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Celebrating Diwali the Healthy Way

21 Aug 2015
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Diwali, the festival of lights, is a highly anticipated & joyously celebrated occasion. It is characterized by vibrant lights, dazzling fireworks, decorative displays, & an array of delectable traditional Indian sweets & dishes. However, amidst the festivities, one concern arises: the challenge of maintaining a healthy weight during this season of indulgence.

Strict diet plans  for weight loss during the festive season will make you starve & backfire as you end up consuming extra calories. That’s when it becomes even more very difficult to shed those kilos later on. Eating right is the solution.


Here are some easy & clever ways to relish festive foods guilt-free:

  • Cut down on calories wherever possible. For instance, instead of regular heavy breakfasts like puri bhaji, pakoda, samosa, eat something light & low calorie like muesli with milk or poha with sprouts so that you can eat festive foods later in the day in moderate quantities.

  • Instead of 3-4 cups of tea/coffee / thandai, take only one cup a day. Opt for green tea & coconut water/lime water / infused water for ease  digestion while you eat  high-calorie snacks.

  • Prepare nutritious versions of your sweets & savories, for instance,   baked samosa instead of fried samosa, low-fat roasted snacks  instead of deep fried sev, chivda, farsan, chakali and,  shankarpali.

  • Choose your starters wisely. Opt for dahi vada, masala khakra, chana chaat & cereal chivda instead of deep-fried snacks.

  • Keep a Fresh fruit bowl along with nuts instead of mithai / fried farsan to offer guests.

  • Choose moderate calorie sweets in small portion sizes. Pick either -1 tbsp shrikhand/ phirni/kheer or 1 piece rasmalai/sandesh. Avoid deep-fried sweets like gulab jamun, jalebi or laddoos.

  • Avoid aerated drinks like Colas & Sweetened sharbats, Canned juices as these are empty and additional calories. Stick to Fresh Lime water / Soda without sugar at get-togethers.

  • Include high fiber foods before a heavy meal or party. Some of these foods can be raw salad, sprouts, vegetable raita, Spinach raita or a bowl of , fruits. This will satiate  frequent hunger pangs & help you from overeating or binge eating unhealthy items.

  • If you have already consumed a lot of calories during the day, make sure you cut some amount of calories during dinner. If you already feel full, it is okay to  skip dinner & instead consume a  glass of buttermilk or some low carb fat-free food, soups and/or salads.

  • Have infused water instead of normal water i.e. add cut fruits & greens into it.. This will help to boost your metabolism & keep you satiated for longer, thus helping to reduce calorie intake.

  • Instead of gifting laddus, barfis, & other calorie-laden sweets, consider gifting dry fruits or fruit baskets to your family. Dry fruits & nuts are a healthy substitute packed with antioxidants & essential nutrients. This thoughtful gesture promotes well-being while allowing your loved ones to enjoy a delicious & nutritious treat during Diwali.

  • Avoid eating anything 2 hours before you go to sleep.

  • Eating your snacks & sweets mindfully, without gobbling them down in a hurry, can save you from excess calorie intake. Conversing with friends while you are enjoying those sweets can also control the intake of the same.

  • Adopt methods like grilling, roasting, steaming instead of frying.

  • Instead of eating one entire portion of dessert, share it & thus, control the portion size.

  • Take a smaller plate as we end up eating more in a larger plate.

  • Plan to go for a walk after dinner.

 

EAT THIS INSTEAD OF THIS

SALAD / RAITA: Green salads with lemon dressing, vegetable raita, palak raita, sprout salads, plain yogurt.

Boondi raita, salads with mayonnaise & cheese dressings, extra added oil.  

STARTERS VEG: Mushroom/Paneer tikka, Paneer chilli, Steamed Momos.

NON VEG: Chicken / Fish tikka [no basa fish], Chicken/fish grilled or barbeque.  

VEG: Fried rolls, Samosas, Pakodas, ready to eat fried snacks.

NON VEG: Chicken nuggets, Spring rolls, fried snacks.

MAIN COURSE: Roti like Tandoori roti, Missi roti. 

VEG: Tava veg gravy, mushroom/ Paneer tikka masala, Veg jalfrezi/Kolhapuri.   

NON VEG: Chicken /Fish tikka Masala/ Handi / Saagwala.

MAIN COURSE: Butter naan, Roomali roti, Kulcha. 

VEG: Kofta curries, Moghlai preparations.  

NON VEG: Chicken /Fish made in rich gravies using coconut, butter, ghee.

DESSERT: 1 tbsp shrikhand/ phirni/kheer or 1 piece rasmalai/sandesh..

DESSERTS: Avoid  gulab jamun, jalebi or , laddoos

 

HEALTHY RECIPES 

 

FRUIT YOGURT PARFAIT:

INGREDIENTS:

Low-fat yogurt - 3/4 bowl

Apple - 3 tbsp chopped

Papaya - 3 tbsp.

Banana - 2 tbsp chopped

Walnuts -1tsp.

