Ultimate Grandmother Hacks is a book that I picked up from my twitter feed. Author Kavita Devgan had twitter about it and I was keen to read about the good old ‘Dadi Ma ke Nuskhe’ kind of book. So, I requested her to send me the book and she promptly sent it across. I promptly picked it to read for I knew I would read it slowly, one hack at a time.
Kavita Devgan is a health consultant and a nutritionist. She has earlier written a book on weight loss – I guess a global obsession in our age. What Kavita tells in this book, what we Indians have heard a million times from our grandmothers. There are small nuances that differ from family to family or from community to community but most of these hacks are common across India. Moderation as a key to eating and enjoying the food is something we have forgotten when food is presented as porn or when people claim to be foodies.
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Like every self-help book, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks also re-enforces what you know but potentially fail to follow. Even if you follow, you miss the discipline with which you need to follow them. What Kavita also does is add the modern jargon of nutrition. At times it felt she is justifying the good old practices through the lens of modern science. At other times, it felt she is using the scientific lens to sell the good old wisdom to the generation that is far left brained. The truth may be somewhere in between.
Personally, I hate reading the breakdown of tasty food into its chemical components. I remember a friend from childhood, who hated Daal but would say ‘one spoon protein’ with very spoon of daal she consumed. I pitied her. Daal can be made tasty with Tadka. I guess the best way to get the benefit is to consume with joy and taste. So, I kind of skipped the portions that went into explaining my favorite food through their chemical compositions. I operate from a faith that our food is the most evolved food for our land. It is based on our climate.
Segment ‘The Fifty Habits’ does not add up to 50, maybe there is another way to count. However, this section gives you tips to eat foods like Daal, Laddoo, Rice, Fruits, Milk, Herbs like Haldi and of course the greens like leafy vegetables. All the tips and hacks are great – simple and easy to follow. However, what the author assumes like modern medicine the solutions are the same for everything. Having said that, I understand when you write a book, you write with a homogenous audience in mind.
Buy Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 kickass traditional habits for a fitter you by Kavita Devgan at Amazon
The two other sections of the book focus on the lifestyle and mind. I really liked these parts as most of the times healthy lifestyles approaches tend to focus on one thing and underplay the rest. Lifestyle choices are as important as food and mind plays as its own role. So it is important that we incorporate all these with equal importance.
How I wish someone will do a book on the Dinacharya or the daily routine that one should follow. What confuses me all the books about health is that so much is prescribed and it can not be fitted in a normal day. Given our lives clogged by packaged and processed food, most of us need de-addiction advice too.
Ironically, the knowledge that Kavita Devgan shares mostly comes from her mother and not grandmother as you would expect from the title. I know, you can always say that mother must have inherited it from grandmother. By that logic, we can go back to any number of generations. As a reader, I expect some correlation between the title and the content.
Overall, an easy to read and easy to follow the book. It will remind you to follow all that you should even if for a few days. There are some mini-chapters that include some easy to use recipes.
Read Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 kickass traditional habits for a fitter you.