Fasting and feasting during Navratri

Fasting and feasting during Navratri
Fasting and feasting during Navratra (Getty Images)
When festivity is in the air, you can just feel it. Navratri being the most popular festival, it’s that time of the year when you just want to let loose and have a lot of fun. 

At the same time, it is also the festival when faith and fasting take precedence. People all over the world celebrate Navratri, some for religious reasons and some looking to cut back on unwanted calories and lose weight with the dancing moves.Whatever be the reason, it’s absolutely essential that fasting, through all the nine days, be done in a healthy manner while making sure you are energised throughout the day . At the same time, you don’t want to binge on all the fatty foods and regret gaining weight with the weighing scale tipping to the wrong side.We tell you how to stay away from those kachoris and pakodas, and fast the healthy way: Fasting can be a little tedious especially for your stomach. Long gaps between meals could lead to acidity and you may end up ruining your metabolism. Eat small meals. Never starve yourself.Always carry some dry fruits for your mid-meal snacks. This will help maintain blood glucose levels and prevent you from feeling low. The key is to create a balance. Do not deprive yourself of the nutrition that you need. Table salt is derived from sea water and chemically processed while rock salt or sendha namak is a pure form of salt that is not chemically processed at all and hence much healthier. It is rich in potassium and very helpful in digestion, relieving gas and soothing heart burns.
Sabudana is a pure source of carbohydrates and doesn’t fail to give that much-needed energy boost during fasts.Combine them with potatoes and other fibrous vegetables like spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum, bottle guard, etc.Also try to bake, roast or grill vegetables and sabudana tikkis instead of deep-frying them. Consuming sabudana in the form of khichdi or kheer is also a good idea. 

Amaranth or rajgira is the best protein source you can include during fasting. Make amaranth porridge with milk or cook it as namkeen dalia with lots of vegetables instead of gorging on rajgira pooris. 

Buckwheat or kuttu flour is full of carbohydrates (70-75%) and protein (2025%). Use it to make chapattis. Kuttu helps in curbing appetite, controlling blood sugar and facilitating digestion. It is also an excellent substitute for wheat, rye barley and oats apart from being a huge source of fibre, protein, iron and magnesium. 

Samak rice is one of the most popular fasting foods. It is not a cereal but a fruit that is grown from the seeds of grass (Echinochloa Colonum). It is also called jungle rice and provides the nourishment and energy that rice does. It contains 169 calories per 174 gm and is very easy to digest. It is almost the same as rice in taste and texture and a rich source of minerals and vitamins. 

During Navratri, people usually avoid foods that generate a lot of heat in the body . Hence, you can ditch onion and garlic during fasts. At the same time, opt for cooling foods like curd; it also keeps you fresh. You can always add your favourite toppings like fruits and flaxseeds to your bowl of curd to make it more filling. Eating fruit salads can actually help you curb your cravings. Fruits contain healthy sugar fructose that fuels your metabolism. 

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water. It’s a miracle fluid that keeps you going. Also drink a lot of fluids like milk, green tea, coconut water, lemon water, buttermilk and fresh juices. These help you cleanse your toxins. 


Navratri fasts occur twice a year, every time during change of season, from winter to summer and second time when the chill starts to set in. During these periods, your immunity is low and you are often advised to take a light, nutritious meal. This is one of the reasons you abstain from meat, alcohol, grains, table salt because all these foods are harde to digest. Moreover, fasting enables you to indulge in the practice of cleansing and purifying your body from within.