In a few weeks it will be the festive time of year and many of us are busy preparing for Diwali and you may have many dinner parties planned. This makes it very easy to let go of your healthy eating habits, as you are eating out frequently and having too many treats. Some tempting Indian foods are high in sugar, fat or salt. And I know that they taste good, but if eaten frequently and in large portions are not good for your health.
As you remember, it is what you do consistently that matters most. And I’m sure that you don’t want to put on a few pounds or be feeling lethargic and suffering from indigestion too. So, if you want to stay healthy yet still enjoy the festivities, I share below some practical tips that you can easily introduce.
It’s important during these coming weeks to keep track of what you are eating without having to count calories. So, when you prepare your dinner plate, keep an eye on your portion sizes. One easy way to make it a healthy meal is by simply just adding in some vegetables.
Yes, I know when eating out that it’s so easy to be tempted by either sweet foods that are high in sugar and fat or savoury foods that are fried and salty. But by making some simple swaps you can try and stay healthy this Diwali. Instead of fried food like pakoras or samosas why not have healthier snacks that are steamed or baked like dhokra.
Also, you don’t need to avoid your favourite sweet treats but reduce the serving size. I enjoy ras malai, which I have occasionally, but only a small portion.
Instead of using processed white sugar when making dessert use raw sugar or dried fruit, but do keep these to a minimum, using your taste buds to guide you on how much you need to sweeten the dish. Dried fruit is high in sugar, did you know that one pitted medjool date has 16 grams of sugar. (Source USDA Food content)
When preparing meals or desserts at home you can make them healthier by using less oil/ghee when cooking and it will still taste good. I find that since ghee solidifies in cooler climates, it is easy to use more than what was intended as can’t see how much is in a spoonful unless it’s been melted.
Don’t skip meals even if you have a big lunch or dinner planned, since this can result in you overeating when you have your next meal. As you are starving you will end up eating quickly and not making healthier choices.
Don’t eat too late at night. I understand that meals at parties are served late, so if you know it will be a late dinner why not eat a light healthy small meal before going to the dinner party and have a small portion of the meal served later.
Keep drinking water through the night to hydrate you instead of having juices or soft drinks that are high in sugar. Coconut water is also a good option as lower in sugar and excellent source of electrolytes. Also track how much alcohol you are having.
When you give gifts to family/friends, instead of the traditional Indian sweets, which are very high in sugar and fat, give gifts of dried fruits and nuts. Since the Indian sweets which are milk based tend to expire quickly, one feels that they need to eat them soon, so they don’t get wasted. Whereas dried fruit and nuts have a longer shelf life and can be eaten over a period of time.
If you are looking for healthy recipes try making the nut and seed bars instead of barfi. And even If you aren’t celebrating Diwali, do still try the recipe:)
Nut & Seed Bar Recipe
To watch the recipe video please CLICK HERE
This chocolate nut and seed bar is a delicious snack made with ingredients that you can buy easily, and it will satisfy your sweet and chocolate cravings.
½ cup cashew nuts
½ cup almonds
1 ½ cup puffed rice
½ cup pumpkin/sunflower seeds
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup dried fruits, chopped
1/3 cup honey (or less if you don’t want it sweet)
½ cup almond or cashew nut butter
100 grams dark chocolate
Blend the nuts, seeds, puffed rice, shredded coconut and dried fruit, so there are no large pieces. It is easier to blend all ingredients apart from dried fruit and then add this in last.
In a bowl combine the honey and nut butter and if needed add in a little water. This will depend on the consistency of the nut butter, if too thick, you need to add in water gradually.
Then mix all the dry ingredients into this mixture until fully coated.
Line a baking tray with paper and spoon the mixture on. Use a spatula or pizza roller to flatten so it’s all the same level and it is firm.
Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over some hot water. Spoon this over the mixture and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Cut into pieces and serve. This should be stored in the refrigerator, or the chocolate will melt.
To watch the recipe video please CLICK HERE
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more recipes with you.