Fresh fruits, fresh fruit juices, sprouts, nuts, taken during fasts provide high nutrition and also help to detoxify the system. The sages of ancient India, with their powers of higher consciousness, knew that controlled fasting should be followed. Fasting and eating specific foods, help to remove the accumulation of wastes and improves the functioning of the nerves, soothing them and bringing about relaxation and mental well being.
However, a total fast by drinking only water is not advocated. Raw juices can be taken, but they should be diluted with water. Certain fried foods are eating during fasts. But, too many fried snacks and foods, as well as rich kheers can load the system, instead of cleansing it. Avoid tea, coffee, canned juices and aerated drinks. Instead, have juices of fresh fruits and vegetables, to which water must be added. Vegetables and fruits contain valuable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and other elements that aid the process of cleansing the system. If these are taken in juice form, they are easily assimilated and the digestive system gets a much-needed rest.
Vegetables and salads can be made more appetizing and tasty by adding chaat masala. Have nimbu pani, adding the juice of a lemon to a glass of water, one teaspoon of honey and a pinch of salt.
There are enough fruits and vegetables to choose from – oranges, apples, pineapples, papaya, carrots, tomato, cucumber, etc. Dilute the juices suitably with water and add lemon juice for taste. Apart from juices, have buttermilk, coconut water and nimbu paani to keep yourself hydrated.
Drink plenty of water too. The special salt taken during Navratri is actually beneficial to health. It helps the absorption of nutrients. Having Kuttu flour, instead of normal cereals, also help cleansing and nutrition, as it contains protein.
You can also do deep breathing exercises (like yogic pranayam) and meditation.
Massage treatments are popular during Navratri at our salons. These include head and body massage. The massages help to get rid of toxins, induce relaxation, tone up muscles and improve blood circulation. You can also do deep breathing exercises (like yogic pranayam) and meditation.
First, massage the body with sesame seed (til) oil. Then apply bodypack “Ubtan” or body packs can be made at home for body care, consisting of wheat bran (choker), gram flour (besan), curd or cream of milk (malai) and a pinch of turmeric (haldi). Mix together and apply on body, before bathing. Wash off during bath to clear away the dead cells and make the skin soft and smooth.
DIY Face Packs for Navratri
Make a cold infusion of Hibiscus flowers, by allowing them to stand overnight in cold water, in a ratio of one to six. The next morning crush the flowers. Strain and keep the water. Mix the flowers with 3 teaspoons oats, 2 drops of tea tree oil and add the water to mix into a paste. This hibiscus pack helps to cleanse, refresh and tone the skin, adding a glow.
Avocado pulp can be mixed with aloe vera gel and applied on the face to nourish and moisturise the skin. Wash off with plain water after 20 minutes. Fresh and raw avocado should be used. Avocado contains about 20 vitamins and minerals. It is rich in antioxidants, which help to delay skin ageing.
Mix cucumber and ripe papaya pulp with curd and two teaspoons oats. Lemon juice can also be added. Apply on face and neck. Wash it off after half an hour. Helps to remove tan and brighten the skin.
For oily skin, soak one tablespoon moong dal in water for a few hours. Make a paste and add one tablespoon tomato pulp. Apply on the face with a light massage. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. Reduces oiliness and brightens the skin.
Take two teaspoons choker (wheat bran), one teaspoon each ground almonds, honey, curd and rose water. Mix together and apply on the face, avoiding lips and area around eyes. Wash off after 30 minutes.
About the author: Shahnaz Husain is the founder of Shahnaz Husain cosmetics.
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