To a healthy, happy me!

Smitha Prabhu says her energy levels significantly improved; she didn’t need afternoon naps and has realised it’s the quality of the food that matters and not the quantity.
Rujuta Diwekar, India’s leading sports-science and nutrition expert, recommends a blend of traditional food wisdom and modern nutritional science for a healthy body and mind
Rujuta Diwekar, India’s leading sports-science and nutrition expert, recommends a blend of traditional food wisdom and modern nutritional science for a healthy body and mindPhoto | Express

KOCHI: In October 2023 when I went for my annual health check-up, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (A1C of 8.9). I was so confident that my test result was wrong, that I retook it, only to find a result worse than what I expected! Even my wife’s diabetes markers were not encouraging, so we both decided to make some changes to our nutrition, inspired by our friend Smitha Prabhu.

Smitha, a former employee of Google, had quit her corporate career to start her own company, Uddha, as a mission to help people change their relationship with food and reclaim their health after she experienced a transformation herself when she underwent a nutritional programme called WILDFIT (founded by Eric Edmeades). The science and psychology behind the regimen convinced her that most health issues result from the food that we are NOT eating enough of – fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds, good fats, proteins and water. 

As the saying goes, “Eat your food as medicine, or you will have to eat medicine as your food!” The entire food industry has driven people towards a health epidemic. On 1 January, 2024, my wife and I started the three-month WILDFIT programme with Uddha and my numbers started to steadily improve. By the end of three months, I was off my medication (metformin) and had reversed the diabetes (A1C of 5.9). My energy levels significantly improved; I didn’t need afternoon naps and I have realised it’s the quality of the food that matters and not the quantity.

I read extensively to understand our body and eating habits. Jason Fung’s book, The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally, is an instruction manual that explains in detail how Type 2 diabetes has become the epidemic of the 21st century and why conventional treatments (including drugs) don’t work. Although diet and exercise are cornerstones of diabetes management, Fung explains how nutrition should be the prime focus. Food writer Mark Bittman lost 35 pounds and saw marked improvement in his blood levels by simply eliminating meat and processed foods from two of his three daily meals. As he points out, in Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, if you eat more vegetables and whole grains, your health, and that of the world, will improve. 

​Disregarding my father’s long-standing advice, I have been gulping my food as if it were a task to be completed, changing my ways only after I’d turned 50! Marc David in his bestseller The Slow Down Diet presents a new way to understand our relationship to food, focusing on quality and the pleasure of eating to transform and improve metabolism. Citing cutting-edge research on body biochemistry as well as success stories from his own nutritional counseling practice, he shows that when we attend to body, mind, and spirit simultaneously, we can shed pounds, increase energy, and enhance digestion to feel rejuvenated. 

A must-watch documentary on Netflix is 'You Are What You Eat:A Twin Experiment'. It showcases an eight-week, Stanford University study that put 22 sets of genetically identical twins on opposing (but healthy) diets: omnivore and vegan. The results are fascinating – it’s not the genes, it’s the greens! 

Rujuta Diwekar, India’s leading sports-science and nutrition expert, recommends a blend of traditional food wisdom and modern nutritional science for a healthy body and mind, with the motto: Eat local, Think global. While her books focus on dieting (Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight), I believe in the mantra, ‘eat healthy and lose weight, rather than lose weight to become healthy’. 

There are thousands of programmes and an entire diet-and-fitness industry, but the fundamentals remain the same. Enjoy Mother Nature’s bounty – fruit, veggies, greens, nuts, seeds and proteins – and keep hydrated. Eating well is a learnt skill and I’m glad I acquired it!

(The writer’s views are personal)

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com