Let's make this Diwali more traditional just like our forefathers used to do. They never shied away from pouring ghee (clarified butter) in their thali (big metal plate), devouring makkhan- malayi (butter-cream), doodh (milk) etc which most of us now scared to even touch, thanks to modern dietetics gyan.
And you must know that our ancestors were weightlifters, marathoners, yogic practitioners without any professional tags, as this was their daily life. This is why they were not Diabetics or Hypertensive or Depressed because their routine was to move eat smile and repeat. Our "Flying Sikh" Milkha Singh also advocates jitna khao utna daudo (run as much as you eat), no wonder he can beat 30-year-olds even in his 90s.
No am not preaching here, it is a scientific fact, World Health Organization defines health as "State of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
Value Of Happiness
Whereas, we judge our health status through our abdominal circumference, six packs, elite diet regimes and other sophisticated show off we learned from our peers. We have almost forgotten the value of happiness, peace, and sense of satisfaction, I am not discouraging you from achieving your desired shape, and spending on things you like, but stop narrowing your concept of health.
And festivals like Diwali when media and market are flooded with low calorie-low fat stuff; I am bound to share what I learned from my science, let's have a "Retro Diwali".
Start from Cleaning: take a break from your sitting job or any other job, make Goddess Lakshmi happy by cleaning at least your place of living by yourself, it is a Diwali special exercise we all should do and not tender to others.
Light Diyas: bijali wali lariyan (electric light strings) made Diwali so boring and lethargic. Every time you sit to place a diya you improve your agility, your bone health, your cardio, if you have two or more storey house, you are fortunate. Refill oil in the diyas and appreciate their beauty and the positivity they are radiating through your house.
Eating Good During Festivals
Moving done, let's talk about Eating: paneer (cottage cheese) is our king, be it a marriage ceremony or any festival, whenever we are happy, paneer is a must in our kitchen.
Adding vegetables like capsicum or spinach (kadhai paneer or palak paneer) will make this protein source fibrous as well.
Ajwain wali poori (carom seeds in unleavened deep fried Indian bread) is another way of making fat-soaked bread more digestible and of course delicious, a lot of Indian homes practice this. Mithayi (Sweets): out of all the beautiful things West Bengal gifted us; my favourite is Sandesh or Sondesh, which is usually composed of cottage cheese, jaggery, clarified butter, saffron, cardamom, it is lightly sweet and mostly fresh.
Our Diwali mood of not counting the number of mithayi pieces we have eaten can be preserved with Sandesh. You can also have more Rasgullas by dipping them in water for a few minutes before consumption.
Diwali is incomplete without friends and family, talking and laughing with them is a kind of health potion, and who doesn't want to munch during these times? Don't opt dry fruits alone, prepare a crunchy salad by mixing dry fruits with the vegetables of your choice, your group will love you for this.
Adrak wali chai (ginger tea), cardamom coffee, Kaadha (tea with Indian spices and basil leaves), Kahwa (Kashmiri tea), green tea, matcha tea, warm lemon honey water, filter coffee or any other drink which doesn't intoxicate you, can lift your Diwali spirits. Intoxication is not happiness.
Don't forget to share your celebration with people little less privilege than you, not for them but for yourself. Yes, helping others, donating happiness reduces depression, anxiety, and stress; it's a science-backed theory. Lastly, pause for some time and say "Thank You" for everything you could do and feel, have a Happy Diwali.