Jihva Workout Vratham

Doing something with devotion for a cause is called Vratham in Sanskrit. I remember growing up in Nandyala, elders in my family periodically doing vrathams. They would refrain from certain foods and desires for a set period of time and slowdown from life. As a child, I used to wonder why anyone wants to put the body voluntarily through the hard path. But as I get older, I am realizing that suffering could bring salvation or at least gives some knowledge of how sufficient our lives are.

For the first time, I did a workout vratham last year for 14 days. It was a shock to my system and a test to my will power. In the end, the 14 days of refraining led to rejoicing about the realization that I still had the control on my mind and I could motivate myself enough to do something good for my spirit. That Jihva (desire) is back again this year. My guru for the inspiration and motivation is Kay from Live.Love.Workout. And, this is the plan for this year’s workout vratham:

Jihva for Workout Vratham

Vratham duration: May 1st to May 31st.

Vratham Workout:
in addition to the regular homework.

  • 15 minutes of meditation, everyday.
  • 5 days of Cardio (walking/running/aerobics/swimming/etc) – minimum 30 minutes
  • 3 days of Calisthenics (strength training/crunches, sit ups, squats, lunges, etc) and Yoga/Pilates – 30 minutes minimum

Vratham Food – The food will be anti inflammatory – as it will help to cleanse the system and slow down the degenerative forces.


  • Grains : Whole grains. Brown rice, Amaranth, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Steel cut oats, Millet – ragi (finger millet)/bajra(pearl millet)/white millet/African/kodo/Teff/
  • Fresh fruits – all except bananas
  • Fresh veggies – twice everyday
  • Protein – Lentils and beans at least twice a day.
  • Fresh Greens and Herbs: At least one serving of raw greens a day – either in juice or kosambaris
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds in moderate amounts
  • Sweetener – just a tad of honey / agave /stevia /molasses/jaggery
  • Dairy – Just yogurt or kefir.
  • Drinks – water, herbal teas, fresh juices, lemon water, coconut water

The following are good foods. But in western world, particularly in US, aggressive farming, extreme chemical commercialization and over processing changed the good to somewhat questionable character. So the refrain.

  • No wheat
  • No sugar and sugar substitutes, preservatives, additives, etc
  • No dairy (milk, cheese, sour cream, butter, cream etc)
  • No eggs
  • No corn and corn products
  • No canned products
  • No veggies list – tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, bell peppers
  • No bananas or dried fruits
  • No caffeine – Coffee/Black tea
  • No alcohol
  • No chocolate
  • No fried foods
  • No peanuts
  • No Meat

Calorie Counting:
Portion sizes are important and total calories for a day allowed are 1200-1600. Divide each meal into approximately 300-400 calories for a total of 4 mini meals per day.
(calorie tracking websites – TheDailyplate, fitday, sparkpeople, shape online journal.)

This plan that I am going to follow for the month of May also changes the direction of 4-year old Jihva Event. You, my readers and fellow bloggers, are welcome to participate in Jihva Workout Vratham. Workout duration and food doesn’t have to be like the above exactly. It could be for one week or two weeks or a day and the food could be just vegetables and fruits or meat and dairy free. Giveup something, whatever that is troubling you food wise and workout. Change the vratham parameters to suit your lifestyle and life needs. Maintain an online journal for the duration and share your healthy meal menus and recipes with us all. No blog, then write a comment note at the participant blog you follow. Food is vital to our health and fitness, and group activities strengthen the soul. Jihva workout vratham combines the two.

I look forward to your contributions to Jihva Workout Vratham. Thanks.


20 Responses to “Jihva Workout Vratham”

  1. pari says:

    I am a Silent follower of yours…..But, I am goingto be in for the workout vratam……I want to test my will power!!I am a sugar addict……want to give up on it….

  2. Sailaja says:

    WOnderful. I am with you.
    I started weight watchers and also personal training. This helps a lot…
    Will I see you tomorrow at Gym? I will be there from 930 to 1030.

  3. SS says:

    Nice idea.. Good to see people doing this! 🙂 Good luck and best wishes to everyone. Hope you all achieve your goals.

    I already eat and exercise pretty much at my comfort limit. But it would be nice to join you at some level. Perhaps it may be ok if I incorporate one additional 2 mile walk every week in my schedule? I will do these 2 miles in honour of all Mothers everywhere. May my goodwill go out to them all!

    Will post updates through the month. Cheers!

  4. Jagruti says:

    I’m a one of your silent follower…I do preety much what you said..but there are one or two odd days when I just leave and go wrong way…wants to do more

    good luck and best wishes..

  5. Anu says:

    This is what I needed, was just about to start SBD , was not sure If I’d stick to that, but it feels less daunting after reading your post.Thanks and GoodLuck, but no tomatoes and peppers???? difficult….cuz they are so easy to eatup raw

  6. NS says:

    Hello Indira,
    Last year I read all of your WV posts, but this is my first comment to you. I have already left a comment at Kay’s blog and I’m in for this. All the best to you.

