The only fast (vrat)  I somehow manage to survive during the year is ‘Karvachauth’. Did I spot my husband doing cartwheels? 😉 .
But this year, I am i-n-s-p-i-r-e-d.
To make use of the wonderful opportunity thrown up by the Navratras, the traditional Indian 9-day fasting period  . Not that Iam a very religious or ritualistic kind of a person, but even I can’t deny that if observed in its true spirit of  foregoing certain culinary pleasures , unhealthy cooking methods and one’s regular dietary intakes plus  NOT taking it as an opportunity to binge on fried foods, sweets, restaurant ‘navratra’ thalis and the likes- these 9-days can be beautifully used to re-focus on your diet and take corrective measures.The diet followed during the Navratras encourage you to practice

~Mindful eating practices
~Cooking -from-a-scratch
~Adapting to alternate grains & foods
~Avoiding /Limiting fats and using healthier cooking methods
~ Increasing intake of Raw Foods & Healthy Liquids (fruits & vegetables, nuts & seeds , water/coconut water/ herbal teas)
By partaking alternative sources of nutrition , supported by gentle exercising and some spiritual introspection (Ok, that’s my addition!) – the Navratras can also be god sent opportunity for restoring some mind-body-soul balance.
So, this Navratras, my plan is to cleanse, rejuvenate and restore the balance in the most important temple for me – my body and soul. ( Am convinced the Gods support me on that one!). I guess, its going to be a  Health Bootcamp of sorts , inspired by our gorgeous Indian traditions of abstinence and balanced living.
Since I will be regularly exercising , I need the fasting period to also help me  feel energetic. Here’s something I am using as guidelines for my personal 9-day Cleanse-Restore-Rejuvenate Program! The guidelines are credited to  Ishi Khosla , Clinical Nutrionist and Director, Whole Foods, in ‘Prevention’.
~EAT~
During Navratras, alternate grains are eaten & traditional staples like wheat,rice,pulses and most vegetables are prohibited and the fast is observed with altered eating practices ( One of the principles of healthy eating is bringing variety into your food)
  • Alternatives to regularly consumed foods are – Sago (Sabudana), Buckwheat (Kuttu), Water Chestnut (Singhara),Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus),Nuts,Seeds, Coconut,Popped Lotus Seeds (Makhana),Potatoes, Colocasia (Arbi), Special rice for fasting (Samak Chawal),Rock Salt,Fruits, Milk and Yogurt.
  • Abstain from consuming Eggs,Fish,Poultry,Meat, Garlic and Onions.
  • Alcohol is prohibited.
Guidelines for a healthy fast
  • Eat small portions but do not starve.
  • Include plenty of fluids, water,fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Include foods rich in micro nutrients,anti-oxidants and phytochemicals (disease fighting nutrients) – fruits and vegetables.
  • Include variety through alternate foods, cooked healthfully
  • Break your fast with Coconut Water/ Milk/Yogurt/Buttemilk/Vegetable or Fruit Juice/Soup/Fruits.
  • Don’t eat too much after breaking your fast.
As Ishi Khosla advises “Plan one major meal with alternate grains, prepared in minimal oil,which should ideally be had before sunset.Snack on milk, yogurt,fruits,nuts,seeds, dry fruits and coconut.Such a diet can help you drop kilos and boost energy!”
Suggested  Meal Plan for the Navratras
Morning                   : Milk, fruits,nuts (Almonds+Walnuts+Raisins)
Mid-Morning          : Green Tea/ Buttermilk/Coconut Water
Lunch                      : Yoghurt with fruits , salads
Late Afternoon      : Vegetables, Roti (Kuttu Atta/Singhara Atta/Chaulai) OR high-fibre rice
                                 (Samak Chawal)/Sago Khichri with Peanuts
Evening                  : Tea OR Tender Coconut water OR Fruit Smoothie,Coconut /
                                 Seeds   (Watermelon/Melon/Lotus/Snflower/Flaxseeds)
Dinner                    : Yoghurt + Vegetables OR Soup + Cottage Cheese Salad OR Milk + Fruit (1)
                                  Or Fresh Fruit Smoothie)
~PRAY~
Since religion and prayer practices are an individual choice , I would be revisiting my own personal connections with God .There are a million things to be grateful for and a million blessings to be sought for family , friends and also the not so privileged.
Talk to me when I knock at your door, lord! 🙂
~LOVE~

A high dose of loving for my body – with regular daily exercising, meditative practices and natural body care therapies 😉
The 9-day Workout Plan includes 30-45 minute sessions, 5 days a week,  alternating between
    Yoga
    Kickboxing practice at home
    Outdoor Running and
    Circuit-Cardio-Free weights at the Gym ( though I intend keeping this form a little light during
    the Navratras)

Meditation will be a daily practice.

One /Two sessions of Natural/Ayurvedic Body Care services. I guess a little healthful pampering is fine!
I see a lot of discipline, grocery sourcing, navratra recipe searching, juicing , flexing , soul talk ahead of me and hopefully a rejuvenated, glowing me at the end of it all ! 🙂
Are you keeping the Navratra fasts? Let me know, I need the enouragement! 🙂

Written by van@naturallylush

Welcome to Naturally Lush! Here's where wellness , mindful-curated living & chic healthy lifestyles come together. Join us on a thoughtful journey of exploration, discovery and experiences guiding a naturally lush life.

2 comments

  1. I am going to fast, now, after having read your wonderful post….

    god bless and help you attain all that you have set out to achieve…

    and yes, tks for prodding , me….:-)

    Like

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