How To Cheat Eat This Festive Season
If festivals were nestled in a transparent glass bottle, with everything that kindles joy packed to it, it would be bright with the best food in the world.
Festivals bring the community together, they foster pride in one’s culture, they stimulate the need to share what we hold as our own from when we were kids. Apart from the merry making and family time, festivals are infamous for the great (but also indulgent) food that comes along them. It’s a shame that such a positive time of year can also elicit feelings of guilt.
But it doesn’t have to be so. It takes just a few steps of reverse work to ensure you don’t step a few months behind in your efforts with staying fit with exercise and self-care!
- Don’t feast on the treats just because there are excesses lying around the house, save your cheat meals for fresh mithai and savouries that are part of the main celebrations. It’s the periodic eating through the day that causes damage. Pick and choose your feast times, not days!
- When parties run late, pick your munchies wisely. Roasted makhana, rice puffs, nuts, dark chocolate, even salad sticks with hummus and no caffeine teas (chamomile, tulsi) can help you ride over late night hunger pangs and cravings.
- Precede cheat days with a little bit of food planning. Plan your day’s meals differently during festival days. Lunches and dinners do not have to be big meals. Spike your day with small meals (maybe even several during the day). Listing some examples for meals when you know cheats are inevitable:
- 2-3 egg whites for breakfast, a bowl of sautéed greens and veggies with sesame seeds, walnuts and a hint of sour cream and a slice of whole wheat bread for lunch, buttermilk and dark chocolate for a snack and then a full blown cheat for dinner.
- A smoothie for breakfast (fruit and yoghurt with a tablespoon of oats), a rice bowl where the hero is vegetables, pesto, some salsa, 3-4 roasted almonds and just a ¼ cup rice all combined together with heat for lunch, lime juice with a tsp of honey and a few nuts for a mid-meal and then cheat your heart out for dinner
- Yoghurt, buttermilk, 1 cup haldi milk, a slice of whole wheat bread and 1 tsp butter, a fruit, 2 tbsps oats with a tsp of jaggery and ½ cup almond milk and 10 almonds. Have this as a snack through the day, no main meals. The trick is to have these small meals just before you get hungry and then a full blown cheat for dinner.
- Strike out sugar from your caffeinated drinks for the entire month of celebrations, you make up a little for the quota of sugar you will overshoot!
- Keep your digestion smooth in the month of festivities, with triphala juice, 2 tsps olive oil mixed with the juice of 1 lemon daily before bed, cold pressed green juice, soaked prunes and regulating the salt in your diet are few simple steps that will help.
- Make sure you exercise regularly.
Eat without guilt, eat without remorse. Life is not just about calories in and calories out. It’s more about raising our happiness quotient!
Anupama Menon is a nutritionist and food coach based in Mumbai and Bangalore offering sustainable nutritional plans with 3 chEATs per week.
To book an appointment call 9902060225 or follow her on Instagram here.