Bangla sanglap desk: Like many South Asians, food is a huge part of my daily routine. It represents our history, our culture and our traditions. And as a community, we often use it to show affection to family members, by feeding them large portions of delicious food. Whilst this is a beautiful gesture, I’ve really wanted to make healthier choices.
When my restaurant was open, I was always always running around; sorting out this, taking care of that – but that all changed because of the coronavirus restrictions. During the first lockdown, I became less active as a result of spending more time at home. This wasn’t great as I started to eat more for comfort – which ultimately caused me to gain a lot of weight.
At the start of the year, I thought to myself enough is enough and made a personal commitment to lose the extra weight I had put on, by making healthier food choices for both me and my family and getting active.
Making that decision to eat healthier and become more active is easier than I thought, and there is so much support out there like the Better Health website which is full of so many easy tips, tools and useful information to help people start their better health journey.
One of my personal favourites is the Easy Meals app which has so many different cooking tips, meals and recipe ideas. It also includes both fish, chicken and vegetable options – so you’ll never be bored of what to eat.
The Better Health website also has apps to get you more active. I started off using the Active 10 app so I could get a regular walk in, and now I’m taking on the Couch to 5K programme to get more active and build up on my physical activity.
Everyone can benefit from taking steps towards having a healthier diet and getting more exercise, so why not start today, by visiting nhs.uk/betterhealth.
Award-winning dietitian Azmina Govindji says: Being overweight or obese puts you at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from diseases such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and COVID-19. By making small, simple changes, you could help to cut that risk.
The Better Health website is full of free tips, apps and tools to help people manage their weight, through eating healthier and becoming more active.
Making these small changes doesn’t mean you have to give up the recipes you love, that form a part of our culture and tradition. It‘s about simple, gradual changes that can make these dishes healthier. For example, when cooking why not swap white rice with brown rice? If you’re making chapatis, use wholemeal atta instead of white flour. Try to use colourful vegetables to fill up half of your plate. The more natural colours on your plate the better!
To learn more about the Better Health campaign, visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/