What did you make for breakfast today?
Stuffed parathas and curd, cut fruits and nuts.
Wow! Sounds delicious and healthy. But what did you have for breakfast?
Oh I had some cornflakes and milk…

Does this conversation sound familiar? Ironically, in most households, all over the world, the food-provider rarely tastes the nutritious and tasty spreads that they present at the table. Since the woman has, traditionally, played the role of this food provider, it is her health and her diet that is of most concern. After all, if she is not healthy, the whole household suffers. No one needs healthy diet tips spelt out for them as much as working women.

An adult woman’s average daily calorie requirement ranges from 1800 to 2400 calories (the average being about 2,000 calories) according to official US estimates. Of course, this varies depending on the age and physical activity level. The more active you are, the more calories you need and vice versa. Again, if you are trying to lose weight, you will consume lesser than this average. 

Why health tips for women

While the motto of ‘eat to live rather than live to eat’ is a sensible one, some level of thought for food is necessary. This is, specifically important for working women. Why? Generally, while trying to achieve that delicate balance between work and life, they end up neglecting their own diet. They, imprudently, prefer to save time and energy by missing meals.

Here are some healthy diet tips for working women. The key attributes required in any working woman’s diet plan is that it should be quick, simple, nutritious and hassle-free. 

Working ladies’ health tips

  1. Keep junk and processed food away from your house and office cabinets.
  2. Store nuts, fruits and salads where you can easily access them – kitchen cabinets and shelves at work.
  3. Try to eat on time and regularly so that your craving to snack reduces.
  4. If you have a sweet tooth, eat a mango, watermelon or grapes to satisfy sweet cravings.

Healthy diet plan for women:

In general, an ideal plan will comprise three meals in a day. However, it would be best to manage your diet based on your constitution and any imbalances you may have. An Ayurvedic doctor could point you in the right direction.

Try these quick and healthy food ideas as part of your daily diet to ensure that you do not miss out on essential nutrients. It would be suitable for breakfast and dinner to be light. This is easier for digestion as the agni or digestive fire is weak in the system at those times.

A. Breakfast choices

  • Idli and chutney OR
  • Steamed dhoklas OR
  • Chapatis and curry OR
  • Vegetable rava upma OR
  • Ragi or millet porridge with milk and jaggery OR
  • Moong sprouts with carrot, cucumber and tomatoes


  • A glass of warm/cold (boiled and cooled) milk depending on the season or smoothies without dairy or fruit juices


Fruits and nuts

B. Lunch menu

Take your pick and mix and match according to your preferences.

  • Salad – carrot, tomato, chickpeas, kidney beans, cucumber, beetroot, radish, green leafy vegetables like lettuce, lemon
  • Brown rice or quinoa
  • Mixed rice item like lemon, tamarind or coconut
  • Chapatti or stuffed parathas or stuffed rolls or wraps
  • dal
  • vegetable curry
  • Brown bread sandwich
  • curd
  • Fruits

C. Snack time (optional)

  • Dry fruits and nuts
  • Light brown bread sandwich
  • Banana or other cut fruits
  • Dry fruit laddoo

D. Dinner menu

Select your favorite recipes and eat different variations over the weekday.

  • Soup – tomato, sweet corn, vegetable and so on
  • Salads
  • Chapati and curry
  • Khichadi
  • Pulao or biryani with seasonal vegetables
  • Tomato rasam
  • Green leafy dal

Points to keep in mind

  • Here are some additional health tips for working ladies:
    • Fresh fruit juice without sugar can be your mid-morning snack.
    • Warm milk before bed helps you sleep well.
    • Eat yogurt to cool your system and give you a credible substitute for that ice cream craving! It will, also, boost your calcium levels.
    • Include green leafy vegetables to ensure you don’t have iron or protein deficiencies.
    • It is fun to be spontaneous, but considering time constraints, it would be better to plan your meals for the next week. This will ensure you don’t compromise on nutrients.
    • Prepare doughs, stuffing and side dishes ahead of time.
    • Always carry a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated and energized.

A common error that most women make is trying to compensate for their bad diet over the day with excessive consumption at night. You will, inevitably, face the music – from your digestive organs! Acid reflux, acidity, heartburn, indigestion and flatulence will make you dance to their songs – it is not a dance you will want to remember!

Health tips for women who are also mothers

As a working mother, you are a master at multitasking. Even so, don’t neglect yourself in the process. Here are some tips for working mothers:

  1. Carry a lunchbox from home. This will keep you away from take-outs filled with calories and little else.
  2. Avoid, or at least, restrict caffeine as the artificial energy boost is, generally, followed by a sap in energy.
  3. Also, avoid canned juices. Eat fruits directly or make fruits juices with the fibre and pulp intact. Don’t add sugar to it.
  4. It may seem like a tall ask but do try to harmoniously include exercise into your daily routine. Walk up the stairs, walk to the grocery store or cycle to work. You will have a healthy glow on your face and a bounce in your step as you go about your super-busy day!

Ironically, it is your versatility that keeps your work plate full. These health tips for women are to ensure that you can, really, have your cake and eat it as well!

Additionally, include practices such as yoga, meditation, and pranayamas in your schedule. The asanas and pranayamas in yoga help to de-stress. Meditation will put you in a calm state of mind. You won’t be tempted to reach for those unhealthy comfort foods that set off imbalances in your body.  

The Art of Living’s Ayur Jagruti program can help you plan your daily life, keeping in mind your personality and the various imbalances in your body. You can design a suitable and healthy diet plan for yourself as a working woman. This will ensure that you have a customized solution to your daily nutritional requirements. It can also help you streamline your food habits.

You may enquire regarding the Ayur Jagruti program, by writing to ayurjagruti@vvki.org.

(This article was written with inputs from Dr. Sharika Menon, Ayurvaidya)