Festivals are around the corner of the year. Festivals are the days filled with celebrations and fun. India is a country that celebrates diversity like no other nation in the world. Indian Festivals show a unique way of celebrating culture and tradition. Festivities call for celebrations, which require a massive amount of energy and this is the best way to keep you going on.
Festivals is not cleaning, renovating the house, shopping, and dressing up, meeting your relatives and friends,gifting each other, it is more about the food and everyday has got its special delicacies to celebrate each festival. Food is one of the reason to meet all. The mind associates with the food that’s served along with it, because it caters to all the five senses at the same time. Food is one way of expression that brings people together and binds them with a community feeling. Although daily cooking in India itself offers diversity, festivals on the other hand add icing on the cake.
Be it Ganesh Chaturthi, navratras, Durga pooja, Dusherra, Diwali, Id, Gurpurab, Christmas, you tend to have erratic time for eating, indulge into binge and excessive eating especially sweets, fried, junk, unhealthy snacks and aerated drinks which will further affect our health. All these festivals bring mouthwatering traditional delicacies.
The festival season is jam-packed with heavy, junk, rich foods to mark the specialty of the festivals for example during Dusherra one tends to eat samosa and jalebi, like wise during Diwali and Bhai Dooj one looks forward to eat sweets like laddoo,Gulab jamun, Gunjiya, Rasmalai, fried snacks, when Eid comes ,you enjoy delicacies like sheer khurma, biryani, haleem, pakoras, kheer, non- veg items. During Christmas lots of different flavouredcakes, pies, puddings, and chocolates completes the celebration.
Binge eating during the festivals also means your body is filling up with extra calories and toxins that might make you feel sick or lethargic. You also tend to eat an increased amount of dairy products, fried, saturated and unsaturated fats, sweets, ready to eat snacks. These food items are not in your daily diet. Eating this kind of food may have impact on your gut health, indigestion, bloating flatulence, etc. An unhealthy craving during festive season is common. So you should be careful as, we must not ignore our health during such times.
Smart eating in festivals
- Small portion size:When eating, take small portions of meals, so that your stomach is not full and you are not over eating and you are ready to eat if unexpected guests are coming or you have to visit someone. For example, take half katori of dal and vegetables instead of full katori, 1 roti instead of 2 rotis, half glass of beverage instead of full. Monitor your portions and don’t overeat.
- Avoid second serving:Even though you are tempted, be firm and don’t take second serving of any food items. As this will help you feel good and light. Take fifteen to twenty minutes to finish your meals, eat slowly to avoid taking second serving and enjoy the taste of the food.
- Choice of beverages: Say NO to carbonated drinks,sodas, alcohol drinks. Avoid cocktails and mocktails as they are high in calories. You should keep yourself hydrated, so take plenty of liquids in the form of coconut water, nimboo pani, fresh juices, green tea, lemon tea, lassi, Butter milk, clear soups, milkshakes( no added sugar).
- Choice of sweets: If there is a choice take dryfruitsinstead of mithai, cakes, and ice-creams. Don’t add sugar in your beverages or desserts; instead add natural sugars in the form of dates, fresh fruit, pure honey, raisins,jaggery. It won’t necessarily reduce calories, but it will weaken the negative consequences of too much refined sugar.
- Out of sight: As per saying out of sight, out of mind, keep the sweets, fried, savoury food items out of sight or at a hidden place where you need extra effort to find them, rather than on shelves where they are easily visible and available.
- Take light meals: For few days take light meals. Switch to salads, soups, rice dal, khichri, vegtables oats, vegetable poha, sauté vegetables, fresh fruits salads,plain dosa, cheela, idli, suji idli, suji upma, multigrain vegetable sandwiches, instead of full meals to avoid heaviness, acidity and bloating. These are light on your stomach yet full of flavours. Take small and frequent meals. Don’t starve yourself. High fibre food items are important to maintain a healthy bowel system, so eat plenty of fresh fruits, salads, whole grains and whole pulses.
- Serve healthy snacks: When guests are visiting your home to wish, serve healthy and light snacks like makhana chaat, idli chaat, multigrain sandwiches, boiled channa or lobiya chaat, dhokla, vegetable idli, healthy salads loaded with nuts and fibre, fruit custard, etc.
Try to use limited quantity of oil for cooking. Include good fats in the diet from nuts, seeds, peanuts, ghee. Good fats is essential for vitamin D assimilation .Serve healthy drinks like fresh lime water, butter milk, green tea, soups, detox drinks. In this way you can convince and motivate them also to eat wisely and right diet during festivals.
- Exercise regularly:Compulsory walk and some light exercises is very important any time of the day to avoid extra fat on your body. Exercise will keep you active, energetic, happy as consciously you know that you are burning calories, if you have eaten extra. In this way you can enjoy the festival celebrations. Even a thirty minute workout can go a long way.
- Detox drinks: To balance the after effects of the food, take detox drinks that will help you with digestion. Take Detox drinks atleast 2 times in a day like ajwain saunfwater, tulsi ginger lemon water, mint cucumber lemon water, dalchini ginger loung water, jeera and saunf water.They are all loaded with antioxidants or active digestive enzymes which will prevent you from stomach ailments.
- Water intake: The best ways to remove or flush out toxins from your body is by drinking 12 to 15 glasses of water. Not only does it helps with hydration but also breaks down carbohydrates quickly. Put a reminder on your phone to drink water regularly.
- No long gaps:There should be NO long gaps between meals. Long gaps between meals or skipping any meals might end up in unhealthy consumption of food. You must have a healthy, light and early breakfast as it will help you to keep active throughout the day. Also you will not have a craving to eat again and again.Avoid visiting on an empty stomach to any friends or relatives as you tend to eat more and unhealthy food.
Follow these tips during festivals, you won’t feel guilty about anything and on the other hand you will not put extra kilos on your body. Eat mindful rather than mindless to keep your body fit and healthy. Eat traditional, local and homemade food this festive season.Keep the celebrations lit up. If festivals are your cheat days, you must make it right with your body once you return to normal routine days. It will help to maintain your health.
Have a great, healthy, happy festival season.