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Does your brain keep you up at bedtime? I'm Katherine Nikolai and my podcast nothing much happens bedtime stories to help you sleep has helped millions of people to get consistent, deep sleep. My stories are family friendly. They celebrate everyday pleasures and train you over time to fall asleep faster with less waking in the night. Start sleeping better tonight. Listen to nothing much happens bedtime stories to help you sleep with Catherine lie on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Hey, it's Debbie Brown, host of the.


Deeply well podcast, where we hold conscious.


Conversations with leaders and radical healers in.


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Well with Debbie Brown is available now on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Namaste.


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That's, and make sure you use the code on purpose. Hey everyone, welcome back to on purpose, the place you come to to become happier, healthier, and more healed. I'm so grateful that you're back here today and I'm so excited to introduce you to my guest. This guest has been on the show more than anyone else, she was the first guest ever on the show and she's the cutest, most beautiful, most incredible guest we ever have had on the show. I'm, of course, speaking about the one, the only, hardest guest to book of all time. Longest commute to the studio of all time. My incredible wife, Radhi Devluccia. For those of you that don't know, Radhi is a clinical dietitian, nutritionist and always learning cook. Radhi brings a modern approach to the ancient principles of holistic well being and earned her ayurvedic health counselor one degree at the California College of Ayurveda. Right now, I couldn't be more excited or more proud of Radi because her book, her first ever book is out right now. It's called Joyful. It has more than 125 plant based recipes and it's all about cooking effortlessly, eating freely and living radiantly.


Obviously, I don't think I've ever wanted you to get a book more than this one. Even more than my books. This is the most important book that I want you to get this year. Please go and grab a copy. We've put the link in the caption in the comments. Wherever you are right now, go and order. Joyful. Welcome to the show, my amazing wife and the love of my life, Radhi Devlukia.


Radhi, thanks. Oh, my God. You're so professional doing this.


I mean, we've been doing it for a bit. It was better than the first time you came on like five years ago.


It's amazing. Thanks for that intro. I really appreciate.


I'm genuinely so proud of you. Like, looking at this book. And obviously, I've had the inside track of watching you work on this book for the last three years. The amount of energy, the amount of effort, the amount of love, the amount of devotion that's gone into this book is amazing using. And it's so beautiful. And for those of you that don't know, when you do get it, you can take off this part. Even though Riley's face, you can take my favorite part off and look how beautiful this is.


Yeah, I made it that way.


Stunning book.


I wanted people to be able to have a coffee table book, but also know that it's my cookbook. But I like the part where you can just take my face off and leave it on your table for little surprises inside.


I have so many questions for you because even though I've seen you work on this book, I find that when you get inside someone's mind and heart, you understand. So much more about what they've created. And even though I've watched you from the outside, I don't always know all the inside, so I want to dive straight in. And one of the things I love about this book is the beautiful pictures you have with your family. Your bar, who's your grandma, your mom, your dad. I'm in it as well. I got one picture. But what I love is that your family have been such big inspirations for you in your cooking journey. And I just wanted to go through your grandma, mom, sister, family, dad, just the people in your life that have inspired you. And I wanted to know what have you learned from each of them or what have you gained from each of them in your cooking journey?


I would say that because one, both of us grew up in an indian family, food is literally always has been and always will be the center of everything. Whether it's celebrations, whether it's making sure that we eat dinner every single day together. And so I think I've learned to form connections through eating because of having grown up with it. That is my place where I feel I can connect to someone the most when we're sharing a delicious meal or a nice dessert together. And so there's that. But also both our mums had full time jobs growing up, but she still managed to make homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. And so watching her do that for us with so much love and also eating her food and feeling her love through the food, I think my deep connection with food comes purely through that to having experienced that from her. My grandma's the same. She passed everything down to my mom in that way. My mom was cooking with my grandma from the age of like twelve and she gets her love for it from her as well. And so I definitely think that it feels like something generational that's been passed down into me and my dad.


My dad is someone who, you know, my dad, he's so quiet, he's so sweet. And whenever my mom would go away for work or anything, he would always step in and be someone who, he wouldn't be like, let's just order out. He would find something. He could make Mac and cheese really well. So my dad's Mac and cheese is in the cookbook. That's like my one memory of growing up when my mom would go away, he would make this Mac and cheese and the one time we'd get to sit in front of the tv and eat and we'd eat Mac and cheese and sit in front of the tv and so I feel mean, which is the same as everyone. I'm sure I could not have created this book without all of the inspiration that I've got from them. All the recipes are so inspired by where we're from, from India, from our heritage of things that we've grown up eating. And then my mom and all the things that I feel like are my comfort foods when I think about her. And so actually, a lot of the recipes are connected to memories and things that I can make and then feel the love and the energy of the person that I ate it with, or that I cooked it with, or that cooked it for me.


It's completely weaved and just created through family. That is what the book is about and that is what I hope people feel when they read it.


Yeah, no, it comes across and it's so beautiful because you see all of those influences and all of those energies that come in. And one of the most interesting things about you is that you obviously trained as a nutritionist and then a dietitian, both of your degrees, and then you've become an ayurvedic health counselor and studied ayurveda as a big part of your learning journey. And I know you consider yourself a continuous student and wanting to develop those skills, but walk me through how those two things have impacted your understanding of food.


I started off doing my degree as a nutritionist and a dietitian. And so then I was working in hospitals where I was seeing everything from diabetes clinics to the elderly who are malnourished, to little children, like pediatric clinics, trying to get little fussy eaters to eat a little bit more. And so I actually loved working in that environment. I loved being someone who could be patient, facing, seeing them every week, trying to see their progress, and feeling like I had a direct impact to them. But the only part I kind of struggled with was, naturally, when you're part of a system, you have to recommend what the system recommends. And so that was a bit difficult for me because I always wanted to be food forward versus supplements or anything in a bottle, but sometimes that's not the easiest or most efficient way. And so I definitely loved it, but I felt there was a slight disconnect. And then when we moved to New York, I threw myself back into study and I found ayurveda. And for anybody who doesn't know what ayurveda is, ayurveda means life. Veda means knowledge. And it's basically the science of life.


And as soon as I learnt about it, it clicked. Everything felt like it made complete sense. And it felt just like when you go to a place and it feels like home. When I learned about ayurveda, I felt like I'd found my home in the practices and the rituals and the understanding of my body. The differences between the two were incredible. Like western medicine and western healing is all about curative. Like, you get to the point of disease and then let's figure out how to cure it. Whereas in ayurveda, it's all about how can we start understanding our body? How can we start noticing the symptoms, the things our body is trying to tell us? And how do we tune into that so that we catch everything a few steps before disease so we can actually have an opportunity to prevent it. And on top of that, it's so individual. Like, a lot of the time with western medicine, it's one size fits all. And I really appreciate so much of western medicine, the diagnostics, like how we're able to figure things out through so many systems that we have. But the one thing we kind of lack is this individual nature of the way you eat a tomato, which we know you eat a tomato, and I eat a tomato whenever I make a meal.


It affects you so differently to me. And so I love the individual nature of healing our body as me. Like, not what this person online is telling me, not what this book is telling me, but let me observe and be an active participant in my health every single day, so that when I eat something, I'm not eating this salad because this person told me it was the best thing for their body. I know I'm eating it because it's the best thing for my body. And I feel it through the way my body feels, through how my digestion is. Yeah, those are like a couple of differences that I found. And then I just started learning more and more about this holistic practice and started practicing it. So now I know how it feels and I can share it with other people, having practiced and lived it.


