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Gorgeous: Eat Well, Look Great Paperback – 8 Dec 2016
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Gorgeous means being the best version of yourself you can possibly be --Priyanka Chopra
Taking care of yourself physically but also making sure that you are happy and peaceful within, that s what it means to be gorgeous. --Trisha Krishnan
At sunrise, I hold a glass of freshly squeezed juice and at sunset a delicious bar of ice cream! If you understand your body and get in sync with its requirements you will look and feel great. --Pradaini Surva
About the Author
Food, fitness and purpose are the key ingredients to a model life. This is the mantra that former model and Femina Miss India International '98 lives by. During her modelling career, Shvetha did TV commercials for Dabur Vatika shampoo, Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Asian Paints, Denim Soap; walked the ramp for most of India's top fashion designers and guest appeared on shows for Nat Geo, Mtv and Star TV channels. Her foray into writing began with editing 20/20 in 2009, the official magazine of the IPL, India's best known sporting property. Her writing has been published in the Hindu, Mint and Times of India newspapers. Shvetha has an MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
From the Publisher
When I was Miss India International 1998, I was often taunted with questions about my diet, about what I ate. ‘Do you eat anything besides carrot sticks?’ was a question I remember being asked most often. It pains me that there is such a strong association in many people’s minds between denying oneself food, and being gorgeous. Part of the excitement of being a model meant that I got to try a variety of authentic, local food from across the country, and the world. This is how I discovered sushi, roti canai, tagine and dhabha food.
Food is such a great way to taste a new culture. I also loved to walk every day, absorbing the sights and sounds of the places I was in. This helped me be effortlessly fit, energetic and full of life. One day, my life changed unimaginably forever and I found myself having to reinvent who I was. While this was extremely arduous, at first, because I had to give up the career and life I had built, I found myself faced with a question that confronts almost all of us at some point in our life, ‘What next?’. Fortunately I found a new life in the world of art and sports marketing. It was also then that I started writing. While my life found a new purpose, it also involved long hours at a desk. With a family and two young children, there was much more than I felt I could handle. This took a toll on my weight and consequently on my energy and motivation to workout. I wanted to be my slender, healthy former self again, but several attempts to restore the balance it required were successful only for short periods.
To add to my frustration, I started reacting violently to many foods especially when I ate out. I was hospitalized several times. The consequent weakness and anxiety about eating was further exacerbated by the instructions to eat only simple foods like congee and fruit. This did little to help and ended up leaving me even more demotivated. I wanted to eat what I enjoyed, be fit again and find a way to sustain that for life. It is then that I began my culinary journey. I started to search for foods that would heal me. I read extensively, talked to experts on a natural yet enjoyable way to seek nourishment. It was on this journey that I discovered the benefits of using cold pressed coconut oil, chia seeds, quinoa, amaranth, red bananas, coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in foods I ate. These foods soothed me and I slowly started feeling better. These are just some of the ideas included in this book. The gift of strength reinstated, I felt it was time to tackle my other goal of getting fit so that I could continue to eat what I liked. I kick started with a program that involved light exercise and a totally new way of eating. It helped me lose weight, gain energy and the best part is that I didn’t have to resist any food group including carbs. In fact, I ate carbs when I most enjoyed them. AT NIGHT! The detailed meal plan I have included at the end of this book is based on this program and I am convinced that it will give you great results too.
I also set about uncovering traditional family recipes and experimenting with cooking different foods. Foods that I liked to order when I ate out, but those that I could eat and serve at home with fresher ingredients thus making them healthier (and tastier) versions of their restaurant counterparts. Many of the recipes included here celebrate this principle. Getting back to a fitness program after a gap was not easy. But doing so gave me energy to take on my daily tasks more efficiently leaving me with more time to prepare what I wanted to eat and to exercise at the next level. I had to try out a few different program before I found one that ‘fit’ me. Step-by-step I restored the rhythm I had lost. Today I can say this, I am back to eating what I like. In fact I consume more ghee, butter, and cold pressed oil than ever before. I feel satisfied after every meal, and I feel free to indulge my sweet tooth without any guilt.
My idea of beauty has changed. I am now more conscious about what makes me feel centered and energized to take on life’s myriad hues. I value feeling gorgeous above anything else. In the pages that follow, I leave you with a mosaic of delightful recipes and ideas to show you that eating well and taking care of yourself are essential to a beautiful life.
