Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Have a nutritious Navratri!

Navratri means nine nights, where we devote three nights to worship Durga, the Goddess of Valour, three nights to Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, and three nights to Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. Celebrated twice a year, this festival is a time of celebrations, fasting, and feasting. While a small amount of indulgence is good, you can go overboard easily. Thus, giving into your cravings during these nine days can adversely affect your health.

All you have to do is follow some simple steps that will help you enjoy the festivities, without neglecting your diet.

Guidelines during Navratri:

1. Eat small meals at regular intervals every 1 and ½ to 2 hours. By eating at least 7-8 meals in a day, you can maintain a high metabolic rate. This will also help keep your portions under control and control your cravings.

2. Substitute certain ingredients and cooking methods that will make the food more nutritious while retaining the taste and flavour.
  • Shallow fry certain food items instead of deep-frying. E.g. Instead of making kuttu atta (buck wheat) puris and pakodas, make kuttu rotis 
  • Substitute whole milk with skimmed milk or double toned milk 
  • Use boiled potato or sweet potato instead of fried potato 
  • Replace sugar with low calorie sweeteners, brown sugar, or jaggery 
  • Use rajgira flour (Amaranth flour) to make chapattis instead of kuttu atta, as it is lighter and lower in calories 
3. Ensure you keep yourself hydrated at all times. Drink enough liquids such as coconut water, lemonade (without sugar), buttermilk, low fat smoothies, and milk shakes. You can also eat juicy fruits and vegetables like oranges, sweet lime, cucumber, watermelon etc.

4. Include dry fruits in your diet such as almonds, walnut, and pistachio. Dry fruits serve as an excellent snack between the three main meals.

5. Make sure you eat your heaviest meal in the mornings and lightest meals during dinner.

Following a healthy diet during these nine days of Navratri will help you detox, while you take in the celebrations. So enjoy the first Navratri of the year in a healthy way!