Onam Sadya 2023: 7 Ways To Feast In Moderation
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Festivals in India mean families, friends and neighbours coming together for a collective participation in rituals, festivities and myriad cultural practices that have been passed down through generations. Onam, celebrated with great enthusiasm across Kerala is one such festive celebration that marks a bountiful harvest. It is also a festival that honours the just and fair rule of the mythological King Mahabali and is marked by an Onam Sadya that is indeed a feast fit for a king!

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The Onam Sadya is a large meal comprising more than 25 dishes that are served on a plantain leaf and gorged on by bringing together all the different dishes slowly into a mix of delicious savoury and sweet treats. Every region in Kerala has its own distinct style of serving the Sadya which essentially becomes a celebration of local and regional flavours and seasonal ingredients available in abundance during this time.

Feasting during the Onam Sadya means revelling in the joys of wholesome meals cooked with warmth across many households. However, festivals mean eating all sorts of desserts and fried dishes that are bound to make you feel anxious about putting on excess kilos. As you sit down to savour the Sadya, fret not about indulging in all the varied dishes laid out in front of you. Here are some ways in which you can feast in moderation and enjoy the festive season without feeling perturbed about increasing your calorific intake:

Avoid Packed Foods

During the festive season, if you are enjoying wholesome, homecooked Sadya, do away with packaged or junk foods. This means you end up cutting out all the extra calories that you would have otherwise eaten along with the sumptuous Sadya meal. All the dishes cooked for Sadya comprise of fresh produce concocted into delicious recipes which are sheer joy. Savour this comforting meal instead of accompanying it with packaged foods for moderate feasting.

Have One Big Meal

Feasting in moderation means looking after your health whilst enjoying the festive season. During Onam, if you plan to sit down for the Sadya meal with family and relatives, feast on just this the one meal that will give you enough calories to last through the day. Have a glass of milk or a light dinner of rasam rice if you have had a heavy lunch to avoid overloading the body.

Drink Soothing Kadha

Follow up your Sadya with a warm soother like cinnamon water filled with the aromatic goodness and anti-inflammatory properties of the spice. Another option is to go for the Sulaimani tea or the mixed spice tea with origins in the Malabar region that is especially consumed after a heavy feast to ease the digestion process. Not only will this help boost gut health but it will also ward off a feeling of bloating.

Drink Plenty Of Water

One of the ways in which you can enjoy the festive season guilt-free is simply by keeping yourself hydrated. Having a big meal means your stomach is engaged in digestion for a long time. While it is unwise to drink water immediately after lunch, have the prescribed 2-3 litres during the day to avoid dehydration that can lead to headache and fatigue and take away from the festive celebration of Sadya.

Enjoy Only One Helping

The Sadya meal comprises of over 25 dishes and sometimes, a large spread can go up to more than 60 dishes too! At such times, savour a bite of every pachadi, papadam, rasam, parippu and assorted curries and vegetables that is already on the plate. Avoid reaching for a second helping until you have finished everything on the banana leaf. If you feel hungry after clearing your plantain, only then serve yourself a bit more of your favourite dishes otherwise it can lead to overeating.

Get In Some Exercise 

Onam stretches over 11 days which means celebrations abound for over a week during the harvest festival. The Sadya festivities mean a lot of time spent in the kitchen preparing varied dishes and mingling among family and relatives during the festive season. One of the ways to binge guilt-free on the Sadya feast during this period is to stay active, keep moving and get in a bit of exercise. A good workout will not only help you to build an appetite but will also help to burn excess fat.

Enjoy The Feast

One of the simplest yet most beneficial way to eat in moderation during Sadya is to relish the meal with all your senses. Eating mindfully involves enjoying a holistic experience of eating your food that helps to induce satiety and contentment without running the risk of overeating. The Sadya feast is meant to be savoured with your mind as well as with your taste buds, so when you sit down to eat, partake in the festivities wholeheartedly without anxiety!