Do you find it difficult to have balanced diet on a daily basis? Here are 5 easy ways to maintain good nutrition even with a busy schedule.
Maintaining good nutrition is considered a massive task in today’s engaging lifestyle. On one side there is so much hue and cry about eating natural and organic food and simultaneously junk food is being consumed like never before.
It is quite a tiring task to keep kids off ready-to-eat snacks. My head just spins looking at the enormous amount of biscuits, chips, juices, etc. available. I feel as if I have special glasses through which, when I see biscuit packets, they all translate to pure maida/flour, sugar and preservatives.
My child (and I am sure most other kids) have a tendency of asking for every junk item at the super market. During one such trip to our apartments complex’s local store, the lady at the billing counter smiled at my kid and said, “Oh, look at him, he is being so cool today. When he comes with his dad he just throws a tantrum for buying his favourite things!” Now that explains that I am the tough stickler of good nutrition at home and I certainly do not mind being one!
Of course my child often asks for things even when he is with me, but I just choose to keep saying no. When he fusses, I act nonchalant when he throws a tantrum, but only I know how scared I am on the inside! Having said that, I am not a saint who would not eat an ice cream or a brownie once in a while – I admit that I have a sinful side too!
Being born in a traditional south Indian family, I know that most of my family have eaten simple rice, veggies and dals their whole life. There were numerous variations in cooking with the same ingredients, but the basis of eating local food used to be the same.
For example, the most common dish, sambar, would taste very different when it was prepared by my dadi and by my nani. Today when I cook, I try to understand the style in which it is prepared by my mom and mom-in-law and experiment a bit to bring out the taste I am looking for.
In spite of having so many variations even in a simple dish, we still long for more options today. Such as – you read that ‘quinoa’ is the new super food in the newspaper and just buy a packet of it, and then wonder what do to with it! Then we search the internet, follow food blogs, read nutrition charts, ask friends for recipes on quinoa, while we forget the importance of millets, which you would get for just a few bucks and are available everywhere in the market.
While you fight the urge to buy junk food, there is also so much information present about super foods, starting from quinoa to flax seeds, raw foods, organic, millets, oats, herbs, etc. Even though these super foods are good for you, one needs to question – how do I really include them in my daily diet, given the hectic schedules and the time spent in crazy traffic jams?
As a person who takes care of the nutrition needs of the entire family, it is often difficult to maintain a balance. One needs to be very disciplined and needs meticulous planning as the options out there are unlimited. On those difficult days, easy access to junk is what you would wish for; and on one of those easy days, you try hard to consciously include good nutrition in your diet.
All this can be made stress-free if you can plan things properly. Like a timetable in a hostel’s kitchen, it might sound a little too much, but that is the need of the hour for some peace of mind. Also, it will save you from thinking about good nutrition in every bite.
Do this as a rule of thumb, as a daily routine except for a random party pizza/burger. This habit most probably will take care of your body’s nutrition requirements. Our bodies have a connection with the weather, soil, temperature, surroundings, terrain of the locality, etc. and it makes sense why only some foods can be grown well in some regions. This reason makes it all the more important to just have them without second thoughts.
You read an article in the newspaper that says, “five foods to eat today that will aid in weight loss“, and if you see all imported stuff listed, then do your own research. Don’t jump on it and order it online on your smart phone the very next second.
Think about it, ask yourself if you can make it a habit, read about its nutritional value and see if you can get the same benefits out of some locally grown foods. Try to know about the kind of recipes, what time of day they need to be consumed, and would that fit in your lifestyle, etc. These are some of the basic questions to ponder upon, before purchasing the so called super foods.
When you eat organic foods then again you need not worry much about good nutrition. This applies more so for raw foods, such as fruits and fruit juices, salads, and vegetable juices. There is a chance that some chemicals might be destroyed when you cook food and eat. All those chemicals are otherwise present in their prime form when eaten raw, hence it is more important to prefer organic foods when you have them raw. There are even organic farm visits being organized for city folks to understand organic farming and appreciate eating organic foods in a better way.
I read about procrastination sometime back and found that when your mind is free to do the current work then it works the best.
On those days when I wake up without having planned what to cook for breakfast and lunch, good nutrition goes for a toss, and also the timings for school and work get affected. If you have planned things earlier, then you will be at your productive best to just get to the task and complete it quickly.
Having a little kitchen timetable saves so much of your time. I have a friend who has a timetable for all household chores and not just the kitchen, and I cannot appreciate her enough for being so organized – it makes her a super woman, who can do it all! This timetable allows you to easily include a variety of foods like millets, whole grains, salads, soups, protein rich diet, etc, as you would plan accordingly for each day.
If you have been finding difficulties in maintaining good nutrition throughout the day, do not worry. Start with having at least one healthy meal a day and also try to eat together, making it a family meal time. Those who get back home early can cook a hearty meal for dinner. This also works for parents whose kids don’t eat their tiffin well at school, and hence a balanced dinner becomes utmost important for their healthy growth.
For those who work till late night, it is important to have a power packed breakfast with some fresh fruits (read raw), with protein rich and filling home made simple recipes. If time permits don’t shy away from taking your precious dabba to office for lunch as well.
So, what are you doing today to ensure good nutrition in your food?
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