Healthy food doesn't have to be dull and neither does it have to be complex. And to prove this to you, we've got a wide range of surprisingly delicious tips and wholesome recipes. The kind that any out and proud foodie will love.
(10 Best Healthy Breakfast Recipes)
But first, we'll have to ask you to turn your back on all junk-food cravings. As David Kesler puts it rightly in his book 'The End of Overeating'- "A sense of powerlessness is a big obstacle to success. You need to develop a sense of your own capacity for control." You need to put a stop to untimely cravings, especially those that desire salt, fat and sugar.
After all that greasy biryani, piping hot halwa and crumbly shaami kebabs, our bodies could use a break. And that doesn't mean that you ban carbs from your diet or eat all you can in an eight hour window. New age nutritionists believe that eating healthy is all about eating desirable. So opt for a delightful mix of proteins like soya, chickpea,tofu, seeds, leafy greens, all kinds of grains and wheat.
If you're one of those who eat out-of-home because you can't crack anegg open, then we've got you covered as well. Our tips and recipes will put even the most amateur of cooks on the right track. We've also got some great advice for impulsive and emotional eaters.
Throw out the high-calorie food, empty your snack drawer even though we know it'll pain you to do so, and munch on seeds like flax, pumpkin and amaranth. Add some fresh fruits as well for a good dose of potassium, magnesium and calcium. And finally, some fiber-rich toasted almonds and walnuts that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid.
It's really hard to switch to a healthy diet, especially when you've never had to think of it before. So let's start slow. Here are a few handy tips that don't tell you to put out all your cravings, but show you how to manage them better.
1. Try low-fat yogurt with seasonal fruits like berries, bananas and melon.
2. Replace sour cream with blended low-calorie cottage cheese or a home-made buttery avocado spread. Both being protein rich options are extremely beneficial, especially for vegetarians.
3. Sugar lovers - Include a tiny portion of dark chocolate in your daily diet to cut out sugar cravings and make your skin softer and radiant.
4. If you like peanut butter, then make it at home. Just take soaked peanuts and grind them together till they look like cream. But restrict your intake to one spoon every few days.
5. Instead of frying eggs and bacon, lay them on a tray, and bake to perfection.
6. Eat a lot of baked fish for a healthy heart.
7. Add mushrooms to make meatballs, and use whole wheat pasta for a healthy variation of Spaghetti Meatballs.
8. Healthy cookies: Bake healthful cookies with ragi or oatmeal. (7 Best Ragi Recipes)
Now, let's get down to cooking. Here are some fresh, inventive and elegant recipes that you'll want to bookmark. From sweet and sour salads to amaranth tikki, from buttermilk chicken to delicately charredbroccoli, we've got it all.
1. Chicken Ball & Spinach Soup - Recipe by Chef Divya Burman
A big bowl of inviting soup made with balls of mince chicken, freshspinach, carrots and sprouts. It's the perfect partner on a rainy night, is light, lemony and will fill you up quick.
2. Patrani Machchi - Recipe by Chef Rajdeep Kapoor, Intercontinental,Park Royal
This South Indian delicacy is an absolute delight! Fresh and fleshy pomfret pieces marinated in coconut, coriander, cumin, chillies, garlicand steamed till soft and perfect.
3. Jowar Medley - Recipe by Chef Seema Chandra
Take a cup of jowar seeds and mix-them-up with ginger, corn, zucchini, pepper and a dash of salt and pepper. It's bright, it's inviting and it's bang on.
4. Amaranth Tikkis - Recipe by Chef Seema Chandra
This is by far our most favourite recipe. A gorgeous tikki made with amaranth, fresh vegetables and what's even better is that they'regluten free.
5. Lentil and Charred Broccoli Chaat - Recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani
Enjoy the goodness of green with charred broccoli and a handful of fresh sprouts! And finish it off with some sweet and tangy olive oildressing.
6. Ragi Cookies - Recipe by Chef Seema Chandra
Try the protein cookies, made easy and mouth watering with the goodness of ragi. Add your favourite flavor and watch these baked goodies disappear in no time.
7. Oats Idli - Recipe by Ramya Parameswaran
We've got another great surprise for out calorie-conscious friends. Oats idli - Take some roasted oats, grated carrots, chopped chillies,coriander and steam this batter to get feather-light scrumptious idlis.
8. Carrot Salad with Black Grape Dressing - Recipe by Chef Preah Narang
A quick and creative salad with raisins, almonds and some runny black-grape dressing.
9. Panchratna Dal - Recipe by Chef Divya Burman
A medley of five types of dal - moong, channa, masoor, urad andarhar, this Panchratna dal is health-food fanatic's dream come true. Top it off with fresh coriander and enjoy it with some steamy rice or fresh baked bread.
10. Buttermilk Chicken with Char Grilled Broccoli - Recipe by Chef Joey Matthew
An elegantly spiced dish, this one is a real treat. Chicken marinated in buttermilk, cumin powder, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, garlic and maple syrup is cooked in a hot oven and served with delicately charred broccoli.