It’s that time of the year again when festivities, faith and fasting take precedence. People all over the world celebrate Navratri, some for religious reasons and some looking to cut back on unwanted calories and lose weight. Whatever be the reason, it’s absolutely essential that fasting through these nine days be done in a healthy manner. It can help detoxify your body, cleanse your mind and leave you feeling great! (More: 10 recipes you must try)
Tips to follow to make fasting healthier –
1. Eat small meals and do not starve yourself. This will help maintain blood glucose levels and prevent you from feeling low. (More: How to stay fit while fasting and feasting)
2. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water and fluids like coconut water, lemon water, green tea and buttermilk.
3. Combine high carbohydrates like potatoes and sabudana (widely used in fasting) with other fibrous vegetables like spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum, bottle guard, etc. Also try to bake, roast or grill vegetables instead of deep-frying them.
4. Amaranth is the best protein source you can include during fasting. Make amaranth porridge with milk or cook it as namkeen dalia with lots of vegetables.
5. Kuttu is a brilliant combination of carbohydrates (70-75%) and protein(20-25%). Use it to make chapatti instead of gorging on puris.
6. Samak rice are extremely easy to digest and can be consumed in any kind of quantity.
7. Curb those evil sugar cravings by eating a lot of fruits raita, dates, apple kheer, samakrice kheer.
8. Try and adopt healthy snacking and don’t binge on namkeens packets as they are high in salt and fat content.
9. Instead, opt for roasted makhana, mix of nuts (almonds/raisins/walnut)/ baked chips, roasted peanuts, etc.)
10. Substitute sugar with jaggery or honey.
11. Use skimmed milk instead of full cream milk.
The Well-Balanced Vrat Diet
Breakfast options (choose any one) –
Fruits with skimmed milk
Amaranth porridge with nuts
Fruits shake with five to six soaked almonds
Mid-morning options (choose any one) –
Lemon water with fruits
Coconut water with fruits
Green tea with water
Lunch options (choose any one):
Grilled vadas with mint chutney
Kutu chapatti with vegetables and salad with raita
Baked sabudana tikkis with veggies and curd
Samak rice with vegetables and salad
Drink a cup of hot green tea
Green tea/tea with baked chips/roasted makhana/baked namkeen
Dinner (choose any one):
Paneer tikka with vegetables
Milk with fruits
A bowl of vegetables and salad
Pumpkin and bottle gourd soup with vegetables
Make Some Room for These Vrat Special Recipes
1 cup of sago seeds. Wash, drain and let them soak in little water over night
1 medium size potato
A handful of peanuts, roasted and crushed
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
Coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1tsp red chillies
Half tsp amchoor
1. Mix the sago and one medium size potato together in a pan.
2. Mix crushed peanuts ,chillies and all the other spices.
3. Roll out flat vadas out of the entire mix
2. Grill vadas using 1 tsp oil on a non stick pan for 5-10 mins.
Frozen Yogurt Pops
1 cup creamy yogurt
2 tsp honey
8 to 10 almonds, crushed
2 walnuts, crushed
3 figs, chopped
1. Mix honey and yogurt in a bowl.
2. Add crushed nuts and chopped figs into this mix.
3. Fill glass bowls or ice-pop molds with this mix and freeze for 2 hours (uncovered).
4. Cover with foil and freeze for 4 more hours.
5. To pull out the pops leave them in room temperature for 2 minutes and then serve.
Baked Singhare or Namak pare
200 grams(1 cup) singhare flour
Half tsp salt
1 tea spoon cumin seeds
Half tsp coriander leaves, chopped
2 tsp oil
1. Sieve the flour and leave it in a bowl. Add salt, cumin seeds, coriander leaves and one spoon of oil in it. Mix it well.
2. Knead the flour with water and leave it covered for about 20 minutes.
3. Roll out fours balls from the dough. Roll the ball into a 6 or 7 inch thick disc and cut it into namakpare with knife.
4. Apply little oil on baking plates and put these namakpare on this plate.
5. Bake them for 5 minutes. Let them cool and store in an air-tight container.
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