I love that point that you just made about being an active participant in how you feel. And I didn't start with this, but I wanted to say it now. Sadly, you had to give up all those patients and everyone you worked with to only have one patient. And that person's been me for the last eight years that you've been coaching me, and you've been my health coach and my health guru, and you have helped me with so many things, whether it was really working on my sugar addiction, working on my addiction to soft drinks, fizzy drinks, what do they call them? Here. Sodas. So many things I had that I thought I'd figured out. So I loved meditating and reading and working on the mind, but I didn't want to physically work out. I didn't care about the body. And you helped me understand that you probably switched my sleep schedule around. I think when we met, I was someone who could sleep a lot later, and now I sleep really, really early. And that was a big part of what you changed. And all of those have made me feel healthier and happier every single year because you've helped me build these habits.


And I just want to add, none of that was done through force. None of that was done through telling me what to do. But you were always patiently coaching and guiding me, as in how I showed enthusiasm or what I wanted to learn. And so what I love about this book is that you've taken all of that and you've now made it accessible to anyone who wants to change their habits. And that's what's so amazing about this book. It's not a cookbook. In that, yes, it does have 125 recipes and it does have recipes.


It is a cookbook, guys.


It is a cookbook. But it really has all of these day to day guides on habits and how to change your rituals and your morning routine and your evening routine and practices with food and without that, improve your life. And so as someone who's been a recipient of your coaching and of your guidance, I'm so excited that everyone gets to have this now through joyful.


You've been such a good student. I feel like I haven't even had. It hasn't really been you being a student. You've always wanted to make yourself better in some way. And I think that's the difference, right? We know this from having parents and having different teachers in our life that I've learnt best through observing someone or experiencing how amazing they are through the practices that they've done. And so when I was writing the book, I knew I wanted it to come from a place of love and knowledge because I think that is the place where people learn the best and make sustainable change. It's like I can tell people that eating a certain way is terrible for you and you're going to die early. And whatever it is that you could say to really scare someone into it, but that just makes them either want to hide from themselves or it makes them want to curl up into a ball and kind of be like, I need to ignore this because this is too much information and it's overwhelming. And I do think what you said about me teaching you, you are an active participant in your health.


And I think that is actually the key. Like, for me, I've intertwined. I said when I first wrote this cookbook, I was like, I do not want it to just be a cookbook. I love sharing food with people. It is my love language. But what I want more is food is just one aspect. Like, we all know food is just one pillar of our health. And then to be able to intertwine throughout your day, all of these micro habits that create such major impact. And that's what it did for me. One of the things in there is breath work. And I think about this so much, and I just took a deep breath now because breath has honestly saved me from being someone who has mass anxiety going into things that I find so difficult. And by the way, not even difficult things. Things that I find difficult. So going into events where there's lots of people coming onto interviews and speaking in places where I don't have full control over it, like, having all those minor things which actually impacted me so much, breath work has been the one thing that's allowed my mind to slow down for me to collect my thoughts, for me to energize myself in the afternoon, for me to help relax me in the evening.


And so I've shared breathworks to really take people through their day, to tackle and handle everything that comes our way. And so from breath work to the way that we eat and the way that we connect to our food, all of that helps us create more joyful moments throughout the day. And the more joyful moments you have throughout the day, the more joy you end up with every single day, like, it accumulates throughout the day.


I want to dive into some things in the book now because I want to give people a sense of how this cookbook is shaped and curated in order to help people. And I wanted to start off by asking you this question about the modes, because you break down the modes as, like, a big part of your book, and you talk about the three. Could you walk us through these three modes and how we think about food when it comes to these three?


Yeah. So the three modes in Ayurveda, essentially, they're the energies of the world, of everything that we eat, of everything that exists externally and internally. And so there's the mode of goodness, the mode of passion, and the mode of ignorance. And so I've spoken about it in the sense of our lifestyle and our food. That's how I focused it in the book. And so, mode of goodness are basically foods which make you feel good. Like on a basic level, it's foods that nourish you deeply, that nourish your body, that are filled with prana. Now, Prana is life force. And what that means is having the most amount of vitality and energy in that produce. And so a simple way to explain it would be you pick an apple from the tree. At that point, that apple has the most amount of nutrient value, it has the most amount of life, and it's just been taken from the tree, it's the most abundant in that form. And then you take it home and you leave it out for a couple of days, and you leave it out, and slowly, slowly, the quality externally starts getting bad.


You see these brown spots that come up, and then slowly it starts getting mushy inside. And so the thing is, you can eat something in its purest form, or it can end up degrading and becoming something which can move through the modes down to something that's no longer beneficial for you. But the point is trying to eat the most amount of foods that form within this, that fall within this mode of goodness. And so the types of foods would be fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, like avocados, and just all the foods that come from a fresh, natural place. And so if you possibly can buy organic way, you can, the less chemicals, the less things that are put onto your foods that are unnatural, the better. And then, lifestyle wise, mode of goodness are, again, the things that don't just make you feel good in the moment, but actually bring goodness to your life long term. And so a lot of the time, we mistake our temporary joys for things which are good for us. I think it's learning how to differentiate the two. So you know that, for me, when I'm eating a sugary donut in the moment, it brings me joy.


And sometimes that's great, but actually, in the long term, it may ruin my sleep, it may make me lethargic in the morning. And so the foods that actually bring energy and good digestion, all the things that make your bodily systems feel good, those are the foods in the mode of goodness. And also the activities are the same. And then when you get to the mode of passion, so all those foods that you eat that give you immediate gratification. So the sour, the salty, the chili, all the things that you would put into your food to create that kind of burst of flavor into it, those are still okay to have. But again, in moderation, mode of goodness being the larger amounts of foods and activities that you do. Mode of passion will be a really intense workout that gets you sweating, and you're like, oh, at the end of it, it really gets your aggression out. So that's a mode of passion activity. And the foods would be what I just said, like chilies and sour foods and spices that are really intense.


And they have their place as well.


Of course they do. All of these have their place, by the way. They all have their place. But as we go down, you have to have less and less of those foods. And then the last one is mode of ignorance. And those are the foods that essentially make your body feel lifeless and lethargic and make your digestion feel sluggish. And those type of foods end up being foods which are deep fried because it's so dense and heavy in oil, leftovers, foods that have gone bad in the fridge, that have been there for a long time, basically food that have lost their life, and according to Ayurveda, also meat and foods which no longer have life in them, like animals that have died, and then they no longer have that vitality. And so, yeah, it's just being mindful about all the things that fit into those modes and how they're affecting you. And it's not just on our body. It has the ability to affect our mind and our consciousness, too, because everything carries energy. So whatever energy that food has when we're digesting it, it's also assimilating into our blood and then our bones and then our entire being.


And so it can also affect our mind. So a lot of the foods in those categories, they also will affect our mind in the same way they affect our body.


And I love this because I know you've done this for yourself before and you've recommended it for me to do as well is doing like, a food diary or food audit for a week and actually just testing it out, because I think sometimes we don't realize how subconsciously some of these things work and how subtly they work. And if you hadn't taught me in how to spot these things where it's like, well, did you sleep badly? Oh, wait a minute. What did you eat the night before? Right. Often we think it's so mental, but so often it is physical, it is biological, it is to do with what you consumed. I'm Jay Shetty, and on my podcast on purpose, I've had the honor to sit down with some of the most incredible hearts and minds on the planet.


Oprah, everything that has happened to you.


Can also be a strength builder for you.


If you allow it.


Kobe Bryant the results don't really matter. It's the figuring out that matters. Kevin Hawke is not about us as a generation. At this point, it's about us trying our best to create change. Lewis Hamilton that's for me. Been taking that moment for yourself each day, being kind to yourself. Because I think for a long time I wasn't kind to myself and many, many more. If you're attached to knowing you don't have a capacity to learn on this podcast, you get to hear the raw, real life stories behind their journeys and the tools they used, the books they read, and the people that made a difference in their lives so that they can make a difference in ours. Listen to on purpose with Jay Shetty on the iHeartRadio app Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Join the journey soon.


