Festivals ring in the cheer and positivity and put us all in a good mood. The Dusshera-Diwali festival season is just about ending. This year it was more special as most of us could only celebrate at home and not really entertain people or socialize as much as we wanted. Perhaps, due to this aspect, the one thing that many people resorted to was to experiment with various dishes at home. Other than that, catching up on some entertainment on the OTT platforms with some good movies and shows were the bright spots.
The downside of such festive seasons is that we tend to ignore the health and let down our hair just slightly. It is quite ok as long as we have not overindulged to the extent of falling sick. However, with most Indian cuisine made up of various masala, ghee or oil, a lot of sugar or jaggery in the multiple sweets, and so on, it is important to reboot our health. While we may feel the withdrawal symptoms for a few days, we need to make an effort to ensure we get back to the healthy diet and exercise that got ignored during the festive time.
It is good to do one round of cleanup in your kitchen, refrigerator, and pantry. Discard any stale food and give out good leftover food, including sweets and savouries, to someone who can use it. Now plan the week’s diet as per your health conditions; if you have diabetes, make sure that you do not eat sweets or sugar in any form. If you have hypertension, keep a check on the salt, and so on.
It is a good idea to take out your home check meters, run a random sugar check, and keep a watch on the blood pressure for a week or so, maybe thrice daily, to see that the readings are within acceptable limits. These should be noted down, and you may share it with your family physician and consult if you find that the readings are causing concern.
It is important to find the willpower to go on a strict healthy diet, and it is to help us do this that we need to hand out the leftover sweets, etc. Along with this, avoid processed foods, foods with preservatives, foods made using refined flour, fried foods, too much ghee, etc. Those with hypertension can look at switching to Sendha Namak instead of the regular salt. It is also good to keep a watch on beverages like tea, coffee, and even alcohol if you were consuming the same during the festival. The same goes even for canned fruit juices, resorting to eating fresh foods like salads, fresh seasonal fruit juices, and warm and fresh food. It being winter, you could start preparing some soups, broths, and so on.
If you miss the festive snacking, turn to fruit chats, nuts, seeds, sprouts, etc. For beverages, you could try green or ginger tea or even herbal tea. Even having the medicinal Kaada for a few days is a good idea. Along with all this, it is important to ensure good hydration by drinking a minimum of 1 Lt of water and adding other fluids. This is more important as in winter we tend to drink less water.
Some of the things you could now bring into your pantry are oats, ragi or millets, all kinds of fruits and nuts, whole wheat flour and koottu atta, brown rice, pulses, etc. Milk and curd should be taken regularly, and you could make smoothies from fresh fruits as a healthy breakfast option.
Along with the cleanup and the strict diet, please ensure that you also get back to exercising regularly. Even if it is an indoor exercise like Yoga, Zumba, cycling, running on the spot, or just stretching exercises at a designated time, please ensure you get back in the groove. Along with all this, you also need to pay attention to your body and make necessary changes for the winter, like using a moisturizer or wearing warm clothes. Just as a treat, while you are still catching up on the multiple entertainment options, you may look at fat-free popcorn as a cheat snack option without feeling guilty about it!