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Rujuta Diwekar tells you how to eat with a clear conscience in 2014

I RECENTLY overheard a conversation about why we are all fools for not incorporating quinoa and kale into our diets. Well, I am no longer bummed that I can’t source any of the fad foods out there because nutritionist and author Rujuta Diwekar tells me it is all a load of rubbish. “When we have mineral, fibre and protein rich foods—like ragi, rice, urad dal and paneer—why do we need to run after kale or goji berries?” asks the author, who released her video book, Indian Food Wisdom and The Art of Eating Right, in August last year. “We need to eat well, stay healthy and not indulge in nutritionism (in plain-speak, changing our diets based on random food information).”

According to Diwekar, our grandmothers knew best when they made delicious food that was rooted in the seasons, local produce, festivals, simplicity and taste. So this new year, get back to your roots. Reintroduce rice into your diet, pig out on local veggies, wake up to fruit instead of coffee, and most importantly, stay off the weighing scale.

“It just reduces you to a number,” says Diwekar, who will be in the city on January 13 to speak at the Lit for Life festival at Sir Mutha Venkatasubbarao Auditorium in Chetpet. “It doesn’t take into account if you are staying active, pursuing your hobbies or enjoying life.”

‘Fad’ pickings from your backyard

– Coconut is not called the fruit of the gods for nothing. Let’s not wait for the West to tell us how good it is (which they already are) and incorporate it into our diets.2coconuts

– Ghee is one of the key ingredients in panchamrit, the nectar of gods. Do we need to say anything more? It not only helps flexibility and sharpens the mind, but also helps you lose weight—by increasing your satiety levels.

– Don’t diss seasonal foods or festivity specials. The rice, til and gud we eat in January, as part of Pongal, actually helps stave off joint pain and the like.

– Eat local fruits and vegetables. They grow in specific regions to ensure you get all your essential nutrients.bananas

—Surya Praphulla Kumar

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