This is a three-part series wherein we’re educating people on what, when and in what proportion to eat, so they do not binge up while sitting in front of their computers. However, it cannot be denied that frequent eating in nearly two hours helps to keep the metabolism burning strong, which is why, eating healthy food in moderation is the quick fix, that can help you maintain weight even if you have to sit all day long in the office. We’ll discuss healthy lunch and tea-time snacks for the vegans and all the omnivore friends under this section.
Lunch, being the second most important meal of the day, significantly contributes in nourishing the brain with oxygen, food and water and helps to keep your metabolism strong. Furthermore, you must consume your lunch latest by 12:30 or 1:00 pm (taking flexibility for the desk jockeys in consideration). As, not eating on time and keeping your stomach empty for long can disturb the metabolism rate and may result in severe acidity, gas or bloatedness in the stomach and also weaken the gastrointestinal track (liver, pancreas and gallbladder) in the body.
An ideal lunch is a balanced combination of vitamins, minerals, fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Carbs and fats provide energy and proteins are essential for building the cells and muscles, and proper functioning of the body. Here is a gist of a few Indian lunch meals that are easy to cook and highly nutritious-
The Traditional, Vegan Indian Lunch
A typical combination of chapattis, rice, dal, sabzi, and curd, is considered a balanced meal for lunch that almost all Indians love to eat. However, a few alterations can help you avoid extra fat and calories and consume better nutrition. For instance, replacing wheat with pearl millets (bajra), can be a great idea. The grain can be cooked in different forms; it can be as fluffy as rice, as healthy as a chapatti or as creamy as mashed potatoes.
|whole wheat chapattis||2||0.7g fat, 30.14g carbs, 5.19g protein and 3.8g dietary fiber||142|
|A small bowl of boiled rice||130 grams||0.44g fat, 44.08g carbs, 4.2g protein, 2% Calcium, and 10% Iron||204|
|1 bowl of masoor dal||200 grams||17.86g proteins, 0.75g fat, 39.86g carbs, 15.6g dietary fiber, 38mg calcium, 6.59mg iron, and 731mg potassium||230|
|1 small bowl of subzi||150 grams||3.88g fat, 23.19g carbs, 5.06g protein, 154% Vitamin-A, 9% Vitamin-C, 8% Iron, and 4% calcium||147|
|1 small bowl of curd||100 grams||1.55g fat, 7.04g carbs, 5.25g proteins, 18% calcium, and 4.1g sugars||63|
Nutrition: Millets are highly nutritious, fibrous and a rich source of amino acids, B complex vitamins, folic acid, lecithin, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, and help maintaining cholesterol levels in the body. Furthermore, being a rich source of protein it helps to keep you full for a longer duration while keeping you away from excess calories.
More vegetarian options: Those who like variety can switch other healthy combinations like idli sambar, Mix-vegetable Pulao and curd, steamed rice and rajma and more. Multigrain bread sand-wish with blanched spinach, cottage cheese burrito with onion and lettuce, peanut tofu wrap and corn quesadilla with boiled beans are a few western and Mexican meals that can be prepared in a jiffy and also make an easy option for all the working ladies.
Lunch Options for the Omnivores
With the introduction of various fancy food joints in India like the subways, Mc Donald’s, KFC, Dunkin Donuts and many other restaurants, there’s been a shift in the tastes and preferences of people. Thus, keeping in mind the changing desires, we’ve shortlisted these ideal lunch meals for the meat lovers- chicken burrito, roasted chicken sub or a typical Indian non-veg lunch meal combining together a small bowl of chicken curry (cooked in olive oil), steamed rice,
chapattis, vegetable sauté (optional) and salad. Alterations can be done; chicken can be replaced with fish or boiled egg. These meals replace excess carbs with essential proteins and vitamins which help you avoid deficiencies and stay healthy.
|Chapattis||2||0.7g fat, 30.14g carbs, 5.19g protein, and 3.8g dietary fiber||142|
|A Small bowl of boiled rice||130 grams||0.44g fat, 44.08g carbs, 4.2g protein, 2% Calcium, and 10% Iron||204|
|1 bowl of chicken curry||200 grams||27.7g protein, 11.19g carbs, 15.74g fat, 4.89g sugar, 83mg cholesterol, 2.1g fiber, 1142mg sodium and 588mg potassium||293|
|Salad without dressing (small bowl)||42 grams||54mg sodium, 356.05mg potassium, 6.7g carbohydrates, 2.6g fiber, 47% Vitamin-A, 80% Vitamin-C, 3% calcium and 7% iron.||33|
Healthy Tea-time Snack and why you need to have it?
Digestion in itself is a calorie-burning activity. Every time you eat something, your body uses some energy to burn what you are eating. Thus, even if you think you’ve had enough food during the lunch, you might be wrong (as far as you have actually not overeaten). Your body still needs little food during the tea or early evening time. However, you must note that if you have overeaten during the lunch, you must eat a very light meal in the dinner and replace tea-time snacks with a small glass of juice or a fruit.
Veggie Snack options
Vegans can opt for Baked and crisp whole wheat snacks (rich in dietary fiber, carbs, and proteins) that are easily available in various bakery shops in town. You need not eat the whole pack of it, just having 2 pieces with a refreshing cup of green tea is a healthy tea-time snack option. You can replace these snacks with two fat-free rusk, multigrain digestive biscuits (rich in good fats and fiber) or oatmeal + raisins baked cookies (rich in dietary fiber, calcium, and sugar). Some more vegan options include single bread sandwich made of cottage cheese, tomato, dhaniya chutney and ketchup, 2 pieces of dhokla, or a single paneer toast with salsa/ketchup.
Non-veg Snack Options
Homemade single egg roll cooked in very light oil ( rich in proteins, B complex vitamins and healthy fats), boiled egg brown bread sandwich (high in fiber and proteins), sautéed chicken/prawns roll with ketchup/ chutney (healthy combo of proteins and carbs), single bread sandwich with a little butter, black pepper and barbequed tuna (rich in omega 3 fats, and proteins) and chicken/mutton Enchiladas/ corn tortilla (rich in potassium, carbs and proteins).These snacks help you stay full while eating small portions give your body enough fuel to survive till dinner. You must try to avoid heavy meals during tea-time so you do not eat dinner late, which can again lead to weight gain.