What are some healthy drink swaps for social events?
Having a celebration at home and confused about what to offer for drinks? Or planning to choose healthy eating this holiday season? Look no further because this food swap is the next best thing. As a part of the holiday season, we often offer mocktails or drinks high in calories at an event or party. If you’re looking for a balanced diet, here is an easy to do 5-minute option which is packed with health and nutrition - Tender coconut lemonade.
Packed with high potassium and mineral contents, it will keep you refreshed while nourishing you. Now all you need is tender coconut water 200ml (chilled ), 1 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp sugar and salt for taste and a pinch of cardamom for taste is optional, a small piece of malai (the meat of coconut) if available and some ice . Grind all of it well in a mixer. A great drink which is below 150 kcals.
How to measure and control your food for a balanced diet?
As holidays approach, some of us can have sky-rocketing anxiety around food and the choices that one would have to make at a party. As a dietician, I can understand this feeling around food and to help you, here is a simple method that can be used for a balanced diet. When you decide to eat your meal, try to fill half of your plate with healthy foods like vegetables, salad or soup with vegetables or salona. Next, fill 1/4ᵗʰ of the plate with proteins like chicken, fish or lentils or tofu. The remaining 1/4ᵗʰ portion can be carbohydrates like bread, rice, roti or kuboos. You could skip or reduce the carbs if you have already eaten it as an appetizer or choose to go for a dessert after the main course. Remember: no food is off limits, portion size it well and engage in mindful eating; Mindful eating is healthy eating so reach nutrition goals better even during your holiday season.
Diet hacks to prevent bloating during the holiday season
Bloating never feels good. Here are a few tips on how to stop bloating:
• Go for walks: Try a simple walk for 30 mins/day or walk for 15-20 minutes after every large meal this will help you digest food better and help in better bowel movements.
• Drink water: During the holidays, we often forget to hydrate ourselves which makes us prone to bloating. Drinking at least 2-2.5 liters of water will not just help in stopping bloating but also help reduce water retention in our bodies.
• Eat small and frequent meals: do not try to skip meals in order to have that one important meal at the party. Keeping a good habit of having small frequent meal patterns even in the holiday season can help you stop bloating and over indulging . A balanced diet goes a long way.
• Try peppermint tea: Many claim to have found benefits using peppermint tea in their daily routine for better digestive properties. So why not give it a try?
What are some hacks to prevent yourself from overeating at a celebration?
Most of the celebrations are a great way for socializing and getting introduced to new cuisines and cultures. While so many food/cuisines can be tempting , here are three ways you can keep a track on how much you eat and maintain a balanced diet:
• Have a healthy snack/soup before leaving: This is one of the best tried and tested methods. Healthy foods that are protein rich help stabilize our blood sugar levels and prevent sugar crashes. This helps us make healthy eating choices and prevents us from binge eating due to hunger.
• Use a smaller plate for serving: Studies have shown that when we use a smaller plate we can control our portion sizes well. This way, you are not depriving your body of food while tricking your mind into feeling full with a lesser amount of food.
• The 20-minute Rule: While you are still having the first serving, it's best to wait up to 20 mins before you go to serve yourself a second serving. Sometimes, the brain takes time to give you the sense of fullness.
What is a healthy version of pizza for the New year?
Ever heard of pizza as a healthy food item? Well, there is a hack for everything these days!
Here are a few simple ways to make pizza a healthy eating choice and help you maintain a balanced diet packed with nutrition:
• Choose a base which is whole wheat, quinoa base or millet base. (Great way to load up on the fiber).
• Chop in all your favorite veggies like capsicum, onion, tomatoes, baby corn etc (cause healthy is not just about your calories, it is also about good antioxidants, vitamins and minerals too).
• Choose a lean meat of protein like chicken or tuna, if vegetarian you can use paneer or tofu.
• Spread the salsa or pizza sauce - sprinkle some of your favorite cheese (try not to overload the pizza with cheese) .
• You can use your favorite herbs too - rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, oregano etc.
There you go, pizza is now a healthy food item! At least for this holiday season.
What’s the best drink for the New year? Water, of course!
As temperatures mellow down, it's important to remember to keep ourselves hydrated.
Good hydration keeps us warm, healthy and keeps our cravings at bay. Hydrating with 2-2.5 liters of water per day would be adequate enough for an adult. (unless your doctor advises otherwise). Water has some amazing benefits like :
• Helps to improve energy levels
• Improves brain function
• Helps to relieve constipation
• Helps stop bloating
• Helps prevent hangovers
Healthy foods like soups, juices, flavored water, and lemonades are a great way for hydrating too. One of the easy ways of remembering to hydrate yourself is to keep filled water bottles around you. Always a great reminder!
3 tips for mindful Healthy eating this New year.
• Eat until you are satisfied: We often tend to eat until we are stuffed. But eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly helps us understand our hunger signals better. This helps you choose better options that lead to healthy eating.
• Sleep at least 7-8 hours: Irregular sleep habits can actually trigger your brain into altering your hunger signals and make your cravings worse. Try to stick to a regular habit of sleeping and waking up around the same time during the holiday season.
• Don’t restrict, choose moderation: Health and nutrition is essential to our well-being. So do not restrict yourself when it comes to food. When we restrict ourselves from the food we love this season would not just make us feel bad, but also we may end up binge eating in unhealthy ways. So savor your food intentionally to prevent over indulging later on.
Keep in mind, the holiday season is meant for enjoying things. So enjoy your food, make memories and listen to your body cues for a happy and healthy you.
Department of Diet & Nutrition
Ms. Melanie Dsouza
Aster Hospital Sharjah