Navaratri Special Dietary Guidelines

Navaratri Special Dietary Guidelines

By Manasi Joshi  on: 10 October 2018
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This year the auspicious festival of Navaratri starts today on 10th October and will continue till 18th October. Festive celebration take different forms like puja, dandiya etc. Like most Indian festivals, this is a celebration with colourful clothes, music, dance etc. Many people fast for these 9 days of the festival for religious reasons. Some eat foods that are (religiously) allowed during the fast. But they end up eating starchy, high fat & heavy to digest foods consistently for 9 days. This leads to Acidity, Heart burns & indigestion, etc. Some people eat raw foods or even liquids which turns out to be a very low calorie diet. They get fatigue, tiredness & feel lethargic.

Some people think intentionally opportunistic like "I am anyway going to keep fast for 9 days, so why not go on 'fruit diet' or 'raw foods diet' and lose weight?" And they lose weight with these 'crash Diets' during festive seasons. But as this cannot be a long term diet, the results are not sustainable. 

It must be carved in our minds that the purpose of these fasts is not to starve oneself, but to give rest to one's digestive tract. Once can notice that spicy food, pungent flavors like onions and garlic etc are forbidden during these days.  

Let us keep aside all diet related confusions for these days & talk about the healthy diet.

Healthy food choices:

Fruits, veggies like pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, cucumber etc.,

Dryfuits & nuts like almonds, walnuts, black raisins, dried figs, dates & peanuts etc.,

Milk (Cow's) & other milk products like curd, buttermilk buttermilk (???/ ???), paneer etc.,

Rajgira and Bhagar (in Marathi ??? / ????? ??????, in Hindi ???? ?? ????

Tips one should not forget:

1. Avoid fried foods.

2. Avoid sago (????????).

3. Instead of oil, use homemade cow's ghee (It is easy to digest compared to oils as it contains MCT). One can also use cold pressed Groundnut oil in limited portions.

4. Have 5-6 small frequent meals throughout the day. Avoid long gaps (more than 4 hours) between 2 meals. Not eating anything throughout the day is unhealthy. It leads to starvation & excessive muscle loss.

5. Stay hydrated. Drink 2-3 lit water per day.

6. Avoid sweet preparations, fruit juices, khoa. Replace sugar with jaggary (????/) or honey.

7. Avoid excess consumption of tea or coffee. (Not more than 2 cups per day- 1 cup =  125 ml). Instead go for green tea.

8. Portion control is a key.

9. Moderate intensity exercise is allowed during these days.

Healthy Diet can have:

1. 3-4 servings of fruits & veggies per day.

2. Handful of nuts & dryfruits per day.

3. 2-3 liters of water per day. One can add beverages in daily diet like: green tea, buttermilk (???/ ???), nimbu pani, milk etc.

4. 2-3 portions of Rajgira or Bhagar per day.

5. Groundnut oil or Ghee 2-3 tsp/day. (Measure melted ghee).


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Manasi Joshi

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M.Sc. Dietetics & Certified Diabetes Educator , Netherlands 

Manasi Joshi is a renowned freelance Dietitian & Diabetes educator from Pune, India with expertise in different streams in Dietetics such as Clinical Nutrition, Diabetes Management, Sports & Fitness Nutrition and Lifestyle Modification. She is not just a professional dietician, but herself is a foodie.  Therefore, she always aims at finding a golden middle of your health and treating your taste buds. Rather than current trends like crash diet, meal replacers, skipping meals etc., she firmly believes in healthy food habits and natural ways to optimize lifestyle. Hence, she typically advocates seasonal and indigenous food habits.In order to keep up with the pace of our busy schedules, Manasi has adapted to online diet consultation program. So, save your precious time by connecting with her on a single click and invest it in your favorite sport, or spend it with your family.Manasi has happy customers accross the globe (India, USA, Europe, & Australia etc.) Scientific approach to Manasi's consultation originates not only from  her attitude, but also from her active participation in research programs at different stages of her career. She is proficient in the field of clinical nutrition in versatile specializations such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac diseases, Liver diseases, Neurology, Nephrology & Critical Care. She also has rich experience in lifestyle related disorders and weight management.  During a community based nutritional research project conducted at KEM Hospital, Pune, in her role as a research assistant, she has done nutritional assessment & given dietary guidance and counseling to adolescent girls & boys, pregnant women & their families.
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