At Shabdotsav — a literary festival which was organised by Symbiosis International (Deemed University) and FICCI FLO, Viman Nagar, experts came together to talk about their books and discuss the importance of health and the means to achieve it. The session ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind,’ saw celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, renowned holistic health guru Dr Mickey Mehta, practitioner of health and wellness Dr Sarita Davare and well-known fitness and nutrition expert Madhuri Ruia, as panelists, which was moderated by Dr Rajiv Yeravdekar Dean, faculty of Health and Biomedical Sciences, SIU. While Kapoor and Davare unveiled You’ve Lost Weight: The Easy Guide to Receiving this Compliment Every Day co-authored by them, Ruia released Who Stole My Calories?. Mehta’s book The Shoonyam Quotient was also introduced.
Davare believes in the mantra of breaking down one’s meal for a better health and suggests, “Have three small meals, two major meals, and drink four to five liters of water every day. Don’t skip your exercise, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day. If you follow this for 21 days, it will eventually become a habit because your brain will get trained to follow that routine.” She says that most women, in a quest to balance between work and family, or after pregnancy, tend to ignore their own well-being. But it is important to keep some time for yourself. “Life is a balance. Give priority to your health. Women need to manage their time smartly and master their art of multitasking in order to squeeze out time for themselves. For example, while preparing meal for their family, they can keep a small portion of food such as salad, raita, chiwda or dry fruits, and eat them while they are still working. Only when you are healthy, you can take care of your family,” she says.
Davare pointed out that health is related to the mind and most of us suffer from ‘excusitis.’ “I explain excusitis as something where your mind starts giving excuses, the moment you have to go away from your favourite food. Hence, to enjoy what you like and yet keep a check on the calories, eat in moderation and give healthy twists to your meals,” she suggests.
There is a popular notion that anything that is tasty is unhealthy and healthy and nutritious food is supposed to be boring. Says chef Kapoor, “Healthy food can be tasty too. Food is never your enemy. You need to eat everything in moderation and sensibly.” He reminisces that he would accompany his mother to the mandai (market) and that’s when he began to pick vegetables that he liked which eventually helped him enjoy eating them. “Once children begin to do that, they will become aware of the ingredients and start to develop a subconscious bond with them. Bonding and respect for food has to start really early,” says Kapoor who also stresses on the importance of planning the menu for every meal.
Mehta,while highlighting the importance of the mental well-being, said that it is necessary that one calms down and at times go slow in life to find peace. “Life is about pull and push,” he says. Explaining what Shoonyam quotient is, he says, “In the Shoonyam quotient, you are in state of bliss. You need to breathe easy in a rhythm and relax. Walk through life, don’t run. Don’t plan too much way in ahead. Be spontaneous.” Mickey also urged people to choose vegetarianism. “When you are on a wholesome vegetarian diet, life will be a celebration,’ he adds.
Ruia says that lack of activities make us sluggish and unawareness about healthy eating is increasing the number of obese people in the country. “We also need to blame the khatirdari (hospitality) that Indians do and our inability to say ‘no’ to whatever is offered to us. Activities and exercise are important but what really matters is your determination to resist the temptation of eating things that have high calories,” adds Ruia, who advices that one needs to indulge in activities that are feasible and enjoyable on a daily basis.