My identity rests solely and firmly on this: I am my mother’s daughter. I am proud to write here that I was brought up two strong ladies Jyoti Salunkhe & Manisha Oulkar who were my godmothers rather than my masi and hold a higher position in my life than my mother. Whatever I am I owe it to them and them and someday would be honored if I turn out to be their reflection.
They had a powerful influence on shaping my health. I never had to struggle with my weight and the reason was the healthy lifestyle that was followed in our house. As I was studying nutrition I realized the concepts of a balanced diet, eating in moderation, regular exercise, active lifestyle and adequate stress-free sleep were always followed in my family. This is why I never had difficulty in losing my postpartum weight. I feel fortunate to have been parented by someone embodied self-love, active lifestyle and positive body image. Here’s how she helped me in shaping my health.
- Balance is not something you do, its something you create
Balanced life didn’t mean we never went out for dinner or didn’t ever eat pizza or burger. But when we ate at home our meals comprised of foods from different food groups and we always enjoyed them. Our day always started and ended with a glass of milk and she made sure we had it every day even after my marriage she reminded me of consuming milk daily. Our dining table always had freshly chopped seasonal fruits and this helped us develop a liking for fruits and a habit I carried with me after marriage. Veggies which were always part of our main course either in the cooked form with chapatti or in form of soups, paratha, pulao or salads which is why even after marriage I still shop for all kinds of vegetables and try to incorporate in meals of my family. Food was always cooked considering likes & dislikes of family members but also she inculcated the value of respecting whatever food was served on our plates.
- You are what you eat
My mom always had a habit of telling us about the importance of every food that we ate. Like drink milk, you’ll have stronger bones & I do the same to my daughter. That’s why we developed a liking for vegetables and all kinds of food at a very young age. She also encouraged to eat something after every 2 hours and hence we never felt tired and always felt fresh and energetic and so we never had strong desire to reach out for junk food or sugary or greasy foods. We went for healthier options first. She always says eat to live. She is a strong believer of “Let food be your medicine & not medicine be your food”.
- Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do and not punishment of what you ate.
She herself practices yoga and kept telling us how good she felt after it. She always encouraged us to dedicate at least 45 mins from our schedule for exercise and hence in spite of being a working women & mother of a 2year old daughter, I still have 45 mins reserved in my schedule for exercise without which my day is simply incomplete. Exercise is not a burden for me. In fact, I simply enjoy my exercise timing.
- Self-love is not selfish; you truly cannot love others until you know how to love yourself
My mother always says you can’t keep others happy until you can’t keep yourself happy. Love yourself, nourish yourself only then you can take care of your family. She never herself ate what was left after others ate. She always counted herself while planning and cooking meals. Her portions were reserved. She never sacrificed on food. In case if there was leftover food it had to be shared and finished by all family members. Even while dining out or on tours she always ordered what was healthy and didn’t let the cost of food affect her food choices. She made sure she had meals on time and inculcated the same habit in us.
- Cooking is one of the great gifts you can give to those you love
She always says a way to a person’s heart is through his stomach and this thought runs in our blood. She herself loved cooking and made sure even we enjoyed the process of cooking for our loved ones. Even in college, we had fixed schedules where we had to prepare dinner for everyone and no matter how it was she made sure everyone enjoyed it and loved it. Hence I developed a deep interest in cooking and cooking never tired me. I am always ready to try innovative healthy recipes for my family.
Indeed I am simply proud that I had such beautiful ladies as my mother beside me. Today I can proudly call myself as a healthy & active person and I wish to give all the credit to them. They have given me a legacy which I definitely want to pass on to my future generation. Thank you, mom. Love you lots.