I think I have mentioned earlier about my unhealthy eating habits. I ate dinner at midnight because I came home very late from work. And, then there were times when I would walk out on a perfectly made homemade food to relish restaurant food. Why? No reason, just because I craved for something tastier, greasier and I am sure, unhealthier. I put on weight, of course, that was a given, and I also invited many stomach related ailments. I popped antacids first thing in the morning and still cried out in pain and was unable to sleep in the night. This continued for almost 5 years, after which we realized this had to end. I had just entered the 30s, and taking medicines at such a young age was indeed very shameful. That’s when I decided to change my unhealthy food habits to healthy food habits. Here are 5 healthy food habits I practise for a healthier body
Quit processed foods: That’s the first healthy food habit I incorporated for a healthier body. So out went store-bought jams, peanut butter, biscuits/cookies, packaged foods, etc. We don’t realize, but processed foods have unnecessarily high amount of sugar or sodium, which is harmful to our body. I make black grape jam and strawberry jam, peanut butter, cookies and snacks at home. And, they have the right amount of sugar, salt and oil.
Eat seasonal and local: Rujuta Diwekar strongly advises – to eat seasonal and local foods. And I found this thought of hers, both logical and practical. So that’s what I do – I don’t eat melons and mangoes in December and apples in May. The same goes for veggies too. I avoid cabbage, spinach and greens in the monsoon and prefer sprouts and gourds, while I avoid gourd veggies in the peak of winter. Also, I have put a stop to quinoa and consume more millets like bajra, jowar and nachni.
Clean eating: I eat at home as much as possible, though there are certain unavoidable days, once in a month maybe when we eat out or order in. I have started enjoying ghar ka khana for the freshness and simplicity of it, and also the fact that it is made of good quality ingredients that I chose myself.
- It doesn’t mean it is dal, roti and subzi every day. I try to make different kinds of foods like a variety of soups, salads, pastas, rajma, chhola, pav bhaji and Mumbai street food like pani puri, chaat, etc.
- I use clarified butter or ghee, however, I do keep a check on the use of salt, sugar and oil.
Light dinner: My dinner is the lightest meal of the day. A light dinner promotes good digestion and ultimately good sleep. So no more popping antacids and no more crying in the night due to excessive bloating.
- I make foods with beans like rajma and lentils and grams like chhola and black gram which lead to bloating and all foods with cream and fat in the lunch.
- I don’t snack post dinner. That’s one of the most stringent rules that I follow. I immediately brush after dinner, it helps in killing the appetite. Also, if you eat properly and have good nutrition throughout the day, believe me, you won’t feel hungry late night.
Mindful snacking: I eat light meals, that means I eat mini meals throughout the day. These mini meals are the reason that keeps me from overeating in my lunch and dinner. However, I have to be careful about what I choose for my mid morning snack or my evening snack. I usually prefer fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, popcorn, half plate bhelpuri/sev puri/panipuri, homemade Laddoo or cookie, roasted fox nuts, etc.
Some more healthy food habits that help in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle:
- I use desi jaggary over sugar. I take my coffee black, while I don’t drink Indian masala tea regularly. However, whenever I do, I add jaggary instead of sugar. But, don’t overindulge in jaggary or honey as most people tend to do. Remember, even though not sugar, jaggary and honey have sweetness too, and adding more of that will harm the purpose of avoiding sugar. #healthyfoodhabits Click To Tweet
- I also use rock salt instead of normal table salt if I need to sprinkle it on my salads or juices. Rock salt or sendha namak, according to Ayurveda contains many important elements like iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, potassium, copper, etc. that helps in improving digestion, boosting metabolism, stabilizing blood pressure, reduces stress, etc.
- I drink vegetable juice, which helps me in consuming more vegetables.
- I consume a teaspoon of sprouted fenugreek seeds and a shot of bitter gourd juice first thing in the morning. I am a person who is‘pitta’ by nature that means my body is acidic by nature, hence I am more prone to digestion related issues. Fenugreek seeds are rich in fiber and have antioxidants and help in digestion. And bitter gourd juice cleanses the liver, boosts immunity and maintains blood sugar levels.
- I exercise regularly, it helps in beating the stress and keeps me away from stress eating or emotional snacking.
These healthy food habits are as much for adults as these healthy food habits are for kids and for the entire family. And the best part is these good food habits are not difficult to practice. Try it for 21 days, that’s the time it takes to adopt a new habit, and see the change in your lifestyle, notice the weight loss and the spurt of energy.