  7. Kamala says:

    Indira garu,

    Count me in!
    My WV plan is to continue my regular workout (30 minute cardio and 15 minute strength training) and include a 15 minute meditation session often.

    Wish you good luck and I hope to follow your diet plan in the second week (at least for one week).

  8. Indira, a wonderful idea but very difficult (atleast for me :D). Science has recently proved that starvation makes some beneficial changes in our body and calorie restriction extends the life span of many animals tested. Our ancestors are very intelligent and they knew the value of vrathams. I felt your menu plan is too good. Happy vratham and do take a break in between 🙂 Give in to your temptations too once in a while 🙂 after all such small joys makes living worthwhile 😀

  9. Kay says:

    Good luck, dear Indira!

  10. Suma Gandlur says:

    Indiragaru, I liked the concept. I am trying to participate and hoping to do this vratham religiously. 🙂
    I don’t consume most of the items on your Don’ts list but wheat and veggies seem to be vital for my Indian style vegetarian cooking. Are Indian store atta/ cracked wheat allowed? And also wanted to know whether the veggies mentioned in the parenthesis are the only ones not allowed.
    And finally, Should we need to publish everyday what we have been doing or at the end?

  11. Indian Girl says:

    Hey Indira !

    This is *so* inspiring. I’ve done zero workout in the past week except for a quick run along the trail.

    I went through the list and it pretty much eliminates my daily lunch – a deli sandwich. Though I get the customizing to our needs part, I wanna do it your way. If you kept an everyday journal on Mahanandi – I’d love it & will help a big bunch ! I will follow it for a week, get to know how to go about it and follow thru next week on.
    Thanks Indira & Good luck – you start today !

  12. krithika says:

    Count me in. I think I will write down a meal plan based on the above guidelines. Is jaggery allowed as a sweetener ? Also, for the 3 days of Calisthenics/Yoga/Pilates do you have any duration in mind ?

  13. Diane says:

    What a wonderful way to welcome in May! I like this idea very much.

    I generally eat well and bike around a lot, but I have been feeling “stodgy” lately. Feeling badly lately about my inability to meditate every day, my tendency to have a glass of wine with my dinner recently, and my general feeling of “stuckness”. But it is only me who will not meditate, who is stuck. And I can change that. I like this plan, and will do it exactly as you’ve outlined. Thank you for the inspiration.

    I am sure that the hardest part of this by far will be the “no coffee” part! Yikes…

  14. I wish you all the luck! My life usually revolves around my sugar fixes :D, so hats off to you. Please do post some of your low cal recipes… it would be very helpful.

  15. Vandana says:

    ahhh… just in time when I needed some motivation to start working out… Count me in…

  16. Kamala says:

    Hi Indira garu,

    I hope your WV-II is going fine. Just waiting to see your blog updated so that I can also enter my log in comments sections.

  17. Sri says:

    Hi Indira,

    I’d love to participate. I’m looking for inspiration of what kind of items to eat/prepare. I’m also vegetarian and grew up in Andhra. It’s be great if you can share some of your daily menus.


  18. Kiran says:

    Hi Indira,came to know about it from Suma’s(Veggie Platter)blog about this wonderful vratam.I am very careful with my cooking and eating habits but not with excercising.Everytime I start and I stop.For the past few years health issues have made it worse for me to even try to exercise.I will try to get my inspiration from this event and first start with my exercising.
    Good luck.

  19. Indira says:

    Thank you all for your supportive comments. It feels good to have some virtual company.

    Dear Kay: Thank you for the inspiration and motivation!

    Suma: Thanks for your interest. The diet doesn’t have to be like above exactly. If you need, you could add whole wheat chapatis and bulgar wheat to the meal menus.
    About publishing the updates, I am hesitant to make any rules/demands. I will leave that upto you, whatever comfortable for you is good enough for me. Thanks again for your encouraging company.

    Krithika: I am thinking (planning to do) 30 minutes or 15 minutes each.

    Hi Kamala: Instaed of daily, I’ve planned to publish a week menu with daily updates. Please do share your meal menus in those posts. Thanks.

  20. Chaitanya says:

    Hi Indira,

    I am a silent follower of your blog and read it regularly. I recently started cooking on a regular basis (thanks to getting married) and your blog has been my one stop shop for recipes whenever I am stuck for ideas. I really admire the way you present each post..it makes a good read. The above has been an inspiration and motivation to start off on that lifestyle change i have been planning to make for Quite sometime. I hope you dont mind me following your plan ofcourse with a few changes.Please do visit my blog at http://apoundaweek-tanya.blogspot.com/. Would be posting my plan today.

    Hi Chaitanya: Congratulations on taking charge and trying to improve your life. About the plan, I don’t mind at all, it is there for sharing. Kay, my inspiration and motivation for this plan has been doing it for the past few years. Check out her blog for workout and recipe ideas.
    All the best for your goals,

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