HYDERABAD: Blogger, food and nutrition consultant Sangeeta Khanna’s daughter was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder when she was two-year-old. She suffered with it for eight long years and eventually succumbed to it. Called Friedreich’s Ataxia, this disorder damages the nervous system and worsens over time. The condition has no cure.
It was around the same time that Sangeeta was pursuing her research in microbial biotechnology but could not complete it as she had to be at her daughter’s side. “The condition was rare and not many people knew about it. My husband studied Life Sciences and we were hence able to do the required research,” recalls Sangeeta.
She then started her blog to connect with people who were diagnosed with the same condition.
“There was a lot of support and positive feedback coming from people. They used to comment and send their thoughts across, but they insisted that I let them remain private. There was a lot of hesitation among people to accept what they were going through,” she shares.
It took a while for her to come out of that troubled time and then she shared her situation with Jo Chopra, who works with autistic children. “She asked me not to feel victimised,” she recalls and adds this statement stayed with her. “I then started to look at things differently. During my interactions with people, I tried to understand why they felt victimised. It made a lot of difference,” shares the 45-year-old.
At this juncture, she also realised that in order to take good care of her daughter, she had to take good care of herself.
“I pushed the thoughts that made me feel like a victim and started looking at nutritional needs of my daughter and myself,” recalls Sangeeta.
That was how her health blog, Healthy Living with Sangeeta Khanna at www.healthfooddesivideshi.com started where her tried and tested healthy recipes are up for grabs. “I started the blog casually stressing on nutritious foods. I started getting work opportunities and now I am a full-time food and nutrition consultant,” informs the Delhi-based blogger.
Sangeeta tells us, pushing away those thoughts that made her feel victimised was one important milestone in her journey. She feels that an individual’s personal experiences affect lives of not just immediate family, but also society at large.
“Hence each of us are responsible for the better of the society. One’s realisations and experiences can help build a better society,” she feels and her contribution comes from sharing healthy eating ideas for all that help in bettering the health of humans as well as planet earth.
Sangeeta’s idea of healthy living
- It is easy for an urban dweller to fall prey for packaged foods.
- Avoid them as they are treated with preservatives for a longer shelf life.
- Though not all packaged food items are harmful, there is a need for us to be aware of what has negative effects on us and what does not.
- One cannot live 100 per cent organically. It is preferable to opt for seasonal fruits and buy vegetables at a local mandi, rather than super markets. This way, we will be encouraging local produce and farmers and also eating healthy.
- Even when you choose to buy organic products, look for local vendors as more business-oriented giants are entering the organic market. The smaller vendors are reliable and you will also be encouraging them.
Sangeeta Khanna will be conducting Millets for Everyday and Everyone at Our Sacred Space on May 17. This workshop will be centred around how to make use of local millets everyday. “A lot of us don’t know how to use millets in our diet because a lot of our parents did not use them. This worskshop will focus on the different ways to use millets and cook them in different seasons,” explains Sangeeta.