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Lockdown extension: Follow this healthy meal plan to boost immunity and mood

Have rice and dal for lunch which is a good combination of nutrients.

With the lockdown being extended till May 3, celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar charted out a lifestyle plan to ensure your immunity is boosted while keeping stress and anxiety at bay.

“As we work at breaking the chain of the coronavirus, let’s work at re-joining the chain of Indian food wisdom. In a way, I look at the lockdown as an opportunity to re-establish our connect with the home grown wisdom. With the nutrients it offers, the recipes that have stood the test of time, and the memories of childhood that it invokes,” Diwekar wrote on Instagram.

Take a look at the plan:

1. Start your day with bananas (to prevent constipation), soaked almonds (that help in preventing diabetes and heart disease), and soaked raisins (for coping with premenstrual symptoms and thyroid issues).

poha Poha is a healthy option for breakfast. (Source: Getty Images)

2. Breakfast: You can eat traditional Indian dishes like idli, poha, dosa, paratha, eggs and pav, which can keep your blood sugar levels under control. If you are craving deep fried foods, you can try poori or vada but only once a week. Add a seasonal fruit, like mango, to your meal.

3. Mid-morning snacks: Keep yourself hydrated with lemon, kokum or amla (Indian gooseberry) sherbets or any other fruit.

4. Lunch: You can eat dal and rice or roti-sabzi, with chutney, if you are low on macronutrients like B12 and D. You can also eat shikran poli made of banana, sugar, milk and chapati, if you feel bloated or experience hot flushes.

5. Afternoon snacks: This can include dry coconut and jaggery, or cashews and jaggery. You can also munch on some dry snacks like mathri, shakarpara, kurmura, chivda or chakli. These foods are not just mood enhancers but also rich in essential fats and minerals and can keep you from consuming excess amounts of caffeine.

6. Early dinner: Khichdi or rice with dal or legumes, or that with egg or paneer are healthy options for dinner. Rice and legumes provide a good combination of essential and non-essential amino acids and fibre, and protect good bacteria.

7. At bedtime: Before going to bed, have a glass of turmeric milk to boost immunity. To this, you can add some nutmeg if you suffer from insomnia or weak digestion, dry ginger for weak bones and joints, and kesar for better skin and hair.

Diwekar, who practises Iyengar yoga, also suggested some exercises that you can do at home to keep yourself energised, fit and healthy. One should ideally workout for about 30 minutes daily. Start with Suryanamaskar, followed by squats and lunges and yoga asanas.

Here are some lifestyle modifications she further recommended:

1. Your afternoon nap should not be for more than 20-30 mins.

2. Try to reduce screen time. You can keep your phone at a fixed place at home to cut down on the usage.

3. Try mindful eating. This means that you sit down and eat silently for at least one meal and chew slowly.

4. “Be in your company. It’s not as scary as you think it,” Diwekar added.

Take a look at her post:

How about making some healthy lifestyle changes this lockdown?