Remember our delectable food palate in childhood concocted with grandmotherly love to whip a food haven and a perfect storm beating the fever hands down, saving a dreaded trip away from the doctor’s injection. The infallible grandmother hack, a maven of sort is back with a bang blowing every known ailment into smithereens.
Our own desi celebrity nutritionist, Kavita Devgan who is eponymous with excellence and the who’s who in glamour and wellness swearing by her name dabbles into a multitude of things, right from being a popular journalist, columnist for leading publications, brand ambassador for healthy products and panelist comes with her second book, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks. The book is already getting rave reviews after her first outing, ‘Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People’ hit the bull’s eye.
In this hearty tete-a-tete, Kavita bares it all on what went behind writing the Ultimate Grandmother Hacks serving as a tribute to the old granny’s wisdom. She calls her new book as, “A compilation of habits I grew with and consider as super healthy, time-tested food habits to groom a cohesive lifestyle. It’s all about rediscovering the joy in eating.”
The nuggets not of munching a bite at KFC but wisdom are found plenty in the book, discussing at length the various foods and habits followed to the hilt by our grandparents and parents are as relevant today as it were before. “I basically didn’t want us and the next generation to put them into oblivion the age-old wisdom and hence, incepted the tricks in the book. This constitutes the drive behind its making,” she elaborates.
The prolific health consultant has a career spanning over 20 years, having built a solid reputation in wellness the right way, contributing significantly to alter lifestyle by innovating big time through cutting-edge, customized but down-to-earth programmes. Like many, Kavita has an interesting story laden with an anecdote to tell where she almost wore the white gown in hospitals.
She quips: “Well! My Dad wanted me to become a doctor and I even took up bio in plus two which shows my love for the subject. He was really keen but by the time, I finished my 12th standard, I already made my mind. Medicine would not be the next step!”
“I wasn’t very sure what to pursue but somehow it became crystal clear of not seeing myself as a doctor. My Dad tried to coax me. I resisted and finally got my way.”
One can well sense that Kavita was quite the rebel and she gets candid, “Once I make up my mind, I stick to it. The rest followed. She studied Home science (Hons) with specialization in nutrition at Delhi University which was, ‘More interesting than other Science streams like Botany and Zoology.”
Kavita found her ‘mojo’ like a delectable plate for which she thanks God as, ‘love at first lesson for me.’ “The potential of prevention dawned upon and was as sure as hell to what I wanted to do. What helped was that I was naturally inclined or put it this way, maybe a healthy eater owing to my genes and mom’s effort making me a good fit.”
Post-graduation, the diet connoisseur topped it up with a specialization in Dietetics and Public health nutrition. An internship followed at Safdurjung Hospital giving her the first career exposure before becoming a qualified dietician. She was ready to embrace this tryst with destiny.
Ultimate Grandmother Hacks is a blend of the old school and modern methods, serving as the yummiest topping and irresistible in inculcating time-tested food habits in our lifestyle forming the taste bud. The book, she says, was brewing in her mind for quite some time and wasn’t really an uphill task to pen. The idea of selling old age hacks remained an important challenge, though. Kavita says, “The complex task was to make the hacks inviting and doable to the present generation…I wanted to shatter the myth that old advice is impractical, time-consuming and tough to follow.” The trick lies in diligently cherry picking 50 habits in the book that today’s generation wouldn’t reject outright. She calls them, ‘a treasure trove that made it a smooth sailing affair.”
We live in the age of social media and internet where every single bit of information about proper diet is obtained at one click. How does one become discernible when it comes to the truckload of proper diet and nutrition in making the balancing act, whittling down to eating right and proper? Kavita doles out a simple advice: “Always follow common sense and only believe information hailing from a professional having recognized medicinal and nutritional qualifications responding to your needs and common sense. Most importantly, take it up only if it speaks to you in such a way ensuring follow-up for the long-term.
We live in hectic times warranting a change in a crazy routine, food habits and to trim the fats building inside the body. When it comes to dieting and proper nutrition, there are huge misconceptions wrecking our world. “Ah yes, most of us got our fundas all wrong,” Kavita tells. “Dieting has been giving a wrong connotation and it doesn’t mean giving up on food but replacing bad ones with the good. Fact remains that we need to stop bringing focus on calories only but train our guns on nutrients. The moment we do that and plating ‘good for us food’, calories will take care of themselves. You lose weight automatically,” she asserts.
Her first book, ‘Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People’ garnered several accolades for proper and healthy lifestyle making the D-word for dieting easy. The author believes the book worked because of its real and down-to-earth approach. “In the book, I’ve woven together the simple good habits observed during my practice which worked. The methods are not only time-tested but practical advice helping people to stay thin.”
“I firmly believe people are becoming increasingly tired of impractical, silly fad diets that only mess up their health and the book’s USP was its reliable factor felt by readers in dishing out doable advice…I guess the reason it got unprecedented love.”
It’s been two years since ‘Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People’ was out and Kavita says, people still come to her and telling the impact it had on them to alter their health and losing weight for the better.
It’s all about breaking a myth and decoding the person behind the name. Kavita Devgan calls herself, ‘a very liberal dietician’ who doesn’t believe in ‘All’ or ‘Nothing approach’ but rather the answer lies somewhere in between.
“The inner core belief is all about practicing moderation and serving as the answer to everything,” she says. The mantra and advice to everyone is, “More of the good and less of the bad.” She has a tale to narrate: “In the start, I had people coming to me and telling they find it difficult to wrap around the head that I let them eat everything, and worry about actually putting on weight instead of losing. But, slowly they understand this is the right way,” she muses.
The next time you try to resist the temptation of munching on the sweet or yummy dish, remember the quintessential food date with Kavita Devgan and old age ‘Ultimate Grandmother Hacks.’ As good as it gets, the Kavita way!
A combo of high quality protein, complex carbohydrate and good fat. Egg with some oats, few nuts or a tbsp of roasted seeds.
Focussing on nutrition -quality more than quantity.
Always a fruit; this is the best time to eat a portion of mandatory fruit.
Grandmother Hacks vs modern day pills:
Our grandmothers somehow already knew (though logic and common sense) what modern science is only now discovering.
Being Healthy means:
Waking up with a spring in your feet every morning and having boundless energy through the day. Making it an everyday affair.
First thing you have in the morning:
Lots of water.
Your food consists of:
A little of everything.
Three nutrition tips in a day:
Get in enough protein,fats and fibre; ensure enough antioxidants and micro nutrients, and eat something raw everyday to score good enzymes.
If you were a food, you’d be:
Water. Because it’s life.
Kavita Devgan in three words:
Passionate about prevention.