RITU BHATIA: New generation health divas take the stage

New generation health divas take the stage

Being healthy is the new ‘sexy.’ Why else would so many new age health divas promote healthy eating instead of strict dieting as the path to self-love and beauty?

From rujuta diwekar diet plan Diwekar’s Women & The Weight Loss Tamasha to Yaana Gupta’s How to love your body and Shonali Sabherwal’s The Beauty diet, new diet books are on their way to becoming the self-help books of the future for Indian women.

These are smart diet books, as they sell abundance and eating rather than deprivation and calorie cutting.

Rujuta’s advice to eat every two hours and Yaana’s insistence that a low fat diet is bad for us is music to any woman’s ears.

Rujuta Diwekar
Anjam Anand

Rujuta Diwekar (left) and Anjum Anand (right) have both penned books on health and well-being

Suckers for ‘You can Change your life’ books are lapping these up, since they push eating instead of meditation. The central message of these ‘healthy diet’ books is If you eat right, your life will fix itself.

You will develop self-love, leap out of bed every morning and perhaps even manage to persuade your husband to help you with household chores!

Celebrity endorsements for these titles have helped boost their sales.

Rujuta’s book is dedicated to Kareena Kapoor. ‘Rujuta has taught me to eat right and stay fit,’ says Kareena, in a personal note in the beginning.

Fans of Shonali’s macrobiotic diet include Katrina Kaif and Neha Dhupia.

Yaana Gupta’s glam quotient obviously makes her the best promoter of her own book.

Yaana Gupta¿s book How to Love your body was released a few months ago

Yaana Gupta¿s book How to Love your body was released a few months ago

And then you have the glamorous chef Anjum Anand, who is in the news for her new book Eat Right for Your Body Type, which endorses the ayurvedic diet.

Popularly known as the Nigella Lawson of Indian cuisine in the UK, Anjum hit the jackpot some years ago, when she came up with a healthier version of traditional Indian food.

Let’s face it, one look at her or the clearskinned, lean and healthy Rujata who makes public appearances in short skirts is persuasive enough: If you follow their mantras, you may actually end up looking like them.

The same advice coming from an Indian auntyji wrapped in a saree wouldn’t pass muster.

Though the “love and feed yourself” path to optimal health promoted by these ladies is a welcome change from the typical ‘Get into shape’ message, they still sell the idea that your life will change miraculously if you chuck the white flour, sugar and coffee


And they pedal the ‘feel good’ factor that has become part of the formula of every self-help book that has hit the market since the phenomenal success of The Secret.

‘When you feel bad about yourself, you attract more people and situations that will continue to make you feel bad about you,’ says author Rhonda Bryne.

‘If you make yourself unhappy in any way-your body will react to it by creating a disease-I’d rather feed my soul with food I love and make myself happy than restrain myself and make myself unhappy,’ says Yaana.

Is there any difference between what she and Rhonda say?

Also, how is a reader to decide what the best route to happiness via food is: Shonali’s ‘soulfood’, which is supposed to produce subtle energy changes in the body; Rujuta’s regime of drinking five litres of water and eating ghee; or Anjum’s advice to eat based on whether your body is the kapha, pitta or vatta kind?

Whatever the choice, the one thing we know for sure is that women have lost their way when it comes to their bodies and health. That we need so many books to remind us of some basic principles of eating is a red flag.

What’s going on?

If we simply used our common sense and paid attention to our bodies, we would know when a particular food didn’t suit us and would stop eating when we were full. Anyone who has tried to stick to a list of do’s and don’ts knows that this is nearly impossible to follow for days and months.

Why not evolve your own formula to eat better and move more instead of struggling to adhere everyone else’s advice?

New hope for those who need a valve replacement

Dr Ashok Seth performed one of the first catheter based valve replacement procedures

Dr Ashok Seth performed one of the first catheter based valve replacement procedures

Elders with diseased heart valves had little choice but to undergo a valve replacement surgery till now.

Considered a major cardiac surgery, this naturally put them under great risk.

But the recent success of Dr Ashok Seth and his team at Fortis Heart Institute in performing a path-breaking procedure, called Trans catheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) has changed this dismal situation.

This minimally invasive angioplasty was performed on three elderly people and has been life-saving.

Dr Seth was involved in the early stages of development of catheter based valve replacement procedures when he performed one of the first cases in the world in 2004 and his recent achievement marks a move forward in this area.

A long and happy life

The Longevity Project is the result of a study that was started in 1921

The Longevity Project is the result of a study that was started in 1921

Is longevity associated with being married, daily exercise, keeping a pet or praying daily?

We get some of the answers to these questions in The Longevity Project, a book with the results of an amazing study that was initiated in 1921.

This examined the lives of 1500 Americans from that year up to the time the research was concluded.

The idea was to evaluate how well they aged, and how this related to the way they lived 20, 40, and 60 years earlier. Who lived the longest and happiest lives and why?

The study disproves certain notions about happiness and confirms others.

These three popular ideas were found to be myths: Get married and you will live longer; Give your children a head start in life and they will thrive for life; Take it easy and don’t work so hard and you will stay healthy.

Lick the pain away

If it’s your first instinct to lick your finger when it gets cut, your reaction is smarter than you imagine.

Human saliva speeds up the rate at which a wound heals.

A research study done at the University of Amsterdam found that a cut treated with saliva healed 30 per cent faster than one anointed with saline.

Spit contains more than 200 compounds capable of fighting cavities, fungi, and even viruses.

In a decade we should be able to use bandages and creams infused with healing proteins in the saliva.

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