I moved out of my home at the age of 19. I went to an Engineering college, and from there started the downward spiral of my health. I ate at dhabas, hostel canteens, small eateries – whatever I could afford in my pocket money and was easily available. During my engineering days, the options were limited and unhealthy. This unhealthy lifestyle continued till I got married. Over those years, I caught-on many problems – mild psoriasis, black spots on the face, and weak liver – quite evident to anybody who spent some time with me.
After marriage, my wife took charge of the kitchen. And as I was new to the concept of being treated lavishly with food, I indulged. My wife loves to cook! She cooked and I ate more than I should have. Within 6 months, it backfired. I got sick. I had to go to a hospital in Bengaluru where I was told to streamline my eating habits. I was told to cut-down on spices, fried and processed food. It was a wake-up call. In October 2009, we decided to make an eating routine and stick to it. Our plan was simple – exclude spices, limit the number of times we ate outside, and eating a fruit and salad with meals. With time we learned the intricacies of our body. A year later, our doctor did a few more tests and we came to know we had vitamin deficiencies. Again, we made necessary alterations to our diet. Being pure-vegetarians, we had limited options. So, after years of continuous refinement, we follow this routine now:
Breakfast – Soaked almonds; fruit, preferably orange; stuffed paratha/roti with sabzi/butter toast with tea
Lunch – Sabzi, raita, roti/rice with salad
Evening Tea – With cookies and dry fruits
Dinner – Dal, roti, salad, papad. If we are full that day, we drink a fruit-vegetable-yogurt smoothie.
We make sure to have the much-needed minerals and vitamins our body needs.
Why is Vitamin E important for us?
I suffered from mild psoriasis. My wife has dry skin and hair. Our immunity system is not one of the best. With age, stress-levels, and pollution, the body takes a beating. For us, it became imperative to give our body the required amount of Vitamin E. We were told by our doctor to take 15 mg of vitamin E per day. At one stage, we took Vitamin E supplements just to beat the deficiency. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant (protects from free radicals), so it became a part of our daily routine. My wife and I take care of Vitamin E intake for different reasons. She takes it to repair damaged and dry skin, thicken her hair, balancing hormones, and for PMS symptoms. She even uses face creams and lotions that contain Vitamin E. I take it to balance my cholesterol level, improve vision, and to build immunity and muscle strength.
How we made it a part of our daily routine?
To make sure we eat a balanced diet, we try to incorporate all the minerals, carbs, proteins, fiber, and vitamins in the right proportion. This is how we ascertain we have enough supply of Vitamin E in our diet (it goes with the routine mentioned earlier):
- Almonds, which are one of the richest sources of Vitamin E, forms an essential part of our routine.
- We prepare our meals in extra virgin olive oil. In salads, we use olive oil dressing and olives as a garnish.
- Avocado is one of our favorite ingredients in salad and sandwiches. My wife loves Avocado parathas. I love guacamole.
- To bring flavor to our dishes, my wife adds peanuts in upma, poha, vermicelli upma, lemon rice, and pulao. In winter, we munch peanuts as a snack.
- To have enough quantity, we opt for vegetables and fruits that are rich in Vitamin E – spinach and kiwi. My favorite dishes made from vegetables rich in Vitamin E are palak paneer, sauteed asparagus, pasta with all kinds of peppers – red, green, yellow, and orange. Yes, I have a colorful taste.
What sources of Vitamin E do I recommend?
I recommend including almonds, avocado, spinach, olives, olive oil, peanuts, sunflower seeds and oil, dried apricots, pine seeds (it is a perfect pasta garnishing), asparagus, and broccoli in your diet.
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