People have become fitness freaks and fanatics with plenty of focus on conscious eating, exercising, and sleeping habits. They splurge on branded food products, diet plans and gym equipment to stay healthy. But when we inspect these odd patterns of westernization and influence of unique cultures, we can understand that it neglects the fundamental requirements of the body.
There are many diet concepts in recent years, where a certain daily dietary requirement is ignored or taken in limited portions. It’s an unhealthy pattern making us nutrient deficit with time which in the later stages can lead to lifestyle diseases and internal organ damages.
If you want a healthy body, then you should understand that size doesn’t matter; it only depends upon the ability of your body to stay energetic and perform activities for at least 10-12 hours a day. And the best way to achieve it is by eating wholesome meals.
What is a Wholesome Meal?
Wholesome meal refers to the concept of eating a balanced diet with foods included from all the nutritional categories. A wholesome meal will include the right quantities of,
• Vitamins and
Meal Planning – The Best Way to Revive Wholesome Meals
From ancient times, the human body has relied on eating natural sources of foods with little processing. Our ancestors had been so clever in identifying the nutrient-rich raw and cooked foods for consuming them naturally. But now everything is processed and mixed with hundreds of chemicals for taste and longer shelf life. Because of this, we prefer instant foods, processed products, and pre-cooked meals instead of healthier options.
Filling up on pizza, chips, and soda is not a wholesome meal. You can trick your mind by thinking these foods are rich in carbohydrates, fat, protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. So, these qualify for a wholesome meal. But it’s not because the base of all these foods is just sugar and lipids.
Meal planning is the best way to eat wholesome meals without compromising your dietary requirements per day. You need a variety of micro and macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals for the proper functioning of both internal and external organs. When you plan a wholesome meal, you can satisfy the requirements of your body in all these categories. Also, you know what goes into your body because you are making it yourself.
Tips to Meal Plan a Wholesome Meal
Include All Nutrient Categories: Be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, make sure you include foods that meet the daily requirement categories.
• Eat rice, millet, and wheat for carbohydrates.
• Include butter, milk, and yoghurt for fats.
• Take soy, pulses, egg, meat, and fish for protein.
• Choose five colour veggies and fruits daily for vitamins and minerals.
• Have whole grains, cereals, dry fruits and nuts for fibre.
Prepare Overnight or Instant Breakfasts: Make use of at least an hour before bed to relax and meal plan for the next day. This habit can make your mornings stress-free and manageable.
• Make overnight oats or chia seed pudding with fruits, nuts, almond, or soy milk for a sweeter start to your mornings.
• Prepare chutneys in advance to enjoy steamed breakfasts such as Idly, Appam, and Dosa while pre-made fillings and dough can help in making quick parathas for breakfasts.
• Pre-made smoothie shakes or bowls topped with nuts and seeds can be a lifesaver for hectic mornings.
• Mix dry flours with seasonings and store them in a box. Add water in the morning to make instant breakfasts such as Dosa, Upma, Khichdi, and Pongal.
One-Pot Meals Work Best: With a hectic work life, many opt for fast foods and take-outs because of lack of time in preparing elaborate meals. But it will not be so if you cook one-pot meals for lunch or dinner.
• Choose recipes with grains, pulses, 2-3 vegetables such as khichdi, sambar rice, vegetable pulao, and biryani.
• Soak beans overnight to cook instant pot gravies, curries and meat dishes and eat them with multi-grain bread and a salad.
• Prepare an enormous pot of slow-cooked soups, pasta, and stews to go for both lunch and dinner.
Mindful Snacking: We concentrate on preparing 3 enormous meals of the day so much that we lose track of the much more important snack time. Snacks are foods that should be consumed in between larger meals to keep our internal system active.
• Roasted, toasted, and puffed foods such as makhana, puffed rice, popcorn, chickpeas, trail mix work best as snacks.
• Eat baked chips, nuts, seeds instead of fatty deep-fried ones.
• Consume homemade bars such as peanut and dry fruit jaggery bars, dark chocolate nut bars, granola bars for filling snacks.
• Steamed foods such as Dhokla, Muthia, Kozhukattai, Paniyaram, Momos can be lighter yet nutritious snack alternatives.
Constant Hydration: Water is an important nutrient-rich element that monitors the overall functioning of our body. It is necessary to drink 3 litres of fluid daily to keep our body energetic throughout the day.
• Drink lemon water in the morning to kick-start your metabolism.
• Take a glass of lassi, fruit juice, or buttermilk in the midmorning time.
• Have a milkshake or smoothie in the evenings.
• A glass of turmeric milk or almond milk in the night can boost sleep.
A Friendly Note: Eating pre-made foods stored in containers in the fridge for a night can cause no harm when compared to fatty, unhygienic, and harmful junk foods. Just give it a thought!
By following these simple steps in meal planning, we can easily create wholesome meals for our family and avoid ordering fast foods because of laziness and procrastination. Choose healthily and be healthy!