New Delhi: The auspicious occasion of Navratri is here, and everyone is excited to kick-start the festive season with glee and enthusiasm. The most awaited time of the year, Navratri marks the beginning of all the festivities. These 9 days are dedicated to worship the 9 forms of Goddess Durga, where people come together to celebrate with friends and family with puja celebrations, dance, music, and delicious food.
Among the Navratri celebrations, fasting forms an integral part of the occasion. While fasting for 9 days may seem challenging, but if planned well, you may reap the benefits of the auspicious occasion, both spiritually and health-wise. If this year you plan to observe the fast for all days of Navratri, here are a few tips from Chef Renu Dalal, daughter of celebrity chef Tarla Dalal, that will help you fast better:
Staying hydrated while fasting is an extremely important step, one shouldn’t miss. From plain water, low-fat milk to fresh fruit juice like watermelon or orange, you may bank upon fluids of your choice to maintain an adequate level of fluids, vitamins and minerals in your body. Staying hydrated will help you stay active during these 9 days of festivity.
Switch to Sattvic Food
Avoid complicated food items and switch to light or sattvic food, which is easy to digest. Sattvic diet includes lots of fruits and certain vegetables. Such a diet will help you in keeping your body clean internally while you are fasting.
Eat Small Portions at Regular Intervals
Usually while observing fast, people tend to starve for prolonged hours. Rather have small portions of fruits, nuts, vegetable juices to avoid feeling any sort of discomfort including weakness, fatigue or headaches.
Plan Your Meal for Each Day
While fasting means a major switch in eating habits, with proper planning and healthy snacking plans, you will be able to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. Few food items/meal options mentioned below will help cope with the sudden change in the dietary plans:
- Include a variety of flours in your meal options. While Buckwheat flour (Kuttu Ka Atta) is commonly used during Navratris, you may also include Amarnath flour (Rajgire Ka Atta). These flours are highly nutritious and gluten-free
- Sabudana is a healthier choice. Being a rich source of calcium, potassium, and iron, Sabudana is yet another gluten-free food item with several health benefits that is popularly used during fast to prepare khichadi, vada and even kheer
- Make Pumpkins a part of your meal. Include pumpkin in your meals in the form of sabji or soup as it is both nutritious and tasty. Pumpkin is low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which will help you stay healthy and active
- Dry fruits are a must. Carry nuts and dry fruits like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, raisins and dates so that you may have something to munch upon whenever you feel a pang of hunger. They make for the perfect snack too
- Makhanas on the go. Instead of munching on unhealthy snacks, namkeens or pakoras, have a handful of roasted makhanas. Loaded with calcium and being protein-rich, makhanas can be enjoyed as a simple snack or in the form of sabji and even kheer
- Sweet Potatoes. While potatoes form a major part of meals consumed during fast, it may be replaced with healthier option – Sweet Potatoes. While it tastes great and delicious, it also has several health benefits that comes along with it
- Milk and Dairy products. Lower your food craving by including milk, lassi, buttermilk, curd and paneer in your meal options. Adding a fruit of your choice to make milkshake or vegetable to curd to make raita, makes it more filling and healthier
Avoid Stress, Increase Rest
The festive celebrations and fasting may leave you tired. Hence yet another major health tip you must take care of is to try avoiding unnecessary stress. Don’t overwork your body and get ample rest as and when required.