Staying Healthy During Festivals

Hi friends, happy Friday!

I am sure everything is going alright and you are smashing the goals you set for yourself, for 2021…it’s almost the year-end! I know there still are two more months to go but the way the time flies by, is crazy and we will be there before we even know it.

But right now, the festive season is upon us and we get to be merry and give this year a grand farewell.

Today’s post was supposed to be the part 2 of the antioxidants post that I did last Friday. However, when many people asked for help with festive eating on DMs and Instagram, I had to put antioxidants aside for next week…and press the emergency button on festive eating. They needed help and I guess, many others do too. I am available on Instagram here, by the way:

It is funny how we stick to a routine for the whole year and give in to the festive-grind a little too much…and start back where we were at New Year’s. Only with added guilt and stress. Not healthy. Neither is giving up completely nor the guilt.

Truth be told, I don’t understand it. What is the issue here? Why do we need to even worry about this festival season? Ideally, it’s just another part of the year where we still need to practice mindful eating and staying active. That’s a life-long habit…it is supposed to be! Just because I ate sweets a few times won’t make my abs disappear suddenly…or increase my sugar levels permanently. The keyword here is few times.

And mindful eating sails us through any sort of days- festival, travelling or illness, it doesn’t matter.

Mindful eating lets us enjoy whatever we want to enjoy and being mindful also lets us be flexible. Just like a good diet/health plan should be – flexible and sustainable.

I have two questions for anyone with the same fear/dilemma:

  • Isn’t your health plan sustainable? Any good diet-plan should be sustainable and enjoyable
  • Second, would you be partying, eating sweets/delicacies starting from breakfast and late into night? For many days?

If the answer to first question is yes and the answer to second is no, I don’t see a problem. A couple of sweets, some heavy meals and some late-night partying, would not ruin it for us (and for anyone) provided we stayed on track, the rest of the year.

Good health is not a 21 days challenge or transformation. It is all about eating clean and balanced, day after day…it is about staying active and also about having no nutritional deficiencies as well as normal health parameters, including normal digestion.

Yes, if you have a particular goal in mind then you need to still be following your goal-plan but do know that 1-2 days of late nights and a few of festive meals won’t change it much. It is all about what you do the rest of the year!

However, having said all this, here are a few tips which would help you stay in control and on track with your goals:

  • Keep the days as normal as possible. Do not skip meals just because you are going to have a lavish dinner in night. You would end up over-eating, for sure
  • Keep the normal meals of your day heavy on veggies and include probiotics in it, to avoid unnecessary bloating and acidity. curd, curd-rice, whole grains, whole foods are great for the purpose
  • Do not leave the house hungry, have something light before you leave
  • Keep drinking water when you are out. I am sure washroom would be accessible wherever you are. In fact, the extra trips to washroom might earn your extra NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
  • Skip mocktails and sugary beverages. This itself would help tremendously. Take a buttermilk if eating out at a restaurant. Water is always available everywhere any which ways
  • Moderate your food consumption, stick to small quantities and split your dessert with someone
  • Enjoy the food and chew slowly…feel the flavors
  • In fact, it would be a great idea to stick to only the festival-specific food and sweets. What is the point of gobbling up all the food in one go if it is available through the year easily e.g. bhakerwadi, chakli, cookies, chocolates etc
  • Pick up some salad by default. Make sure you fill 25-30% of your plate with fresh veggies. However, be careful with the dressings such as mayo etc
  • Most people serve dry fruits today, along with sweets. Swap some for sweets and cookies. Ditto with fresh fruits, if available

Let us remember that in festive times, what matters most is the festive vibe. Celebrating the festival with family and friends is such a fresh breath of air! Let it recharge us, take a much-needed pause, look around, enjoy the beauty and decorations everywhere… and stay surrounded with our loved ones and enjoy. Vibe high!

Also, let us not feel bad when someone tries to pressurize us into eating when we don’t want to and we say a firm NO…and when people try to make us feel guilty about picking up only half of that sweet. Let us not mock someone who is clearly trying to stay on-track. Let us not equate love to force-feeding and let us focus on the true traditions of the festival, the true sentiments behind it all.

Happy Deepawali in advance, my friends. Till next Friday,

Love, Health & Peace