Health Corner

Healthy eating

Published On: February 17, 2017 12:00 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Nirogdham was established in 2001 and aims to make the community a healthier place through yoga and correct eating habits. Their belief is that ailments like diabetes, blood pressure and even obesity can be controlled by making changes in your eating habits. The Week talked to Dr Umesh Shrestha, founder of this Philanthropic social organization, to find out how we can eat right to stay healthy and fit.  

“Food should be consumed in a 1:1:1 ratio where one part is grain or “anna”, one part is mixed vegetables, and the other part is a simple salad without any dressings,” he said. The organization makes diet plans for people who come seeking to change their lifestyle due to a sickness or because they heard about it through someone else. A lot of consideration is taken into drawing a diet plan, and health conditions become a major factor for it. A diet for someone with high blood pressure will be drastically different from a diet charted for a diabetic person. Below are some general diet plans that you can follow if you aren’t suffering from any ailments.   

For weight loss
Instead of counting calories, Shrestha believes in weighing the food that is being consumed so that you are aware of what you are eating. Food grain, of any kind, be it in form of rice or flour, should weigh between 70 to 100 grams per serving. With it, you should have two types of vegetables, each of which should be 150 grams. A leafy vegetable and a mixed vegetable will give you enough nutrients. This meal should be followed by 100 grams of plain salad which can include raw cabbages, carrots, and seasonal fruits. 

This portion of food should be consumed twice a day, for lunch and for dinner. Muesli with yogurt is a healthy breakfast option and for snacks, one can have fruits or vegetable soup.

To maintain weight
It isn’t hard to maintain weight if you eat according to the ratio mentioned above. After finishing all three parts of the meal, make sure that you don’t feel uncomfortably full. You should include broccoli, chickpeas and beans in your meal to not miss out on any vital nutrients. If you are also working out, tofu and soybeans are good sources of protein.

Although you can whatever you want, watch what you eat and get some exercise during the day, even if it is just walking to a few places instead of taking a vehicle.  

To gain weight 
If you are underweight or want to gain weight because you feel like you are too skinny, add 50 to 100 grams more grains in your diet. Your diet ratio becomes 2:1:1 in order to consume more carbohydrates. However, this doesn’t mean that you overstuff yourself.

Even if your end goal is to gain weight, no good ever comes out of over eating. 

Carry a packet of dried fruit and consume them throughout the day. The packet can include cashew nuts, almonds and pistachios. This will add to the number of calories you consume every day. Have whole wheat bread with peanut butter spread for lunch. Use olive oil instead of the normal cooking oil as it is full of healthy fats.  

Water consumption
Dr Shrestha advises people to drink 750 ml to one liter of water early in the morning, ideally right after waking up. This kick starts your system and increases your metabolic rate. About an hour after having your breakfast, around 9 am, drink a glass of water every hour till 5 pm. After five in the evening, drink a glass of water right before going to bed. You should, however, refrain from drinking water with meals.  

Amrit bhojan recipe
You will need four days to make this salad as you have to wait for some of the ingredients to sprout. Weight all the ingredients when they are dry for their weights will change once they have been soaked.

For a kilo of amrit bhojan you will need:
n 50 grams Gahu (Spelt)
n 100 grams Chana (Gram)
n 50 grams Peanuts
n 100 grams Moong
n 50 grams Methi
n    50 grams finely chopped Coconut
n 50 grams Raisins
n    150 grams Dates (with their seeds removed)
n 150 grams Carrots
n 150 grams Cabbage
n 100 grams Yogurt

Rinse the gahu, chana, moong, peanuts and methi for a few times until it is clean. Since this is a raw salad, you will want to make sure everything has been thoroughly cleaned. The gahu takes 24 hours to soak and the rest take 8-12 hours. Soak them in a container with more than double the amount of water than the grains. Don’t touch it and strain the water and leave it in the container to sprout. Make sure that the moisture doesn’t escape and sprinkle water on it if necessary. Stir it every six hours. 

On day three of leaving the grains to sprout, clean the coconut, raisins and dates thoroughly before leaving them to soak overnight. The water you soak them in will be infused with flavors and can be consumed in place of water. Make sure you soak everything in cold water.   

Thoroughly clean the carrots and the cabbages and finely chop them into small pieces. Add all the ingredients together and mix them thoroughly with the yogurt. You can store this salad in your refrigerator for up to two days in a sealed container.   

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