Navaratri is just around the corner, and it will culminate into Dussehra. Each of the nine days of the festival is dedicated to nine forms of Goddess Shakti.
It is a time of fasting, and it is considered to be the best time to cleanse the body and make the body stronger. Most people who undergo fasting do not consume pulse, grain, and meat during this period which would make the body devoid of essential nutrients. It is important to make the most of this time, it’s also important to stay healthy and maintain a diet that helps you get through the coming 9 days of continuous fasting. Hence, here is an insight into how to carry on with the fasting and enjoy the festive spirit healthily.
Tips To Fasting In A Healthy Way!
- It is always better to eat small meals instead of complete starvation. This will help in maintaining the proper amount of blood glucose level and ensure that one does not get tired easily.
- Unless you are on a 'nirjal vrat' (fast where you don't even have water), keep yourself hydrated. It is always good to keep the body hydrated by drinking lots of water. Other liquids like coconut water, buttermilk, green tea and lemon water are healthy additions.
- As the body is devoid of any regular source of protein during this time, the diet can comprise Amaranth, which is an excellent source of protein. Amaranth porridge with milk or daliya with lots of vegetables can just fuel up the body for the whole day.
- High carbohydrate foods like potatoes and sabudana should be combined with fibrous vegetables like cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum, bottle gourd, etc.
- The vegetables should be roasted, grilled or baked instead of deep-frying them.
- To make up for the deficiency of carbohydrates and protein, you can also make chapattis or pooris with the help of Kuttu. Samak rice is also very good for the digestive system during this time. It should be accompanied with lots of vegetables.
- The craving for sweet can be met by fruits, apple kheer, Samak rice kheer, and raita. One should not go for food which is deep-fried or those easily available packets of salted snacks. This is because they are high in salt and fat content. Almonds, raisins or walnuts can be taken in.
- Refined sugar should never be used and should be substituted with healthy alternatives like jaggery or honey.
- During this time, if a heavy lunch is taken, the dinner should be kept light.
- While cooking food, rock salt or sendha namak should be the only salt which is used. It helps in keeping the blood pressure levels in control and also helps in better absorption of minerals.
Fasting is an age-old phenomenon, practiced for ages for religious purposes aimed at improving good health if done right. Embrace the joy of festival with the best of fasting recipes. From old favorurites to new ones, indulge in a lot more than just a usual fare-
#Recipe1: Banana Walnut Lassi Recipe
- 1 cup low-fat yoghurt
- 1/2 banana
- 3-4 walnuts (or include Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and pine nuts)
- 1 tsp seeds (mix of flax seeds and sesame seeds)
- 1-2 tsp honey
- Step-I In a food processor, pour yoghurt, whey powder, flax seed, sesame seeds, walnuts, honey and bananas.
- Step-II Blend it well till smooth and creamy.
- Step-III Transfer into a glass and garnish with chopped walnuts before serving.
#Recipe2: Sabudana Khichdi Recipe
- 1 cup sabudana (sago)
- 1/2 cup peanuts (roasted)
- 2 Tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp zeera (cumin seeds)
- 3-4 sabut lal Mirch (whole dried red pepper)
- 1 sprig kadhi patta (curry leaves)
- 2 tsp or to taste sendha Namak (white rock salt)
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 Tbsp hara dhania (coriander leaves)
- 1 tsp green chillies, chopped
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Step-I Soak Sabudana in water for about an hour.
- Step-II Drain, then spread over a thick cloth for about 1hour. It is important for the water to drain out very well and there should be no moisture.
- Step-III In a bowl, mix sabudana, peanuts, sendha namak or rock salt, and chilli powder very well, so that it is coated well with this mixture.
- Step-IV Heat the ghee and add zeera, lal mirch and kadhi patta.
- Step-V When mirch darkens a bit, add sabudana mixture and turn around over low heat till cooked through.
- Step-VI Take it off the heat, add the lemon juice and mix well.
- Step-VII Serve garnished with the coriander leaves and green chillies.
#Recipe3: Sabudana Bhel Recipe
- ½ cup sabudana
- 1 medium-sized potato (boiled and peeled)
- 1 pinch red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon peanuts
- 1 tablespoon cashews
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
- 2 teaspoon oil
- few drops of lemon juice or as required
- rock salt or sendha namak as required
- Step-I Soak the sabudana in enough water overnight or for 4-5 hours.
- Step-II In a pan, dry roast the peanuts till they are browned and crisp. Remove and keep aside.
- Step-III In the same pan, roast the cashews till golden. Remove and keep aside.
- Step-IV Heat 2 tsp of oil in the same pan. Add the sabudana and continue to stir while sauting them.
- Step-V Stir and cook till the sabudana pearls become transparent, softened and completely cooked.
- Step-VI Mix the mashed boiled potatoes, peanuts, cashews, coriander leaves, lemon juice, rock salt, red chili powder.
- Step-VII Garnish with a few coriander leaves and serve the sabudana bhel in bowls.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.