Festivals and Indians always walk hand in hand! Methinks no nation has as many festivals, as we Indians do. There are festivals for every faith (Navratri, Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Parsi New Year etc.) as well as festivals for every state in India (Lohri, Onam, Ugadi, etc.). The more the merrier! Rich or poor; majority or minority; city slicker or rural resident… we look forward, with longing, to the celebration of our festivals.
Indians are an emotional race, and festivals are emotional crowd-pullers. They bring everyone together; with bonding taking place big time, strained relationships being mended, and where new relationships blossom. Then, of course, you have brand new clothes, visits to places of worship, firecrackers and surely, the glorious food. And every festival comes with its own special menu! Lip-smacking goodies are looked forward to longingly, delicious dishes swimming in ghee take priority, and how we relish them! And so, with food we come to the flip side of every festival. Be it sweets or savouries, we indulge in these specialities to the hilt, relishing them as if there is no tomorrow. And thus, healthy food and nutrition are thrown out of the window.
Throughout the year we stick to our exercise schedules, to our daily walks, jogs, treadmills and nutritional diets, making sacrifices to stay in good health and in healthy shape. But with the onset of the festival season, all this is forgotten. For, festivals render us unconscious to our health. The joy, the exuberance, the high spirits and cheer of the festive season, makes us forget discipline in our diet. So, out goes wellness and in comes illness!
For, all this overindulgence, this overeating of the sugar and oil-rich food of festivals, makes us susceptible to many an illness. A lot of carbohydrates enter our system and everything is converted to fat. And our problems begin with a host of illnesses that attack our system. You see, the human body cannot change fast. For months you train it to consume foods in moderation, to be exercised and disciplined, to eat nutritional foods, and along comes a festival and you subject that same very body to an overindulgence of wrong foods, rendering it into an almost shock mode. The body says, train me one way and I will follow. But you confuse it and lead it into a starvation mode.
That brings us to wellness. Because wellness resides in our minds and our hearts! These festivities bring us happiness and joy. They make us forget our grief and make us beings suffused with happiness. And naturally, happiness brings us strength, which in turn gives us energy. So, aim for healthy happiness. Indulge in a healthy diet during festivals, continuance of your exercise during a packed time-table of your festival, and good supplements – they will hold you in good stead, even after a festival is over. If you step a little out of line during a festival, good supplements can help you come back fast.
Well, we do not want to be a wet blanket and dampen your festive celebration. For there is a silver lining to the cloud we’ve shown you. This Diwali, consume your sweets, indulge in your meals, but do so in moderation. When your hand goes out for that third kaju katli, stop in mid-air and think of your midriff. When you serve yourself a second helping of that delicious biryani, visualize your arteries that will soon be clogged. Have a helping or two, have a sweet or two. Nothing more!
For a change, imagine Diwali with loads of fruits, instead of carbohydrates. Indulge in rich food, if you love it, but let it be fresh & properly cooked; not hyper cooked. We fry & fry and cook & cook our dishes, till all nutrients are lost. Let good cooking, and healthy cooking become part of every festival. So that you enter a festival healthy and fresh, and exit similarly, fresh and healthy! On a safer side, for your loss to be made up, you can add a healthy supplement.
Do not forget to keep checking your Wellness Score.
Let your festival motto be – Healthy food, healthy enjoyment, healthy festival! This festive season let us Stay Fit. Be Sharp.
This article is not to dampen your merriment but to make your festivities a healthy one.
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