50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter you - Kavita Devgan from Durgesh's blog

Kavita Devgan is an eminent writer, nutritionist and weight management consultant who propagates practical, effective and delicious ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle. She is a much-read health columnist with the country’s premier media groups and is a prolific and feted speaker too.Her first book Don’t Diet! 50 habits of thin people is a bestseller was released in 2016. It’s Korean, Australian and New Zealand rights have already been sold. Her second title: Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter you released in September.

Something about me that many people are not aware of…

That I am a big fan of non structured exercise; I go up and down the stairs (as often as I can), walk over to buy even one single item of grocery at every opportunity, and like to walk alone (as thats when the best of the ideas come to me.

What draws me to the magical world of writing…

The fact that I can through my writing take my idea and the rules of healthy living (that I believe work) and also the latest researches in the field to thousands of people at  one go is a huge motivator. And the thrill of seeming my byline… that is unparalleled. Yes even after so many years of writing.

What sparked off the idea for the latest book…

Ultimate Grandmother hacks is a compilation of habits that I have grown up with and consider super healthy. The book compiles time-tested food habits to help us develop a cohesive healthy lifestyle and rediscover the joy in eating. It lists the many nuggets of wisdom and discusses the various foods and habits that our parents and grandparents followed that are still relevant today. I basically did not want us and the next generations to forget them, hence the book. That was the motivation behind the book.

What comes to rescue when faced with the notorious "Writer’s Block”?

I stop writing, take a break and begin reading…. Read, read and read some more… books of varied genres… this refreshes me, and always, always works.

How important is the commercial side of writing and promoting your book as opposed to the sheer joy of the creative art of expression?

Very important. There is no escaping it. After two books I know that well. After all when you have written something, you want the world to read it. So you just have to promote it. I am not writing just for myself. I already know my own ideas

Golden advice of wisdom, for new writers …

I can only dole out advice about my genre of writing - health. This is like any other niche genre of writing, the only thing different is that it  takes a lot of research if you want to attempt writing in this genre so be sure you have a huge reservoir of patience. Also the responsibility is huge, never forget that. After all what you write will shape peoples perception about health.  

If you are an aspiring writer be ready for multiple challenges, overtime you'll think you have arrived, a new challenge will show up. So polish your ability to think on your feet so to say, keep reinventing yourself, stay positive, patient, brush up your people and networking skills, carve out a niche for yourself (either in terms of writing style, or subject matter expertise) and most importantly be so good at what you do that editors and people keep coming back to you for stories.  

If marooned on an island with just one book, it would be…

Maybe Vikram Seth’s A suitable Boy. Its sheer size stops me from reading it And yes one book by Bill Bryson too. I love his writing.

If I am not a writer…

I am already straddling two boats - as a practicing weight management consultant, and a writer, and love both with equal passion. If I could add one more skill and be one more thing… then that would probably be a psychologist.

My book is and my personal experiences…

I believe like fiction writers, non faction writers too tend to write about things they are familiar with. This is why the first book Don’t Diet! 50 habits of thin people was actually a compilation of the lessons I had learnt from my patients during my practice. And Ultimate Grandmother Hacks also has a lot of my life learnings.

Other genres I like to explore…

Besides self help, writing short stories and poetry excites me.

My future projects…

I was always writing, ever since I remember. In fact earlier it was mostly fiction (short stories, poetry etc). When I had my baby and took a break from practice for a year, I began writing more regularly and somehow by then as I had subject matter expertise plus lots and lots of practical experience via the people I had counselled for health gain and weight loss, so I began writing in the health genre and luckily found many takers in the media for it. That’s how both my books have been in this genre. Next project… well I am writing my next book… and aiming for it to be out in 2019… but it is too early to talk about it.

A brief extract from your latest book ...

Eat with hands

For me the tactile pleasure that I derive when eating with my fingers (there aren’t too many who follow this anymore sadly) enthrals me every time.

It seems there is more to this age old way of eating then just pleasure.  Science too is now coming round to the fact that it is far healthier to eat with our hand as it is good for our digestion. 

When we pick the food with our hands, the brain signals our stomach that we are about to eat, which then readies itself to digest the food it will receive. 

Also when we eat with our hands we usually join our fingers and thumb to eat. This is actually a mudra that helps heal the body. Imagine unwittingly doing it three times every day. 

Finally eating with hand requires us to pay attention to what we are eating; it is not as mechanical as eating with a spoon and a fork, and it also helps slow us down a bit which is a far better way to eat.

So for the next meal, look at the food properly, keep the cutlery aside and eat with your hands. This meal will give you unparalleled satisfaction and happiness.

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By Durgesh
Added Dec 18 '18



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