In Spite of being a Doctor, healthy eating wasn’t always the norm for me. That’s the thing about medicine. We learn about diseases but with a lesser focus on preventive healthcare. Understanding the importance of what we put in our body came much later. My journey with health and fitness has involved a lot of ups and downs, but more importantly- it has meant a plethora of self-learning and developing a positive relationship with food.
The cheat sheet that I use is sticking to a plant-based diet. Plant-based eating is sustainable, ethical and great for people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. If you think it’s difficult to turn vegetarian/vegan overnight, go flexitarian! I also choose to buy locally – so organic country tomatoes over hybrid. Vertically farmed greens /microgreens over water-intensive vegetables. Locally grown avocados over imported ones. Not only does your grocery bill become easy to foot, but you also know your food is not going through any additional processing before making it to your plate. The flavour and freshness that comes through is just an added bonus.
If you don’t know where to start, you can make my breakfast toasts. Smash an avocado and chickpeas. Season with lemon, salt, pepper and a pinch of garlic powder and cumin powder. Add this to your toasts and top with microgreens. Another variation that works is mushroom toasts. Add to your pan some olive oil and sauté half an onion with garlic. Then add 5-6 mushrooms and a dash of soy sauce(reduced sodium variant to watch that salt intake). To your toasts add some lashings of hummus and the mushrooms. Notice how I didn’t ask you to get any vegan milk/butter or any fancy ingredients to make a wholesome filling plant-based meal?
Protein, good fats and just the right amount of carbs, you have it all. Carbs are not your enemy, timing them and portioning them right is key. So start slow, but make better choices. The art of healthy eating is holistic, it’s your journey; choose better and make it a habit.
Contributor: Dr Varsha Bhashyakarla