Navratri 2018 is a holy Hindu festival that is celebrated to worship the nine divine forms of Goddess Durga. This year, Navratri is set to begin on 18th March, 2018 and would go on till 25th March, 2018. These nine days are considered to be very auspicious in a Hindu household. It is said that Goddess descends from heaven during this time and takes shelter in the homes of her beloved devotees. In addition to all the poojas and prasad, some people also observe the ritualistic Navratri fasts as a mark of devotion. Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health practitioner Shilpa Arora says, "Navratri fasts are generally observed to cleanse the body from within. Sattvik eating for nine days reboots the body giving it the much needed cleanse from junk, processed and heavy foods. However, there are some markers one must ensure before fasting, else it may take a major toll on their body."
Here are some expert tips you must ensure for healthy fasting during Navratri 2018.
Before Navratri Fasting
1. Make sure you are not on some crash diet before you are just about to begin the fast that would just shock your system and your body may not be able to take it as well.
2. Stock up on vrat ingredients like kuttu (buckwheat), singhara atta (water chestnut flour), sendha namak (rock salt), sago (tapioca pearls) beforehand. Running around at the last moment would only lead to chaos.
3. Start tapering your portion sizes. This may prove helpful especially for the ones who are fasting for the first time. If you have 1 bowl of rice, you can try and cut it to 3/4th cup. This would ensure that the fast is not too shocking for the system.
While Navratri Fasting
For the ones who would be fasting for the first time, it can get a little too much on their bodies and minds to process. A sudden change in the diet is something our body may take time to adjust.
Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta has some handy tips for the ones who would be fasting for the first time.
1. Break Up Your Meals: If you are not used to prolonged fasting start adding frequent meals to your diet rather than big meals since you are not used to stay hungry for that long. So, it is always better to break up your meals in shorter intervals.
2. Stay Hydrated: While fasting, it is very important to stay hydrated. There is already too much sugar going in. Sugar intake will make you feel the sugar rush (excessive surge of energy) and the very next moment you would be extremely drained out.
3. To ensure slow release of sugar in your blood, it is better to have fruits. Keep munching on them as often as you can. Add nuts to your meals too.
4. It is very essential to keep a constant inflow of adequate electrolytes. Be it in form of water, fruits or salt in this case sendha namak.
5. If you are fasting for the first time and follow a heavy exercise or fitness regimen, you may want to mellow down a bit. Avoid high intensity training. You cannot do so many things at once. If you don't want to do away with your regime, the least you can do is to tone it down. Keep the workout light and simple. A light jog around the park, some light exercises or stretching should be enough.
Macrobiotic nutritionist and health practitioner Shilpa Arora advises eating clean and seasonal. She gives out a couple of interesting dietary tips too.
1. Load up on fresh seasonal fruits and veggies that are permissible.
2. Eat a lot of bananas packed with potassium as they are healing and energising.
3. While drinking water is important, it may get monotonous. Drink coconut water or buttermilk to keep yourself hydrated and cool.
4. Have sweet potatoes over regular potatoes. Loaded with beta-carotene, this veggie is extremely filling, yet low on calories. You can bake them or roast them.
5. Stay clear of processed wafers or chips that are extremely high on sodium and trans fats, instead go for nuts and seeds. They are loaded with essential minerals and are quite satiating as well.
Navratri begins on 18th March, 2018. Here is a detailed schedule of Navratri 2018
18th March 2018
19th March 2018
20th March 2018
21st March 2018
22nd March 2018
23rd March 2018
24th March 2018
25th March 2018