By Rujuta Diwekar
T3 can be a tiring phase and a test of patience, literally. On the one hand you want to let it all go, on the other you are constantly aware that once you do let go, nothing will ever be the same again. The baby will change your life forever, and other than her health, security and well-being, nothing else will matter. The next six months can be quite overwhelming — the delivery, the ability to feed, the staying up in the nights, the warding off of random advice and the scepticism about whether the husband will do good by his word and play the supporting role, etc. So beheno, to keep the mind calm and the body strong, here are the foods for this phase.
T3F1: Turmeric / Haldi
The West has discovered it too, the active curcumin compound in haldi has the ability to stop the degeneration of both the brain and the muscle and its antioxidant properties is the stuff that patent battles are made of. The turmeric in India is consumed both tender and mature, and in all its forms remains extremely useful. It is also being used for its ability to prevent eye strain, protect the heart, nerves and what have you, so don’t miss out on this — but don’t have it in a capsule form. It works best when it’s part of a wholesome diet, so let’s not turn into people who eat raw salads and pop turmeric pills. By the way, it’s also an anti-depressant.
How to use it
- In tadkas for dal / sabzi / khichdi. Follow the pattern taught at home about when exactly to add it while cooking.
- Tender turmeric — make a pickle or add in chai with lemongrass, ginger and honey.
- Add a pinch of turmeric to chana or masoor dal paste, mix it with milk and use it while bathing — especially useful to prevent pigmentation and lines post pregnancy.
T3F2: Moong — the Bean, Dal and Both Akha and Dhula
Amongst all the lentils, the most satvik bean is moong. If you have ever been to an ashram or on a yoga holiday, this is most likely the dal you ate. It remains the most precious dals in the eyes of our grandmoms for its easy digestibility, dense nutritional profile — folic acid, Vit B6, minerals, proteins, etc., — and for its neutral taste. Moong dal is the least gas-forming of all dals, a good quality to have if you are an expectant mother. Moreover, it helps you accelerate fat-burning, and reduces the risk of all degenerative diseases, including diabetes, BP and cancer.
How to use it:
- Sprout them overnight and cook them well for maximum nutrient absorption.
- Make dal or khichdi out of it.
- Make chatpata items like chivda or chilla out of it to kill the boredom of eating bland food without the risk of eating junk.
T3F3: Rice, Bhat, Chawal
You have waited for this one too. Hand-pounded, single-polished or just plain white rice and not the unpolished / brown versions. Eat your local rice, get it from the local markets and don’t crib, please. If you can order nappies from Dubai and USA, then you or yours can surely make a trip to the local market too. Also, don’t worry about the hundred opinions about rice. For starters, it’s medium and not high on the glycaemic index. And then you will be mixing it with plant proteins like dals / lentils, and adding ghee — together this mixture or that of dahi-chawal or kadhi-chawal or even egg curry-rice or meat biryani is low on GI. Also, remember it has the resistant starch that helps the gut bacteria, and that this will be one of the first weaning foods for your baby. Spiritually, the grain of rice symbolises health and growth, as well as the ability to let go and move on. Pretty much your go-to grain then.
How to use it:
- Cook rice and eat with dals / lentils / kadhi / dahi / milk.
- To make pej or kanji — a light soup that retains the Vit B of rice and is light to digest.
- Give a tadka or chokha to last night’s leftover rice to turn into a quick and delicious breakfast meal.
(Excerpted with permission from the book Pregnancy Notes Before, During & After by Rujuta Diwekar, published by Westland.)