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After all the sweets: Detox!

Juice detox and plenty of nuts — that’s how to get your health back on track in the aftermath of Diwali, when most people tend to indulge in all the wrong foods

Diwali is all about festive over-indulgence, binge eating, late night parties, heavy food, sweets and extra calories! So now that it’s over, here’s how to detox and get your health back on track.

First of all, go for a juice detox — make vegetable juice at home and do this not just once but for a few days in succession. Eat steamed vegetables, or stir-fry lightly at home. Get back to your exercise regimen, whether it is at the gym or morning yoga. Do lots of deep breathing and also asanas which aid in detoxification of the body.

Do you still have boxes of sweets gifted to you on Diwali or Bhai Dooj? Here’s a good way to resist the temptation to have a piece after every meal — distribute the sweets so that you are not tempted to eat. The poor will appreciate them more.

Fortunately, it is also a Diwali tradition to gift dry fruits, which have real health benefits. Walnuts, almonds, pistachio and cashew nuts have multiple benefits —they are a good source of fibre, have healthy fats, vitamin, minerals and antioxidants.

Healthy seeds are becoming popular as gifts these days: chia, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax — all these are full of antioxidants and a good source of vegan proteins. Tea leaves or bags are another popular healthy gift being sent. Tea helps tackle hunger pangs, is full of antioxidants, and aids with oxidative stress. Always remember to add black pepper to turmeric tea — it aids in detox, is anti-inflammatory and boosts immunity.

Now check what’s on your dining table during meals. Remove sweetened foods and beverages. No dish should be oily or have too much salt. Make sure you are having something healthy, wholesome, not processed foods. Make sure your daily intake includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans.

On a daily basis, detox with lemon water — take it hot first thing on an empty stomach. What’s also good is infused water — drinking water in which you have soaked cinnamon, fennel, ginger, turmeric or mint leaves.

Ishi Khosla, the acclaimed nutritionist, who runs Whole Foods in Friends Colony, says the first step to a healthier diet is to buy healthy products. “You will never find biscuits in my larder or white bread in my kitchen — except the 100% oat bread.” She urges you to stock up on healthy snacks such as nuts, salads and soups, which will help you keep hunger at bay and prevent you from having a large meal. Hot soup is particularly satisfying in winter.

She never has sweet beverages except her morning cup of tea. She says that it is not that you need not completely avoid the high calorie foods you enjoy, but take only small portions. Make colourful dishes that will give you pleasure just to look at, making up for the lack of bulk.

Lastly, I would advise that you develop the habit of mindful eating. Chew slowly, mindful of every bite, savouring the flavours and spices, without any distractions. Eat only until full, appreciating the meal before you. Mindfulness is known to promote weight loss, reduce binge eating and help you regard your meals positively, instead of dreading the effects on your waistline.

Dr Reshma  is an advocate of wellness, prevention and holistic health. Instagram handle: Dr.reshmakhattarbhagat