10 tips for eating healthy amidst busy schedules

Maintaining a healthy diet with our modern-day schedules can seem overwhelming. Often, we give up before even embarking on the journey as the amount of effort it takes can seem intimidating. However, it is not as complicated as it is made out to be. Healthy eating can be simple, intuitive and easy to do. Here are ten tips by Ms Namita Chandra, Wellness Guide & Founder, Yoganama to eat healthy on the go.

1. Plan ahead: Prior preparation is the key to eating healthy. It saves us time, and we can be ready with a wholesome, healthy meal in a pinch. Simple things like prepping salad the night before or filling up the smoothie jar with fruits so you can blend it in a jiffy the next morning can make all the difference. If you like to be organized, then you can even plan your meals for the week and save yourself some precious decision-making time when other priorities are weighing down on our mind.

2. Befriend the freezer: While nothing beats fresh food, freezing is the next best option. My favourite things to freeze are soup stock, home-baked bread, fruits, beans, and purees. You can even freeze fruits that don’t turn out to be sweet so you can use them later in a recipe. Besides frozen fruits give a delicious ice-cream like texture to smoothies, which makes healthy eating all the more fun.

3. Keep it simple: While elaborate meals can look pretty, but they are not necessarily healthier. In fact, too many ingredients can be hard on the digestive system if they are not well paired. Don’t use more than 3 to 5 elements in every meal. That’s usually more than enough to fill our stomach. We can get more variety in our diet by eating different food types throughout the week.

4. One pot meals: Do one-pot meals like khichari, congee, porridge, stew, etc. on hectic days. They don’t require a lot of prep and cooking different ingredients together also makes them easier on the digestive system. Moong dal and basmati rice khichari are one of the healthiest meals as per Ayurveda, and with a pressure cooker, it takes barely any time to get done.

5. Use the right tools: Having good quality kitchen essentials is very important to work with speed and efficiency. My essentials are a good knife, a fruit and julienne peeler, a salad spinner, a nice blender, a bamboo steamer and a food processor. These are more than enough to accomplish most of our healthy eating goals. Buy the best quality you can afford, to save yourself time and effort. Good quality tools also make the cooking experience more enjoyable.

6. Power up: Energy bars and homemade granola are some seriously delicious and easy to make snacks. They can last anywhere up to a week, but they usually don’t as they’re quite delightful to eat. By making them yourself, you can also ensure they are not loaded with sugar, and you can add your favourite natural ingredients.

7. Stock your purse: Always pack something in your bag to combat those sudden hunger pangs. Nuts are the most straightforward option- make mini packs and pick one or two as you rush out for the day. And here’s another snack which isn’t as popular as it should be -cucumber. It is light, no fuss, and the peel is an excellent source of trace minerals and Vitamin K. But only buy organic cucumbers if you are eating them in this manner with the skin on.

8. Stay hydrated: We should be sipping water regularly throughout the day rather than drinking lots of water a few times. Large volumes of water at one time merely go out of the body without being absorbed. Eating juicy fruits and raw vegetables are also a great way to stay hydrated.

9. Do not mix work and meals: Eat when you eat, work when you work. Don’t combine the two. Mindful eating is essential for good health. Eat slowly, take smaller bites and chew your food properly. We may be eating the healthiest meal on the planet, but if we are not eating correctly, we’ve already reduced its quality.

10. Respect your body: While food is our primary source of energy, there’s another fundamental source of life that we often ignore – our breath. We can live a long time without food, but not very long without breath. So, to stay healthy, it is essential to breathe correctly. Make some time for some mindful movements and breathing practices every morning to keep happy and healthy throughout the day.

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