Rujuta Diwekar is a nutritionist who is qualified in sports science. For some reasons, I like qualifications. It assures me that the person talking about the area may be knowledgeable in it. Rujuta’s books and her practical approach to food, nutrition and exercise is something I relate to personally. I have loved reading her previous 2 books and looked forward to this one as well. As soon as it came in my hands, I took just about a day and a half to completely read it. And, no there is no fiction there :).
Every woman and every man must read this book. One reason because exercise is something which adults in our country don’t take seriously. I liked how Rujuta busted myths about “brisk walking” and why all doctors on earth ask you to walk without explaining for a minute how much, at what intensity and pace. This book tells you exactly how walking helps you and only to a point. She addresses a very important issue of strength training for women. In India, women will do treadmill or exercycle but God forbid, weights! They immediately imagine themselves as bulky weightlifters. Rujuta gives some straight forward gyan about why it is impossible to lose weight (if that is your goal) or stay healthy and toned unless you do weights.
I loved how she explained cardio and Yoga and debunked myths around that. She explained how carbs, proteins and fats get metabolized in our body. Yes, it gets a bit scientific here but that is the only way to understand what and how everything is assimilated in our body. Read a bit slowly here to absorb the information and do not hesitate to re-read.
A very crucial part she covered was pre and post-workout meals. Most women and men fail in their fitness and health goals because they eat erratically and especially before and after workout which completely erases the crazy efforts that they are putting in the gym. So pay attention here and pick up a few tips. God knows I did! I also fine-tuned my own workout schedule based on her inputs. I am sure it will help everyone make workout a part of their daily routine with knowledge and a clear frame of mind. She also draws clear lines between staying active and exercising. Both are different of course and cannot substitute for each other.
For me the book is filled with nuggets of wisdom. I have read and done some courses on nutrition and exercise but what appeals to me in Rujuta’s books is her plain, no-nonsense logic. She just makes a lot of sense. Also, she writes from the point of view of the reader, not talking down to you but patiently explaining so that you actually understand. She also gives you local information with local advice for women grappling with our own cultural constraints making her extremely relevant. So every Indian woman will relate to the real-life case studies she offers and the constraints that women in India face that come in the way of their health goals. I say for this price, the book is a goldmine of information. Whether you want to lose weight or not, read the book. It will clear your head!
Cons: The language she uses is conversational which is actually good. But what distracts is her excessive use of Hinglish (read Bombay slang). Not everyone who reads the books may be aware of them unless you belong to Mumbai or are avid Bollywood movie watchers. I guess some audience may not get all the jokes she intends there or like the lingo. But, it does give you the guffaws if you follow them.
For those not conversant with scientific terms and expressions, there are parts of the book that will drag. Don’t give up; however, try and get the gist of what she is trying to say. It will help you in construing the later chapters better.
A great book to buy, read and keep going back to!
Disclaimer: I have not been paid for reviewing the book. The copy I bought was with my own money. Needless to say, all opinions are my own!