The party with a plan
We love Rujuta Diwekar for never saying, don't eat. Here, she charts for all you party hoppers and foodies planning to pig out this festive season, a plan that places coconut, nutmeg and jaggery on a pedestal
It's the season to binge and let no one tell you otherwise! Nutritionist and health advocate Rujuta Diwekar says, because eating is a social act, it brings people together. "Love, joy and laughter are shared over a meal, grudges are forgotten and bonds renewed. It also reconnects us to our roots, culture and tradition. A person who leads a disciplined life through the year, knows that festivals and occasional indulgences are not a hindrance but an intrinsic part of a meaningful life."
Diwekar suggests you start with a change in mindset, focussing on building long-term healthy habits rather than figuring a quick fix to slip into an LBD. And don't be guilty about a meal if it has led to a good conversation, rapturous laughter or closing a business deal. "The key is to take life one mouthful at a time and relish it. Eat with an open heart and mind and stop when you are still a little hungry. The best way to train the mind is to pay attention to what you are eating, irrespective of the time of the year," she says. Because she doesn't see being healthy and eating at loggerheads, she says it is all about being smart with choices during the festive season.
Don't overdo end-of-the-year workouts
Diwekar says this is the one time in the year when you must not over-exercise. "A strenuous workout before a party will only make you look bloated and bigger than you actually are. Plan your high intensity workouts at least 36 to 48 hours prior to party time," she adds. Another important aspect to bear in mind is that, "the excesses of a night cannot be burned on the treadmill the next morning. Instead, the morning after a late night, wake up to soaked raisins and do some light stretches or yoga."
Pick food with these ingredients for year-end festivities
Coconut: It has essential fatty acids that keep your digestion smooth, sugars stable and allow for better assimilation of fat soluble vitamins like A, E, K, D.
How to consume: As nariyal pani, or in the form of a curry, sabzi, or as chutney. Don't forget to try the Goan nevri, a homemade Christmas sweet packed with nariyal and jaggery.
Raisins: They are useful for their vitamin B and iron.
How to consume: Forget caffeine, nothing helps you get going like soaked raisins do first thing in the morning. They will put the digestion back on track and even prepare it for an onslaught of excess. In fact, this was one of the super-star strategies of our 12-week fitness project. Women who started their day with soaked raisins and kesar reported a 65 per cent reduction in PMS/period pain. It even helped them have better skin. Its many brilliant properties make raisins an integral part of the Christmas cake as well.
Nutmeg: It improves sleep quality and boosts immunity. This is your silent, no-side effects sleeping pill this party season. I pick it as the diet trend of the new year.
How to consume: You can have it as a night cap, added to milk with some jaggery and haldi. This is specially recommended if you have had a few crazy nightouts and are unable to get out of bed on time or clear your bowels completely. Notice that this is also an ingredient in traditional puddings and cakes.
Methi dana: It is nutrient-rich and known to keep hormones in a state of balance.
How to consume: Have it as a laddoo mid-morning if you know lunch will be delayed or around 6 pm, if you know that dinner won't be served on time. This will help you stay away from over-eating and the dullness that comes with late meals. It can also be used as a tadka on pumpkin sabzi or as a seasoning with a traditional pumpkin soup—perfect for the cool, holiday season.
Want to turn out looking svelte for a party? Diwekar asks you to try five Suryanamaskars before you get ready.
Add this on
1 Jaggery and ghee post lunch or dinner if you are feeling dull and slow.
2 A dot of ghee on the soles of your feet at bedtime to aid recovery and reduce acidity and bloating, allowing you to sleep well.
3 Focus on water and avoid colas and juices. In fact, don't forget to drink water between every two drinks.
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