This isn't another blog force-feeding you healthy eating habits, this is just a blog propagating the idea of self-love, acceptance, and working towards a healthy relationship with your body and mind. Below are ways listed to help you achieve that relationship.
When we think about eating healthy, one of the few things that cross our minds is self-control and consistency. We read or hear about a fad diet plan and just jump right into it, the excitement is killed over time by our lack of discipline and preparation towards the said diet. It is but natural to get enthusiastic over expeditious results, one of the many human emotions we are blessed with and we shouldn't shame ourselves for feeling something so habitual and common.
A habit is developed over a period of time, it isn't making healthy choices on day one and rewarding yourself with junk food on day three. One of the major factors involved is patience, as your body and mind are getting accustomed to this. Practising a particular routine over a period of time eventually leads to a habit.
Good food habits does involve some self-control and discipline but not the kind that sucks the fun out of life.
It is learning to listen to your body and learning to stay consistent. It is an ongoing process that involves self-love, which eventually leads to a healthy relationship with your body. It isn't forcing yourself to make healthy choices and have healthy eating habits but a conscious decision made purely for your benefit (in the most non-narcissistic way possible) and the benefit of the planet. It’s not only beneficial for your heart and hormones but practising healthy food habits aids in a new and improved physical health but also helps uplift your mental and emotional health.
Paint yourself a picture, you're on an extremely healthy diet, practising self-control and no junk food whatsoever.
Suddenly, your unhealthy food cravings come knocking in. Even though you're practising self-control, the thought of a box of chocolate chip cookies can't seem to leave your mind and you're stopping yourself from "going off track". A few hours later, you have given up and consumed a box or two of cookies, sounds familiar?
That's where portion control comes in this picture. It's a way to satisfy your cravings but not overindulging in them. It's allowing yourself to have a cookie without feeling guilty about cheating on your diet.
So next time when an unhealthy craving comes knocking in, give yourself 15 mins to think over it, if it's still bothering you and making you restless, let yourself have a piece, a bite, a slice, a sip or two of whatever it is. Thus you have satisfied your craving but you aren't overindulging in it. Remember, losing weight doesn’t happen in a day nor does gaining weight.
In other words, it’s a little bit of everything. Once you have mastered the art of portion control over your unhealthy food cravings, you can add this concept to your daily routine, here’s how.
Dividing your plate into carbs, vegetables, protein and fat.
Eating in a medium-sized bowl or plate.
A habit that is widely considered unhealthy but with portion control and healthy choices, snacking as a habit can be further developed into something that is part of a healthy daily routine. An unfed person is prone to hunger pangs, snacking helps curb that, thus allowing you to focus on the task at hand.
Here’s how you can add snacks to your diet
Snacking on assorted nuts and seeds all-day
Stocking your pantry with fruits and vegetables that need zero cooking time like carrots, apples, celery etc they can also be added to various healthy dips
Find the link to our snack recipes here
Water Works Wonders
A good old bottle of H20 can work wonders for an overall healthy, body, and mind. Now, with our physical activity at zero to a few, it is getting difficult to track the amount of water we consume. Here is a little hack to help you get back on track! before you sit to do any work that requires you to be focused, sit with a litre or two of water, it will save multiple trips to the kitchen (thanks to all the laziness we incurred during this period) and help you drink a lot of water.
Here are a few ways to add a little something to your water!
Spice up your water (literally) with cinnamon
Add cucumber and lemon slices
Add a teaspoon of turmeric and ginger, a great immunity booster indeed!
Someone once said we eat with our eyes first, if the food is visually appealing we tend to indulge in it without second-guessing ourselves. Incorporating vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains, nuts and the wide range of colours in our diet add to the nutritional value and the overall aesthetic appeal. It is another fun way to trick your mind into eating the required nutrients.
Here's how to do it!
On a bed of steamed rice, pour a generous amount of your favourite protein-rich curry and add some steam vegetables.
A few handfuls of salad leaves, chopped up nuts, crunchy vegetables and a yummy dressing.
A bowl of oats, topped with colourful fruits, seeds and nuts.
Make your own aesthetically appealing plate/bowl today!
Dine before Nine
After a day full of healthy eating and drinking, there are times where we end up eating way past our bedtime and eventually hit the sack. This further leads to a restless night’s sleep and indigestion, which causes harmful effects on your overall mood and a messed up sleep schedule the following day. Hectic work hours are difficult to manage and this is a pretty common thing we all experience. To avoid all the unpleasantries listed above, try and work your way to a stable eating routine and dine before nine. You might experience a few days where it's completely hard to manage a new dietary change but it's never too late to start again the following day.