Tune in to the new podcast stories from the village of nothing much like easy listening, but for fiction. If you've overdosed on bad news, we invite you into a world where the glimmers of goodness in everyday life are all around you. I'm Catherine Nikolai and you might know me from the Bedtime story podcast. Nothing much happens. I'm an architect of cozy and I invite you to come spend some time where everyone is welcome and kindness is the default when you tune in. You'll hear stories about bakeries and walks in the woods, a favorite booth at the diner on a blustery autumn day, cats and dogs and rescued goats and donkeys, old houses, bookshops, beaches where kites fly and pretty stones are found. I have so many stories to tell you and they are all designed to help you feel good and feel connected to what is good in the world. Listen, relax, enjoy. Listen to stories from the village of nothing much on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Our seen as this golden decade, our time to be carefree, fall in love, make mistakes, and decide what we want from our life.


But what can psychology really teach us about this decade? I'm Gemma Speig, the host of the psychology of your we take a deep dive into a unique aspect of our 20s, from career anxiety, mental health, heartbreak, money, friendships and much more to explore the science and the psychology behind our experiences. Incredible guests, fascinating topics, important science, and a bit of my own personal experience.


Audrey I honestly have no idea what's going on with my life.


Join me as we explore what our really all about from the good, the bad and the ugly. And listen along as we uncover how everything is psychology, including our psychology of your 20s, hosted by me, Gemma Spegg, now streaming on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Yeah, I think we've tuned out of our body so much. You know, when they say about your own inner voice, of when you've got too many voices that you have allowed to be louder and louder around you, your inner voice becomes quiet or it becomes dampened. In the same way, our inner cues, our inner intuition about our own body, we kind of end up losing that because we're constantly hearing. Avocados are amazing for you. So you end up eating an avocado every day, even if it's making your tummy feel bad. These salads are amazing for you. So then you end up eating those salads, and slowly your body is screaming at you. Well, first of all, it starts to whisper, and it's like, oh, I feel a bit uncomfortable. And then you ignore it. And then you're like, oh, my skin is breaking out, or I'm losing my hair, or your external symptoms start to come, and still you're like, it's nothing to do with my food. I'm going to keep eating this. And so you slowly, slowly start quietening your own bodily cues that you completely start to deteriorate your body just because you've stopped listening to it.


And then your body stops communicating to you. And if it does, it will scream at you until your body gets to the point of breaking down. You get ibs or you end up getting gut issues, you end up getting skin issues. And so we don't seem to be able to catch ourselves in the point of, oh, I'm feeling a little bit uncomfortable today. I wonder what it was that made me feel uncomfortable. And so the diary is really important because if you do struggle with any physical problems at the moment, digestive issues, whatever, start doing the diary of this is what I ate, and this is how it made me feel. Two to 3 hours after, that's usually how long it will start taking to digest your food, and then start pairing that up with, okay, this didn't make me feel good, so I'm going to cut that out and let me see how I feel. It's a process of elimination, and it does take a little bit of work, but it makes such a difference because then your body will start talking to you a little bit more the more you listen to it.


Yeah, it's like what I told you last night, where I've been exercising, I've been meditating, I've been feeling really great. I've been sleeping really well. And then for the past four nights, I've just had such a busy schedule that my morning routine, evening routine, everything went out of whack. And then last night, I was like, I just need to eat sugar. And I know exactly why. I was like, I literally haven't turned to it. Whereas last night, I literally.


Three weeks.


Yeah. For three weeks, I had no refined sugars and I was absolutely fine. But then the last four nights, my schedule was crazy. And so last night I ordered a chocolate fudge cake, a tiramisu, and had a scoop of ice cream. And it was amazing.


It was great.


I'm really happy I did it. But at the same time, I noticed why I was craving it, because for three and a half weeks, I've not craved it at all. And again, I'm not trying to food shame people or make people feel bad. I really enjoyed that food that I had last night, but it was a recognition of how much my body didn't need that when I was doing all these other things and how much I resorted to it as well.


Yeah, well, you have noticed what your triggers are for wanting foods that are just there to give you a hit that you need. And so you already know that when I have lack of sleep, when I don't have time to rest, when I don't get my weekends, when I'm going from one thing to another to another, slowly it's deteriorating me. And then I get to that point. And so I think what you've done is you've recognized this. So you know where you're leading, you know where you're going, and then you have your sugar dose, which is fine. Everybody loves having a little bit of something, but the fact that you're able to recognize that I know this is going to happen, this is what it's going to lead to if I continue down this road. Yeah.


Donuts tonight?


Yeah, definitely.


I wanted to dive in. There's something beautiful that you did in your book, and I thought these were really well written and explained and super unique as well, and things that I don't hear people talk about all the time, so I wanted to dive into it. You have nine tips for living joyfully. And the reason I wanted to ask you about some of these, my favorite ones, is because I think they're underestimated and they have a huge impact on the food we eat. And so I'm just going to pick some of the ones that I like. So number two is called eat until satisfied, not stuffed. And I was thinking that until I met you, I definitely believed that I would eat till my limit. And now I'm, like, wanting to know what's made and how much there is and everything else. But walk us through why it's important to eat until satisfied, not stuffed.


Yeah. In ayurveda, it says that you should eat until you are three quarters satisfied, not full. And so what that means is not getting yourself to the point. So there's such a fine line between eating enough to fuel our body and then eating so much that it then makes us feel drowsy, lethargic afterwards. And so learning what those cues are for your body is really important. And so it's easier for our body to digest when we haven't overstuffed it. Like, think of your stomach as, like a furnace where you constantly keep putting things on top. And so naturally, there's only a certain amount of digestive juices that are flowing in your digestive system. So it's like it produces enough for the amount that you should be eating, and then you end up overdoing it and overwhelming it where your digestive juices aren't actually allowed or unable to digest everything that's in there. So then what happens is your food remains undigested. Your undigested food ends up fermenting in your stomach. You then get gut discomfort. You then feel a bit slothy after your meals.


Feel bloated.


Feel bloated. So then those foods end up fermenting, producing toxins in the body. Then you start getting headaches and just feeling really groggy. Or then you're like, I wonder why I feel this way. I just ate a full meal. I felt energized, but I thought I would get energy from it, but instead it's made me feel worse. And so the three quarters full thing is, you will know when you've eaten too much. Instead of feeling energized by the meal you're eating, you feel the opposite. You feel lethargic, you feel under the weather, you feel groggy. And so that's a good indication to you that maybe you've either eaten the wrong foods or most likely you've eaten a little bit too much. And so the way to actually make sure you do that is conscious eating. And, like, mindfully eating, because the fact is, when you're distracted, you've got a burrito in one hand, you're typing on the other, you're talking to people, you're all over the place. So what happens is when you end up eating your food, you haven't yet prepped your body to say, hey, by the way, food's coming. And so when your body knows that, by the way, you may not have even looked at what you're eating, your digestion starts as soon as you look at food.


That's the beginning of when our digestive juices start flowing. Our tongue knows to produce the enzymes it needs to start digesting the food from the mouth. And so when you don't give it enough notice, you start eating, and your body's like, oh, I wasn't ready to digest all this food. And so looking at the food, having a prayer of gratitude just before you eat a second with the food to tell your body food is coming to nourish you now, then taking a bite, slowly eating it, you'll notice that when you eat slowly, by the way, I don't mean you have to long out your meal for like an hour. It's just taking bite at a time instead of eating a bite before the last bite is finished. When you do that, you'll notice, oh, I actually only made it through like three quarters of this burrito. And actually, I feel actually great. This feels good for me. This feels like enough. Whereas if you eat that fast, your body doesn't even get to tell you, oh, okay, I'm stuffed now until it's too late.


