Embrace the beginning of the festive season with a big bang. This long celebration in the form of Navratras is going to be continued for eight days and nine nights. Goddess Durga has raised her eight arms (ashta bhuja) to shower her finest blessings on the devotees.
Soak yourself in the ritualistic prayers and bliss of Navratri. Seek happiness and prosperity from Maa Durga chanting mantras. Gratify the pure and powerful deity in your way keeping the fervour of the festival. It is very important to stay healthy during fasting. Stay clear of drowsiness, heaviness, indigestion, acidity, lack of energy and many more side effects of fasting to go through all the nine days with easy tips.
· Don’t keep fasts without water. Keep yourself hydrated as much as you can during fasting. You can have fluids like lemon water, coconut water, buttermilk and green tea other than water.
· Don’t starve for long and then end up overeat. Eat small meals frequently and ensure your energy level maintained in a balanced way throughout the day.
· Avoid fried fast snacks and food. Eat roasted, grilled, boiled or baked meal instead.
· Incorporate fibrous raw vegetables like cucumber and lettuce with the high carb diet. Add a good quantity of veggies in the food made from sabudana, potatoes, kuttu flour and samak rice.
· You may have kuttu flour during these fasts. It is a good combination of carbohydrates (75%) and protein (25%). Keep yourself away from kuttu poories drenched in oil. You may have kuttu pancakes and chapatis instead.
· Have the carbs diet during lunch time. Keep your dinner light with any one option like – A fruit with a glass of milk/ A glass of any fruit shake/ Vegetable soup/ A bowl of boiled vegetables/ 150 grams of roasted paneer.
· Have a cup of hot green tea post lunch.
· Steer off the fast namkeens. They are very fatty and high in salt too. Substitute them with assorted roasted nuts like walnuts, almonds and makhanas.
· Pick healthier alternatives of refined sugar like honey and jaggery.
· Eat fruits as your mid-day munchies and keep hunger at bay.
· If you crave for sweets during fasting, don’t have it immediately after having a meal. Give a gap of at least two hours. Prefer to have it noon time. Restrict the quantity to a small bowl once a day. Have the sweet dish having least calories like samak kheer of fat free milk without refined sugar or little sweetened fruit curd.
There is also a scientific significance of these fasts besides the spiritual one. Navratras fall twice every year. They mark the ending of one season and the start of another one. Once, they fall at the end of spring season just before the start of summers. The second season of Navratri marks the beginning of the winters and the end of autumn. These fasts cleanse our body system. They prepare it for the coming season with stronger immunity.
Keep your spirits and vigour high while fasting during these spiritual days. Jai Mata Di.