Here are some food items and tips for quick meal fixes that will keep you healthy this quarantine
As India battles the second wave of the Covid-19 virus, we have again started to quarantine in our houses, with many state governments declaring partial to full lockdowns. In this scenario, we need to protect our daily routine from getting disrupted especially during self-isolation. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and consume fiber rich foods for the fourteen days of quarantine period.
Here, are some budget-friendly suggestions on what food items to purchase in order to prepare a healthy meal:
Essential groceries, that should help in an emergency or when you lack the energy to whip up a full meal, some of which are:
Oats: They are high in soluble fiber, which may help lower blood cholesterol levels. They can be also prepared with milk or curd.
Whole-grains and ready-to-eat cereals such as ragi flakes, quinoa flakes, muesli with nuts can be consumed for breakfast as well as for other meals of the day as they are fiber rich and provide the needed nutrition for the body.
Beans and lentils are a great alternative source of protein for chicken and meat. These can be soaked overnight and stored in refrigerator after being boiled for later consumption. You can use them in salads, soups, or even pasta. The ones available in cans should be rinsed, to flush away any sodium contained. Sprouts of these legumes can be prepared at home or bought from supermarkets as well.
Dairy products such as milk, paneer, cheese spread come in handy for a quick meal. Non-dairy items such as almond milk, soya milk, oat milk can be made into sweet delights such as yoghurt or flavored curd or consumed as it is.
Nuts, seeds and dry fruits act as best options to snack on. Other munchies include, puffed rice, soya puffs, poha, puffed barley or multigrain high fiber biscuits.
Peanut butter, humus, hung curd are quick fixes that can be used as spreads on bread and save you from cooking a full meal.
Some basic tips for cooking to be kept in your mind are–
Consider cooking in batches. If you are lucky enough to be doing well, spend ample time in making healthy quick fixes that can be consumed later. For example: roasting makhanas, making granola or nut bars, chopping vegetables and making spreads and sauces for later use. Fritters can be made and refrigerated so they can be just fried when needed.
Increase liquids intake by drinking coconut water, lemon water, buttermilk and sattu water. Having soups made from pumpkin, broccoli, tomato, beetroot, corn, spinach, lentils are also nutritious ways to for fluid intake.
Packaged thepla (Besan chapattis) or wheat chapattis can be purchased and reheated prior to consumption.
Using disposable utensils for your meals will also help when self-isolating.
Some people may experience indigestion due to high doses of medication. In this situation, it is important to be consuming more probiotics. Packaged prebiotic drinks like Yakult/ Nutrifi are good options. It is recommended to keep your body hydrated at all times during this period.
(The author is a lifestyle coach and diet counselor. She tweets @Bipasha1sugati)