Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Ultimate Grandmother Hacks by nutritionist-author Kavita Devgan (published by Rupa, Rs 295, 236 pages) is one book I would recommend everyone should have. Why? Because it talks about things we have all known through our mothers and grandmothers but rarely taken seriously. As to why on the earth did we not take our mothers and grandmothers seriously is the big question? Well, I can answer that one for myself. I didn’t take them seriously because she didn’t give the reasons behind eating or not eating something! For me, it is very important that I know the science behind a statement. And this is one book that explains the scientific reasons behind each nugget of knowledge which makes it easy to understand and follow.
Ultimate Grandmother Hacks – 50 Kickass Traditional Habits For A Fitter You offers food recipes and suggests lifestyle changes that should be implemented for a healthier lifestyle within the traditional Indian diet. And it will surely do us good to follow these.
Divided broadly into three parts, part one talks about The Fifty Habits, part two is on 3-month-Traditional Habits Calendar while part three talks about Tools. Part One is the biggest chapter subdivided further into three heads: Food, Lifestyle and Mind, together having 32 chapters. And the good thing is you can these chapters are independent of each other. So you can pick up any one and read. Read you must if you want to know why health is taking a downward spiral these days.
If you find it difficult to incorporate good eating habits into your lifestyle, go to the part two. It has a calendar that details easy steps that can and should be followed to gain good health. It talks about changing one habit in a month, one in a week and one in a day. If you go by the book it will only three months to change what you eat and the way you eat it. This way the task doesn’t seem daunting! At least to me.
Part three has some tools that help you gain weight or lose weight depending upon your requirement. It also talks about benefits of certain vegetables. Most importantly, it also gives some easy-to-cook recipes that you can include in your daily diet.
And the best part of it all is you don’t have to read the book in continuity. Each chapter is independent of the other so you can pick up a chapter randomly and learn what the nutritionist-author has to say.
Traditional eating habits are a delicious road-map to a happier, healthier and kinder you, says the author. Surely, our ancestors have a lot to teach us about good eating habits that not only focus on health but also give us the simple pleasure of eating food, something which we have forgotten in our fast-paced life of today.
I am a great fan of traditional Indian food and firmly belief we must eat according to the climatic conditions we are living in. So while having deep-fried food may be a good idea for those living in cold weather conditions, it would spell doom for those living in warmer zones. Plus most people have forgotten that skins and leafy portions of many vegetables are not meant to be thrown away, rather these are nutritionally rich and must be consumed. I remember my mom used to make sabzi out of cauliflower danthals and banana peels. I am sure most moms did cook such recipes. But with time, these recipes simply went out of our kitchens. It is time to bring these back. This book is a great reminder of that.
Remember we are what we eat. Food plays a great role in shaping our personality. Today, when people all over the world are looking at East, uncovering our hidden knowledge, be it related to spiritualism or science, medicine or technology, it is time we too took a look at what our ancestors have to tell us and enjoy the benefits of their unlimited knowledge for wholesome eating habits which doesn’t just build our health but nourish our soul too.