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Eat Smart during Festival Season
Some tips to keep in mind during Navratri & Diwali:
> If you are waking up late in the morning, have your breakfast within half an hour of waking up.
> Don’t skip any meal. Try to maintain the frequency of meals (every 2 hours).
> Always have a heavy and nutritious breakfast like vegetable sandwich, upma or wheat flakes, whole wheat bread or paratha with skim milk which will make you feel full and avoid binging later.
> Don’t forget to have your fillers like Almonds, walnuts, roasted chana , fresh & dried fruits. Nuts and fruits can also be used as substitute of snacks and sweets to keep away the alories.
> Keep yourself hydrated by sipping water throughout the day.
> If you had a heavy meal, have at least 2 cups of Green Tea after your meal.
> Avoid sweets, deep fried foods, aerated drinks and ready to eat foods instead opt for lemon juice in water or soda over sweetened drinks, mock tails or milk shakes.
> Don’t forget to do exercise. If you are not going to the gym during Diwali, do at least 30- 45 minutes of walking every day.
> Do not forget to have your supplements.
Tips for Navratri Fasting
> Do not eat all those farali foods like rajigara, potato, sago, chips, mithai etc. They are nothing but starch and their preparation is done with lots of oil
> If you must fast and want to eat these items, go for boiled potato, sweet potato, fruits, curd, moraiyo, buttermilk and coconut water to fill in.
> If you are one of the person who remains hungry in navratri or eat only fruit and milk, you are more likely to add curse on your body by adding only simple sugars.
> Avoid late night suppers as they add on unwanted kilos.
> Keep yourself hydrated as garba causes lots of sweating and fatigue and you will need water to avoid cramps or stiffness of muscles.
If Dining Out:
# If you are planning to dine out, have your proteins at home and then go (have curd/ buttermilk/ skim milk / whey protein shake/pulses like sprouts, moong etc.)
# Remember: don’t skip meals just because you have to dine out, eat frequent meals more or less at the same time.
# Opt for a clear soup or salad to begin with. These will provide with a good amount of fiber.
# If you are ordering salads, try raw or lightly cooked salads with low fat and low calorie dressings like balsamic / white vinegar or lemon juice avoid creamy dressings.
# Request dressings and toppings to be served separately; use them as dips so that you eat them in moderation.
# Ask for roasted accompaniments like roasted papads instead of fried ones.
# Order for clear vegetable soups without butter, cream and corn flour. Don’t take sweet corn soup, man chow soup etc.
# If you are ordering Indian cuisine for the main course, prefer boiled rice, yellow dal, plain Roti or Idli to Biryani pulao or Puri and Paratha.
# Avoid eating fried foods and foods coated with bread; you can also remove the bread covering.
# Always request for less oil to be used in your meal.
# Choose fruit based desserts with low fat accompaniments like homemade skimmed milk sweets, Kheer, dry fruit and nuts based sweets instead of deep fried items.
# Try to make use of low fat and low sugar products.
# If having heavy lunch, have 1 cup skim milk or curd + 6 almonds and 1 fruit for dinner. You can also make smoothie from curd, fruit and almonds.
# Your dinner is the last meal of the day and it should be light and healthy.
# If available opt for fresh fruit juice without sugar otherwise water is best for quenching thirst.
If Having Alcohol:
# If you are consuming alcohol avoid having it empty stomach. Have a high protein diet like moong dal chilla or sprout moong chaat or salad or a bowl of skimmed curd/ milk prior to having alcohol.
# For munching with alcohol avoid ready to eat snacks like potato wafers, fried snacks, fried peanuts etc else opt for vegetable salad, roasted chana.
# Avoid mixing soft drinks and fruit juices with alcohol instead mix water.
If going to meet relatives (Social gatherings):
# Serve in small plates. You tend to eat less when you serve yourself in smaller plate.
# Keep your clean plate mentality aside forever and leave it for children only. Do not hesitate to leave some snacks thinking that the host would feel bad.
# Carry fresh or dried fruits and nuts with you during car, air or train journeys, so whenever you feel hungry you can eat immediately.
# Carry dry snacks like khakhra, marie biscuits, methi / doodhiTheplas, mamra, roasted poha chivdo & roasted chana, Soybeans.
# While on long flights, keep sipping water rather than alcohol or aerated drink. Avoid eating sweets and desserts served in aircraft. Prefer some homemade foods to be eaten while on flight or grab a low-cal food from airport cafe.
Publised On: Oct 13, 2015
Author: Dr Janki Patel, Ph. D in Nutrition (Practicing Nutritionist at Healthy Minds)