Mom called, “Did you have your dinner?”
I answered casually, “Not yet, I will fix something”
She said, “Don’t fix, please cook”.
Does this conversation ring a bell?
Well this was my story some ten years back when food was the least of my priorities and as a newly married, working couple all we wanted was some free time for ourselves, rather than being stuck in the kitchen. But with time this changed and it changed for the better.
I realized how my eating habits weren’t helping me and how picking up all the fancy bottles from the hypermarket wasn’t saving me anything either. That’s when I switched to home-cooked meals and made some healthy choices, which of course reflects in my annual check ups. Yes! That one is a must once you touch 35.
Here are some quick tips, which even though we are part of a stressful work schedule, wouldn’t take much to follow.
Say no to deep-fried
Whether it’s for you children or you, deep fried food doesn’t do any good to our systems. Instead, adapting a cooking style where you can use grill pans, appe pans or even baking would help you get similar results without letting your taste buds feel the pinch.
What’s in the cream?
Only fat, which is not good for your health. While little bit cream is fine, we can still opt for hung curd, low fat milk, yoghurt while cooking many Indian and continental cuisines. Hung curd with some nutmeg can give you a delightful alfredo sauce and with just half a teaspoon of cheese spread with four tablespoons of hung curd and some herbs you can make you own bread spread for some sandwiches to be carried for work.
Measure the oil you eat
I prefer buying one-litre bottles than a five litre can so I can keep a tab on my oil consumption. Also I make sure to use just a teaspoon of it for the entire cooking of three person meal. Using fresh ginger, garlic paste or onion paste helps to let them cook in their own moisture, meaning the need for much less oil. Adding yoghurt also helps in giving the creaminess and texture needed, while the food doesn’t get burnt in less oil.
Keeping an eye on you sugar intake is good and this will help you consciously make healthier choices while picking snacks. A fruit over a cookie or frozen yoghurt instead of ice cream does help. A banana shake is better than a sugar loaded syrup with artificial flavors in the milk. Just like using Jaggery or natural honey over caster sugar is always a better option.
Almonds vs. Cashew
Almonds have more unsaturated fat over cashews and that makes them a better choice too. Using them in your Indian curries like Shahi paneer and Paneer Butter masala can help a lot. You can also make nice Pesto sauce with almonds instead of pine nuts or walnuts and this adds more variety to your palate.
There are many small ways with which we can make some changes in our conventional cooking style and still get the taste we have been used to. Healthy eating is not about dieting but about cutting down on everything. It’s a gradual move towards a choice which is more holistic, natural and still easy. The idea is to make it a part of life, not just a destination for a while.
About the Author:
Rakshita is a food blogger who writes about cooking up quick fixes and healthy food options, catering to the needs of working couples.