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The keys to health

health-and-fitness Updated: May 07, 2011 18:00 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

At every forum I go to, I hear the same thing. People complain that changing their food habits so that they eat in a healthier manner is difficult. Health food is boring, they say, and if eating healthy food means losing all the fun from life, what is the point of being healthy? Listening to this, I realised that there are some key factors that stop people from becoming healthy.

1. A thought process that is against change. Locked into this is the belief that living healthy means living a life of deprivation and self-denial Psychology says that there are two levels of the mind: the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious mind is the one we are aware of. This does the day-to-day observing, processing and analysing. We may appear to use this part of the mind all the time, but actually it’s the unconscious part of the mind that plays the main role in our choices. This is the unseen force that runs our lives for us by making us do things that we think are most natural for us. Once we are able to change the beliefs in this part of our minds, we are freed from the shackles of the past and can move into a more empowered existence.

Fruits are great for health

2. A lack of the tools of change. Even though there has been so much awareness about healthy lifestyles in the last 10 years, I find very little has been done to change the way we cook and eat at home. So here are some easy ways to change your mind about healthy food being boring food:

a. Eat a variety of foods: Cereals and grains like ragi, barley, jowar, oats, brown rice and bajra are delicious and nutritious and add variety to your diet.

b. Use a variety of cooking techniques: Most people know how to fry foods, but there are other cooking processes that change the way food tastes, such as steaming, baking, sautéing, poaching, grinding and juicing. We can steam vegetable dumplings, idlis, dhoklas and pancakes. We can juice many vegetables and drink them. For example, mix spinach, celery, beetroot, apple and ginger juices to make an interesting mocktail.

c. Combine foods in a variety of ways: All of us love chatpata chaats and bhelpuris, so why not make them in a healthy way? For instance, boiled potatoes, murmura, anar, boiled white channas, chopped cucumber, tomatoes and onions all tossed together with chaat masala and a dash of lemon juice makes an interesting lunch. You can create innumerable recipes like this, if only you believe that healthy food is not a bad copy of fun food, but a world in itself. ask@drshikha.com

- From HT Brunch, May 8

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