SPORTS & WELLNESS
 


Fitness amid feasting
Post-CWG success, the poster girls and boys of Indian sports have every reason to have a blast this Diwali and how! Amit Khanna checks out

TRIM TREATS
Rupa Kothari
Diwali sans the sweet treats is like shrikhand without sugar! And on whom does the responsibility of producing a ghar ka meetha (homemade sweet dish) fall? Of course, it's the women of the household. But, readers, this year there's expert help in the house. And from none other than Cook-Book Queen, master of all things vegetarian, editor of bimonthly magazine, Cooking & More and TV show host, Tarla Dalal; as well as chef extraordinaire, restaurateur, author, personal FMCG brand owner and host of iconic TV show Khana Khazana, Sanjeev Kapoor.

Fitness mantra
Balance the binge
Mridula Wattas
The festive season is here again! We wait for this time of the year, for itís time for family reunions and, of course, over indulgence. And why not? We do deserve those mouth-watering laddoos, rasgullas and gulab jamuns we were craving for throughout the year. Food and festivities always go†together. It is the time to recharge our batteries and celebrate with family and friends. If you try to avoid all those special treats your mom prepared for you this Diwali, you would end up feeling miserable and deprived. So, donít feel deprived this season. Just make better choices. Here are a few strategies for avoiding extra kilos without shunning the festivities.

 

   

 

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Fitness amid feasting

Post-CWG success, the poster girls and boys of Indian sports have every reason to have a blast this Diwali and how! Amit Khanna checks out

 

Oil izz well
Saina Nehwal, shuttler

Saina NehwalI love the Festival of Lights. There are numerous childhood memories attached to this day. I used to celebrate it for days together while in school. The gifts are a bonus. I always look forward to the gifts I receive from my parents, as they try their best to keep it a secret till the last moment. I will be home this Diwali and my sister and me have thought of a nice surprise for them, too. We will be celebrating the festival with friends in Hyderabad.

Though now my schedule keeps me busy to the hilt and the fitness regimen hardly leaves any scope for indulgence, I donít mind consuming sweets for a day or two. It does not make much difference. We are going to sweat a lot during training anyways. Photo: AFP

Doctorís order
Sushil Kumar, wrestler

Sushil Kumar, wrestler
This is the first time in many years when I will be home for Diwali and I am looking forward to it. The international commitments donít leave much time for me to be with my family. But this time I am celebrating it with close friends and relatives. The gold medal has certainly added flavor to the festivities. I do not believe in gifts though I always receive something from my parents. As far as eating during festivals is concerned, I make sure I adhere to my doctorís prescription every time, as in my sport I canít risk overindulgence.

Time out
Ashish, gymnast
I have not been able to celebrate Diwali for the past two years. In 2009, there was the World Championship at London and I could not be home with my parents. This time, the Asian Gamesí camp at Pune is on and again I will be missing the festivities. But my parents plan to make up on my birthday, which falls on November 25, the day the Asian Games conclude. I hope I come back with a medal for my country and will have a gala time then. My parents have given me so much and all they want is a medal in return every time I represent my nation. Missing Diwali is a sacrifice but I hope it pays off at the Asian Games.

Ashish, gymnast

RUSTIC REVELRY
Geeta Balali, wrestler
This is the best Diwali I could have asked for. The hard work has finally paid and now is the time for celebrations at home. Younger sister Babita and my medals have made the festival extra special for all of us. We five sisters are planning a surprise gift for our parents. My father is a sarpanch, so we are having a get-together at our village Balali and virtually everybody is invited to join in and share our joy. Inspiration to perform has been the gift we have been receiving from our father on every festival. He wants us to work harder and win an Olympic medal for him. That is the real gift he wants from us.