Absolutely. And then the next one that you were kind of leading on to is this idea of chewing your food. Like the importance of that. But before I do that, I want to talk about the one you just said. I think it's so interesting to hear about how the digestive process starts. I know until I met you, I'd never heard that in my entire life of, oh, wait a minute, my body actually has to be ready to eat. But that actually makes so much sense. It's like when you go to a restaurant, you order what you want, and then they have to prepare it, and then you're being prepared to eat it. But we almost want our body to respond like technology, where it's like, on off, do this now, do that now. And it's almost like, well, no, your body needs to through the scent, through the sight, through everything else, needs to actually feel ready. And that's such a powerful point. It's such an important point.


Like when you put a kettle on to boil water, everything takes a little bit of time. And our body is a system. It takes a second to gear up, just like when it's rested for 8 hours at night. And then suddenly you're waking up and you're throwing in your coffee, and you're throwing in all this heavy food, and your body's like, oh, my gosh, I just got up. Give me a second. It's like someone's screaming at you when you're waking up. And so that's how our body feels, too.


Chewing your food.


Chewing your food. Okay, so I have this memory of my dada, my granddad, every time we would sit down for a meal, he would remind all of us, you have to chew. I think it was like, 32 or like some 32 times. Like, chew your food. And so everyone would have to sit there chewing their food, like, 32 times. You don't have to do it 32 times. That's, like, the recommended amount. Because the fact is, the more you digest in your mouth, which is what our teeth are for, the more that you break it down, the less work our stomach has to do. So if you're eating food, even if it's small, even if it's big, it's like our teeth were made to break down the food. Our tongue was made to release the enzymes to break it down. You skip that part. Your stomach's doing double the work than it needs to chewing your food. So if you're having digestive issues, one of the simplest things you could do is chew your food a little bit better, because if your digestive juices or your gut is a little bit weaker, it's going to find it even harder to break things down.


So whether it's raw foods, sometimes cooked foods you can get away with. Soups you can get away with, of course. But the things you have to really pay attention to chewing more are the things with roughage around it. So, like, more fiber around it. The beans, salads. When you're eating salads, especially, chew it well so that it gets broken down.


I mean, that's such a simple yet huge point. I know as someone who eats very fast, and you've slowed me down so much, but I always found that I had to eat quick because when I worked in the corporate world, you didn't really get a lunch, and so you'd quickly eat, and you didn't want to be seen eating because you're always being judged for not working hard enough. And so I got into this habit of eating really quick. And what I realized was, yes, I could eat quick, but it's exactly what you said. I wasn't chewing my food properly. Obviously, I'm then getting cramps or feeling bloated or whatever else it may be, and you don't feel good, and now you're not working or you're not alert at work because you're not feeling great anymore. And so it sounds so simple, but that ability to chew your food effectively. And I love what you said about how the stomach's doing double the work. Again, we don't look at our body as a system.




And so we don't recognize that. Oh, that's what's putting pressure on my stomach, and that's why I'm feeling pain, because I could have eaten food that's good for me, but I'm not chewing it, I'm not breaking it down.


Yeah, exactly.


Yeah, I love that one. Okay, I'm picking some more because these nine methods of eating joyfully, living joyfully, are brilliant. So that's a couple of them. I wanted to pick a few more. This one was intriguing to me because you put eat and cook with your hands.


Yes. In our culture, in indian culture, and in many of eastern traditions, you eat with your hands. And again, that's another way. It's another sign to your body, because we've gotten used to holding metal things. So our body doesn't actually know. It could think that we're about to saw something. It could think that we're about to write something. There's no connection. It's dead material that you're holding onto. And so you start cutting your food up, and your body's looking at it, but it doesn't quite understand. Like, so I can see the food, but I can't touch the food. And then suddenly you put it into your mouth, and it's like, oh, we're eating now. So our hands have nerves, and as soon as they start feeling the food, even with children, if you think about it, touch and texture is such an important part of your body recognizing what you're doing. And so that's just another indication to your body that you are about to eat and also a connection to food. Again, we have such a disconnect to the food that we're eating. It doesn't kind of allow you to do anything else. Your hands are a little bit dirty.


You're connecting with the food that you're eating. And so, one, it removes distraction and you doing other things. And two, it just allows you to reconnect back to the food that you're eating.


It helps when your hands are a cooking pan. Like, you can hold really hot food. I'll literally throw something into the air, and you'll just be like, sit down in there going, what is your issue?


Yeah, my mom calls them asbestos hands. I don't know what that means, but she's always called it that. I think it's like a thing when they were younger, like asbestos. But my mom has it too. I think it's just a cook thing. You just get, like, numb at the tips of your fingers. You just pick anything up.


One more that I wanted to focus out of all of these, like I said, there's nine. I'm just picking some of my favorites was. And this one, I think is a big one for people. And this one was a big one for me. Avoid cold drinks and iced beverages.


This is one that whenever I've shared it with people who have had gut issues, without fail, they've said, oh, my God, my gut has changed so much since I stopped drinking cold drinks. Game changer. And the reason is your body, when it is starting to eat, is creating heat. Like, if you think about a furnace, you think about a fire. For it to burn something, our digestion is like a fire. It needs heat. So there's your body trying to build up this heat and take all its energy towards your stomach, and then you're going, and then dampening the fire, dampening the fire over and over again. As your body's just heating up, the acids are just building up. And then you're like, oh, let me dilute the acids and let me dampen the fire. The digestive fire that's happening, one part of it is the cold drink, like, the cold part of it that's dampening the fire, and the other part is too much liquid when you're eating, is diluting your digestive juices. What's recommended is like a half a cup of warm water or a warm tea that you can maybe with some spices for your digestion.


Drinking that slowly sip at a time as you're eating your food, and then, like, half an hour after or half an hour before, if you really want to, you can drink a drink.


Yeah. No. And it's so common, right? Like, I grew up in a house where I would have a can of sprite chilled right next to my meal, a pizza, whatever else it may be. And you get so used to it. Or like, we have a friend who will just put loads of ice into water when they're just about to have their meal. And it's so normal. It's a normal part of culture, but it's not necessarily good for you.


Yeah. Which is the same as everything that we see. It's like, there's so much that just because it's the most common thing to do. Doesn't mean it's the right thing to do for us.


Yeah, absolutely. Those are some of my favorites. Like I said, there's so many more, but I thought those were so unique and I'd never heard them anywhere before. I've obviously learned them through you, but they're so simple. And what I love about them is you don't need to learn a new skill, you don't need to develop a new habit. These are things that you can start practicing right now.


Yeah. What else do you learn from my.


Book I wanted to ask you about. I mean, I learned a lot from you, but I learned it from you. And now the book is going to help lots of people. So I think one of the biggest things for people these days is a lot of people are missing meals and skipping meals. And often what ends up happening is then your first real meal is dinner like your first real meal, like substantial meal. And naturally we end up overeating or we end up, we're trying to get all the nutrients from that meal. What's your take on skipping meals and how does that affect us and what can we do if we find that to be a pattern in our life?


Yeah, I would say that it's a very specific thing to your body type, and you will know just by doing it whether you are the body type that can take it or not. I have a body type where I can not eat in the morning till I've worked out. I work out on an empty stomach. I then will have my meal maybe at like 1011 o'clock. I will fast for a long period of time and my body thrives off it. You, with your body type, your digestion is so strong and fiery, and your body type is such that you have to have your meals on time. When you wake up, you're ready to eat, you're hungry by the afternoon. Like clockwork, you are hungry. Every meal has to be at the right time. Otherwise you feel that negative effect. You feel your stomach getting acidic, you feel all those effects, right? And so I would say you really need to. I know, I wish I could give a direct answer, but that would be wrong. You have to see if when I am waking up and if I'm hungry straight away, your digestive system is ready to eat.


