10 Expert Tips for Healthy Fasting – 28th March 2016 marks the start of Chaitra Navratri. These 9 days of fasting are celebrated twice every year, the first is during spring and is aptly named Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri. It also comes around later in the year (the more popular one) as Sharad Navratri, culminating into Dussehra. Chaitra is the first month in the Hindu Luni-Solar calendar and its beginning marks the onset of Chaitra Navratri. Each of the 9 days of this festival are devoted to nine forms of Goddess Shakti. Usually, the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri also falls on Ram Navami. Navratri is a time of a time to cleanse the body and build its immunity for the next season. It is believed that both the Navratri periods falls at the change of season, thus the rituals are formulated such as to prepare the body for the next season.
Healthy Tips For Fasting During Navratri
1. It is better to eat small meals instead of starving yourself. The frequent meals help maintain blood glucose levels and ensure you are fuelled up to go through the day.
2. Unless you are doing a <em>‘nirjal vrat’ </em>(fast where you don’t even have water), keep yourself hydrated. It is recommended that you consume lots of water. Other fluids like coconut water,green tea, buttermilk and lemon water are also great.
3. Though a lot of involve frying, try to bake, roast or grill vegetables to make your meal healthier.
4. It is a good idea to pair foods high in carbohydrates like potatoes and sabudana with other fibrous vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes, spinach and cabbage
5. Amaranth is a fantastic source of protein that you can include in your menu during fasting. You can whip up an amaranth porridge with milk or even stir it up as daliya with lots of vegetables.
6.Kuttu a flour used abundantly in Navratri, is a wonderful combination of carbohydrates (70-75%) and protein(20-25%). You can make chapattis with it and steer off those oil laden pooris.
7. Samak rice is easy on your digestive system and you can enjoy it with your favourite sabzi like aam ki sabzi.
8. Got a sweet tooth? Those sugar cravings can be curbed by indulging in fruits, raita , dates, apple & kheer or samak rice & kheer.
9. Mid-day munchies can keep those hunger pangs at bay. However, stay clear of those namkeen packets as they are high in salt and fat content. You can instead opt for roasted makhana (fox nuts), or a handful of assorted nuts
10. Stay off refined sugar and substitute it with healthier alternatives like jaggery or honey.