Eating during the summers can be tricky because our digestive system often goes for a toss when the weather outside is hot. As you attempt to keep yourself cool while your stomach turns slower and weaker, you may have to make some sacrifices to your diet while adding other ingredients to it.
And while we’re no nutrition pundits, we spoke to somebody who is, so that we could provide you with some pointers for a healthy diet during this summer season.
A strong voice for veganism and an IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) fighter, you’ve probably come across one of her reels on Instagram where she cooks up a delicious pot of Indian food and then tempts the viewers with her stalwart head-nods.
In case you haven’t guessed her identity by now, it’s Vijayalakshmi Vikram, more popularly known for her Instagram handle ‘Viji moo’.
Below, Viji answers some questions about eating during summer.
Does Viji alter her diet during summer?
Viji doesn’t typically change her food habits due to changes in seasons or weather because she needs to continuously manage her “Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Diarrhea” (IBS D) as part of her lifestyle.
However, she does make it a point to include seasonal vegetables and fruits into her diet.
Viji doesn’t sacrifice her hot filter coffee in the mornings, even during the summers, and believes we can eat all foods throughout the year based on availability. The key is quantity and frequency control!
What are some of Viji’s summer-time diet staples?
To get over her 4 PM slump during the summers, Viji has watermelon juice with some mint. She also recommends cucumber raita prepared with peanut yoghurt (because she’s vegan).
And given how summers and mangoes go hand in hand, it would be a crime not to include them in our diets. Viji uses both ripe and raw mangoes in various preparations, albeit in limited quantities.
She also indulges in overnight rice as breakfast (sweet and savoury versions depending on her mood).
Does a plant-based diet help during the summer?
“Depends on what we eat as a plant-based diet. Potato chips and samosas are very much plant-based. But we all know eating this kind of food regularly isn’t the best choice,” says Viji.
She recommends a healthy plant-based diet as it is extremely versatile across seasons and could potentially help folks struggling with digestive issues.
Any beverages to opt for or avoid during the summer?
Viji reiterates that there is no need to abstain from any beverage (which is great news for us coffee-lovers) and just focus on the quantity and frequency of consumption.
“If we drink a cold soda every day, that is not healthy. Having a cold soda once a week is totally fine. We need to focus on eating habits that are sustainable.”
Apart from her watermelon-mint cooler, some other beverages that Viji enjoys during the summers are sugarcane juice with mint and lime and Nimboo pani with mint. She also adds soaked sabja seeds to her drinks.
Viji started her Instagram handle in March 2021 to create awareness about the diversity and benefits of plant-based food and a vegan lifestyle in a fun, informative and positive way. She has successfully managed and continues to manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which had troubled her since her childhood days, through lifestyle changes. She says she is thankful that she had IBS because it was her desperation to find a cure that would lead her to become a voice for animals through her journey to go on a plant-based diet to manage IBS.
Viji is a huge supporter of Indie dog adoption too. For more of her content, follow vijimoo.
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