If you're waking up and you're like, I could go another 3 hours without eating. Test that out for yourself. And so there are certain body types where, especially if you're quite a slim build, you lose weight quite often quite easily. You generally are quite ravenous and hungry all the time. You probably need to be having your meals regularly, and if your digestion is suffering when you don't, that's an indication that you need more regular meals. For me, if I end up skipping a meal, my body actually is good with fasting, and it actually feels better sometimes and less lethargic when I do do that. So sometimes I will last off, like, two meals and I'll be okay with it. But I think, yeah, there's so much where it's like, intermittent fasting is amazing and then someone doesn't. They're like, I felt awful, but they said it works for me, but I feel so bad doing it. Then don't do it. It's not for your body type. The active participant thing keeps coming up in my mind, but it is work to figure out yourself. Just like when you're figuring out your partner and you're figuring out your relationship with them, your body is the same.


It's waiting for you to listen and learn from it, and it will tell you what it needs.


Yeah. And I think what's been my personal experience is that when you don't listen to these smaller initial warnings, the body just gets louder and harder and harsher, and we think there's something wrong with our body when actually your body's been doing the right thing all along, which is telling you to be an active participant and listen to me. It's like your partner that just gets louder and louder and louder if you're not listening or your alarm clock gets louder and louder and louder when you're.


Not listening, you're not waking up.


Yeah, exactly. And so your body's trying to get you to do this.


Wake up. Yeah.


All right. One question I want to ask you is, on a busy day, what's one practice you can implement to make sure you slow down? What's one thing you do and one thing people could do? Because I feel like eating fast, it sounds like drinking fast. We do a lot of things fast, and that seems to cause a lot.


Of issues for me because, as you know, my mind, the way I talk, everything is quite this and then this and then this, and I'm all over the place. And so I can relate to being someone who's very fast minded and constantly feeling like I'm all over the place. I have to just say, breath, work again. Breath before you eat. Take three breaths. Before you go into something that you're worried about, take three breaths. Like, really feel deep breaths going into your body because we take such shallow breaths. Your breath is the anchor between your mind and your body. It brings you back into your body. It allows you to reconnect with yourself. And so it sounds really simple, but I guarantee you take a breath right now. Take a breath and feel what happens to your body. It automatically slows down. Every time I've gone from in this podcast from where I'm speaking fast, I've taken a breath and then I slow down. I've taken a breath and I've slowed down. And so my cure to having a fast mind and having the habit of being like that has been just taking a breath.


And it's like, as simple as it gets, right? Like breath is there for you. It's ready to be used and navigate your emotions, your day, and help you in some way if you allow it.


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Yeah, definitely. It's a great natural tool that's built into the body in order to help you set a pace for life. And if you think about it, every single one of your emotions is monitored by breath. Like, when we're nervous and we're anxious, our breath gets shallower and quicker. And when we're calm and focused, our breath becomes deeper and slower. And when we're stressed or we're under pressure, or we're late for something and we're worried, our breath gets shallower and gets quicker.


Yeah, exactly.


When you're feeling like you're in the right place and you made it on time and all of those things, your breath gets deeper and slower again. And I've always said to people, we also say things like, that takes my breath away. Like when something's really beautiful, it's breathtaking. And we also say things like, let me just catch my breath, or let me take a breath because it's linked to our emotions. And so we've learned to realize that our breath changes, but we haven't learned to realize we can change our breath. And what you've just described is you can choose to change your breath totally in order to feel away you want to feel. I completely agree.


Yeah, you can really navigate your emotions through it. I think about when I'm crying. Depending on how I'm crying, my breath changes completely. If you think about when you see someone really intensely crying, they're breathing so shallow, they're feeling so overwhelmed, and suddenly their breath is getting faster. They can't even speak because they can't catch their breath to actually say something. And so, yeah, breath can navigate your emotions, your day, your mind, everything.


What's something you've changed your mind about this past year when it comes to your mindset around health or the way you eat food.


Protein. I grew up vegetarian, and my sources of protein, being from an indian family as well, was lentils and beans. And those are actually the main sources for us. And then when I started learning more about while I was working out and the amount of protein my body needs in my book, I talk about how the average american, I think it was something like, has over 75% more protein than they need. So there's one side where because of the foods that people are consuming, they're actually overeating on protein to a point where it can harm your body. But then I find with vegetarians, and if you're plant based, you actually can get the right amount that you need. And I've been managing to do that, but it does take a little bit more work to navigate and get it into your food. But I've noticed what a difference it's made. Like everything from hair fall, hair shedding. When I started increasing my protein, my hair was shedding less, my skin was getting better, I was feeling more satiated and more full in my meals, because sometimes I realized my meals were focused so much on carbohydrates that they were being digested so fast, and I was hungry.


Even though I'd had such a large meal, I was still hungry so often. And then I started introducing protein, and I could last three, 4 hours, 5 hours between my meals, and I felt satiated. Right. It's made such a difference. And so for anybody who's plant based or thinking about having more plant based days and they want protein, I would say, obviously beans and lentils are great sources of that. But then also, I kind of want to dispel the myth around tofu being bad for you, because there have been so many studies that have been done. Yes. To say that when you have, they talk about soya and how it affects your hormones and your estrogen levels. Those studies were done on people who are having such an excessive amount of soya. It was like, imagine having five or six blocks of soya every single day.


Blocks, you mean.


I mean, like blocks of tofu, let's say. So naturally, anything in excess, not chunks.


Large blocks.


Large blocks, yeah, anything in excess. Of course that's going to cause negative effects on your body. Everything has that. There's anything in excess, even water in excess. You can have too much water. And so I would say that if you are having a healthy, natural amount of tofu or soya in your diet, it's not going to affect your hormone levels. And, I mean, I'm happy to share the studies at some point about that, but I've really researched it because I was scared of it, too. So soya is a great source of it. Another great source is from your nuts and your seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds in two tablespoons. I think there's nearly like 6 grams of protein. Now, you may think that's a small amount, but you add that into a few dishes every single day, throughout the day, and you can gain so much from it. And then obviously you've got your meat alternatives, which do have that. I try to avoid that as much as possible and get it from natural means, but there are so many great ways to get protein into your diet. And that for me, this year has been.


I've really been focusing on that and it's been a game changer.


Yeah, it's amazing. I felt the difference as well, for sure. I think it's been huge. What's the biggest change you've made in your health journey that has changed your relationship with food?


Eating to make my body feel good, not look a certain way, because I realized that a lot of my book is to do with the journey I've had to go through with food. Where I remember even when we met, I was so conscious about the way that I was being perceived and the way my body looked that I would want to eat a way that I thought made me look better. And especially this last year. Last couple of years, I've been trying to improve my relationship with food because I didn't realize how much it was impacted by the way I wanted to look versus the way I wanted to feel. A lot of the recipes in this book and a lot of the things that I've shared are helping people to connect back to their body, but create a better relationship to understand that food, like you don't have to choose between food that. Between food that makes you feel good and food that brings you joy. Food can be both, and you can learn how to do that and the way to cook to make you feel that way, like we normally associate. If I want to look a certain way, I have to eat salads and things just leaves, and I can't have any fun when I'm eating because anything that brings me joy is going to be bad for me.


