Recipes for Fitness-Inspired Diwali

Diwali comes every year, with its share of emotions- excitement, anticipation, joy……guilt? Yes, believe it or not, guilt is a common emotion that we face during and post-Diwali! Why are we surprised that a joyous occasion such as Diwali can bring such a strong sense of guilt within us? Looking at the pattern of hedonistic celebration that we undertake during this festival, it is natural to feel repercussive thoughts. Especially when it comes to our goals towards health! All the excess of fried, sugar-and-fat-laced food pushes our dietary goals to a toss, with most of us feeling helpless and guilty, when the festivities get over.

A proper diet is a key to solve this- but hey, isn’t that defeating the purpose of festivities? Aren’t festivities all about celebrating and letting loose? Yet, should that come at the cost of our health? NO- we can strike a balance and move forward to better health and life.

Be sensible about your plans

While we are advising this just for Diwali, you should essentially keep a mindful watch over what you eat 365 days a year. Weight management is smart work, rather than hard work- where a calculated approach towards what you eat is required. Food swaps are a smart way to go about it. Food swaps are mindful ways through which you can practice balanced eating, while not skimping on the things you love. Here, we don’t ask you to cancel your favourite food- but swap it with healthier alternatives. Believe me, there is always a healthier alternative to whatever you eat. These don’t necessarily mean killing off your taste buds or compromising on the food that you love- it is simply picking up a smarter alternative.    

You can start small- Instead of fried food, opt for steamed or shallow-friend food, which is good in taste, as well as health. Be vigilant about your preferred snacks-fried proteins are better than fried carbs. The concept of pre-gaming also helps- have a big portion of salad before any rich meal. Your choice of beverage also plays an important role here- switch your ordinary sugar-filled beverage with a glass of salted lemon water, or maybe even a cup of green tea. Cutting down sugar is an integral part of eating mindful, especially during Diwali. Here are a further few swaps that you can opt for:

• Ice creams, soufflés, fruit creams and gelatine should get opted as a preferred snack. Filling and healthy, these are mind-blowing snack options, perfect for non-vegetarians. These melt in your mouth goodies are perfect for any season- but be careful! Choose healthy variants and remember moderation is key, as overdoing these goodies are detrimental.

•For hot beverages, hot cocoa, green tea, lemon tea with spiced salt are your best way to go. While hot cocoa might be a surprising addition, it’s healthy if losing Diwali calories is what you want. Amongst these, green tea is an elixir, as it is loaded with great antioxidants, which will bring in good health by preventing various diseases.

Some healthy snacks that you can opt for:

1. Baked Ragi Chakli

Whenever Diwali comes in mind, Chakli or murukku is the first thing that you visualize. It is one Diwali staple that we all cannot get enough of. Crispy and coiled, this savoury snack is usually deep-fried and made with besan, but you ditch that for a baked version in Ragi. It is healthy and gluten-free, perfect for your health!

2. Baked Namak Para

Namak Para- how can we not love them? Our best gossip-session companion, we love consuming these ribbon-like savouries while engaged in a conversation. Namak para is traditionally made by frying a special maida dough seasoned by ajwain seeds. Skip the old tradition and instead of frying, bake the snack. Baking helps cut off calories that are often associated with frying.

3. Ragi Coconut Ladoo

Diwali without ladoos is an impossible and unthinkable proposition- this harmless sweet is a staple in this festival of light. Besan, motichoor, til, coconut- the variety is endless. Here we would suggest coconut- owing to its fibre-rich nature. Upgrade from your regular coconut ladoos to a protein-laden treat. Combine the goodness of Ragi, peanuts and coconut, into a beautiful ball of mithai.  Sweeten it by jaggery, this is rich with antioxidants and a much healthier alternative of refined sugar.

4. Almond Pearls

Dry fruits are an important yet interesting staple in Diwali. Gifting dry fruits in Diwali is one of the biggest traditions, which symbolises prosperity and goodwill. So, churn those gifts into something delicious and healthy, with almond pearls. For a sugary spin, dip them in liquid jaggery.  For savoury, coat it with almond oil and spices and bake it. This dry fruit snack would only require a few minutes to prepare and is sure to impress each time. 

5. Poha Chivda

Now, let us move towards the king of snacks- the simple yet nutritious Poha Chivda. Poha Chivda is another namkeen staple made in almost every Indian household during Diwali. The best part of this scrumptious snack is the minimal amount of oil used in it- all the diet aficionados can pile this up in ample amount, without having your diet plan ruined. You can spice it up, with your customization- trust us, it will still taste great.

Keep the above tips in mind and get rid of the guilt, in no time!

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