Hello, my name is Geerthana Uthayakumar and I am the mother of a 7 year old girl, a 6 year old boy, and a little boy who is less than a month shy of his 2nd birthday. I had always dreamt of being a mother so when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter at 21, I felt like it was nothing less than God’s plan for me. As challenging as motherhood has been, it has also been the single most, greatest experience of my life. I am always so in awe of the little beings that I helped bring into this world and how much they have aspired me to not only find myself but become a better person for their sake.
My children are the inspiration behind my mommy blog, Modern Day Brown Mom, where I share my parenting adventures, tips for healthy eating, recipes, and everything and anything that has to do with motherhood. On Instagram, I love to share pictures of all the healthy, home-cooked meals my family eat and encourage others to also make healthy-eating a priority.
5 Tips for Healthy Eating
With today’s hectic lifestyle, homemade cooking and homemade lunches tend to get overlooked. It is tough to stay motivated to pack lunches or even eat healthy. However with these few tips, you can make packing a healthy lunch a part of your daily routine.
1. Invest in the right lunch essentials.
Having the right lunch essentials, not only makes packing more enjoyable and convenient, it also has the tendency to make everything you pack in it look appealing! I highly recommend purchasing a leak-proof bento-style lunchbox in which you can pack multiple items.
Remember to pack an ice-pack with cold items such as fruits, veggies, sandwiches, and yogurt to keep them from turning soggy and warm. If you prefer warm meals but don’t have the option of heating up food, purchase an insulated food jar to keep your meal warm. When packing food in a thermos, make sure to heat the food until boiling temperature to ensure that the food stays warm and safe to eat.
2. Keep in mind that each time you pack a healthy lunch, you are investing in your health and well-being.
It can be quite difficult to remain committed to packing lunches but reminding yourself of why you chose to pack lunches in the first place (whether it is to achieve a fitness goal or just cut down on junk), can help you stay motivated. Also remember, packing your lunches is not only healthier for you but it will taste better than anything store-bought and will save you money in the long run.
Packing a nutritious lunch with an adequate amount of protein and healthy fats will help sustain your blood sugar levels, improve your ability to concentrate, boost energy levels, and keep you fuller for longer, taking away the need for unhealthy snacking. Fortunately there are many sources of protein, even for vegetarians. Red meats, chicken, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt/Kefir, lentils, and beans are all excellent sources of protein. Good sources of healthy fat include eggs, full-fat yogurt, milk that is 2% or higher, nuts, avocado, olives, salmon, and seeds.
3. Prep for lunches during the weekend (or whenever you have time).
Having a fridge full of fresh, healthy options and fully prepped meals or even components of a meal at your fingertips can save you time and keep you from choosing unhealthy options. Many fruits such as berries and apples can be washed, dried and stored for up to a week in airtight containers. Salads, minus the dressing can be prepped days ahead for use during the week. Eggs can be hard-boiled and stored. Healthy muffins, meatballs, burger patties, falafels, soups and chilli can all be made in large batches and frozen for use throughout the weeks.
4. Pack leftovers.
If you find that you absolutely have no time to prep meals in advance, leftovers can definitely be a life-saver! Cook enough dinner every day so that there is always leftovers for lunch. One way to make sure you pack your lunch while saving time, is to pack leftovers straight into your lunchbox right after dinner, before you clean up. If you don’t feel motivated to eat the same meal again the next day, get creative with your leftovers. For example, if you have leftover roast chicken and rice, use the roast chicken to make a chicken wrap or salad for the next day.
5. Aim to pack lunches the night before.
Packing the night before, leaving only what needs to be warmed up for the following morning, will save you from morning-time stress as you are hurrying to get out the door. It will also help prevent you from packing poor but convenient foods, or even buying an unhealthy lunch on the way. If you have multiple lunches to pack, do so in an assembly line-like fashion to make the best use of your time.
My best advise for young women is, never let the fear of what others may think, stop you from doing what is right or pursuing your dreams. No matter what you do, people will talk, people will judge, and people will criticise. Let it go in one ear and out the other. You cannot please everybody and you shouldn’t feel the need to – You are only responsible for your own happiness.
My favourite quote is, “just like the lotus, we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness, and radiate into the world”.
This quote very eloquently sums up my perception of life. Much like the beautiful lotus’ beginning in muddy waters and harsh conditions, every single person on Earth is born into a world where there is suffering. No matter who we are or what we have, we all experience sadness, pain, illness, and death in one form or another. These hardships are a vital part of the human experience – they make us stronger, wiser, more resilient, more compassionate, allowing us the chance to reach our full potential as humans. Despite its harsh conditions, the lotus grows persistently, unsoiled by its surroundings and we as humans also have that ability in that we are able to rise above adversity while remaining true to ourselves.