During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s of utmost importance to take care of ourselves by eating healthy, nutritious food. It may not be easy to source fresh veggies and other foods every day. Which makes it very important to correctly preserve food, ensure it remains nutritious, and switch perishables with certain herbs and spices to keep our nutritional intake high.

Since we often have conversations within Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook on health and nutrition, we invited Nutrition Expert and Lifestyle Coach Raksha Lulla to host a #GirlTribeAMA and address the key topic of taking care of food and maintaining nutrition while working from home and living under lockdown.Raksha shared tips on foods that help build immunity; foods that help keep anxiety at bay; how we can preserve them for a longer time; meals and snacks that we can make with the ingredients in our kitchen; what we can do with leftovers; foods to consume if you have diabetes or hormonal disorders, and more! Read on to know how to take better care of your food and your health!

Q. How can I preserve fruits and vegetables so that they last longer?

Fruits like amla and apples can be sun-dried to improve nutrient-retention. You can also fry bananas in coconut oil and make your favourite chips at home! For veggies, literally everything can be pickled. Some like potato and karela can also be fried and used in gravies later in the week.

Q. What can I add to my meals to build my immunity?

Keep your traditional combinations alive. For eg, when you squeeze lime on your poha (flat rice), the Vitamin C helps to absorb the iron in it. You can also have amla pickle during lunch and consume a cup of kadha (herbal tea) first thing in the morning!

Q. What are some nutritious snacks you recommend?

A mix of cashews and jaggery, ghee-roasted makhana, a slice of cheese, whey protein, fruit milkshake, 1-2 spoons of nut butter, fruits or 3-4 nuts. Please ensure you’re well-hydrated, and that you don’t consume food out of boredom.

Q. What are the foods that can be consumed for a good night’s sleep?

Pistachios in turmeric milk, or cashews or nutmeg in hot milk before bedtime, will ensure you’re sleeping like a baby!

Q. What can I do with leftovers? Is it okay to use them in the next meal?

Please use leftover cereals only like rotis and rice. Your roti can be torn into pieces and added to a cooked paste of coriander, tomato, chillies, garlic, turmeric, salt and dhaniya powder. Simply giving a tadka of rai, hing and curry leaves in ghee to your rice makes it a whole new dish!

Q. How do I curb my after-meal sweet cravings?

Sweet cravings stem out of a deficiency of micronutrient and poor quality of sleep. You need to fix them in order to have no cravings in the first place. Vitamin B12, D3 & lots of good sleep between 11 pm and 8 am will help in this!

Q. Is it beneficial to eat every two hours even during quarantine?

Quarantine or not, it definitely shouldn’t be over 3.5 hours. That said, it doesn’t have to be 2 hours either. A quick tip: Never wait for hunger to reach its peak before you start eating, and never look for complete satiety before you finish your meal.

Do you have any tips or tricks to preserve food and retain nutrients? Please share it with us in the comments below!

Join Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook to be a part of more such conversations!