“I am so exhausted when I come home after a 12 hour day at the office that I have no energy to make anything and I just eat dal and rice and sleep.”
This is a statement that I get to hear very often during diet consultations with pregnant women who are also working. Pregnancy can make you feel more tired and especially after a long day at work, energy levels are at an all time low. But here are some tips to help plan your meals and ensure that you are eating healthy.
- Plan Ahead: Set aside a day during the week for grocery and vegetable shopping. You can even do this online. Make your list and then head out so that you don’t forget anything.
- Pick Healthy Options: Avoid buying packaged products. These may seem very easy to prepare or just open and eat but they are not very healthy.
- Prep in Advance: Over the weekend, chop and prepare purees and soups and sautéed vegetables and stock in your freezer. Half the work in cooking is actually chopping and once that is done, cooking can be really easy. If you eat meat, then sauté lean chicken and stock.
- Stock up on Containers: Having an array of small-sized containers will help you store and carry food easily.
- Keep dry snacks handy: Dry snacks are generally preferred by all and are easy to carry around. Consider healthy options like dry fruits, seeds, roasted chana, makhana etc.
- Get some help: If possible, get some help in the kitchen. If not for cooking then at least for chopping.
Now that we are prepared, let us see what a day’s menu can look like:
Remember most of your food is now in the freezer in small containers. So decide what you need for the next day. Place these containers in your fridge so that they can thaw overnight.
Wake-up: Handful of nuts and a cup of milk with protein powder.
Breakfast: Any hot indian breakfast using sautéed veggies and onions.
Making a poha or upma with veggies will not be so difficult now.
Mid-morning snack: Carry a fruit
Lunch: Use any of the purees to cook your vegetable and carry some sprouts or dal along with roti or brown rice.
Mid-evening snack: Fruit/a glass of lassi/ a cup of milk or some healthy options like idli sambhar
Dinner: Just toss some brown rice and dal along with some chopped and sautéed vegetables in the pressure cooker and make a yummy dal khichdi which you can eat along with curd.
Bedtime: Have a glass of milk without fail as you do need three servings of milk or milk products through the day.