Let us start with a small story…
Harish had to attend a really important meeting with India’s bestselling author. The author’s flight was delayed, so the meeting that had to start at 1 PM was delayed by an hour. He knew he was cutting it too close but since he did not have a filling breakfast, he ordered North Delhi’s specialdum biryani for lunch; ate all of 500 grams of it and then gulped down a bottle of soda.
When Mr. Bestselling author arrived, Harish met him in the conference room, ready with his presentation to discuss the marketing approach of his next bestseller which he had prepared after 3 weeks of research and toil. The presentation went well. Both of them shook hands and just before Mr. Bestselling author was about to leave, he said, “By the way, I would appreciate if you say the name of my book correctly.”
We don’t know what happened next but Harish never ate dum biryani after that day. Can we blame the poor biryani for what happened?
Ritika Samaddar, Delhi-based nutritionist says,”Diving back into your day after a fulfilling meal can be a challenge. Before you know it, you are spending 50% of your energy in digesting what you just ate.”
Heavy lunch is not the only culprit. Usually, we reach out for high-calorie beverages or readily available junk food when we feel hungry between meals. While we may find comfort in these foods, our health goes for a toss and so does our alertness.
Ritika adds “A filling meal is a must, however, for people who are glued to their desks all day long;I would advise that they eat small and frequent meals to keep their body sugar and energy levels steady and stay alert.”
Here is an example of what according to Ms. Samaddar, qualifies for a healthy snack –
· An Egg Salad – It is a combination of good protein and a little bit of good fat which makes it a healthy protein powerhouse. You can add fiber-rich foods such as veggies and lean proteins to make your egg salad even healthier. The protein in the eggs will fuel your body for hours, while the fat helps slow digestion, so you’ll feel satiated and energized longer.
Madhuri Ruia, Mumbai’s favourite pilates and nutrition expert says, “She eats healthy and makes sure her family does too”.
So what makes for easy snacks, in her opinion? Here are the two quick examples she gave –
· Raw veggies – It is easy to ditch the unhealthy pack of snacks available at the convenience store when one decides to stock up on a container of fresh veggies like carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, capsicum, cabbage and cherry tomatoes. Raw veggies fill you up owing to their high water and fiber content and clubbing them with home-made tomato salsa dip brings out the taste in them as well
· Dry fruits – One should always keep a bag of dry fruits at work. Munching on these keeps you alert and helps avoid that grogginess that comes with your regular ‘comfort’ foods.Almonds fit the bill. There are multiple almond benefits such as – the nut is a rich source of vitamin E, fiber and protein and many other important nutrients. The nut can be roasted for texture and mixed with light spices for taste and flavor. Roasting them is easy and only takes a few minutes. They can be easily stored and are a perfect for those in-between-meal hunger pangs
Shreya Goel is a Chandigarh based nutritionist and dietician. Since she is super occupied throughout the day, we asked what she does to fix those untimely hunger pangs?She gave us her favorite two –
· Fresh fruits – She stocks up a container of fresh fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, banana and grapes. According to her, fruits are the best snacks for anyone who wants to eat healthy. They are full of natural carbohydrates and natural sugar, so you feel full without consuming a lot of calories and you don’t feel sleepy since they are light on your tummy
· Whole-wheat Pita bread and Hummus -Whole wheat pita bread contains lots of vitamins and minerals and lesser calories than whole wheat bread. Club that with hummus, and the two make a delicious, light, healthy and an easy snack to prepare