Don’t forget your roots

What’s with all the fat loss and health related nutritional advice and diet plans being centered around western foods? When was the last time you saw a diet plan that didn’t have tuna and broccoli and was abundant in traditional foods like rajma or injira or hummus?

Does that mean the only way to become fit and healthy is by eating foods your ancestors never ate? Does that mean one can’t get fit or healthy without whole grain bread and steamed brussel sprouts and grilled chicken breast and blocks of tofu?

I call BS!

We Indians ate our lentils and curries and ghee and khadis and curd for a reason just like the Ethiopians ate theirs and the folks from the middle east ate theirs. It is absolutely possible to eat foods that you grew up eating and get healthier and fitter every progressing day. It is, in fact, preferable.


  1. Eat real food and stay away from allergens for the most part like your ancestors did. Details here.
  2. Tweak your traditional Indian diet and make it match your current activity level. My step by step guide is here.

6 responses to “Don’t forget your roots

  1. Muthuvel December 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I suppose the brocolli, kale, tuna, brown bread references come in most mainstream publications, because they just blindly take the articles they get out of the syndications from foreign publications. Of course, we Indians also suffer from the its-from-phoren-it-must-be-legit-u-see syndrome. So it goes!

    • RG December 11, 2012 at 4:28 am

      Absolutely and, now, it’s definitely time to look differently at health, fitness and wellness differently… the Indian way.

  2. krishnan December 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Overall, a very good post. The only problem I have with the line that is sold in both your post and in many articles is that people did not get enough food in the olden days or they were healthier and stress-free. Without any evidence, how are the writers jumping to such conclusions? We don’t even know how our relatives ate six or seven generations ago, although we probably have a good guess. But, say, 20 generations earlier? Things change. Overall, I think if load up on vegetables and go easy on grains (I’m a vegetarian), it should be ok.

    • RG December 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      We do know, almost exactly, how are ancestors are. There are reams of data, both anecdotal and published, on that.

  3. Anuja December 11, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I hope the link shows up…when I saw this picture I was blown away everybody is lean and most men are muscled!! Yea back in the day you didnt need to be SRK or Hritik to sport 6 pack abs!! Though it still puzzles me how was ours a heavily grain eating nation doing so well in terms of low modern diseases….as compared to last few decades???

    • RG December 11, 2012 at 4:27 am

      Great photo! The answer to your question is nutrition matching activity. Back in the day folks did work… a lot of work and to help them fuel themselves they ate a diet rich in grains and hence starch and calories. Today, we don’t nothing more than, well, sit. If that can’t be changed, then the diet needs to be changed.

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