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Navratri - The Festival Of Victory Over Evil

10 Oct 2015

Navratri is one of the main festivals celebrated all over India worshipping Goddess Durga in her various nine powerful manifestations throughout the nine days of the festival. Hindus usually fast for these nine days & worship the Goddess with great devotion & reverence.

Fasting During Navratri Festival

Navratri is an auspicious occasion for Hindu people, where all the devotees worship "Shakti" for nine days. During this holy period, men and women continue fasting to express their devotion and love towards Goddess Durga. Starting from the first day, it is carried on through the seventh or eighth day of Navratri, whereas, the most pious individuals break Navratri fast on the ninth day or 'Navami'. For the followers, who partake in partial Navratri vrat, the ritual allows them to breakfast after evening puja. In these nine days, the worshippers do not consume any non-vegetarian food such as meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic or alcohol or dishes made with common salt or any kind of spice. Many people survive on milk, fruits and fruit juices for the entire length of fasting. Apart from those, people also indulge in tea, coffee, milk and milk products, dry fruits, sago and potato cooked with rock salt at the time of partial fasting. Navratri also exerts stricture on appropriate behavior and actions for inner peace, which is particularly aided with a strict vegetarian diet.:-


Avoid feasting during your fasting for Navratri !!!

During the Navratri Fast:

According to Hindu beliefs, fasting purifies the heart and soul of a person. Apart from spiritual benefits, fasting is also good for the health. It detoxifies the body, improves digestive system, controls blood sugar levels and most importantly, aids weight loss!

When you are fasting, the capacity of your stomach to take excessive food lowers down. Moreover, eating too much than required can make you feel lazy and tired. So, make sure you do not feast on food but eat them in required proportions while fasting.

The following are few essential diet tips which you can follow to remain healthy & going during your fasting period :

  • Eat after every 3 hours even on fasts. Small meals at regular intervals keep the metabolism intact.

  • Have more yogurt, smoothies and fruits etc which will fill you up and maintain the required fluid level in the body.

  • Make boiled aloo chat with green chutney, curd and boiled aloo. Add some rock salt and black pepper.

  • Replace kheer with mixed fruit curd.

  • Instead of making kuttu pakodas and puri make kuttu ki roti.

  • Those who have the patience and the energy can try making idlis and dosas from sama.

  • Drink milk twice a day but instead of whole milk replace it with skimmed milk. If you are making kheer then use skimmed milk only.

  • Drink coconut water, lemonade, whenever you feel like. If you are herbal tea fan then go ahead with that as well.

  • Instead of making potatoes bhaji all the time make pumpkin and ghia/ lauki subji (bottle guard).

  • Eat veggies like pumpkin and dudhi (bottle guard) in different form like soups to fill you up with a fewer calories.

  • Find a partner who is ready to fast with you. This helps in maintaining a control on your guilt trip.

  • If you feel horribly hungry then attack on sweets or pakodas but take it in a moderate amount.

  • Above tips will reduce your calories intake to a bigger amount and you are bound to reduce weight too without affecting the metabolism.

  • Eat a lot of fruits like apples, papayas, bananas or pomegranates.

  • Nuts soaked overnight are great for your body.

  • Drink a lot of water and fruit or vegetable juices throughout the day. Coconut juice is also a great option.

Unhealthy Foods had during Fasting Healthy Foods which can be substituted for the unhealthy ones
Fried Foods made of potato like chips, tikkies, pakodas. Sweet potato dishes like tikkis, pattice using mashed sweet potato & less oil.
Calorie rich kheer, sheera made of rajgira or sago. Mixed Fruits with curd/ yoghurt
Sago khichdi Sama/ varai khichdi with veggies
Potato subji Dudhi/ pumpkin subji
Peanut curry/ amti Tomato & curd based curries/ gravies
Coconut/peanut/ cashew chikkis

Dry fruits chikki (no cashew, only almonds, pista, chana),

Rajgira chikki

Tapioca/banana chips Roasted Makhana Chivda
Excess of Tea/ Coffee Flavoured badaam, masala milk, buttermilk, unstrained veg juices
Puris & Pakodas Rotis & parathas made of rajgira & buckwheat flour


Stay energized for garba

Eating an hour before garba will not make you feel heavy during the dance and will also ensure that you are not low on energy. It is important to make sure that you create a balance. Have a combination of proteins and carbohydrates to keep you going for long. You can opt for some dry fruit milkshake or a buckwheat pancake with some cottage cheese cubes.

Do not starve for a long time

Fasting has been practiced since ages for religious purposes and sometimes even as a weight loss tool.  But one cannot ignore that it's not a usual lifestyle habit and may have long-term adverse effects on health. Most of the experts agree that fasting is not healthy if done in a very restrictive manner for a long time. It results in fluid loss and lowers the metabolic rate of the body. People who do not focus on a balanced diet otherwise, and choose to fast for more than a day may compromise immunity and suffer from dehydration and vitamin-mineral deficiencies.

Ill-effects of not fasting properly:
Many people who fast also go to play garba or dandiya in the evenings. Since this requires stamina and energy, it is vital that you fast in a proper manner in order to enjoy the festivities and not strain your body's health. Some of the ill-effects of not fasting properly are:

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Fainting due to drop in blood sugar level

  • Unable to sleep properly

  • Lack of stamina

  • Tiredness

"What matters is not so much what you eat during Navratri, but the thought behind your actions is what counts the most."


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