Valentine's Day is almost here and the preparations for the same have already begun. From deciding on gifts to planning the day by checking out the best restaurants for special meals, this day is dedicated to love and togetherness. If you're getting ready for Valentine's Day and wish to look your best inside out, here is a week-long care plan for your body, which will not only bring a glow on your face, but would also help you shed extra kilos and allow you to detox in a sustainable way. You can mix and match these breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack suggestions as per your convenience; however, make sure that you follow some ground rules before starting with anything.
Here are some good eating habits that you can follow during Valentine's Week:
-All major meals to be eaten at the same time daily.
- First meal at 10 am and last meal to finish by 7pm; after and before that only water or green/black tea or coffee.
- Only fresh, seasonal whole foods can be included; nothing processed or out of a packet.
-Avoid the refined- maida, sooji, bread, cookies, biscuits, cake etc. Choose whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, barley, corn, kuttu.
-Consume quality proteins from egg, chicken breast, fish, lean fresh meat, legumes, milk, dahi, etc.
-Eat unlimited quantities of fresh vegetables and at least two whole fruits per day.
- Drink lots of water in-between meals; 35ml per kg is the minimum amount. In addition, fresh soups, coconut water, chaas, fresh lemon water, infusions of kachhi haldi, basil -tulsi leaves are welcome. Avoid more than 2 cups of tea/coffee.
-Keep an eye on the portion sizes. One helping of cereals and grains constitutes 30 grams. Try and maintain 3-4 servings/day; 2 eggs or 100 grams of animal-based protein and 30-40 grams of dal/legume or paneer in a meal is sufficient. One serving of milk should be 200 ml.
-Say no to added sugar, alcohol, packed juices, and ready-to-drink soups.
-Besan cheela with green chutney and papaya salad.
-A bowl of sprouted kala chana chaat with a medium potato and an apple.
-A bowl of yogurt with pomegranate, banana and almonds.
- Kuttu and palak uttapam with fresh coconut water.
-Small bowl of rice, big bowl of dal with fresh salad and lemon.
- Barley roti with chicken breast and methi.
- Makki roti with saag and dahi -doesn't need ghee or butter for flavour.
- A big bowl of lettuce, salad leaves, spinach leaves, cherry tomato with walnuts, grapes, pomegranate, and orange -dress this salad bowl with a vinaigrette and olive oil combination. You can add some fresh feta cheese too.
As you need to eat early and finish dinner by 7 pm, you'd have to plan in advance. A lot of you may not even reach home at that time; hence, here are some easy-to-get on-the-go dinner options that you can plan and carry from home:
- 2 slices of multigrain bread with lettuce leaves, tomato slices, pickled olives with flavoured cheese or roasted chicken.
- Poha with lots of veggies and a glass of cold coffee.
- Steamed corn with fruit and a big serving of dahi.
-Plain dosa with sambar and chaas.
-Rumali roti with chicken/paneer or mushroom roll with lassi.
5 pm Snack Ideas
-25 almonds/pistachios or a mix of 10 almonds+ 5 pistachios+ 1 walnut+ 1 teaspoon of sunflower seeds, unsalted.
-Carrot sticks with yogurt dip (5 gms)
- Popcorn -unbuttered two fistfuls.
-Roasted chana with the skin.
Valentine's Day is a tribute to love and commitment; a day on which we either start a new relationship or rededicate ourselves to our existing ones. Valentine's Day has always been associated with a relationship between two people. However, let's put another spin on this day. Why don't we establish a relationship of health and care with our bodies? Follow these good eating habits and get going.
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About Rupali DattaRupali Datta is a Clinical Nutritionist and has worked in leading corporate hospitals. She has created and lead teams of professionals to deliver clinical solutions for patients across all medical specialties including critical care. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association and Indian Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.