Healthy Eating for a Busy Person

Healthy eating is one of the keys to having an optimal productivity, in addition to good health.

Everyone wants to eat healthy and be fit. But busy people find it more difficult than most to find time for health. Let’s face it, even the ones who do have time, eat things they should not be eating.

So what if I told you that you just need to know three things to make healthier food choices? A healthy ‘diet’ for a busy person with a tight schedule. Without the worry about ‘dieting’ and various ‘rules’ that keep doing rounds?

Three Tips for a Healthy Diet (for a Person on a Tight Schedule)

Yes, it’s true! You need to remember these three tips that science, experience and observation has helped me put together here. While each of these is a wide field and you can go into greater depth if you get interested, this gist is sufficient for any person (as long as you don’t have a medical condition that requires special diet plans).

Know the Food Pyramid

Foods are of various kinds and your body needs more of some kinds and less of others. So how will you know? Enter the Food Pyramid!

The food pyramid is a great way of having a mental picture of how much of each kind of food you should consume every day.

Undoubtedly, children and people with certain medical conditions will have certain modifications in the pyramid.

the food pyramid to help healthy eating habits
The Food Pyramid shows how to eat everyday
More fruits and vegetables, very less amounts of oils, fats and sugars.
Moderate amounts of other things, as shown in the pyramid.

The pyramid shown in this post is one for people above 15 years of age, who are active and have a moderate amount of exercise every day. Following this would reasonably ensure you are eating healthy.

For an excellent article on food pyramid for kids, read https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/food-pyramid-for-kids-know-the-key-components/

Are you consuming a similar pattern with your foods?

If not, it’s time to change the pattern. And you will be able to maintain your healthy even with a busy schedule.

So How to Load Your Plate?

This pyramid can now help you ‘load up your plate‘ or plan your diet the healthy way. It translates into a plate of food which has a substantially more amount of fruits and vegetables as compared to other items. I really like the way Harvard has nailed it in the link below.

Pro Tip: It is possible to tweak this from other perspectives and choices. So if you are a vegetarian, a vegan, a meat lover, etc, etc, you would have a different picture of your own.

What you now need to do is to hunt out a box of crayons or sketch pens and draw up what you want your plate to look like every day. Further, put it up on the fridge or in any prominent space till it becomes second nature to eat like that. This will positively change the way you load your plate.

Remember, very young children and growing kids, patients with different health conditions and the elderly will require their plates to be different from yours. Consult a dietician for help with them.

In this post I am focusing on people who tend to make incorrect food choices because of their busy lives. A mental picture, or better still, an actual picture of the ideal plate will surely help change that, as you can train yourself to choose wisely.

Include a Variety of Colours and Textures in Your Meals

People do remember to add flavours (in the form of different tastes and aromas) in their meals. But I encourage you to also add another basic thing—an assortment of colours and textures.

A plateful; of rice, green spinach with paneer, chicken nuggets, chutney, pumpkin, slices of tomatoes, piece of lime, crunchy papads etc , that is , rich colours and textures are seen

Colour and Texture your Way to Health

A riot of colours adds the fun to your meal besides providing necessary nutrients. While the whites have essential nutrients too, there are some added benefits from naturally colourful plant-based foods. This is because they have a high amount of antioxidants. These foods are often referred to as superfoods, and not without reason. Some great articles you can read for more on this are

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301506.php

https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-super-foods#1

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-multiple-colored-fruits-vegetables-4676.html

So add superfoods. Any fruit or vegetable that is brightly coloured by nature is good for you. Buy varied colours of  produce so that you can eat an assortment of colours every day, including the paler ones. 🍉 🍇 🍎 🍍 🍊 🍒 🥑

Vegetables from the farmer's market, of different colours
Shop to Include Colour in Your Foods

The varied textures also add pleasure to the whole eating experience. Include textures that are soft, grainy, crunchy, tender, chewy, smooth, juicy etc. to make the meal exciting.

So the shallow fried chicken cutlet will be perfect topped with crunchy rings of freshly sliced raw onion with a squeeze of lime, and will beautifully complement the delectable vegetable pulao served with some pineapple raita.

The Indian chaat is richly varied with colour, texture and loads of flavour—no wonder it is so immensely popular! This version of chaat has quinoa in it… see if you want to try the quinoa chaat out.

Some Examples and Tips

How can you do this for Indian and Italian foods, in your kitchen, to add colour and texture?

If you have planned to have a rich chicken gravy with rice, the vegetable could be some simple beans porial, with an onion pachadi and slices of cucumber, onions and tomatoes.

As for Pasta or Pizza, you would be better off with whole wheat breads and pasta in the first place. Secondly, the pale pasta and cheese needs to be off-set with bright tomatoes and fresh herbs. Meats and eggs provide more colours and textures while a bowl of salad with fresh bell peppers, olives, boiled chicken or cottage cheese, seasoned with herbs in olive oil and apple cider vinegar will add other valuable building blocks for your body.

Try this simple Green Papaya Salad that fulfills many of these. Or the Beansprouts Salad.

Concentrate and Linger over food

Now, the simplest tip for the last—though it is actually the most important one for healthy eating.

Fact 1: A human brain is extremely smart, but it is slow in some ways. It is usually slow to recognise satiety. That is, feeling of being ‘full’ and being ready to stop eating.

Fact 2: A friend of mine mentioned a piece of information she had read in a book. (Something that should have struck us also, if we had thought about it) The fact that food is only enjoyable while it’s in your mouth.

The minute it is swallowed, you no longer taste it. So it is better to keep it for longer in the mouth so you can enjoy each morsel!

Taking both the facts together brings us to the solution: Look at, feel and appreciate the food on your plate. Try not to be distracted with your phone, TV program or even talking with your friends at all meals.

Linger over your food. Inhale the aroma. Bite into food. Take small mouthfuls. Chew and roll it around your mouth.

This will make the brain realise that we are eating. It takes quite a while for your brain to realise you’re actually full. Pause to savour each bite and you will feel be ready to stop when you’re full, rather than overeating.

Follow These Three Tips = Good Food Choices!

So, keep an eye on these three factors:

  • Know the Food Pyramid
  • Include a Variety of Colours and Textures in Your Meals
  • Concentrate and Linger over food

And you can be well on your way to making healthy food choices automatically. It has helped many people I know, and it does not take too much effort to fall into the habit of eating health. I believe in it and follow it too.

I hope you will enjoy putting the three tips for healthy eating into practice. Which one is the easiest one for you to start immediately? Add your thoughts to the comments below.

 

30 Comments

  1. Pingback: Why did we name it Kitchen Rings? | Kitchen Rings - Food Blog

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  4. Good Information. Excellent pyramid.

     
    • Thank you Mamata! We designed it in-house! So glad you liked it and found it useful.
      Of late I am keeping the daily posts and stories up on my Instagram @kitchenrings
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  8. Hi Sheetal Rabindran, Good article!
    Helpful for a busy person like me. When is your next content?

     
    • Thank you!
      I am updating my followers on a daily basis on Instagram. Will soon return to the blog also.
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    • Thank you Rajib, I am glad you found the article useful. I am building up my user base via Instagram, and will soon start writing for the blog once more.
      In the meantime, you may like to check out my daily stories and posts on Instagram @kitchenrings
      Cheers!

       
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  12. Really Very Nice To Go through Your Blog Post. Helpful for a busy person like me. Thanks, A Lot!

     
    • So good to know it was helpful to you. I am quite passionate about sharing about food! Hoping to update the blog with recipes that are healthy, tasty and easy. Cheers!

       
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