A Mindful Approach to Eating, for Working Women
When we think of diets, we often picture green salads, power juices and bland tastes. But a healthy diet isn’t about eating less and forcing ourselves to consume dishes we don’t have a taste for. It’s about understanding what our bodies need and nourishing them accordingly.
Do you eat to sustain your energy all day? Or do you have bursts of highs and lows? Are you aware of how your body reacts to certain foods? If you are often plagued with a bad stomach or chronic fatigue or headaches, the cause is likely your diet.
As women’s bodies change over time, so do our dietary needs. Working women especially tend to develop lifestyle problems – be it sore muscles due to posture or stomach ailments due to a lack of proper nutrition. Many lifestyle conditions can be curtailed by simply including the right ingredients in our diets.
A holistic professional can help you understand what works for your body. But to begin with, here are some tips:
– When we don’t eat mindfully, a common health hazard at work, food tends to stay in our bodies longer than required. Acidity and bad breath are cause by rotten food in the gut which leads to gas and a bad odour. To avoid this, eat foods depending on your body’s energy requirement. If you are sedentary, go for easily digestible foods. But if you foresee physical exertion, eat foods that are high in energy.
– If you are straining your eyes for long periods, a diet rich in Vitamin A and C is important. Vitamin A is found in yellow fruits and vegetables like papaya, pineapple, mango, yellow pumpkin, and leafy vegetables. And for vitamin C, opt for amla, lemon, guava, orange and grapes.
– Erratic work hours can often make us skip or delay meals, which is never a good idea as it affects our blood sugar levels during the day, hampering the flow of energy in the body. For a steady supply of energy, eat meals at regular intervals. For a quick dose of energy, try jaggery, dates, raisins, sweet fruits and honey. For those with diabetes, nuts and seeds are a better option to provide prolonged energy and minerals to the bones and muscles.
– For those in sedentary jobs, the bones and muscles are often the most adversely affected as blood circulation becomes poor due to prolonged hours on the desk. While adding some form of physical exercise, even just regularly getting up from the seat for a small walk is a good option, one should also avoid white sugar as it reduces calcium absorption, making the bones and teeth weaker. If you have lactose intolerance, sesame seeds and coconut can compensate for calcium.
– Try ending your day with a dose of good digestion. Sprouted fenugreek seeds, aniseed, and amla, either fresh or powdered, are some of the best ingredients to aid digestion. One great way of adding these to your diet is by making chutneys to eat along with your foods.
– A healthy gut is a healthy mind. Our bodies are interconnected and stomach ailments are especially a sign of stress and can lead to further mental fatigue and fogging. Give yourself a good dose of prebiotics, which can be found in fruits and vegetables and probiotics, found in fermented foods, curd etc.
Despite our best effort, sometimes the body needs to heal and recover. Instead of popping pills, try these natural home remedies for ailments,
– For Fever: “Giloy” (Tinospora cordifolia), widely considered as the “Ayurvedic root of immortality” can act as a substitute for antibiotics, which exacerbate the gut. Take it in either powder or juice form.
– For stomach aches: Take a pinch of asafoetida mixed with a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, ¼ teaspoon of ajwain, and a pinch of black salt, with some water.
– For a lose stomach: Boil rice in four times the quantity of water and drink the rice water frequently. Eat the rice with some curd.
– For fat reduction: Try jeera (or cumin seeds) soaked in water overnight, on an empty stomach in the morning.
By- Saroj Modi, Founder, The Inner Startup