Like it's going to be something that doesn't make me look a certain way, but actually how you feel when you're eating and how you feel in your life is so much more satisfying when you nurture that versus constantly living to figure out how you're going to change the way you live. Extending both can be true. You can want to change your external body, but at the same time, thinking about how is my inside feeling too and doing both at the same time is possible and will make you feel so much better. I was listening to something today and it was talking about self objectification, and it was really interesting because it was talking about how we view ourselves constantly as other people view us. We live our life as other people view us. So, for example, on this podcast, I may be thinking, how am I going to sit in a way where I'm going to look the most flattering, and how am I going to move my body in a way where maybe they don't get the bad side of me? And so you're constantly living through other people's perception of you essentially objectifying yourself.


And so I feel like having a better relationship with food has allowed me to care less about those things and live from inside out rather than outside in. Does that make sense?


So powerful. Yeah, so powerful. And that requires so much courage and going against the grain, because society has conditioned us to think a certain way. Like, I remember years and years and years ago, I remember walking through a department store, and the line above the kind of billboard above the makeup section said, get the natural look.




And I just found that hilarious because I was like, you obviously already have the natural look. I'm not saying there's anything against makeup. I have no issues with it. I'm good with it. It's great. It's interesting how it's being sold to us, and so we're being convinced that the natural isn't good enough, or there's a way to be more natural, and each to their own, everyone's allowed to do whatever's right for them. But I think the more we live our life through the lens of will, people think I look good like this, we'll always be disappointed, because there are some people who think you look good and some people who think you don't. We talk about this a lot with fashion. Like, I really enjoy fashion, but when you see my fashion twistes, you're like, I'm not sure what you're doing, mate. And then everyone else will think it looks great. But the point is, I'm doing it for myself.


Yeah, totally.


That's the only person that you can ever do it for, because it's so hard to win. Like, you could have everyone think you're amazing, and one person think you're not, or the other option where everyone thinks you're crazy, and one person thinks you're amazing. And at the end of the day, the one person you need to feel that way is you. Yeah, right.


That's what I'm hearing. And you kind of rob yourself of experiences. Like, I was talking to Liz Moody. I was talking to this guy and she was saying, know when you go to the beach and you look into the sea and you see the sand underneath you and you're thinking, oh, I want to go into the ocean. But I'm a bit worried about what people are going to think about me in this swimsuit I've had that I've robbed myself of so many experiences. We've gone to pool parties, and I've been like, I'm not getting in the pool. Just so you know, I'm not going to get in the pool right now because I don't feel comfortable. And I've robbed myself of so many experiences where she was like, think about when you're 80 years old and you look back at those experiences and are you going to say to yourself, so glad I didn't get in the pool that day because they would have seen my cellulite, or are you going to think, I'm so glad I jumped into that ocean and I felt that ocean around me and I created these memories, and I felt the sand beneath my feet and I had the experience.


And so I've really been thinking about that a lot more of having the experience, because whenever I've gone into situations where I'm constantly consumed by other people's view of me, I've not been present. I barely remember the event. I barely remember what I've been doing or where I've been. There's such lack of presence, which doesn't allow me to even experience what I want to. And I feel like that's kind of changed throughout the time. I'm still working on it, but it's definitely all of that fuels into everything. It really changed the way I was eating and connecting to my body, too.


Yeah, I think you've also found this, and this is why I'm excited for people to get the book, is that you've found a way to make healthy food really tasty. And I always say that to you. I find it so easy. I'm so lucky to have you. And I always say that to everyone when everyone's like, oh, wow, you live a really healthy lifestyle. I'm like, you don't know who I'm married to. Right? And now it's almost like everyone gets to have you in their kitchen through the book, where they can also feel that way and feeling confident that when you're cooking for your family that you don't have to sacrifice taste in order for it to be good for you.




And a big part for you with that is the spices and the herbs that you talk about. So walk us through what you're fascinated with. Spices. Our nickname for you is Spice Girl. Because of that in the actual sense, walk us through the value of spices and why they make food flavorful and good for you.


I'm so glad you asked me because it's literally my favorite topic about this book. Spices have been a part of our life, our whole life. Because I remember even when we were younger, I'd be coughing and sneezing, and my mom would use spices in water to boil a tea with spices to help me with that, or when you get a cut or a bruise. Our parents are getting up this turmeric patty and putting it onto our scabs, and we grew up with that. But I didn't realize the power of them until I started studying the medicinal potency and benefit of them. And so, yes, they make your food taste and look vibrant. It's amazing. You can take, like, a humble potato, and you can mix different spices together and taste different parts of the world through just the spices you're using. So, spices not only take you to different parts of the world and help you to experience different cultures and cuisines, they also allow you to buy really basic ingredients and elevate them and make them feel so different every single day. And the benefits of spices. Oh, my goodness. Well, you know this.


For the past, I don't even know how long, ten years, I've used spices in my medicine box. Spices have been my go to. If I have a headache, essential oils and spices. If I have a headache, what do I go to?


Yeah, your essential oil.


My peppermint oil. Like, if I have a cough, what do I tell you? I'm going to make you ugwane seeds in water. And I have found when I've allowed my body to rely on natural means to heal itself. And what I mean by that is, like, the spices, the oils, whatever I'm using, the food that I'm eating. My body's immunity has gotten better and better. The way that my body reacts to being in stressful environments has changed because I've allowed my body to heal itself through what I'm actually putting into my body. And so I actually have feel my best over the past few years, progressively as I've done that. And it's so easy because all you have to do is there's spices you can buy ground or whole, or in mixes of blends that you can just add in. You don't even have to think about it. You can put it into your hot water in the morning. One of my favorite things is CCFT, coriander, cumin and fennel tea. Easy way if you're not used to using spices at all, even if you don't cook at home, add these three spices in equal parts, a teaspoon of each, into hot water.


Beautiful way to add in spices without you even having to do much. And then experiment with your food. Become like a play in your kitchen. I really think the book is not prescriptive. I actually want you to use the book and the recipes to play in the kitchen and sub things out. And I've got so many things where I'm like, if you don't have this, use this. If you don't have this, use this. Because nothing about food has to be prescriptive. And so spices are a really fun way to do that. So, yeah, one of the huge intentions and goals with my book is for you to have a spice cupboard that is full and over full by the time you get to the end. And I've got a chart in there to tell you what the benefits of them are, how you can use them to your medicinal benefit, but also to make a food taste way better.


Yeah, I think that's really important that you've got so many charts and graphs, things to make it really easy in the book for anyone to understand, because a lot of people may be thinking, God, I've never really used totally that many spices. I'm not really aware of them. But you've actually made that really simple and accessible.


And then I'm like, pick a spice a week and play with it. Pick a spice a week. Add it into different things, like nutmeg. Add it into your milk at night. Nutmeg is a mild sedative. It helps with sleep in the morning for your digestion. For centuries, Indians have eaten fennel seeds after their meal. It's a tradition. You go to an indian restaurant, you go to an indian house. They will be passing around fennel seeds after their meal. That's because it is amazing for gas, for bloating, for digestive relief after you've eaten. And so try out fennel seeds in your water in the morning. So pick one thing. You don't have to be overwhelmed with so many different practices and spices and things in the book. Pick one or two a week that you want to incorporate and see how you like it, see how your body reacts to it.


Yeah, I love that. I mean, you just mentioned two things there that I wanted to speak to you about. People have always been fascinated with your morning and evening routine. I wanted to ask you, what does your morning routine look like now and why have you chosen the specific things that exist in it?


Good question. Are you not part of my morning routine?


What do you mean?


You don't know what my morning routine. What is my morning routine?


I don't know what happens before I wake up.