Geeta Balali
Geeta Balali

 

SWEET SOMETHINGS
Jwala Gutta, shuttler

Jwala Gutta, shuttlerDiwali has always been a family affair for me and this time is no exception. I am at home and will have a nice time playing host to my close relatives in Hyderabad. Though the training for the upcoming Asian Games will be keeping me busy till the very end, I am determined to take the D-day off to indulge in the festivities. We are planning a party at home and I donít mind treating myself to festival goodies. I have a sweet tooth, like many of us, so I will be gorging on the delicacies on offer, though in moderation. †I give and receive gifts from family and friends. Thatís what makes the day special and I am looking forward to unwrapping those.

MEDALS AS GIFTS
Akhil, boxer

Festivals like Diwali provide us with some chance to be with our families and friends. Otherwise, professional sport does not leave us much time to do that. The camp at Patiala will keep me busy. I have many a fond memories of the festival of distributing sweets, burning crackers with friends. As a sportsman, the only gifts you can give or receive are the medals you win. There are many big events coming up and I hope to win them for my country. I wish everybody a very happy and safe Diwali!

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TRIM TREATS
Rupa Kothari

Diwali sans the sweet treats is like shrikhand without sugar! And on whom does the responsibility of producing a ghar ka meetha (homemade sweet dish) fall? Of course, it's the women of the household. But, readers, this year there's expert help in the house. And from none other than Cook-Book Queen, master of all things vegetarian, editor of bimonthly magazine, Cooking & More and TV show host, Tarla Dalal; as well as chef extraordinaire, restaurateur, author, personal FMCG brand owner and host of iconic TV show Khana Khazana, Sanjeev Kapoor.

First, Tarla Dalal dons her apron.

"Diwali brings with it a chance to take an exciting break from our busy lifestyles ó to revel in the lights, the rangolis, new clothes, and most of all the sweets. The recipe I have chosen is an all-time favourite ó Coconut Barfi. Making it the traditional way can be tiresome, so for those who want an alternative, I present its microwave version that is tasty yet lighter.

COCONUT BARFI IN A MICROWAVE

Ingredients:

1 tsp ghee

3/4 cup freshly grated coconut

5 tbsp powdered sugar

2 tbsp crumbled khoya (mawa)

1 tsp milk

6 to 7 strands of saffron

A few drops of lemon food colour (optional)

Ghee for greasing

Method:

1. Combine the ghee and coconut in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.

2. Add the sugar, mix well and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3. Add the khoya, milk, saffron and lemon food colour, mix well and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

4. Remove from the microwave and cool slightly.

5. Spread the mixture in a thali and press gently using the back of a spoon.

6. Garnish with pistachios and keep aside to set for at least an hour.

7. Cut into desired shapes and serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Handy tip: At step 5, you can also pat each portion of the mixture into moulds of your choice and then set aside for one hour.

Now that the kitchen is up and running, it's time for Sanjeev Kapoor to dish out some traditional treats, even as he goes down memory lane. Of course, Diwali is also the perfect time to pick out recipes from Kapoor's book, Simply Stylish Entertaining at Home.

"I grew up in Delhi, and on Dhanteras, all of us kids would be taken to the market to buy crackers, candles, diyas and hatri (a small house-shaped mud structure which has the Goddess Lakshmi seated in the middle). I remember I was allowed to only light phuljaris, while the grander crackers like flower pots and rockets were for the older boys. How I wanted to be a grown up at that time!

"Festivals are a time to be with family and friends. Today, though we want our traditional festive foods, the deep-fried samosas and mawa burfis have been replaced by baked samosas and karanjis and its whole wheat flour instead of refined flour. So, I have chosen a delicious and healthy Baked Karanji!

DATE AND ANJEER BAKED KARANJI

Ingredients:

1 cup refined flour

2 tbsp semolina

2 tbsp ghee

1/4 cup milk (for peda)

2 tbsp milk (for stuffing)

3/4 cup chopped, seedless dates

3/4 cup chopped figs

15-20 crushed cashew nuts

15-20 crushed pistachios

1 tsp green cardamom powder

1 tsp roasted poppy seeds

Method:

For the Dough:

1. Take the flour in a bowl.

2. Add the semolina, ghee and 1/4 cup milk

3. Knead into a semi soft dough.

4. Divide into equal portions and shape them into pedas and keep them covered with a damp cloth.

5. Preheat oven to 180`B0C.

For the stuffing:

1. Take the dates and figs in a bowl.

2. Now add the cashews, pistachios, green cardamom powder and roasted poppy seeds and mix well.

3. Mash lightly with fingers and add a little milk.

For the karanji:

1. Place the dough peda in the karanji mould.

2. Fill the hollow with a little stuffing.

3. Dampen the edges, close the mould and press firmly. Remove the excess dough.

To make without the mould, follow the same procedure as for the gujiyas.