A Conversation with Shvetha Jaishankar
Q1. What inspired you to write this book?
A1. Shvetha Jaishankar: Food is central to all our lives, be it special occasions, or a catch up with friends. I wanted to be able to eat the food that I enjoyed while also looking and feeling great. I believe that everyone can find their own food and fitness balance that allows them to eat what they truly enjoy and hence this book that provides delicious recipes and inspiration from people who embody that way of life.
Q2. What were some of the surprising discoveries that you made while researching this book?
A2. Shvetha Jaishankar: I connected with a range of models across generations and was pleasantly surprised by their different approaches to the puzzle we all try to solve- how to eat well and look and feel our best. There is no need to follow fads, diets or count calories- that was another nice discovery.
Q3. The book contains many interesting (and delicious) recipes, tell us about your own personal journey with food. When and how did you discover your love for cooking?
A3. Shvetha Jaishankar: My husband and his family embrace food as a way of life. Every meal my in laws home was a result of reflection. In the beginning, I resisted. I was not used to discussing food so much but it is quite easy to be taken in! After the birth of my two children, I had gained weight and I was low on energy for the first time in life. This forced me to find foods that suited me and gave me the energy to take on the myriad responsibilities I had. These two sets of experiences made me embrace cooking and serving simple, delicious food.
Q4. It’s a popular misconception that in order to look good one needs to constantly watch what one eats and live in a quasi-state of denial. How do you go about busting this myth through the book?
A4. Shvetha Jaishankar: It pains me that there is a strong association between denying yourself food and looking great. It is more a question of finding your rhythm between foods that are good for you, the indulgences you enjoy and the level of exercise that you need to feel your best. The book addresses this in many ways by featuring the voices of 28 top models, many of whom have children, but are still in great shape. The reader will realize by reading their experiences and trying out their recipes that each and every one of us can embody this way of life despite the busy lives we lead.
Q5. The book features your discussions with celebrities such a Nina Manual, Milind Soman, Priyanka Chopra among others. Which of these discussions was the most revealing to you? Also, which was the most fun?
A5. Shvetha Jaishankar: My discussions with the models were in person, over skype and on email. For instance, Milind finished three loaded plates of fruit during our brief chat, Priyanka’s answers via email made me laugh out loud and speaking to Malaika Arora Khan made me metaphorically doff my hat to her dedication to her son as well as to her own health. And there are so many more anecdotes. Every one of these people inspired me, taught me and made me laugh, as they will you.
Q6. Dessert, to eat or not to eat? Also, how much to eat?
A6. Shvetha Jaishankar: To use a fashion industry term… one size does not fit all. You need to understand your body to decide how much dessert is suitable. I do enjoy desserts and increasingly find myself using jaggery as a sweetener. The book too has a diverse collection of dessert recipes.
Q7. How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? What is your exercise regime like?
A7. Shvetha Jaishankar: A healthy lifestyle is not an item on a to-do list that you can cross off as done. Its an ongoing journey, one that you have to keep at. The key is to finding a rhythm that works for you and that’s when you begin to truly enjoy it. Working out has so many other benefits such as clearer thoughts and de-stressing and it actually makes you want to eat better, so it is a rhythmic cycle that feeds itself.
I like taking long walks, strength training and tennis. I am not a fan of swimming and running.
Q8. For those of us that find it hard to set aside time to cook healthy meals, what do you suggest we do?
A8. Shvetha Jaishankar: Simplify. I often make a meal plan for the whole week so I know in advance what I need to stock up on. Also, I’ve learnt from my friends who live in the West. They cook a lot of food once a week and store it. Another trick is to eat similar meals often and eat the food that majority of the people you live with enjoy and you save a lot of time. Provided this is not unhealthy food!
Keep your weekends or holidays to experiment, indulge. For those of us in India, we have the option of getting a part time cook or a delivery service (there are many healthy ones today) in many cities and towns.
Q9. What are your three mantras for a healthy and fulfilling life (filled with delicious food and laughter) that you want to share with the world?
A9. Shvetha Jaishankar: For the most part, stick to foods that you truly enjoy (I don’t mean a sugar rush only!). Listen to your body- if you feel bloated eating dal, don’t have it often even though it is considered a healthy food.
