NAVRATRI KNOCKING: Turn Your Fasting into Feasting
Turn Your Fasting into Feasting
24th March 2020
It is already time for the goddess Durga to make her bi annual travel from her heavenly abode. Navratri is one of the holiest Hindu festivals where people across the country worship the different avatars of Goddess Durga for nine days. Goddess Durga is believed to have nine different incarnations and each of these female deities signify distinct powers.
The word Navratri ‘refers to the nine auspicious nights during which Goddess Durga is worshipped in large swathes across north, west and central India. It is celebrated twice a year, the beginning of spring and at the beginning of autumn, usually considered as important times for sowing the summer and winter harvest.
The period is usually accompanied by fasting. Fasting serves as a way to pay gratitude to the goddess. But a more scientific explanation is that it helps the body detoxify itself. But with the speed of the modern life taking over, fasting for nine continuous days is very difficult.
Some people only choose to fast on the first and last day along with observing some strict dietary restrictions. The consumption of alcohol, non-vegetarian food, grains, onion and garlic is restricted. Usually a large part of north, west and central India observes a fast on all nine days.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, these foods attract and absorb negative energies and should be avoided during a seasonal change as our bodies tend to have low immunity around that time.
Navratri festivities give you a chance to get back to the roots and deviate from the day-to-day affair. Ingredients like kuttu atta, singhara atta, fresh vegetables, milk, yogurt and makhanas are preferred as they are light on the stomach and can be digested easily. Instead of regular salt, rock salt or sendhanamak is used as it is pure and unprocessed.
Those who do not wish to fast may follow a vegetarian satvik diet where ingredients like garlic and onions that produce heat in the body are avoided to allow your body to detox. So, if you want to follow a perfect diet for these 9 days without getting fat, then this article is just for you.
Dr. Nidhi Chaudhary of ‘Kurves and Kontours’ suggests a sample diet which is very easy to follow and equally light on your stomach.
She starts with stating,
“Make sure to start your day with 2 glasses of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Followed by handful almonds and walnuts.
Do not keep yourself on empty stomach for longer period and keep having small frequent meals”.
Also, she asks to have a combination of protein and complex carbs so that it keeps you full and energised for longer time. You can have any fruit smoothie like apple cinnamon smoothie or banana shake using almond milk.
Along with handful roasted makhane with a dash of desi ghee.
You could also have pancakes or cheele with the allowed flours like kuttu and Rajgira
Drink about 4 litres of water throughout the day.
Eat as much as whole food as possible. Avoid all the fried food and snacks which are available in stores in the name of Navratri diet mixtures
There are so many ingredients which are available during Navratri fasting which has got tremendous nutritional benefits. To name a few are makhanas, rajgira, which can be used in n number of ways to keep you healthy!
Try to have last meal as light as possible. Navratri can be a perfect time to remove some extra fat and rejuvenate your body if you avoid indulging in high fat foods, sugary drinks and processed food
Here is the diet sample
On waking up
2 glasses water with 1 lemon juice and 1 spoon organic honey
Followed by 8 soaked almonds + 2 walnuts
20 mins walk
Fruit smoothie / 1 bowl chulai ladoo with 1 cup milk.
1 cup green tea or coconut water followed by Any fruit
Option 1 – 2 medium sized boiled sweet potatoes salad + 1 bowl curd
Option 2 – 1 Cheela of Rajgira flour + 100 gms paneer sautéed in tomato gravy + 1 bowl curd (add grated cucumber to curd)