Strawberry / blueberry - 1 tsp crushed

METHOD:

 Step 1   Layer 1/3 cup of low-fat yogurt into the bottom of a tall glass.

 Step 2   Put a layer of chopped apple, banana, papaya alternately with yogurt until glasses are filled to the top.

 Step 3   Add crushed walnut on top & pour 1 tsp strawberry or blueberry crush.

 Step 4   Serve parfaits immediately to relish the yummy taste.

NUTRITIVE VALUE: PER SERVING

Energy (kcals) 155
Protein (g) 3
Fat (g) 3
Complex carbohydrate (g) 20

 

KHYATI'S HEALTH-O-METER SAYS: Papaya, apple & banana offer not only a luscious taste but are also a  rich source of vitamins such as beta-carotenes, vitamin C,  B vitamins, folate & pantothenic acid. It is also loaded with minerals such as  potassium, copper, & magnesium. r. Together, these nutrients protect the heart, helps to relieve constipation. Crushed walnuts add vitamin E & omega -3 fatty acids. Yogurt is also a rich  source of protein & calcium. 

 

BAKED WHEAT BRAN CUTLETS:

INGREDIENTS:

Wheat Bran - 1 tbsp

Wheat Flour - 1 tbsp

Cottage Cheese, grated - 1 tbsp

Spinach, chopped - ¼ bunch

Onion, finely chopped - ¼ medium

Ginger, finely chopped - 1 tsp

Garlic, finely chopped - 1 tsp

Green Chilli, finely chopped - 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Olive Oil - 1 tsp

METHOD:

 Step 1   Pre-heat oven.

 Step 2   Mix wheat bran, gram flour, cottage cheese, spinach, onion, green chilli, ginger, garlic & salt in a bowl.

 Step 3   Mash all these ingredients together. Shape the mixture into cutlets.

 Step 4   Heat oil in a pan. Bake cutlets till golden brown on both sides.

 Step 5   Serve hot.

NUTRITIVE VALUE: PER SERVING

Energy (kcals) 160
Protein (g) 5.1
Fat (g) 8.4
Complex carbohydrate (g) 17

 

KHYATI'S HEALTH-O-METER SAYS:

Wheat bran is an excellent source of fiber which helps lose weight, keeps blood glucose levels under control & improves gut health. Spinach is rich in potassium that helps in the proper functioning of muscles & nervous system. Cottage cheese or paneer provides protein & calcium important for the muscles & bones. This whole recipe is very nutrient-rich & healthy

 

HEALTHY PUNCH:

INGREDIENTS:

Bottle gourd peeled & chopped - 1 katori

Spinach, parboiled - 1/2 katori

Carrots, roughly chopped - 2 medium

Ginger -1-inch

Mint leaves - handful

Lemon juice - 1 tsp

Jeera powder - ½ tsp

Salt - to taste

METHOD:

 Step 1   Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth, adding 1 cup of water to make a fine puree.

 Step 2   Transfer to a decanter, add 1 or more cup of water to suit your desired consistency.

 Step 3   Adjust the salt levels to your taste & stir.

 Step 4   Serve the juice immediately. It is best to consume it early in the morning to help detoxification.

NUTRITIVE VALUE: PER SERVING

Energy (kcals) 40
Protein (g) -
Fat (g) -
Complex carbohydrate (g) 10

 

KHYATI'S HEALTH-O-METER SAYS:

Carrot, spinach, & bottle gourd juice is a nutrient-rich & healthy option. This juice is packed with detoxifying antioxidants, making it an excellent choice for cleansing the digestive tract & promoting overall well-being. Adding jeera powder, known for its antioxidant properties, can further aid in relieving digestive disorders. Enjoy this refreshing juice to feel revitalized throughout the day.

 

APPLE CUCUMBER JUICE:

INGREDIENTS:

Cucumber: 2

Green/red apple - 1

Salt - as per taste

Pepper powder - as per taste

Lemon juice - 1 tsp (optional)

METHOD:

 Step 1   Mix ingredients well & chill for half an hour before serving.

NUTRITIVE VALUE: PER SERVING

Energy (kcals) 75
Protein (g) -
Fat (g) -
Complex carbohydrate (g) 75

 

KHYATI'S HEALTH-O-METER SAYS:

This is a potent anti-aging & immunity-boosting juice enriched with vitamin A & quercetin. This juice effectively enhances collagen production, promoting healthy & vibrant skin. Packed with essential vitamins & minerals, it serves as an excellent cleanser & detoxifier. Moreover, it offers a range of other benefits, including constipation prevention, acne-fighting properties, regulation of blood pressure & cholesterol levels, hydration, & even appetite reduction.

In conclusion, adopting a mindful approach to eating during Diwali can help you maintain a healthy balance while still enjoying the festive treats. By incorporating nutritious foods, practicing portion control, & staying hydrated, you can make smart choices that support your well-being without compromising on the joy of the celebrations. Savor the flavors of Diwali in a way that promotes both physical & mental wellness. Wishing you a happy & healthy Diwali!


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