A few days ago, a dear family member expressed her desire for a blog post centered around healthy eating and a sample healthy diet plan. I have her in my mind as I write this post.
Healthy eating is a concept which focusses on eating fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, milk, dairy, nuts, oilseeds, pulses, egg, lean meat and fish, water whilst refraining from ingesting refined and processed foods as well as saturated fats.
Reduction or absence of extra sugars and salt in the diet is a good idea too.
The closer we get to nature and follow seasonal, local and fresh produce the better we will get at healthy eating. Reducing the intake of packaged and processed foods to the minimum and increasing the intake of foods closer to nature is a great way to welcome wellness in our lives. These foods would not only nourish our bodies but also boost our mental health.
· Fresh fruits and vegetables provide our bodies with the much-needed hydration, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that nourish and protect our bodies.
· Whole grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates providing energy as well as vitamins and minerals.
· Milk and Dairy are a great source of protein, minerals specially calcium as well as yogurt is a great probiotic.
· Nuts and oilseeds are great to nourish the body and mind with good fats especially omega fats while providing a host of vitamins and minerals and protein as well.
· Pulses are wonderful vegetarian sources of protein and vitamins in the diet.
· Egg, Lean Meat and Fish are excellent sources of good quality protein as well as iron for the body. Egg yolks are especially rich in choline needed by the brain.
· A vital requirement for healthy eating is drinking enough water to keep the water balance excellent. Atleast 3 litres of water/day should be included in the diet.
Below is a sample diet plan for healthy living under normal conditions (special considerations like weight loss, hypertension, diabetes etc would require special instructions)
1 cup of fennel water/cinnamon water
4 soaked almonds/walnuts with 2 soaked black pepper and 2 soaked raisins
2 Idli/uttapam/dosa with sambhar and chutney OR 1 bowl sprouts salad OR 2 egg veggie omelette OR Veggie upma OR Poha
1 bowl of seasonal fruits
1 cup beverage of choice
A handful of assorted nuts
1 bowl veggie/chicken pulao with raita and salad OR 2 roti with green subji and 1 bowl dal/ chole/rajmah with dahi and salad OR Boiled vegetables with Whole wheat pasta
1 tender coconut water/ Bhel puri/ Roasted makhane/ Roasted chana
2 roti/1 bowl rice with choice of dal and subji OR 1 Bowl veggie/chicken soup with sauted vegetables and grilled panner/tofu OR Grilled assorted vegetables with 2 dinner rolls OR Spinach-Paneer stuffed roti with dal
Some points to keep in mind are as follows
· It is best to use a mixed grain flour or bajra flour for rotis
· Use Ghee for tempering dals and adding to the rotis
· Hydration is extremely important
· Include some form of physical activity in your routine
· Meditation and deep breathing should be practised regularly for stress management
· Keep one day as #stressfasting day and leave all worries behind.
· Connect with people and stay socially active
· Learn to enjoy the simple pleasures and happinesses of life
· Learn to relax and let go