Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Don't lose your mind, lose your weight by Rujuta Diwekar - A Review

“Rujuta has not just changed my body but also my mind and soul. She is the best thing to have happened to my life!” - Kareena Kapoor

Don't lose your mind, lose your weightWow, best thing to have happened to her life? Wonder what position Shahid, Saif and their likes have been relegated to. Jokes apart, when the poster child of stick thin figures makes a declaration like that everyone sits up and takes notice. I did and I am tempted to add my name to Bebo's quote there but I'll spare you the scandal. What you get instead are my thoughts on “Don't lose your mind, lose your weight”, the very effective health guide by “Rujuta Diwekar”.

    Bollywood has always dictated terms to the common man. From how to look and what to wear the general populace has followed it's screen idols blindly. So it doesn't come as a surprise that the current trend of six packs and zero size bikini figures has translated into a nation obsessed with achieving the same.

    One could fault Rujuta Diwekar from wanting to take advantage of the opportunity but she can be forgiven for the fact that she helped create it. Counting celebrity figures like Kareena Kapoor, Amrita Arora and Anil Ambani amongst her clients, if one's work is their calling card Rujuta definitely has arrived. Thankfully she does not sit in a high and mighty place charging fees to make you lose weight worrying about the amount. She reaches out to the common populace in this very useful book bringing high flying consultancy within our reach.

    So what does Rujuta have to say that one doesn't already know? Lots, I believe. The book offers some excellent insights in the area of weight management which when understood make you go, “damn, why didn't I think of that before?”. The very first and most important of which is the distinction between weight loss and fat loss. One could go on a crash diet and lose a lot of weight but might come out of it with an even higher fat percentage and lower bone density (a sure shot recipe for disaster). The intention should be to lose fat, what happens with your weight would be just incidental. A well muscled body with lower fat % and high body weight would still be considered more healthy than an anorexic with fat % in the 30's. Consequently it's important to measure body fat % and track changes in that instead of our normal weight measuring morning ritual.

    The book then follows to debunk the myths on fad diets that everyone indulges in, most common ones being, the compensation diet, detox diet, GM, dry fruit, orange juice diets and why never to go for any of them. Followed by a lot of interesting anecdotes from her personal experience and the experience of her celebrity clients drives home the point with effect. Subsequent chapters deal with adapting your lifestyle to your health needs with health needing to be the number one priority for everyone. Nuggets on what to eat and the basic dietary constituents like carbs, protein, fats, vitamins & minerals are dealt with exceedingly well. Chapters are followed with cheat sheets summarizing the content, while some of them come with a daily tracker to help track your diet. The writing is lucid and what makes it successful is that Rujuta is able to explain the most complicated concepts in a very “easy reading” way. It's a light snappy practical read with tonnes of useful information.

    I am almost tempted to type out the whole book for the benefit of readers here (Yes, I found it to be that good!) but our little remaining respect for Intellectual property rights being what it is, before I sign off I'll share some philosophies that really stood out as remarkable:
  1. Track your fat % and not your weight. Weight is incidental. Concentrate on decreasing your fat content and increasing your lean body weight (muscle mass).
  2. Eat global. When in Italy, eat pasta. A region's cuisine is developed to suit its climate which in turn helps your body keep balance with it.
  3. Know your genes: Marwaris can get away with their high ghee diet. Everyone can't. Eat what your body has learnt to eat since childhood.
  4. Eat small quantities as frequently as possible. This keeps your metabolism fired throughout the day resulting in more efficient calorie burning.
  5. Cheat meals and high calorie foods if any should be in the first half of your waking day. This will give your body time to burn them off. Eating a pastry just before you sleep is going to get stored straight away as fat because while asleep your body has no use for that energy.
  6. Eat your last meal at least two hours before you sleep. That gives your body time to digest the food.
  7. If you took much on your plate and don't think you can finish it. Don't. Don't worry about insulting the food gods. You'll be insulting a higher temple if you overeat. Your body! You'll find enough hungry street children to earn favor with the almighty.
  8. Water. Amrit. Nectar. Get it?
  9. Last and most controversial one in my book because I haven't been able to follow it myself: Don't start your day with coffee or tea. An apple would serve the same purpose of waking you up as caffeine would.
    To sum it up, I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone because it is everyone's business to take care of their health and from what I have experienced after reading it, your's will be better off once you have done the same.

You can get it from Flipkart for Rs. 150/- at Rs. 50/- discount with free shipping!

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- Written and Published from my tiny Asus eee 701 4G. It feels like a marvel!

Asus Eee PC 4G Surf Celeron M 900MHz 512MB 4GB SSD 7-Inch Linux

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cafe Good Luck - Legendary food places of Pune

 You know a restaurant is successful when it is used as a landmark by anyone and everyone throughout the city. Good Luck chowk on F.C.Road is just that. A prime busy crossing deriving it's name from the Irani establishment that lords over the corner.

Since 1935 is what their hoarding proudly proclaims and 75 years in the business is no mean feat. Even donkeys years feels short of an adjective to describe the legacy of this place. From octogenarians to the now college going crowd, everyone fondly remembers at some time having had a cup of Irani tea with brun maska in it's hallowed confines.

 Cafe Good Luck is primarily a non vegetarian place with the mutton biryani, mutton cutlet curry and mutton kheema being the mainstays of its eclectic menu. However, many a vegetarians are found enjoying the thali during lunch hour and breakfast time is when I believe the place truly offers a unique experience with the most varied egg options. From omelette's, fried eggs to the most soft and fluffy scrambled eggs on toast, you'll get them here. French toast is served either sweet, salty or both to your taste while the baked beans allow the most fitting accompaniment to the spread. Keep an eye out for that waiter though, he's not going to make way to your table in a hurry nor he is going to greet you with a 32 teeth smile unless you are a regular and are known to tip generously.


Café & Restaurant Design
Nostalgia pervades the surrounding with glass mirrors decorating the main hall. Antique decoration adds the quintessential touch. For that Good Luck has retained it's original character. It still is at face value a true blue irani joint. Cheap food with no frills service.

 Food pilgrimage if there is such a thing ends with the shrine of it's premises where to find a solitary gentleman reading his morning paper with the customary cup of tea gives you a deep sense of satisfaction. At that moment you know, that every thing is alright with the world and there's nothing that a lazy hour spent in the gastronomic temple cannot fix.

 There comes a time when you don't just visit a restaurant for the food it offers but as part of a ritual. An arcane rite of passage that isn't complete till you confess to having succumbed to it's marble top charms. For you haven't really experienced the culture and the soul of the city if you haven't tried to absorb it looking out of the window, seated on its chairs wondering about the person who might have sat on the same seat as yours 50 years ago staring out of the same window as the world nonchalantly went by.

 So if you are in Pune with a little time to spare, visit this place and you'll find one piece of the puzzle that makes the city complete.

Food - 4/5
Value For Money - 4/5
Ambiance - 3.5/5
Service - 2.5/5
Hygiene - 2/5

Overall - 3.2 + 1 for old times sake = 4.2/5

Please share your opinion on this post in the comments section.

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