Most of us have a lot of running around to do in our daily lives, enough to not have the time to squeeze a lunch break into our day. However, a healthy and hearty lunch is the key to our health and sanity and energy for the rest of the day. It provides energy and nutrients to keep the brain as well as the body working in the afternoon and also reduces stress. Skipping lunch is going on a mini fast of sorts which may lead to bouts of hunger and mood swings later.
A balanced lunch must have a proper nutrient balance and must not include junk or only fruits or snacks for lower calorie intake. The problem isn’t consuming lunch, the problem lies in determining what to make and consume for lunch! Dietician Priyatama Srivastava – the best dietician in Gurgaon and Delhi NCR has put together 5 healthy ideas for lunch to give you an idea of what you can potentially include in your diet as lunch and savour wholesome healthy meals.
It is suggested that one has light lunch so that it doesn’t make you feel sleepy and instead keeps your energy levels in check. If rice is your staple diet, you can try switching it with chapatti so that you don’t feel lethargic or you can use brown rice instead.
Having one portion of salad made of fresh veggies like cucumber, carrot, beet and the like along with 2-2 chapatti’s and one good portion of sabji are a great combination for a healthy yet filling lunch. Make sure the sabji you prepare is low on oil and high on protein, as lunch is a meal that must have fewer carbohydrates for consumption. The sabji can be a kohlapuri mix veg or a simple bhindi sabji. You can also swap wheat for bajra or jowar atta to make rotis.
Pulao and Tehri are the same preparation and it can be made by combining rice along with the vegetables of your choice. You can enjoy either pulao or tehri with a simple dahi (curd) raita made with a combination of sprouts and curd. Using brown rice in this preparation will save you some calories and the lethargy one gets post eating rice.
Also Read: Wholesome Breakfast For A Healthy Body
Kadhi is a suggestion that can alternatively be swapped with dal as well. Kadhi is made with curd hence you get a creamy yet light option while dal is a rich source of protein. Kadhi made with yoghurt, gram flour, curry leaves and ginger, is great to escape the heat. 30 gms of dal is approximately 104 calories which can be enjoyed with brown rice or a phulka if you wish. Having a warm kadhi or dal with rice or roti can be a healthy yet wholesome lunch option.
This is a change from our daily dal, rice and roti diet and is a refreshing shift that is tasty as well. Sambar is super healthy as it is made of the following main ingredients like toovar dal, drumsticks, doodhi, tomatoes, madras onions, sambar powder and Indian spices. While idli’s are light on the stomach as well as easy to prepare.
Stuffed parathas are considered unhealthy when made with loads of oil or butter however if made with lower use of oil and with more veggies, parathas can be a filling and healthy option for lunch as well. You can savour it with raita or curd. You can make parathas stuffed with steamed broccoli, cauliflower or even green onions and add healthy seeds like chia or sunflower to give you a little crunch as well.
While these suggestions are upto your cooking discretion, as a dietitian I’d want to put forward a few healthy lunch recipes for you to start with and strive ahead in the world of healthy lunches!
Also Read: Know your Carbs: 4 popular myths about carbohydrates and the facts behind them
Some oats khichdi can be delicious and healthy for you to have a nutrient filled lunch-
Who’d want to resist a delicious curd upma for lunch?
Replace the daily roti with some besan cheela for a light and healthy lunch.
Remember that deep-fried and greasy foods will automatically increase the unhealthy calorie count for lunch, hence use healthy alternatives and also enjoy the benefit of taste and fitness together. Adding fruits for dessert if you have a sweet tooth might also serve as a healthy alternative. With Dietician Priyatama Srivastava’s diet plans, you will find a healthy yet tasty alternative for all meals and get closer to a fitter, healthier version of yourself.