Navratri is celebrated twice in a year to worship nine different avatars of Goddess Durga during the nine-day festival. Many people also observe nine days of fasting.
Why should you fast during Navratri?
According to Ayurveda, fasting rekindles the digestive fire. An increase in the digestive fire burns the toxins in the body. When the toxins are flushed out of the body, it loses dullness and lethargy. As a result, all the cells of the body are rejuvenated. Fasting, therefore, is an effective therapy to cleanse our body. When the body is cleansed, the mind becomes calmer and more peaceful because of the deep connection between the body and mind.
The essence of fasting is also to include more diversity in your meals, which we normally miss out on.
Here is a list of meals for a healthy Navratri fasting:
1. Roasted Makhana and Peanuts
2. Sabudana Khichdi or Tikki
3. Raw Banana Tikki or Raw Banana Flour Chilla/Parantha
4. Samak Tikki or Khichdi
5. Makhana Kheer or Samak Kheer
6. Grilled Paneer or Panner-Aloo Tikki
7. Puri/Parantha/Dosa made out of kuttu or rajgira
8. Samak- Pumpkin Muthiya
9. Pumpkin- Amaranth Chilla
10. Mid-meals like soaked and pealed dry fruits, Shrikhand. Fruits like Banana, Apple, Custard Apple, Singhada, Grapes, Papaya
Beverages like Curd, Buttermilk, Shikanji, Coconut Water
11. Grilled sweet-potato
12. Arbi ki Sabzi or Makhana Sabzi
13. Kuttu pakoda or Kuttu Parantha
14. Sweets like coconut laddo, sandesh
We shall be sharing recipes for some of these shortly
Here are some useful tips for fasting during Navratri :
1. Please do not equate fasting with weight-loss.Treat fasting as an opportunity to calm and detox your body. All the good results will eventually follow
2. Stick to a routine. Start your day early by 6:30 am -7 am and sleep by 10 pm - 11pm.The initial days of fasting could lead to lethargy and headache, but this could be due to release of toxins as a process of detoxification. In case any condition worsens or stays for longer than normal, it is recommended to discontinue fasting
3. Make sure to include yoga, meditation and light exercises as a part of routine
4. Do not sleep for more than 30 minutes in afternoon
5. Do not starve. Make sure to include smaller meals. The purpose of fasting is to include diversity in diet and not to make it starve or binge at one time
6. Maker sure to keep yourself hydrated
7. Avoid any negative media and content. Fasting is not only a detox of body, it is also an opportunity to detox mind and soul. You may want to take a call to avoid a prolonged or unnecessary exposure to media, specifically the one that is useless/negative
Disclaimer : Fasting is not recommended for certain people or conditions. Please consult your medical practitioner before starting fasting. The meals recommended are a general advice, please modify as per your region, culture and health condition.