Fasting and feasting

The Navratri celebrations are here, which also commemorates the fasting period for Hindus. Devotees keep vrat (fast) for a period of 9 days as an expression of their devotion to the 9 avatars of Goddess Durga. It’s not surprising to feel tired or sluggish while fasting as the body undergoes a few changes, so ensure you give it the rest it needs.

Varun Khanna, Co-Founder, Fast&Up, a neutraceutical manufacturer catering across age groups to those leading an active lifestyle, emphasises the need to stay hydrated and energised and to have the right balance of vitamins, nutrients and electrolytes. “Make fasting fun without cheating on your diet to stay active all the time. Drink plenty of water and go for sugar-free healthy effervescent drinks to recharge yourself. Try to relax and if you find sleeping a little difficult then include magnesium supplements for sleep and muscle recovery,” he suggests.

What you can eat while fasting
People who abstain from regular food on these nine days go on a meditative mode to rewire with their spiritual self. The air is lent with the charm of rare divinity and peace. Those fasting can savour only food without grains and cereals or onion and garlic; however, fasting guidelines permit devotees to consume milk and an array of fruits and vegetables.
Normal salt is replaced with sendha namak or Himalayan pink salt.

Upavasam bhog
People generally stick to sabudana khichdi, potato subzi and rotis made of kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour) or singhare ka atta (water chestnut).
But the menu doesn’t have to be the same all across the nine days. As prasadam to Devi, sago kheer, coconut barfis and milk cakes, also called paal kova, can be included, which the upavasam observers can consume too.

Tea over coffee
Milk and milk products like paneer, curd and buttermilk are permitted in the North of the country. In certain southern communities, coffee, being a bean, is off-limits while tea, as a leaf, is allowed. Again, this community allows consumption of only milk without including curd or buttermilk.
During this period, there are healthy ways to lend antioxidant support while boosting the immunity system. An intake of proteins is also essential. Whether you’re playing garba and dandiya or detoxing and cleansing the body, ensure you add natural, certified supplements to your diet.

Skincare for the glow-getters
While fasting during the festive season, the skin can tend to become dull and lose its shine. Vitamin C and glutathione supplement is essential for the skin’s glow.
Here’s what Shilpa Khanna Thakkar, Co-founder, Chicnutrix, recommends: “Choose a clinically proven opitac glutathione to promote skin glow and radiance, offer powerful antioxidant support and reduce dark spots and pigmentation. Use premium skincare products to be a glow-getter this Navratri because every woman deserves to be at her glowing best!”

What to eat
Dietitian Rajat Jain recommends these nourishing foods during upavas:

l Fresh fruit juice
l Fruit milkshakes
l Sago (sabudana) khichadi
l Baked potatoes with cumin and pepper powders
l Raw banana pattice, taro root/sweet potatoes/jackfruit cutlets
l Tomato soup with rock salt
l Dry fruit barfi
l Puris or rotis of buckwheat/samai/amaranth or singhare flours
l Coconut payasam
l Cottage cheese tikkas
l Sweet-potato/badam halwa

Keep up the spirit, girl!
Devansh Jain Nawal, Co-founder, The Healthy Company, has some easy tips and tricks to keep your energy and spirits up throughout this fasting time.
1 Hydrate yourself: Consume lots of liquids (water, coconut water or even The Healthy Company’s Lean Teas in refreshing mint and/or peach flavours) to avoid getting dehydrated and to give your metabolism a boost.
2 Do not skip meals: Fasting is a time to eat better, not completely stop eating! Take one full meal of kuttu atta roti/sama rice and generous servings of fruits through the day.
3 Snack right: Instead of munching on various vrat namkeens/fried snacks, reach out for a good portion of fruits or a handful of nuts and seeds.
4 Skip caffeine: Control your craving for the kick of caffeine; instead, go for a healthy Immuni-tea to freshen your senses.
Whether you’re playing garba and dandiya or detoxing and cleansing the body, ensure you add natural, certified supplements to your diet.


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