in essential fats). Fresh seasonal fruits like pomegranate, apple, orange, grapes and papaya are also good options as mid-meal snacks.

Cut out caffeine

Caffeine — the miracle ingredient provides a temporary boost of energy and moods to plough through the day. In the long run, an over-dependence on caffeinated drinks makes it easy to ignore the health problems that come with constantly running on low energy. Instead, if the body craves for a warm drink — a herbal tea or warm water with lime would be a better choice. Pair with a trail mix of almonds and seeds (like those of pumpkin or sunflower) to boost your mood further.

Energy-dense meals

The easy way to reduce cravings for unhealthy snack breaks is to make the main meals energy dense with high fibre foods and a good balance of protein. For instance, rice and rajma curry will be more filling than rice and cauliflower sabji. Alternatively, you could have a chana salad, roti and chicken curry. Substituting rice with millets or brown pasta would ensure high fibre which keeps you full for longer.

Hydrate yourself

Drinking at least eight glasses of water in a day helps to keep hunger levels down, energy levels high, and digestion levels intact. Water intake helps to keep diseases and infections at bay. Sip water throughout the day to ensure your body is well hydrated, especially because most office environments are air-conditioned.

(The author is founder, Starlite Nutrition &Wellness Centre)

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