If you think eating healthy is all about oil-free, carb-free, taste-free food, Dr Namita Jain is here to change your mind. A wellness specialist at Bombay Hospital, she recently got former tennis ace Vijay Amritraj to launch Low Fat, Low Guilt - her 12th book - which is a collection of healthy recipes and has already sold 20,000 copies in a span of two months. Talking about health foods Jain says, "Foods like chia, matcha, maca root, spiriluna and goji berries are sold at a premium just because they are considered 'elitist' due to the various labels attached to them. It isn't always practical to go eat such hyped foods and follow different fad diets that gain popularity every now and then. To me, the Indian thali is the ideal, balanced diet. It has the perfect balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats." Through her writings, she aims to dispel myths and misconceptions about health and fitness. We asked Dr Namita Jain for a few tips to lead a healthier lifestyle. Here's what she had to say:

What are your thoughts on superfoods and how should you include them in your diet?

Most of the superfoods that we talk about today originated in Japan and may not really suit the Indian palate or agree with everyone. Though they are amazing, it may not be practical and affordable to include them in our diet on a daily basis. Just because these foods have merits, does not mean it is compulsory to add them to our diets. We can live a healthy lifestyle even by choosing Indian produce. To me, locally produced lentils, vegetables and coconuts are all superfoods too.

Is there a certain eating pattern one must follow to lead a healthy lifestyle?

Eating patterns differ according to an individual's habits, body type, medical concerns and activity level. There isn't one single formula that will work for everyone. The best thing to do is to chalk out a pattern that works best for yourself.

What are the three ingredients you think should be essential in one's diet?

I would strongly recommend including yoghurt and buttermilk due to their amazing benefits. If you're looking for a quick energy boost, a banana is just what you need. Lastly, coconut water should be a staple in our diet. It works wonders and is definitely essential for a healthy lifestyle. Like this article? Also read: The Most Comfortable Outfits To Wear to Your Next Yoga Class Here are a few healthy and guilt-free recipes from Jain's book Low Fat, Low Guilt that you'll love:

Baba Ghanoush


1 large brinjal 1/4 cup tahini 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup lemon juice salt to taste 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbso fresh parsley, chopped


Prick and roast the brinjal on an open flame, turning constantly so it roasts evenly.  To speed up the process, you can microwave it for a few minutes before roasting it. When it is charred on the outside and soft on the inside, plunge it into cold water and peel off the skin. Place the cooked brinjal pulp in a mixer along with the remaining ingredients. Mix until it is a coarse puree. Transfer the mixture into a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with black olives and fresh parsley or corriander. Serve with raw vegetables, warm pita bread, mini toast and crackers.

Warm Mushroom Pâté


1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup chopped onion 6 cups mushroom 1 green chilly, finely chopped 1 tsp ground black pepper salt to taste 1 tsbp whole wheat flour 1/2 cup skim milk 1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped


Clean the mushrooms and cut them into tiny pieces. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil and sweat the onions until they are soft but not brown. Add mushrooms and continue cooking slowly for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and stir until it is well mixed. Add milk and stir till the mixture is thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped green chilly and stir in the chopped parsley. Serve warm on whole wheat toast.  

Creamy Broccoli Soup


1 tbsp olive oil 1 large white onion, chopped 5 cups broccoli, chopped and without stems 1 potato, peeled and chopped 4 cups vegetable broth or 2 vegetable stock cubes dissolved in 4 cups water 1/2 cup skim milk 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the vegetable broth, potato and broccoli and bring the mixture to a boil. Next simmer until the vegetables are tender, which takes about 15-20 minutes. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer the puree in the sauce pan and heat. Add skim milk and stir. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve garnished with toasted pine nuts, almonds or croutons. Is your kitchen up-to-date? Check out our kitchen essentials below. Like this article? Also read: Qurator: Wellness Expert Namita Jain on Guilt-Free Party Food Recipes Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com

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