Here are a few ways to curb the nasty indigestion.
Consume, easy to digest foods like salads and soups.
If at times you do end up consuming something very heavy don't feel disheartened but make a quick detox drink with warm turmeric water and honey!
30 mins time-frame
Ever been so hungry that you gobble down whatever is in front of you and end up really bloated and extremely full, that you flaunt a charming food baby thereafter? Well, do flaunt that food baby, it's a mark of a hearty meal but the unpleasant feeling of being bloated just doesn’t sit right. This 30 min time frame is just the thing for you.
Here is a way to adopt it
Before your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, drink about a glass or two of water and wait it out for 30 mins, you can consume your meal after the said time frame, this helps to cut down on the unnecessary binge eating and allows proper digestion.
Cut down before you eliminate
Telling your body that it will be going through a crazy dietary change without any prior notice will send it into withdrawal mode. Your eating clean regime will start smooth but your body won’t be able to handle the change it is currently going through, you will be back to your old ways before you know it. So cut down, start slow.
Here is a way to try this out!
If you’re used to having two burgers or four slices of pizza, cut that down to one and three respectively. Eventually, it will be easy to eliminate unhealthy food for good but with portion control, you can still indulge in them with mindfulness.
Listen to your body
Our body is a temple and it holds so much more than we can fathom. A wound can heal itself, our immune system gives us the power to fight diseases, our mind comes up with ideas etc. Listening to our body is just another way to inculcate the habit of self-love. We know when a portion of a certain food or drink doesn’t agree with us, our body reciprocates that discomfort via an upset stomach, fever or allergy. That’s why it's crucial to listen to what your body needs and rejects.
Here are a few ways to help you out!
If your body doesn’t agree with dairy, switch to plant-based dairy, vice versa.
If your body can’t handle the protein from eggs switch to legumes, beans, etc, they are equally rich in protein, vice versa.
If refined sugar makes you feel lethargic switch to black jaggery or stevia
The options for substitutes are plenty, it’s just what suits your body and what makes it feel nourished.
A completely subjective opinion, to begin with, the conventional meal prepping ideology involves cooking/baking a batch of food for a week and storing it in containers labelled after the seven days. This is just our take on meal prepping.
Our busy schedules constantly come in the way of our healthy dietary plan. We are either too busy with school assignments or work commitments. At times, having a hearty meal is the last thing on our minds. Meal Prepping is your saviour, a way to prep your meal a day/a week ahead of time using simple yet effective ingredients with either zero to a few mins of cooking time, you will be feeding your body right without the harsh time constraints.
Here are some quick ways to prep your meal!
Overnight oats - just soak some oats in the milk of your choice (add additional flavours like cardamom or vanilla, if you please) and refrigerator it, garnish it with fruits or seeds of your choice, drizzle some honey, and voila!
Presoaked beans/rice - Soaking a cup of beans/rice overnight helps it cook much faster than raw beans/rice. The beans can be added to a bowl of salad, rice or quinoa and the rice with steamed veggies and protein of your choice.
Veggies/ Fruits - Cutting up some veggies/fruits ahead of time and storing it in the refrigerator, helps retain the freshness.
Homemade Peanut Butter.
Homemade Hummus for your veggies and crackers.
Another healthy habit on the list that is not only a time saver but also helps you make healthy choices.
Do it for yourself
Feeding your body right is an umbrella term, it doesn’t start and stop at physically consuming food but starts and continues to progress from the type of information you expose yourself to, to the type of people you choose to surround yourself with, all that in turn benefits your overall physical, emotional and mental health.
At times you may stumble and fall during this journey, you might skip working out cause you're mentally drained or you just want to eat a bag of chips and binge watch movies. Trying to live a healthy lifestyle during a pandemic or otherwise is tough as it can get. With the media constantly feeding us an ideal image of how one should look and feel.
We are told to make the most of all this extra time on our hands, at times, it's a task to even get yourself to do one healthy habit, let alone ten, so start slow, start at a pace you feel at peace with, start at a time you feel you are mentally prepared to.
Most importantly if you truly understand why it is important to have a healthy eating habits, it won't be hard to follow.
Eating clean means to consume products that are close to their natural form, minimally processed, or not processed at all. This helps you to feed your body with the right kind of nutrients and vitamins minus the preservatives.