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Late nights, long work hours and high pressure jobs don't leave us much time to enjoy a hearty meal. More so, there are days we don't pack lunch or in order to save the 'extra effort' of carrying a tiffin to work, we substitute by having lunch in the office canteen/ restaurants. In the bargain, we miss out on a wholesome diet that makes our body crave for vital nutrients and minerals.
Here are the four S' that you should remember in order to eat healthy and stay healthy, despite having a limited choice. Dietician Janaki Rawal of Parulekars Gym, Mumbai offers some diet tips.
Ideally go for a buffet lunch in a restaurant. There you get a wide choice on salads. Work up a salad for yourself with whatever is available. Add cucumber, tomatoes, onions, carrots and capsicum to make a wholesome salad.
"Make sure you have the salad without oil or mayonnaise seasoning as that would be fattening," cautions Janaki. For flavouring, you can substitute oil or mayonnaise with lemon juice and chaat masala to make your salad tasty.
Go for green salad with celery stalk, lettuce leaves, cucumber etc. A sprouted salad is also a very healthy option. Sprouted moong daal along with choley and chana daal, with boiled potatoes, chopped onions, green chilies, lemon juice, salt and chaat masala constitute a healthy lunch.
If you're too bored of cooking lunch for yourself, moong salad is the best alternative. "Sprouted salads are more nutritious as they are rich in vitamin B complex, are fibrous and easy to digest," says Janaki.
Clear soups like tomato and other vegetarian/ non-vegetarian soups are best, provided you don't add butter or croutons (bread cubes) for flavouring.
"Once in a while, just to bring in a change, one can opt for a manchow soup," she adds. A light lunch would constitute salad and lightly toasted brown wheat bread or garlic bread.
While having vegetables from the office canteen, eat the veggies and leave the gravy. Usually the curries are rich in oil and lots of masalas that can cause heaviness and digestive disturbances.
Your ideal meal in an office canteen should constitute -- chapattis/ rice, daal, veggies and curd/ raita.
If you feel like having a snack, instead of heading for a packet of chips, bite on an apple. Ideally, a person should have 3-4 servings of fruits a day. Fruits are packed with nutrition and fiber which is essential to stay fit and energised during the day.
Peaches, apples, pear or any seasonal fruits are ideal for in-between hunger pangs. "One can also snack on biscuits/ khakhra/ kurmura, etc in moderate amounts," she adds.
"To help digestion after lunch there are no digestive pills that I recommend as digestion is a natural process. But one can have jaljeera aid digestion."
Ideally, one should sit straight while having meals and should not drink water while eating. Drinking too much water does not allow the food to get mixed well with the digestive juices. It's better to finish your meal and then have a glass of water.
While eating out, one should make a proper choice regarding food. One can balance his/ her meal by ordering a thali instead of a la carte. Even in a thali, one should try and not overeat. In case of an a la carte, just opt for a dish that has a smalled portion so that you don't eat more than required.
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