I have been a fitness enthusiast and runner for several years. Irony is, I am also a major foodie. So how do I balance these apparently contrasting characteristics of mine and yet manage to stay super fit, run ultra-marathons? I am always on the lookout for food items which are healthy yet tasty and high on nutrients. Following fad diets can help for a short while but eventually giving up on almost all that is tasty usually makes you crave for more sinful food and you tend to go back to consuming tasty(?), unhealthy junk or high calorie food once again. So, the key to a healthy lifestyle is not giving up totally on the food you like consuming but controlling the portion size and gradually switching over to healthy yet tasty alternatives. This is how I imbibed healthy diet rules in my lifestyle and now it has become a habit. I also like inspiring people around me to live and eat healthy without compromising on the taste factor. As a mom of a 11 year old boy, the biggest challenge perhaps is to inspire my little champ to eat tasty and healthy snacks.
With the increasing awareness about the necessity to lead a healthy lifestyle, the Indian market fortunately has rapidly caught up on the health food segment in recent times. There are dedicated aisles of health food options in supermarkets that have on offer health foods such as oats, multi grain biscuits, cereals and energy/ carbohydrate/ protein bars, among other things. I recently had the chance to sample some really delicious and nutrient rich Yoga Bars in multiple flavours. And I’m totally sold out on them!
Yoga bars, which are popular ‘protein/health bars’, are ideal mini snacks post any physical activity and comes with the promise of aiding muscle growth plus recovery. Now there is a reason they are consciously named ‘nutrition/yoga/ protein/breakfast’ bars. Yoga Bars are rich in fiber – both prebiotic and dietary, made from natural ingredients and contain no artificial sweeteners. As the base is nuts, seeds and fruits, it packs in a lot of interesting flavours. Along with being rich in antioxidants, omega-3s and calcium, they are composed of healthy fats and are low on sodium.
As a busy hustling mother, I often have to rush to meetings and shoots without enough time to pack myself a hearty breakfast. Often, post-workout I crave a snack and at such times I swear by the hearty Yoga Bar. You can just put it in your purse and munch on while travelling, waiting for your flight, working on the desk or otherwise. Snack-on-the-run for a mom-on-the-run!
Another important aspect of my nutrition knowledge comes with mindful selection of organic and preservative-free food options. Reading nutrition labels should come naturally to those who believe in healthy diet; that’s why it’s on the packet! I like my kitchen full of natural, high-fiber, wholegrain, gluten-free and omega-3 rich foods. There’s a strict no-no to entry of canned, preservative-rich and adulterated food on our grocery list. With informative tools and knowledge like this it’s quite easy to shortlist the food options for every meal and snack.
What’s interesting about Yoga Bars is that they pack a good amount of protein for the daily recommended intake (50-60 grams) and I am happy that it comes in a tasty and easy-to-carry bar. Why not swap those tea-time chaklis and bhujia sev with Yoga Bars?
The reason why I am discussing nutrition in this blog is not because of my compulsive fitness goals only, but because I realized over a period of time that fitness keeps me happy physically and emotionally. You will be surprised at how your emotional health heals when you learn to curb unhealthy food.
Also, if you really want to switch over to a healthier version of yourself, start with small but powerful changes in your diet. And today is a good day to start. Yes, healthy eating requires planning. But give it 21 days (thumb rule for a habit to set in) and you will be programmed for life as staying fit and healthy is not just a way of life but is addictive too!