For yummy mummies

For yummy mummies

For yummy mummies

She is one of the most sought after women in Bollywood today. And no, she is neither an actor nor a director. Nonetheless she is a star in her own right who has taken it upon herself to keep the film industry fit. Whether it is Kareena Kapoor’s size zero look, her pregnancy regimen or Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt’s weight loss, Rujuta Diwekar is THE force behind all things healthy.

Rujuta’s mantra is simple, “stick to desi”. Bestselling author of books Don’t Lose Your Mind Lose Weight, Indian Super Foods, Women and The Weight Loss Tamasha to name a few, has changed the way fitness and nutrition is perceived in the country, by adopting healthy steps to lose weight and staying fit. Known for her no nonsense attitude towards fitness and food, Rujuta believes in eating and exercising with common sense, and following India’s rich food wisdom.

Post the release of her new book, Pregnancy Notes: Before, During & After, the star nutritionist and fitness science expert shares some uncomplicated approaches to food, analyses some pregnancy myths, lets you in on her daily diet and advocates the power of all things Indian.

 Traditionally, pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised against eating certain kind of foods (pineapples, papayas, mangoes, jackfruits etc.) What is your take on that?

Genetic compliance is a major factor when it comes to food, and no one knows what’s better for you than your grandmother. Each region, each community and in fact each household has its unique recipes, foods, etc., and that must be respected. In my book Pregnancy Notes, I have shared some heritage recipes submitted by women from across the country. The intention behind highlighting these recipes is to show that the wisdom in our homes is timeless and scientific.

 Expectant mothers are often faced with a lot more don’ts than dos, which can be a little daunting. What are some of the pregnancy myths that can be busted?

Myth 1 - That you can eat whatever you want now that you are allowed to gain weight — obviously this is not true. Eating right is more crucial now then ever, for both a healthy pregnancy and your child.

Myth 2 - That you can’t workout during pregnancy — you can and you must. You have to fine tune the intensity. Tennis ace Serena Williams won the Australian Open Grand Slam in her first trimester. 

Myth 3 - That you must have a restricted diet post delivery to lose your weight — this will lead to long term health issues. Laddoos, ghee and special recipes have an important nutritional role to play.

 Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy and what kind of fitness routine can one undertake?

Not just safe, but recommended. Follow the thumb rule of exercise — listen to your body and take it easy when you need to. If you are a regular workout person, by regular I mean 10-15 years of consistent exercise, you will notice a big jump in your strength, flexibility and stamina levels. Workouts will be more fun than before. And since you are familiar with what you are doing, just keep up with your regular exercise routine. 

However, if you are someone who only took to exercise recently, the first trimester is surely not the time to workout with a vengeance. If you were doing a day or two of exercise per week, just keep at it and reduce your intensity. Cycling and swimming are non-weight bearing exercises that are better than walking and working out on machines is better than lifting free weights.

 Women are often in a hurry to lose their pregnancy weight post childbirth. How soon can one start doing so?

Take things a step at a time, celebrate the changes in your body, then what matters is whether you get in prime shape in two months or 12 months. So even if you had gestational diabetes or hypertension during pregnancy or you have given birth to twins, it won’t take you a lot of time to get back in shape. A year is enough to get back in fab shape. Once you start gradually, your weight loss will be irreversible and well worth the effort and time.

 Can you let us in on your daily dietary regimen?

I start my day with a fresh, seasonal fruit or dry fruits before heading for my workout. Immediately post workout, my breakfast usually consists of poha or upma, followed by tender coconut water as a mid-meal snack. This is followed by lunch of rice or bhakri with dal and sabzi. I snack on either rajgeera chikki, kokum sherbet, homemade laddoos, thalipeeth or ghavan in the evening, and end my day with a simple dinner of a khichdi or varan bhaat. 

 What is your take on people going gluten-free or turning vegan? How effective are these dietary fads?

It is important to decide why you are adopting a particular dietary lifestyle. Is it to lose weight or do you believe in a principle? Is it because your friend has adopted it or it’s doing rounds of your WhatsApp groups? For a diet to be sustainable it has to resonate with your food culture. You have to be able to decide if you can stick to a diet for the rest of your life and not just till you lose 5 kg or to fit into a dress. 

 What are the effective and healthy ways to lose weight?

The only healthy and effective way to lose weight is to eat local, eat seasonal and eat traditional meals cooked at home. Supplement this by staying active more often, with regular workouts and a regulated bed time.

 Which are some of the nutritious Indian staples that are being under utilised these days?

We have stopped eating the variety of pulses and legumes that we used to. Kulith, for example, is a super pulse, grown in all parts of the country, which we have neglected. In fruits, the local ones like jamun, jackfruit, karvanda, etc., need to make a comeback. 

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