I spend time with people who make me happy, yet push me to do the best I can. This again is a balance that I am conscious about.
I also carve out time for things that I like to do which reduce the daily stresses of life. We all have so many things going on in our lives that it is inevitable that there will be days when you are weary, irritable or angry. I carve out time to do one or more of the following even if it means waking up earlier such as reading, going for walks, lying on the floor and listening to music, meeting friends or singing to my kids.
Q10. What’s next for you?
A10.Shvetha Jaishankar: This is my first book. I’ve learnt a lot and would love to continue writing in some form-a column, a blog or a book. I’m also reinvigorating my sports advisory firm, Culture bend. And of course, continuing to raise my two wonderful girls.
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A must have to know how the fitness conscious, who also look it :), manintain a healthy lifestyle not only for themselves but also for their family. I now know that a great, fit body is very much within the reach.
Yet, simple easy to make recipes with ingredients usually available in our pantries.
I got to learn about nutrition and got a feasible, sensible and satiating meal plan along with the book!! Happy cooking and eating!!
What it brings to the fore is that models are humans just like us and they also have to work equally hard or not as hard, whatever the case may be, to have a trim body and high energy levels.
It offers a sustainable diet plan which you can probably follow for life along with the recepies, so that you can take that weight off and keep it off!
I follow Master Chef and other Cookery programs in local channels. I have also got cook books from Chef Sanjeev Kapur and Master Chef Vikas Khanna. I have also got books of Chef Dhamu and Chef Venkatesh Bhat (popular chefs in Tamilnadu).
What makes this book special?
The book is unique and the richness of the book, be it with pictures or the way the recipe being presented makes it on par with books being published internationally. This justifies the price of the book as well.
There are 100 awesome recipes in this book and most of them were inspired by Top 28 Models and Actors which includes the likes of:
1. Priyanka Chopra
2. Gul Panag
3. Trisha Krishnan
4. Milind Soman
5. Ujwala Raut
6. Aditi Govitriker
7. Madhu Sapre to name a few.
The book consists of both Veg and Non-Veg delicacies. The non-veg delicacies comprises of eggs, chicken, pork and lamb, seafood. Most of them are unique dishes and the way of preparation has been explained in simple English.
This book would surely appeal whether you are a vegan or otherwise. Ways of preparation has been mentioned in simple steps. I can safely bet that this book can even make a novice or a beginner to learn quickly and eat healthily.
As said by the author and Malaika, eat the food you like but in limited quantities. Avoid fried and deep fried foods. Exercise as and when possible though regular exercise is recommended.
What are you waiting for? Buy this amazing book today. You will surely appreciate the quality of the content in this one of a kind cook book.
- I am an eggetarian
- I enjoy good food (and variety) but have generally been averse to diets and 'health foods' (typically any diet that emphasises nutritional benefit over gratification!)
- I just hit forty, live with an increasingly persistent, spongy mid-riff, and find a direct correlation between diet and mental/physical energy (alas, gone are the days that I would be content with a couple of vada pavs for lunch 4 times a week).
Of late I have been on the look out for a variety of meal options that address the above criteria, without taking too much time, energy or effort to access.
This elegantly presented, easily readable and well organised book, provides a tailor-made solution for my meal ideas with several vegetarian recipes from across the globe suited for all meal times. The recipes are typically hearty, without being rich and heavy, with a generous dose of fresh ingredients. Some of my personal favourites include Ilai vadam, undhio, minestrone, pitlai, Brussels sprouts sambar, rice noodle soup, grilled veggies on baguette, hummus, red rice dosa, kichdo ... and am looking forward to trying several of the salads to cool off this summer!
Disclaimer: I am related to the author (but the review is unbiased!) or I might have never bothered to read the book, given my pre-conceived notions that models eat boring food! This book goes a long way to bust those notions (with tit bits from a number of top models on their lifestyle and, often contrary to notions, diet), and, happily, has also turned out to be a ready reckoner for meal ideas (the only flip side being that I burn fewer calories debating what to eat next!)
As a professional chef, I have read over 100s of book and I must say that this one in particular is one of my favourites, it very smartly deals with our day to day challenges of cooking and eating right; same time making the food taste good. The book as a whole is an incredible read.
The pictures and recipes are very eye catching and trust me, even if you ar trying to cook for th first time, this book is a much needed because it's super detailed and all the recipes work beautifully.
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