The slanting rays of the sun speak of the change in season. It is the end of the rainy season and winter is waiting for us. There is something in the air to tell you that the festivals are here! Yes, today is the first day of the Navratras. Festivals are for bonding with family, following traditions and creating memories.
The nine days of Navratras are about ‘feasting’ and ‘fasting’. The ritual is followed twice a year. Why is it so? Once is in March and the second is in September/October. According to Ayurveda this is a time to change the diet with the change of the season.
In the past when fasts were observed only fruits, roots, tubers and special grains were allowed. The whole idea was to give a rest to the digestive system and to the body to prepare for the forthcoming seasons of autumn and spring.
Over time the real reason for observing these fasts was lost and commercialisation transformed fasting into a business opportunity. Today, it is more of a feasting. We indulge in varied food options specially created for fasts. These are heavy, rich and empty. This fasting food lacks nutritional value. The wrong cooking methods might deplete whatever value the natural products might have. Rituals should be followed mindfully otherwise the objective is lost. Our sages had based these traditions on sound scientific principles.
Plan your meals judiciously. Include fruits, vegetables and milk based food. Avoid fried, sugary stuff, tea and coffee. Drink fruit juices and buttermilk. Alter the methods of cooking by only boiling and steaming. Following these simple rules will help you while fasting and also be beneficial in the long run.