The Healthy Eating Plate

We kick off a series in which respected nutritionist Shalini Manglani takes us through key elements of nutrition and how to balance them correctly for a healthy life.

We’ve all heard of healthy living and eating but a lot of aren’t really sure what that implies, particularly given our hectic working schedules.

Here’s an easy way to move to a more healthy diet.

Your Main Meal

Mentally divide it into two halves.


One half is only for vegetables (cooked and raw) while the other is divided between cereals and protein rich foods. Your cereals would be roti, rice, bread, oats and so on while
protein rich foods are eggs, chicken, fish, paneer (no more than 2 pieces), dal, beans and curd (half a bowl).

A small portion of dairy (half a cup of curd, milk, buttermilk or raita) stands outside the plate.

This is a picture of your plate for the three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Never heap this plate and serve yourself only once and you can consider yourself eating healthy for the most part.


Green leafy vegetables are a must thrice a week. Your cereal portion should comprise no more than 2 rotis or 6 tbsp of cooked rice or oats or 2 slices of bread.

Between Meals

Ever get the munchies? That’s because you haven’t thought your diet through. Here’s what you should remember.

  1. Never go hungry
  2. Always plan your snacks

The ideal thing to do would be to carry all your snacks with you when you leave for work. This provides easy access to healthy food.

Have a snack (half a fruit or a teaspoon of flax or fennel seeds) or half a glass of vegetable juice on rising.

Have another snack two hours after breakfast. It can consist of either a tablespoon of chana or two tablespoons of sprouts or half a cup of yogurt or even half a fruit.

Another small snack should follow two hours after lunch. We recommend tea and two marie biscuits or half a fruit or a raw salad.

Always plan a late evening snack. It could consist of a slice of bread with chutney and thick slices of tomato and cucumber or half a bowl of puffed rice with onion, coriander, tomato and lime. This will allow you to go light on dinner.

You can add a small snack post dinner if required – half a glass of skimmed milk or half a fruit. Try and eat as early as possible and eat nothing an hour before you sleep.


We can’t stress this enough. You need to consumer eight to twelve glasses of water per day. Carry a water bottle with you and ensure that you stay hydrated.

Welcome to the first stage of living a healthy life!

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