You want to eat ‘just right’ everyday. But chances are that a sinful samosa or fatty bread pakorawill sneak up on you as a very tasty tea-time temptation! Here’s how to stay a bite ahead at all times…
Time to face the facts. Those in so-called boring 9-to-5 jobs are living healthier lives than the rest of us ‘with-it’ professionals. Since they get up early, they have time for breakfast (otherwise, the most skipped meal of the day) as well as a proper lunch break, and are back home by evening for a timely dinner. Now, let’s talk about tribe #2: You and me. The so-called up-and-coming pros—journos, techies, marketing professionals, call centre executives, advertising hot shots—the hip lot! We wake up late to a rushed breakfast, mostly skipping it. We rush to the office and have a hurried lunch. Then, of course, there are those coffee and cigarette breaks in between. By tea time, we make a run for a burger, muffins, cafeteria snacks or some namkeen and biscuits. By the time we’re through the wringer of the day, we are too tired to cook a meal. So, we either order in or just rustle up some instant noodles. Or worse, sleep on an empty stomach. The next day, well, history repeats itself. All this sounds familiar, right? In the daily rush-rush, healthy eating is kicked by the wayside. So much so, that most of us don’t live to eat but eat to live or rather just get by. How long will you call it a professional hazard? Time to think healthy and eat healthy…
Here’s the trick: Choose to eat and drink healthy whenever and wherever possible. A lifestyle change is just a matter of habit. Start now to identify and curb unhealthy habits. Once you get into the habit of healthy eating, you won’t even feel like eating junk any more!
TIPS TO EAT HEALTHY
1 – Out for your weekend fix of some good times or meeting up with pals after work for drinks? Make sure that you order a fresh platter of salad rather than deep-fried snacks as starters. The lip-licking combo of alcohol and fried foods is actually hara-kiri for your system. If you’re really in the mood, go for grilled chicken, fish or paneer.
2 – You can always ask the chef to cook a low-fat meal, just for you. Remember all you need to do is ask.
3 – Cut the caffeine out of your life. Increase your antioxidant intake. How? By replacing your daily cup o’ joe with at least one cup of green tea. Now, they are available in exotic flavours like jasmine, tulsi and ginger… Mmm!
4 – Stock up on low-fat cheese, lettuce, olives, peppers, eggs, chicken/turkey ham and yoghurt to make sandwich spread and filling. Try wholewheat, bran or soya bread to make a healthy sandwich. Make it tastier by popping it into the microwave for a minute or so.
5 – Your neighbourhood grocery store is full of healthy veggies like broccoli, peppers, corns, olives, sprouts, cucumbers, mushrooms and more. All you need to do is take time, explore, buy and mix a salad!
6 – It doesn’t take much time to put one or two whole fruits like banana, apple or pear into your office bag. Fruit is a much better afternoon snack than those greasy samosas. Whole fruit also gives you essential vitamins, minerals and fibre.
7 – If you must eat instant noodles or pasta, throw in some chopped raw veggies, some roasted chicken breast or even an egg. Not only will it taste better but it will also be much, much healthier!
8 – Keep assorted nuts like almonds, raisins, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios and cashews in your office cabinet. And opt for roasted versions, not batter-fried ones! Have a handful of these, instead of biscuits or namkeen. Pick wholewheat, fibre-rich biscuits over regular, sugary ones!
9 – Bring lunch from home, when possible. Why not cook in large quantities over the weekend and deepfreeze for future use?
10 – Create a group in your office and together request the office canteen manager to use good quality oil for cooking. Also ask him to go easy on the oil!
ON HIGH ALERT!
- Symptoms: Fatigue, body ache, fever, inflammation of the throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, redness of the eyes, cough, muscle and joint pains, rash and swelling in the lymph gland
- Be Alert When: You develop pneumonia, jaundice or joint swelling, or tend towards vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Symptoms: High fever, severe headache, shooting backache, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, rashes on the body and pain in the eyes
- Be Alert When: The fever develops into ‘dengue haemorrhagic’—lasting two to seven days, followed by haemorrhagic manifestations like bleeding nose or gums and possibly internal bleeding as well. This is very serious and may just prove to be fatal!
- Symptoms: Fever accompanied by body tremors, headache, muscle aches and tiredness, sometimes even nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
- Be Alert When: There are signs of anaemia and jaundice because of the loss of red blood cells. Infection with one type of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, if not promptly treated, can prove fatal.
- Symptoms: Fever, headache, weight loss, lack of sleep, extreme fatigue and abdominal pain
- Be Alert When: There’s continuing high fever, diarrhoea or severe constipation, considerable weightloss, delirium and sleeping with eyes half closed
WONDER FOOD: Amla (Indian gooseberry)
The markets will be flooded with amlas soon. The best way to eat them is raw, early in the morning. Power-packed with iron and vitamin C, amla is excellent for your blood and skin. It also boosts digestion. You can also try it as a chutney, pickle, murabba or in sun-dried form.