By Yasmin Karachiwala, Well-known Fitness and Celebrity Master Instructor
For each of us the festive season has a different meaning, and there are different aspects to look forward to. However, there is one thing that’s common across cities, cultures and families – and this is the abundance of delicious food. Festivals are a prime time to indulge in decadent food – sweet or savoury, and it is during this time most of us throw caution to the wind, and in several cases over binge. With the festive season here, and festivities fully abuzz, be sure to follow these tips to stay fit and healthy even during the celebrations:
- Replace typical festive snacks with healthy alternatives like Almonds!
Traditionally any festive spread includes indulgent food and friend snack, most of which aren’t known to be healthy. Think samosas, shakkarpara, pooris, chips, chakli – most of these definitely feature during the festivities. To avoid snacking on oily and fried food, my first tip is to replace them with healthier alternatives like Almonds. Almonds make for a tasty snack, which will also add positively to your health. Almonds provide energy and will keep you active through the festivities. Besides this almonds are known to have satiating properties, which will help keep you full in between meals. So while shopping for your snacks, be sure to add almonds to the cart to enjoy a healthier festive season. When it comes to eating them, you could choose to consume them plain, salted, roasted or even flavoured. Alternately if you like experimenting, try making a batch of Rasam Spiked Almonds or Channa Masala Almonds by mixing your flavours to create healthy, and yet tasty snacks which your guests and you can easily munch on.
- Dark Chocolate for dessert!
Any festival is incomplete without sweet – homemade or otherwise, sweet sugar laden dishes are a staple during the festivities. My tip here is, instead of adding typical desserts like barfi or gulab jamun, opt for unconventional forms of sweet like dark chocolate. Dark chocolate, generally contains less sugar than milk chocolate and is also a rich source of antioxidants and minerals. However, although dark chocolate is a good alternative to sweets, moderation is the key. When you have the craving, you can indulge a little. Besides this, there are several ways in which you can dark chocolate in your diet, ensuring your cravings are satisfied but in moderation: You can grate it over your fruit salads, giving it a bitter-sweet taste or even melt the dark chocolate over a saucepan and dip roasted almonds/ cut fruits like strawberries into it, to snack on when hunger strikes.
- Just grill it!
Deep frying food usually saturates all the nutrients they contain and while the end result might be tasty but overall they aren’t the healthy choice. When any food is fried, it absorbs a lot of fat and ends up becoming a high calorie food. Over a period of time, this can cause unhealthy weight gain as well. To make sure your festive food is delicious yet healthy, my tip is – instead of frying, opt for grilling food. For instance you can make grilled vegetable kebabs and stuff it in paneer or your pick of vegetables such as carrots, beans, onions, capsicums, etc. Add some spices along with it and you will definitely not end up feeling guilty about your choice. Grilling is better as the resultant food is low in calorie than fried foods and most importantly it makes sure the nutrient content in the food is intact.
Working out and maintaining a healthy diet are two sides of the same coin. While you are trying to avoid typical festive snacks with healthy alternatives, also try to include some basic forms of workout into your routine. As most of you might be wary of going to a gym, you can do some body weight workouts in the comfort of your home. Some of the body weight workouts include squats, push-ups, lunges, crunches and planks – the best part is you don’t require any equipment! Try incorporating any form of workout in your daily routine for at least 30-45 min daily.