Contributed by- Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist
Don’t we all love festive celebrations? With Christmas and new year’s approaching and the ongoing weddings, excitement is at it’s peak.
Winter is not just chilly winds and cold weather, it is also a season of celebrations and festivities. All of us eagerly wait for this time of the year as it means get togethers, new dresses, shopping sprees, gifts, attending myriad of weddings, christmas celebrations, unlimited buffet of foods and drinks. Festive and wedding season is a time of full on excitement, happiness, dance, music, colour, decoration, rituals, extravagance and temptations.
‘Big fat Indian weddings’ aptly defines our weddings; it not only captures the grandeur and excitement of our weddings but also those extra kilos and inches that add up during this season. Festive season is also a time of over indulgence and we end up regretting and feeling guilty for those extra calories. This festive season indulge yourself in the excitement of the festivities but not the calories. Below are some really smart and healthy ways to help you do it.
Tips to Eat healthy…without cutting on sweets and mouth watering traditional food
Sweets are an irreplaceable part of our celebrations!
The key to eating healthy is by making smart choices. A lot of people have queries about eating sweets and fried delicacies, so here are few basic guidelines to keep in mind.
- Curb those desserts pangs with options that are low in calories but big on flavours such as low calorie desserts.
- Replace sugar in sweets with jaggery, honey, dates and natural sweetener.
- For all home cooked sweets like kheer use double toned milk, natural sweeteners and low fat option.
- Instead of motichoor laddos, gulab jamuns you can have sweets like besan laddu, milk sweets, sponge rasgulla by squeezing the extra sugar syrup.
- Cut down on processed foods and switch to healthy options like fresh fruits, soups, salads and hummus dips
- Balance cooking by baking, grilling or steaming instead of deep frying.
- For finger snacks use an airfryer or sauté rather than deep frying.
- Stay away from super salty foods like pickles, papad, frozen products like cheesy balls.
- Sprouts, roasted chanas can be used as a snack instead of fried foods.
- Choose 1 meal dish like idli-sambhar, whole wheat pasta, stir fry veggies, soups, grilled sandwiches, grilled paneer tikka etc.
- Snack on fresh fruits, unsalted nuts and seeds and fresh dried fruits.
- Pasta, pizza, spaghetti can be tailor-made using wheat based cooked in red sauce topped with loads of veggies and grated with Parmesan cheese.
- Roasted dry fruits are the perfect all day healthy snack.
Do’s and don’ts for health-conscious people
- Stay hydrated: The thumb rule is to stay hydrated during festive season. Drink enough water which will help to flush out the toxins from the body and will also keep your tummy full.
- Control alcohol consumption: Wedding parties and get togethers also mean drinking and merry-making. One tends to indulge in binge drinking during such occasions which can be really unhealthy. Limit the number of drinks you take because each drink is accompanied with as many snacks hence adding additional calories.
- Say no to carbonated drinks: Try to avoid sugary mixers such as soft drink sodas, tonic water, canned juices rather opt for fresh juices and shakes.
- Pay attention to your snacks: Eat a bowl of fruit or some healthy snacks so that your appetite decreases during such parties. Sprouts, roasted chana can be used as a snack instead of fried foods. Snack on fresh fruits, unsalted nuts and seeds and fresh dried fruits.
- Brush your teeth before parties: Before stepping out for a party, brush your teeth. This is a magic tip that works wonder as you will not grab much at the party.
- Eat light snack before parties: Before leaving for a get together or party try to eat a light snack in order to curb your appetite. The snacking could be grilled veggies, salads, buttermilk, fresh lime, roasted makhana etc.
- Small serving size: Plan your serving size to avoid overeating. Small portions of dishes will help you avoid over-eating and also satisfy your taste buds.
- Detox yourself after the festive season: To get rid from bloating and the extra inches you have gained during the festive season go for a healthy detox diet. After the wedding and festive season, make sure that your diet is majorly fruit based and can include salads and green veggies.
What constitutes a healthy festive menu?
There are plenty of healthy options to include in your diet. One just have to be creative in selecting the ingredients. Here is a list of appetizing dishes that can be savoured with your loved ones this festive season. Choose your favourites!
Soups- A bowl of warm soup in winters is just heavenly. Options like mushroom baby corn soup, carrot onion soup, lemon coriander soup, tomato basil soup with baked croutons, broccoli soup, pumpkin soup, all time favourite tomato soup, chicken soup – are healthier and taste-packed foods.
Starters- Grilled tofu with veggies rubbed with lemon, raw banana kebabs with coriander chutney, oats dhokla with coconut chutney, wheat spaghetti loaded with veggies in red sauce, corn kebabs, spinach paneer pockets, multigrain bread pizza, masala cocktail oats idli, chicken tikkas, grilled chicken etc. – can add variety with health and taste to your starter platters.
Drinks- Avocado milk shake, gooseberry sherbet, pinacolada, beetroot pomegranate juice, grapefruit aqua, tender coconut shake, cup of warm tea or coffee – are healthier options that you should opt for this festive season.
Main course- Makhaana methi paneer sabzi, stuffed cherry tomatoes, millet stuffed peppers, zucchini lasagna, oats veggie pancake, pita pizza, roasted vegetable medley, baked sweet potato, lehsuni roti, stuffed tandoori roti, baked chicken, tandoori chicken, grilled chicken with green vegetables – are all healthier alternatives that do not compromise on taste.
Deserts- Apple kheer, dates roll, lauki cardomom kheer, fruit n nut ladoo, sooji ladoo, ragi ladoo, sugar free beetroot halwa, bread pudding, fruit parfait, chickpea fudge, banana ice cream, apricot soufflé are- fresh, healthy and yummy new dessert options.
Let the festive season only shower its love, joy and excitement on you. Indulge yourself in the festive celebrations and avoid unhealthy eating this winters.
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