These days we are just too caught up with healthy food. It’s a perennial concern whether the parantha we are eating has too much ghee or oil or the bread excess butter.
I was chatting with a well-known chef in India who told me that he is often asked not to put extra fat on the parantha (which makes it more tasty according to me). The reason: house-wives who don’t want to see it, as it probably makes them feel guilty. Little do they realise that the making of a parantha itself involves oil or ghee, while rolling or kneading the dough.
I know of vegetarians who feel healthy with their diets of aloo tikkis, daal makhani, bhajjiyas or even tomato and gathiya, green peas samosas or kachoris. But the reality is that you can eat a whole pizza or a double Big Mac burger, feel terrible, and then work it out with some good exercise.
Eating healthy is not as important as living healthy and exercising. A 45-minute walk in your neighbourhood park or on the treadmill at your gym is all that it takes. Not to forget the seven to eight hours of daily sleep.
Formula which works
My yoga teacher tells me that every hour before 12 am is equivalent to two hours of sleep after 12 am. So do try and get to bed early.
Here’s my formula for a healthy living: A cup of warm water, chamomile or green tea at 7 or 8 am, followed by 15 minutes of yoga and a bowl of fresh fruit, yoghurt and honey by 10 am.
If by 11.30 am you start craving for food, a pint of freshly squeezed pomegranate or sweet limejuice. By 1.30 pm you will be ready for lunch, and if you are craving carbs then go for potato or rice or whole wheat. If you can manage without them, try steamed vegetables like broccoli, pak choy, spinach, corn and mushrooms with a dash of salt or soy sauce, topped with some extra virgin olive oil.. you need it for the body.
A bowl of steamed fish makes a good post-dinner snack, around 3.30 pm. I have a special sauce made from fish sauce, limejuice, garlic and chilli, which I drizzle over the fish.
By 6 pm another glass of juice or bowl of fruit, some good exercise.. either walk or squash or swim. And by 8.30 pm, you can treat yourself to sautéed vegetables in olive oil and garlic or maybe even some grilled salmon or chicken, for dinner.A good book and in bed by 10.30.
Don’t forget that you can eat healthy for five days like this and then binge on French fries or Absolut vodka on the sixth day. But just remember, you have to exercise hard and diet after that.
Making healthy eating a part of your lifestyle needs a little effort and discipline. And it can be done easily, considering we have so many Ramus and Rekha bens to help us.
So even if you are in office or at home, get healthy this year. It’s never too late.
(The writer is the chef, cook show host and owner of Busaba, Colaba )