That's true. So I wake up in the morning and brush my teeth and also use my tongue scraper, which, by the way, is an ayurvedic ritual that if you don't do that is a must. You do not know how clean your mouth can actually be if you haven't used a tongue scraper. It's also really important to remove toxins that have built up over the night because that's the time your body starts to clean up and take away the toxins. And one place that they come out is on the top of your tongue. And so tongue scraping is a must. And then I make my CCFT in the morning, sit down for my meditation, and I have a mantra, meditation practice, as you know. And that's usually for about an hour and a half mixed in with breath work to help me refocus and keep bringing my mind back to my practice. And then I usually get ready for my workout, go for my workout. And that ranges from Monday, Wednesday, Friday. A weight workout. I love weight training. It really helps to build strength and I feel confidence in my body. The other days I'll either do running or like a heated yoga class.


Other things that help also stretch out my body, because I find weight training kind of shortens your muscles, whereas pilates and yoga really helps to lengthen them. It's kind of a mix of both. And then I'll come back, get ready, and then what else do I do? Oh, then I eat my breakfast. Yeah.


What do you usually have?


What do I normally have for breakfast? So at the moment, I'm trying to do savory breakfast after listening to glucose goddess and really trying to incorporate more savory foods. And I prefer savory breakfast anyway. So I do everything from a sourdough toast with some sort of protein on it. So either like, having a good amount of hummus with lots of veggies, I'll put like, tomatoes and cucumbers maybe doing, and I'll sprinkle some sort of spices on top. So whether it's toasted coriander seeds or cumin powder, and then a bit of hot sauce, because I just love hot sauce. And then I'll have that or I've been having these, like, protein bagels topped with the same kind of thing. And then I'll have a protein shake afterwards.


So what about your lunches when you don't want to feel lethargic after your lunches? Because so often we struggle to know what to eat because we still have a few hours of work left. What do you do for your lunches? What do you enjoy?


Yeah, I try to keep it balanced in the sense of I will still have a carbohydrate at lunchtime. And by the way, our body is so in sync with nature, and our digestion is the strongest when the sun is at its highest. And so the sun is at its highest naturally in the middle of the day. And so our lunch should actually be our largest meal of the day, ideally, because that's when our digestion is the strongest. It's able to digest the heavier things that we want to eat. And so I will have a larger portion of my carbohydrates, if possible, in the afternoon. And then I will mix in lots of different veggies. Like, eating the rainbow is no joke. You have to eat variety of colors. And so I will make sure that when I'm doing my sharp, I have a variety of vegetables with different colors because each of those colors represent different nutrients and different vitamins and minerals. And so to make sure you're also getting enough of what you need in terms of vitamins, minerals, make sure that you have a variety of different colors on your plate. So I'll buy, like, pink radishes, I'll buy cucumbers, I'll buy different colored carrots.


And either I'll have them on the side, or I'll just quickly saute them, have it with either some noodles or throw some tofu in their scrambles. Honestly, I just make sure I know the basics of, like, a really good way of doing is write down where your protein is going to come from, what veggies you love eating and what carbohydrates you like, and then just mix it all in. I love doing a one pot thing. So I'll throw in noodles, I'll throw in my veggies, I'll throw in some tofu, mix it all up, or I'll do a scrambled, like, scrambled tofu on toast. I just know the areas I need to make sure I have in my meals. And then I kind of just pick and choose between, go between them and decide what I feel like and what flavors I want.


And then what about dinner?


Dinner. Walking through the whole day, I know, oh, my gosh, dinner. I mean, it can be so varied for me, a dal or a soup or, like a beanie curry. I won't have as much flatbread or rice with it just because I try not to have too many carbs at night or something too heavy at night. But I love indian spices are just my comfort food. And at night, especially when it's cold outside, I love having a mixed lentil like dal.


And all of these recipes are in the book.


Yeah. Oh, there's a really good red lentil dal in there. There's also my mom's three bean curry with coconut milk and, oh, it's so good. So much flavor in it. So, yeah, I'll usually do that or a one pot thing, because at night, you just want to throw everything in one thing and not spend too much time in the kitchen. And so there are so many recipes in there that are, like, 30 minutes and then other ones where maybe you feel like spending a little bit more time in the kitchen. And so you can spend an hour creating a beautiful meal if you have time on the weekend.


Yeah. I'm so lucky that I get to be the recipient of.


You are the guinea pig. Yeah, I'm the guinea pig.


All of this has been tested on me. What about your evening routine? How has that been constructed for you?


My evening routine is usually, I try to, as soon as I stop working, I usually go walk for a little bit. I find it really helps me to wind down. I won't do an intense workout, but I'll definitely walk. Go on the treadmill for about, like, 20 minutes, half an hour, listen to something. And then one thing that's really helped me is I don't like bright lights at night. I really try to avoid bright lights. It's made such a difference to my circadian rhythm. The rhythm of your body that helps with sleep. Artificial light really messes with that. And so whether it's using candles or really keeping the lights dim, that, for me, has helped me notice that, oh, wow. I'm actually really tired by 830 or nine, and it's time for me to get into bed rather than. And by the way, tv has the same light, and so do our phones. And so for me, the bright lights are too intense for me, and it really messes with my rhythm of sleep. So I've started using candles and stuff a lot more, and then we've been trying to read a lot more. And so if I'm by myself, I'll read sometimes, watch a little cheeky show of something which might be called Love island, not going to lie.


And then, oh, eat dinner before that. And then one of my favorite practices, which is like a self love ritual for me, is abhyanga. It's a really beautiful practice of abhyanga is. Yeah, I talk about it in the book, and it's massaging your own body with oils. That's as simple as it is. But if you think about it, how many times a day do we probably have a lot of negative self talk? And how many times a day do you give yourself a hug? And it's literally like giving yourself a hug. Just as when someone's had a long day, a hard day, they come home and you give them a hug like you give them a cuddle. And in the same way, our nervous system wants to hear from us and feel from us that I love you and I care about you. And one of the most amazing ways of doing that is by just giving yourself a little massage. And so whether it's just the bottom of your feet, putting the warm oils on your hands, massaging the bottom of your feet, that's where all of our nerves end. And so bottom of your feet, or even giving yourself a little scalp massage, or if you have time, have a warm shower and lather your body in those oils.


Oils actually help to lubricate your nervous system. They seep into your skin. They basically act as a hug for your nervous system. They help to soothe your nerves at night. And so that's been one of my favorite rituals that I do before I sleep. Yeah. And I'll do that whether it's a two minute one quickly or if I have a bit longer on weekends, then I just kind of lather myself up till I'm really deep fried.


Yeah, I love it. No, and I'm glad that we went through a whole day, because I think so often, there was so much that just came out of that.




In terms of what to eat in the morning, why you eat certain things in the afternoon, why you don't eat them at nighttime. We've just learned so much and so many practices. And again, for anyone who wants to understand them more deeply, they are well explained inside. Joyful, the book.


Oh, my gosh. Wait, can I say one more thing?


Of course you can.


I realized, actually, I was going through a period where I was finishing eating by 05:00 p.m. Like I wouldn't eat anything after that. And what was amazing is I was using.


Hated you when that happened.


Yeah. I was using a tracker. And for my sleep, I was using the WHOOP at the time. And I noticed I was getting 100%. I've never had this 100% sleep score.




On my work. And it was telling me, and I'd gone from being 70% to having 100% every single day.




And it was because my body was not working while it was sleeping. Yeah. Because when you end up eating late at night, when you're trying to sleep and your body's trying to rest and actually spend time having downtime, it's actually still working, digesting its food. And so you can wake up after 8 hours sleep feeling so tired still because your body's actually been working half of the time to digest what you've been eating. So that was like a big aha moment for me where I was like, wow, that really does make sense. Having lighter meals at night affects so much, including your sleep.


Yeah, I love that. That's great. No, that's huge. And that's amazing. I mean, to have a 30% increase in your sleep score because your food is not being digested while you're sleeping. Because so many of us are eating so close to when we sleep.


