“Love changes everything”, sang Michael Ball in Andrew Llyod Webber’s 1989 musical Aspects of Love . But the shape of your body, the health of your gut, the texture of your skin, the state of your mind, the quality of your life?
Yes, it does says Shonali Sabherwal, India’s only certified counsellor/ chef & instructor in Macrobiotics who has launched her new book The Love Diet ( Random House) , in the city recently. This unique book, which serves as a guide to healthier and happier life choices is designed to cultivate and improve health and vitality for a happy blissful life full of love, caring and giving.
“My principles are built on the practice of self-love. Unless you learn how to love yourself, you cannot love anyone else,” says Shonali.
And the love starts with nourishing your body the right way, “Good food changes the way you look at the world,” says Shonali, “When you eat badly your system get sludged and you end up attracting the wrong energy. When you’re eating right and your blood condition is better—the good things in life will come to you.
Shonali, a graduate from the Kushi Institute, a leading US based macrobiotic educational centre, says that her tryst with macrobiotics began in 1998 when her father developed cancer and she sought an alternative approach to wellness that help him cope with the illness.
“The macrobiotic diet uses food to balance you out, take control of your life and make better lifestyle choices,” she says adding that her own experience with it was liberating, “I had a chronic candida condition that I managed to cure through adopting this lifestyle. And while weight loss is only a side-effect, it does happen. I was never at an unhealthy weight but following the macrobiotic lifestyle I simply dropped kilos and inches, got amazing levels of energy, got a lot calmer.”
And what does the lifestyle entail. Well first it involves eating, “a lot of plant produce, fermented food, nuts, whole grains, legumes and fish. It involves eating seasonal, local, traditional, organic to a large extent,” she says. It also means avoiding the consumption of sugar, honey, artificial food, processed/packaged foods, all meats, dairy, refined oils, refined salt, ice cold food and drinks, alcohol, caffeine and drugs, though Shonali admits that, “If you eat well 80 per cent of the time, its okay to slip 20 per cent.”
And the best thing is that Indian food lends itself very easily to the macrobiotic principles of eating she says. Shonali, whose clients include some of the best known faces of Bollywood including Hema Malini,Katrina Kaif, Esha Deol, Jaqueline Fernandez, Neha Dhupia, Shekhar Kapur and Kabir Bedi says that following the principles detailed in the book will bring you're a calm mind, peaceful disposition and a balanced outlook in life, “It is not a diet it’s a lifestyle change and you need to be conscious about it,” she says.