4. Place the karanjis on a greased baking tray.

5. Brush them with a little ghee and bake at 180`B0C for 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Cool and store in an airtight container.

ó WFS


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Fitness mantra
Balance the binge
Mridula Wattas

The festive season is here again! We wait for this time of the year, for itís time for family reunions and, of course, over indulgence. And why not? We do deserve those mouth-watering laddoos, rasgullas and gulab jamuns we were craving for throughout the year. Food and festivities always go†together. It is the time to recharge our batteries and celebrate with family and friends. If you try to avoid all those special treats your mom prepared for you this Diwali, you would end up feeling miserable and deprived. So, donít feel deprived this season. Just make better choices. Here are a few strategies for avoiding extra kilos without shunning the festivities.

If you have been following a reasonably healthy lifestyle, a few days of overeating is easy to compensate. You only have to maintain a calorie balance. For that you need to know where the calories are coming from. It is always a good idea to know your enemies.

Most of the time we are not aware of the concentrated calories we are consuming. This ready reckoner will help to regulate your consumption.

Party prudence

There are lots of low-calorie choices for you to choose from.

In sweets, there are some paneer-based ones like sandesh, rasgullas with less sugar, sweets with sugarcane gur or date gur, anjeer mithais, and mixed-grain sweets with gur are some healthier options. Sweets with sugar substitutes are a complete no-no. The reason for this is that most of the calories in sweets are not contributed by sugar alone. One tends to eat sugar-substitute mithais more without guilt as they are considered to be healthy. What about the calorie load from khoya, ghee etc!

Never go to party with an empty stomach. Have a glass of skimmed milk or some roasted chanas. This helps curb overeating. Sparkling water is the best drink if you want to enjoy good food.

Opt for crisp tandoori rotis instead of paranthas and puris.

Curries and gravies have the maximum calories hidden in them. Avoid them.

Desserts which have fruits in them are a healthier option.

Exercise in season of excess

Maintain your exercise schedule during festive season. If you are having a family get-together, it is a good idea to play outdoor games, which bring back childhood memories. A friendly game of cricket or badminton, or the long-forgotten pitthoo will bring back more than good health and cheer.

Do some extra exercise two days before the big feast. An extra 30 min of walk or a workout is fine.

During the festival party, it is a good idea to mingle, jingle and network. The more you walk and talk the more friends you will make, the more calories you will burn, and the less food you will be stuffing into your mouth.You can also hit the dance floor and thus enjoy while you burn calories.

Detox after Diwali

Once Diwali is over, try this diet for the day after. This aims to remove toxins from the body that come from alcohol and food.

  • Drink 2 litres of water. It could be plain water, nimbu pani without sugar, amla blended in water with a pinch of salt.
  • Have a bowl of mixed fruit salad without any salad dressing. Different coloured fruits should be added.
  • Boil†cabbage cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and have two bowls during the day.
  • Have some nice herbal tea at least two times a day. One can try a concoction of saunf, tulsi and cloves in water without sugar, of course.
  • Simple mixed vegetable soup twice a day.
  • Two teaspoons of crushed flaxseeds with warm water.

This diet will settle your system.

  • Go for a lazy†walk for half an hour and sleep early.
  • You can go back to a light vegetarian diet the next day and gradually†to your exercise schedule. Exercise is very important to fight the post-festivity depression.

So, enjoy Diwali without guilt. Happy feasting!

The writer is a dietician, Department of Dietetics, PGI

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