Going local, seasonal & traditional

Going local, seasonal & traditional

Rujuta Diwekar’s latest book spreads out a plan to lose weight by focusing on culturally relevant foods and eating practices

Fighting the battle of the bulge by not compromising on your health is never an easy task. But if you get handy tips from one of the best nutritionists, Rujuta Diwekar, who has been championing the cause of health and wellness by not following a staid diet but by merely resorting to ‘the time-tested wisdom of your grandmother, passed down over generations,’ it seems a possibility.

In her latest book The 12-Week Fitness Project, Rujuta lays out a workable plan for anyone to try out. She also lays immense emphasis on an exercise regime and swears by the benefits of Suryanamaskars. Through her book, Rujuta breaks down what culturally relevant foods and eating practices mean in our day-to-day lives.

“Simply, it means we should eat local, seasonal and traditional. Eating local means eating rice and not quinoa. Eating seasonal means eating guava in winter and mango in summer, and not kiwi throughout the year. Eating traditional means following the wisdom of our grandmothers in totality. So haldi in tadka and not as a supplement. We have to bring back the pride in our culture, our languages and our cuisine.”

Here are some excerpts from the book that offers tips to be followed over 12 weeks for a sustainable, healthy and active lifestyle.

How to start your day

A banana or any fresh fruit 
or soaked almonds
or soaked raisins and
not with tea or coffee.

It’s okay to have chai or coffee 10 to 15 minutes after this meal. Have a glass of (only) plain water and then have this meal. Eat this within 20 minutes of waking up or after
the thyroid pill if you are on one. You can work out, do yoga, etc, 15–20 minutes after having the banana/almonds/raisins. 

If not working out, you can have your breakfast within an hour of this meal. Don’t add anything to the water you are having in the morning – just have plain water. 

You can drink the water in which you have soaked the raisins. You can also add 1–2 strands of kesar when soaking the raisins.

Banana: For all those who have digestion issues or get sugar cravings after a meal. Buy fresh, local variety. Buy at least 2 to 3 times a week and do not bring them home in plastic bags – use a cloth bag instead.

7–8 soaked raisins with 1–2 strands of kesar: Try this if you have rated yourself as a person with terrible PMS or with low energy through the day.

4–6 soaked and peeled almonds: If you have insulin resistance, diabetes, PCOD or low
fertility or suffer from poor sleep quality. Pick the local variety of almonds – it’s richer in nutrients. For PCOD, switch to 7–8 raisins and 1–2 strands of kesar 10 days before periods.

Ghee is the best

Ghee by nature is lipolytic, that is, it’s a fat which breaks down other fats.

It mobilises fats from stubborn fat areas of the body. Ghee helps you de-stress, sleep better and wake up fresher – as it allows for better digestion, assimilation of nutrients and eases bowel movement.

Rich in antioxidants, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, D, gheehas just what you need for a healthy heart. Especially useful for PCOD, diabetes and heart diseases, BP, acidity, weak joints, constipation, IBS.

Addition of ghee to meals reduces their glycemic index and helps regulate blood sugars.

Have a 4 to 6 pm wholesome meal

The 4 to 6 pm meal can be relatively light or heavy, but it should always be wholesome. Some meal options whether you are at work, on a train, in college, wherever:

Handful of groundnuts and chana: This regulates appetite, prevents bloating and
overeating at dinner-time. Do this if you eat early dinners, before 8 p.m. Very good meal for diabetics, for PCOD and those with low energy levels in the day.

Jaggery, ghee and chapatti: If you stay active, work away from home, eat dinner after 9
p.m. and struggle to sleep well, suffer from constipation or have low Hb levels.

Poha/upma/dosa/egg toast/homemade khakra or mathri/homemade goond or besan laddoo: If your workload increases after 6 p.m. or you have a party to attend or if you have frequent headaches, leg cramps, low immunity, this is a good meal. And if none of the above is possible, even a grilled vegetable and cheese sandwich, Mumbai style.

Chaat/samosa/street food: Yes and this is a good time to have it, but only once a week. And the worst time to have chaat or street food is for dinner.

(Rujuta Diwekar’s The 12-week Fitness Project is published by Juggernaut Books)


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