‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well’, said the late author Virginia Woolf. Her quote certainly depicts her belief in a healthy diet.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor talks about eating a healthy diet and bonding with food
What do you mean by dining well? Is it when you relish your favorite dal chawal or pasta? Let’s hear it from chef Sanjeev Kapoor. We caught up with him when he was in town at Shabodtsav, a literary fest. Kapoor tells us about good, healthy food, bonding with food, and more such culinary insights.
Eating a healthy diet
In the book You’ve Lost Weight, co-authored by Dr. Sarita Davare and Sanjeev Kapoor, they have included healthy diet recipes along with Davare’s holistic plan for an improved health.
Stressing on healthy diet, Kapoor says, “People normally believe that anything healthy cannot be tasty and vice-versa. However, any kind of food is always healthy. Food is not your enemy, it is your mind.”
Kapoor admits that through his books he wants to share the knowledge about the culinary world, which he has gained over the years.
Myths about Indian palate
Again, Kapoor stresses that no food is unhealthy. It’s our body which is either healthy or unhealthy.
He points out that having samosa sometimes causes you no harm. As he puts it, “Kisi cheez ka ati karte hai tab problem shuru hoti hai (it’s when you do anything in excess that the problem arises). All of us know what and how much we should eat. But, we ignore; eventually, we have to pay a price for it.”
It’s all about how sensibly one eats considering his/ her body type and other health problems if any. He says, “First you have to understand your body. Then as per your needs, you have to decide the quantity of food you eat. Moderation is the key. Also, you need to indulge in some kind of physical activity regularly.”
The Internet is flooded with a plethora of diet plans. But how does one follow a healthy diet that suits his body? Rubbishing the myth that Indian food is unhealthy, Kapoor reasons, “Anything that’s grown closer to home is healthy for you because you live in that terrain. You need to understand that what you hear about food and healthy diet is most of the times a function of some marketing at play. Recently I read somewhere that walnuts are good, but cashew nuts are poisonous. Really? Now that’s because there is California Walnut commission that’s spending all the money in the promotion of walnuts. You need to understand that no food is bad. Indian food is the best for people living in India. Period!”
Creating a bond with food
The celebrity chef believes parents must help their children bond with food at an early age. He reminisces how his father would take him to the local market as a child. And that’s how unknowingly he started bonding with vegetables and other ingredients. He asserts that bonding with food and respect for food has to start early.
He mentions that a large part of who we are depends on the food we eat. Kapoor asks, “Kaunse schoolme batatein hain ki sabji mandime kaunsi cheez kaise milti hai, fresh aur seasonal sabji kya hai (in which school do they teach kids about the foods available in the market; or fresh and seasonal foods)? No one does that. So, at home, you should not ignore to teach your kids all this. It’s important to give enough time to the food you eat, to go to farms, and villages. If you don’t train your children to bond with the food, I will go to the extent of saying, that it’s suicidal.”
He suggests that every family should plan their weekly menu, depending on each family member’s likes and dislikes. That’s the key, he says, to live a stress-free life.