If you are depressed, feel suicidal, have exam anxiety or have a question related to mental health, you can contact Vandrevala Foundation on their 24x7 helpline number. You can talk to the experts in English, Hindi and Gujarati.18602662345 18002333330
Once upon a time, on a cold winter day I found out that the cereals (that I had put all my culinary trust in) aren’t healthy. I was shattered. Then I found out the truth about granola and then about flavored yoghurt (neither of them is as nutritious as they claim). That was it. It was all too heartbreaking. Every food I had deemed healthy had been a nutritional betrayal. It was in this we.....
Once upon a time, on a cold winter day I found out that the cereals (that I had put all my culinary trust in) aren’t healthy. I was shattered. Then I found out the truth about granola and then about flavored yoghurt (neither of them is as nutritious as they claim). That was it. It was all too heartbreaking. Every food I had deemed healthy had been a nutritional betrayal.
It was in this weak moment that I resorted to French Fries. Fries and I have since had a scandalous love affair. They may not be the healthiest but the French fry won’t lie! Precisely why, even in the time of low-fat, low-carb, vegan, raw, gluten-free and the many other fad diets, my love of French fries has remained undeterred.
Truth be told, our relationship with food today is just as complex and unhealthy as my story above. Our culinary priorities at the moment are all over. We are either lost in the maze of fancy diets or are too busy ‘Instagraming’ food to invest any thought in it.
Well, I looked for help and found it. Pooja Bhargava, a nutritionist and fitness expert; maps out an approach to nutrition and health that is both – conducive to our lifestyle and allows us to maintain a healthy relationship with food.
Excerpts of my chat with Bhargava below…
Who are you?
“First ask yourself, how do you want to look and conduct yourself? In my experience, everyone has different interests. Some teenagers are academically inclined, some are inclined to sports, some towards arts. So focus on your dream because that is what will excite you to follow any particular nutrition or health pattern,” she says.
“The academically inclined will need brain power and alertness. So you need carbs for energy and glucose. Proteins are necessary for your repair but not necessarily if you are an athlete or are into sports. You also need proteins for renewal and bone growth at this age. Fat is important because it helps your sex hormones function properly. So each nutrient serves an important function and each has its own importance” she points out.
You and your food
“Keep tabs on when you ate last. Did you eat at 6 in the evening and then not eat anything till 9 in the night because you were busy attending classes or binge watching something? If that is the case then it’s time to change your eating habits” she quips.
Going back to my unhealthy obsession with the French fries, Pooja explains, “It is when you don’t eat for long hours that the fries start looking tempting. So try and eat every two to three hours. And don’t just roll up a roti and eat it in a jiffy. Sit down, connect with your food, eat and chew well because that is when your brain gets a message that says, yes I am full and that is when the nutrients get absorbed. But if you eat fast, all of this gets missed out. This is when the French fries seem appealing and you land yourself with binge eating disorders” she warns.
On developing good food habits she says; “Never go hungry when you leave home in the morning. Within the first hour of waking up, eat something. Your body has lost on nutrients in the night considering it was still working when you slept so nourish it well in the morning.”
A little bit of this and that
Stressing again on the importance of all nutrients, Bhargava insists that you don’t skip any. “Think of the 5 fingers in your fist as the essential nutrients. The first being carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, vitamins and when you shut your fist you close it with some water. You need them all to stay in good health. The five nutrients are needed for different functions of your body. The water is the transport system, which takes these nutrients all around your body. This way you will be of your ideal weight and will be fit (mentally and physically) to achieve your dreams and ambitions.”
Food or exercise?
Which of the two is better? I ask, “Fitness and nutrition are two sides of the same coin. You need to support your muscles and bones and that happens when good nutrition is backed with good exercise. Since your commitment levels and responsibilities are much higher today, your schedule is packed with classes upon classes - you are getting more and more sedentary. I say cut down one academic class, it won’t matter. Instead incorporate one hour of a physical activity in your schedule. I strongly advise against the gym though. Play a sport instead” she concludes.
If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.
If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.
You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.
Get updates on latest articles, advice from experts and lots more. Don’t worry, we won't share your info with anyone