#EatHappyFood and #VitaminsAreSexy

Welcome to my world: I love food and I love healthy choices. I love salads more than chocolate –and I may have cravings for both sometimes. But that’s okay –everything in moderation.

I believe that #HealthyIsDelicious and that we don’t have to choose between comfort food and healthy meals if we develop some realistic habits that allow us to enjoy our favorite food and help our bodies to stay strong and fit.

Everybody is different and every body, too.

I am not a nutritionist nor do I know the requirements of your body, mind and soul. I am sharing my habits to eat clean and healthy to inspire you to discover your own healthy eating habits and to make 2016 your best year ever.

1. Eat at home
Yes, it’s fun to explore new restaurants and bars (and they pop up like mushrooms in Mumbai) or to meet friends over a late night dinner buffet. I do that, too. But not every day. In fact, I limited it to 2-3 outside meals per week. Whether you cook yourself or you have a cook: eat at home! You can monitor the amount of oil used and you know the exact ingredients of your meal.

I recently cooked this delicious and colorful Thai curry vegetable soup with calamari rings.
I recently cooked this delicious and colorful Thai curry vegetable soup with calamari rings.

2. Meal Planning
It seems that meal planning is the #1 sport of housewives in the US (sorry, don’t take it personal!). You don’t have to go all fancy and glittery but make sure you plan your meals for the week ahead. When you know what you will eat, you have fewer cravings for the non-scheduled food. When you are hungry, you know what you will eat and you won’t reach out to unhealthy snacks or order deep-fried stuff from nearby.

3. Buy/Order groceries once a week (but never when you are hungry)
This one goes hand-in-hand with meal planning. Buy or order your groceries once a week to ensure you have all ingredients for your meals at home. It also helps you not to buy random food that you don’t need (a.k.a. all the unhealthy and deep-fried stuff).

Bonus Tip: Never buy or order groceries when you are hungry.

4. Start the day with your favorite food and put a picture of it on Instagram

This is how my New Year's Breakfast looks on Instagram.
This is how my New Year’s Breakfast looks on Instagram.

Sounds funny but it definitely helps. Starting your day with your favorite food (remember #HealthyIsDelicious –so you must choose a healthy favorite food) makes you feel happy about eating and encourages you to stick to healthy eating habits throughout the day.

Also make sure you present your omelette, fruit salad or muesli in a beautiful way (restaurant style!) and click a pic. Post that photo on Instagram or any other social media –that will hold you accountable as your friends, family and followers will comment about your delicious (and healthy 🙂 ) meal and will expect more such pictures in the future.

Check out my Instagram account to see my #HealthyIsDelicious meals.

5. Snacking on real food
And if you have a craving or feel hungry in between meals, make sure you snack real food. Cut some carrots, mix a quick dip (curd, salt, pepper, chili powder) and enjoy your snack. Or make a quick fruit salad with an apple, banana or any other fruits you have at home. If you need a snack during office hours, make sure you prepare your snacks and carry them to office just like your lunch box.

Doesn't this snack look delicious? It's just grapes.
Doesn’t this snack look delicious? It’s just grapes.

6. Eating out (the right way)
I said it earlier –I love exploring new eateries in Mumbai or to meet my friends over brunch or dinner at restaurants. And that’s okay as long as you don’t eat out all day every day. When at a restaurant, I suggest you go for the healthier options like grilled, steamed and baked instead of the deep-fried chicken wings. Soups and salads are great options as well.

I personally love South-East-Asian cuisine and steamed dumplings or sushi are great ways to skip the cheesy pizza or creamy pasta. Also, I enjoy fruits as dessert (Call out to all restaurants: Add more healthy desserts to your menu. Baked bananas, chocolate-dipped strawberries, mango yogurt parfait, fruit salads… There are so many options.)

7. Resign the alcohol (at least for some time)
I don’t want to be a party pooper but skip the alcohol. You probably knew that your liver handles your alcohol intake. Think Detoxing. Well, think again. What do you think your liver will do with all the alcohol you consume and it is cleaning out of your system? Well, it converts the alcohol into an energy source and properly stores it away for future use. Means: Your alcohol is stored away as fat.

Say NO to alcohol for some time
Say NO to alcohol for some time

So try to resist the next shot or cocktail. And if you really want to drink, try going for some healthier options such as ONE glass of red wine (Organic red wine has beneficial antioxidants if consumed in moderation) or ONE bottle of beer (Organic low-alcoholic beers have great anti-cancer properties).

8. Don’t drink your calories.
You may think, if I can’t drink alcohol, I’ll go for a coke. Please don’t! Skip all kind of soft drinks as they can trigger many weight-related diseases, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors, and elevated blood pressure. Instead: Drink water. I know it sounds old-school but it is so good. There are hundreds of ways to jazz up your water and make it taste even more exciting than a cocktail: Add fresh mint, ginger, orange or lemon slices, even basil and cucumber.

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