By :- Ms. Renu Puri & Ms. Vanshika Saigal
Majority of people have at least one such ‘dream dress’ that one wants to fit into. We all know that the major role in that dream is to be played by the foods we eat. However, it always seems like, the healthier options are not only difficult to find but, are expensive too.
So, what is the way out? Or more importantly, is there a way out?
In one word the answer is: YES!
Let’s review certain challenging scenarios & their possible solutions:
- Newer add-ons, to the the pantry, shooting the monthly budget UP!: The newer (read ‘healthier’) choices are not, yet, part of our regular household pantry and adding them to the monthly ‘grocery’ list, might shoot up our initial month’s budget.
Every time you go out to buy something it will be an additional expense in your previous budget. Every new routine needs time to settle in. Once you start adding healthier items in your grocery list there is no going back.
- Once you start including healthy meals there are chances that other family members also(over a period of weeks, or maybe months) will start consuming the healthier variants
- You are sure to find more & more inexpensive sources of procuring them and/or will get a hang of ordering them in a more cost-effective quantity.
If you carefully watch the logistics over a period of three to four months, instead of, over just a couple of weeks- you’d realize that the newer grocery list might seem more economical.
You will be surprised to see that, in the long run, your healthier life style will end up being cheaper.
- Novel health-foods being inducted in the market: Today, many food manufacturers have played their business game by providing eating options – with ‘HEALTHY’ buzz word attached to it, like, (diet)potato chips, but at a much higher price than other similar snacking options. They look rather persuasive sitting on a convenient shelf of an aisle in the supermarket.
- The Food company’s strategy is to touch the ‘weight’ sensitive nerve of the customer.
Stay in charge of your choices – don’t look for short cuts
- There is a predisposition in the way we perceive healthy food, especially, if imported! And hence, we often end up paying dollar equivalents.
Try & look through the tall claims that the promotional ads of the products are putting forth
- The fact is that there is a preference for the ways of the west. The misconception is that the western countries have more advance solutions than us.
Here’s a fact: The Bhutta(Corn on the Cobb) a street hawker sells on the cart is much healthier and, of course nothing can be more inexpensive.
- Healthy food outlets are expensive:
Today, the culture of eating out has been expanding like never before and also, our busy lives often coax us to opt for the take-away meals.
- Finding economical healthy food menu is not easy. You need to explore places with traditional Indian cuisines where you can go for healthier options, that are not so expensive.
There’s enough variety in the numerous Indian cuisines from different regions all over the nation
- Avoid extra butter in the soups and other meal items you order, like Naan Vs Butter Naan.
- Avoid the creamy salad dressings – or you can use them partially. One can always order the dressing on the side, when ordering a salad
- Go for ragi or rawa flour over refined white flour, when placing your order.
- When in hostel or PG: If you are a student staying in a hostel or as a PG (paying Guest), then the walk towards the healthier lifestyle is even more more challenging. Because the mess cook, or the PG-meal-provider may not cook according to the need of an individual, as they are catering to many.
Often students stretch their capability to ward off hunger and they refrain from eating, anything, for long periods. But, when the body finally gives in, it screams for a quick fix – pushing one towards unhealthy food options, so as to get excessive sugar or fat intake – suitable in crisis situations.
- Prioritize your health. Take improvement projects in your own hands.
Encourage the daily-items-shop, in or around your work or college premise, to keep healthier options available.
- Stock healthier food items with you. Think outside the box.
An old fashioned Ice-box may expand the potentials of room pantry vastly!
- If there is a cook, monitor him/her so as to avoid certain cooking patterns & food items.
facilitate healthier spread, even at the cost of some resources like your time, extra money.
The Diet counselor’s guidance can help you materialize the wish list.
The diet plan offered is focused on individual needs. Hence you can discuss with your diet counsellor, the challenges being presented by your particular scenario. She can gradually teach you the skill of turning it around to your advantage.
The behavioral counseling also helps you to be more true to your diet. It’s not just about the content of meals – how to make them your life style is the much bigger ask! That’s where a diet counsellor ought to play a major role
As the saying goes, “being penny-wise and pound-foolish” –never a great idea!
Try to avoid it.
More spending on your newer healthy life-style today – will save on the hefty medical bills tomorrow.