Yeah. A little snack, a little dessert, little sugar.


Yeah, huge. One thing I want to do, I want to do something fun with your book. So I'm going to ask you questions that I want you to link back to recipes that apply to those questions.




You can look at your book if you need to, to show us, but.


Give me an example of the question.


There's no example. We're just going straight. So the first question I'm going to ask is if someone has a long day at work, they're really tired, but they do want to make a home cooked meal. What's the easiest one that they can go to?


My rainbow noodle stair fry.




It's like super Easy. What I would say is have your veggies cut up earlier, then it's literally like a ten minute meal.




Yeah. It's got this really great sauce with it. You get your veggies, you get everything all in one thing and it still tastes good. And it feels like takeout. Yeah.


Okay, good. How do you recommend people meal prep? Because that's an important part of all of this.


Chopping takes up so much time. My meals are cut down significantly when I've chopped my peppers beforehand, when I've grated my cabbage, when I've everything that you possibly can. I wouldn't say to do it too in advance because as soon as you cut up a vegetable, it starts to spoil and so I'd say you can cut up peppers two, three days in advance. Same with, like, carrots, cabbage and stuff. Tomatoes go bad straight away. You cut them up by like an hour later. They're bad avocados as well. And so there are certain things you can chop up, and I recommend doing that, especially if you're someone who has been wanting to eat more at home but just don't have the time to cut up your stuff in the weekend, because at least that'll give you a good three, four days worth of chopped up stuff that allows you to eat at home. And that's been a game changer for me. I've been so busy lately, and I've still, since I've got back here, I'm actually so proud that I have not ordered out or eaten out once. And that's crazy for me because I've also been way busier than normal.




But having things chopped up and also having planned what I'm going to eat, usually we end up ordering out when you're like, oh, I've got nothing planned, and I just don't even want to look at my fridge and figure it out. Figuring it out is half the battle. So if you already know and you already have the ingredients, it makes it so much easier. And then you've chopped it up, you've basically done half the work.


I love it.




Okay, so let's say another scenario. I've got all these scenarios. Okay, so someone's got someone they're dating coming over for the first time, second time. Maybe they can making them something this time. What do you cook for someone to impress them from your book?


Oh, my gosh.


Want to show off?


Good question. I would say my jalapeno cheesy dough balls. You know why? Because they're.


We had them the other day.


So good. You can have, like, there's a masala topping to go on top, too. But the reason I say that is because it shows that you don't take things too seriously, that it's a fun dish that's like a pull apart.


You didn't try too hard.


Yeah, you didn't try too hard. It's a sharing dish where you kind of pull apart the bread and it's fun. It's also just a pop of flavor and vibrance. And also, who doesn't love a good bread dish? Bread is life.


Love it.




If you've got another scenario, if you've got the girls coming over, it's girls night. You're hanging out. What are you going to make?


Okay, so for girls night, I would probably say the roasted red pepper tag la telly and then mixed with that, we're not. Yeah, roasted red pepper tag la telly. And then doing like, the butterbean and tomato salad because you always want something a bit lighter on the side. And then having some sort of veggie side because you always need. I have a whole veg hero section. So I'd probably do like, the zucchini baba ganous or the sweet and salty broccolini. And then for dessert, because for a girl's night, you need dessert, I have this decadent cake, which is amazing. It's like one of the best desserts in here. I'd say I made it the other day, the triple chocolate brownie black forest celebration cake. But what I do is I deconstruct it so it ends up being a brownie sundae. So that would be my ultimate girls night.


I love that. Or I do ultimate guys night.


Oh, ultimate guys night. Easy. I would do my beanburgers.


Okay. I like that.


I would do my bean burgers.


Start strong.


I then would do beanburgers with a side of my dad's Mac and cheese. And then for a bit of balance, I'd probably throw in some veggies, which would be in the form of my golden caramelized fennel. I think that'll be a nice little refreshing side dish. And then for dessert, I'd probably have to go for cookies three ways.


That sounds good.


Or a crumble.


Yeah, I like that. Cookies three ways.


Cookies three ways.


The crumble is amazing.


Yeah. Yeah.


I think for guys. And last scenario, date night.


What would you make me on date night?


I mean, I've been really lucky because Friday's been testing recipes from the book every day, so I've been spoiled every day.


But you know what? Date night, I'd probably go with. It depends.


Is this like a married couple lived together for a while, they want to make a special date.


Probably do, like, my mexican lasagna because that was no fuss and it's just so tasty. And then I throw in maybe, like, my warm, nutty, superfood salad on the side and maybe the sweet potatoes with cavaliero pesto.


So when are we doing date night?


Yeah, I mean, I can make it all tonight if you want, straight off. And then baclava cheesecake.


Oh, baclava cheesecake.


Or my chocolate mud pie for you, because you love chocolate.


Chocolate mud pie. Both of those sounds amazing. Ravi, I'm so proud of you.




And I am so excited, honestly, for everyone to have you in their kitchen because I'm so grateful to have you in ours. Thank you. And like you all just heard, there are obviously over 125 plant based recipes in here and every single one of them sounds amazing. And I can truly say as someone who's eaten every single one of them multiple times, I am not bored of them. They're incredible. And I think anyone who gets this book and cooks from it is going to invite so much joy, so much energy, so much vibrancy into their life. And that's what I wanted to ask you as a final question around you. Call the book joyful. You talked about cooking effortlessly, eating freely and living radiantly. What is your hope for people? Because it isn't just about the recipes. It's about inviting abundance and energy into their life.


It is three intentions. One intention is reminding people that you do not have to choose between the food that makes you feel good and food that brings you joy. It can and should be both. Two, that life is about all those little joyful moments to accumulate to bring you more and more joy throughout the day, whether it's through your practices, your wellness rituals, or through the food that you're eating. And three, that you spice up your life like you fill your cupboards with your spices that spice up your body but also spice up your food too, that really create vibrance. Because spices are vibrant and create more vibrance in your body and your life too. And actually, I'll add on the last one. I feel like I am a seriously grateful student of many great teachers and it really was a way for me to be able to share so much of what I've learned from the people that have taught me so much, from my mom to my ayurvedic teachers, to my spiritual teachers, everything. I was able to accumulate that and pour it into this book. And I'm so excited for people to feel the changes that I have felt in my life through everything that I've shared in there.


So yeah, that's my intention for it.


The book is called joyful everyone. More than 125 plant based recipes by Radi Devlukia, cook effortlessly, eat freely and live radiantly. You know what I'm going to say? Go get it right now. It would mean the world to me. I love supporting you, not just because you're my wife, but because you are so incredibly talented and so smart. And I think this book is going to change so many homes, families and relationships. So it's definitely changed our so thank you so much. I love you.


Thanks for having me on and so excited for you. Thanks, everyone.


If you love this episode, you'll love my interview with Dr. Gabor mate on understanding your trauma and how to heal emotional wounds to start moving on from the past. Everything in nature grows only where it's vulnerable. So a tree doesn't grow where it's hard and thick, does it? It goes where it's soft and green and vulnerable. Hey, I'm Wilma Valdrama, executive producer of the new podcast Dave Maya Bolita. First each week, the incredible Vico Ortiz and fabulous Abuelita Liliana Montenegro will play matchmaker for a group of hopeful romantics. Right, Vico?


You know it. Listen to date my awolita first Thursdays on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. And remember, don't do anything I wouldn't do. Just do it better.


The therapy for Black Girls podcast is your space to explore mental health, personal development, and all of the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves. I'm your host, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, and I can't wait for you to join the conversation. Every Wednesday, listen to therapy for Black Girls podcast on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcast. Take good care.