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How a Teenager Fell In Love with Healthy Eating


_My _

_Journey _

[_- _]

_Shambavi Dhall _

  • *

How a Teenager

Fell In Love with

Healthy Eating

  • *

  • *

  • *

Published by: OnlineGatha – The Endless Tale

[*Address: *]Keshav Complex, S1 first floor, Faizabad Road,

Indira Nagar, Lucknow – 226016 _ _

Contact: +91-9129730666, +91-9936649666 _ _

[Website: *]www.onlinegatha.com _ *_

ISBN: _ _

[*Price: *]

[* /- _ _*]

Publication Year: 2017 _ _

© All Rights including Copyrights reserved with the

Author _ _

_ _


_ _

OnlineGatha is a division of CompAddicts Infotech Pvt.

Ltd. The site is a step into the online literary world. It

works by connecting the hardcopy creations to the online

world. _ _

This book has been published in the good faith that the

work of the author is original. All efforts have been taken

to make the book error free. _ _

The author maintains the copyright of the book and no part

of this book can be reproduced in any manner without the

written permission from publisher and the author. _ _

  • *


Dedication and Inspiration ………………………… 6

Dedication …………………………………………….. 6

Inspiration ……………………………………………. 6

[* Chapter 1- Why a Book? *] …………………………… 8

Chapter 2 – My Family’s Background ……… 12

Chapter 3 – How It All Started ………………… 18

[*Chapter 4 – Bad Habits vs. Good Healthy *]

Habits …………………………………………………….. 21

[*Chapter 5 – The Best Gift a Parent Could *]

Give Their Children is Strong Health Habits

………………………………………………………………. 31

[*Chapter 6 – Where is the dressing? *] ………….. 43

Chapter 7 – Our Society …………………………… 46

Chapter 8 – Media …………………………………… 57

[*Chapter 9 – Why is fast food, processed food *]

preferred? – Societal Impact ……………………. 63

[* Chapter 10- Fashion, Makeup and Style *]

Conscious Teens ……………………………………… 67

[*Chapter 11 – Balanced Life/Open Minded *]

Approach ……………………………………………….. 71

[*Chapter 12 – Passengers are responsible for *]

their belongings ………………………………………. 77

Chapter 13 – Triangle of Life …………………… 81

Chapter 14 – My Mantra of Healthy Eating 84

[*Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient *]

Density Index (ANDI) ………………………. 86

Sample Nutrient/Calorie Density Scores . 86

Nutrient Scoring Method………………….. 90

Chapter 15 – Recalibrating our Tastes ……… 93

Chapter 16 – Compound Effect ………………. 101

Chapter 17 – Rebellious …………………………. 108

[*Chapter 18 – Act First, Think Later or is “Act *]

[*decisively after evaluation.” *] …………………… 111

[*Chapter 19 – How do I do it? *] ………………….. 115

Subconscious mind …………………………….. 115

[* BMI- Body Mind and Intellect *] ……………. 118

Suppression vs Sublimation ……………….. 124

*Fight between Good and Evil, Triumph *

and Defeat …………………………………………. 128

[*James Clear’s “Outer ring” strategy & 5 *]

[*ingredient rule” *] …………………………………. 130

  • *

*Dedication and Inspiration *


I want to thank the following people for

helping with the foundation of my education

and life:

• Aaron and Moshe Renert (Founders

of Renert school)

• Mrs. Agopian, Mr. Deiter, and Mrs.

Kinley from Renert School

• Teachers at Calgary Science,

Brentwood Elementary and Amador

Valley High School

• My




challenged and encouraged me to

write this book

• My friends who provided several

teen perspectives on healthy food


To pick a writing style for this book, I read

and listened to the following books as per

the recommendation of my parents:

• The Compound Effect by Darren


• Rework by Jason Fried

• State of Sport for Business by Mark


• Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon


The message in this book is incredibly

powerful and can change the health of all

teens worldwide – if carefully read. It can

contribute significantly in removing obesity,

diabetes and other diseases if every reader

were to apply the learning’s from this book.

[_Happy reading! _]

[* Chapter 1- Why a Book? *]

hy would a teen like me think

of writing a book on nutrition?

[*W *]I am no expert on nutrition, but

I have transformed myself in the last 4-5

years while observing the eating habits of

my friends, parents, family friends and


During my research, I was unable to find

any book showing the world of nutrition

from a teen’s point of view or one that

shares a success story as inspiration for

others. So, I decided to write a book to fill

this gap. Before this, my way of spreading

information about nutrition was through my

blog, My Nutrition Meter, in which I

continue to write new, interesting and useful

information I find during my research. Some

feedback I have gotten on my blog is that

the information I share sometimes goes

sideways does not focus on primarily on

teens. With the help of a book, I will be able

to accurately give the message to my fellow

teens and their parents.

How I Fell in Love With Healthy Eating

does not share healthy recipes or a ton of

different nutritional facts as you can already

get sufficient information with the click of a

button through Google – why bore everyone

with more?

The internet is a great resource to find

nutrition facts like the specific number of

calories in the foods we eat so that I will

leave most of those calculations to it.

However, I will still share the most

breathtaking facts. Instead of providing

nutritional facts, I will ask questions that

usually do not come to the mind of the

average teen. These questions are meant to

trigger and reach the subconscious mind of a

teen and force them to start considering the

types of foods they put into their bodies.

Throughout this book, I will add a dash of

nutritional facts to strengthen my arguments.

If you are even a bit curious and inquisitive,

you will reap abundant benefits through



find answers.


advantage in joining my journey is that we

will not only improve our own health but

also make a significant social impact.

I have made a conscious decision to keep

this book free. I know that I could have

earned some money by writing and selling

this book to the public, but I wanted this

book to be available to everyone – for no

cost. Teens should not even be asked to take

out 99 cents from their pockets to change

their future. My goal for writing this book is

not to earn money, but to improve the health

of my fellow teens worldwide. There will be

many other opportunities in life for me to

earn money.

You will see a lot of quotes in this book that

I have captured from my parents and the

internet while researching for my blog.

Sometimes I picked the quote verbatim, but

a few times I have applied quotes to health,

even if it was for some other purpose.

This book is an attempt to reach out to teens

and explain the psychology of why we keep

eating processed, sugary foods and how to

overcome it. It is easier for me than many

psychologists because I am a teen in 2017. I

have spent a lot of time thinking of why I

used to not care about eating healthy,

nutritious food, and my reasons must be

similar, if not the same, as many other teens.

Once people begin to understand why this is

happening, the whole society will be able to

work together and change the way we look

at food and decide what to eat. Let’s start

our journey together.

[*Chapter 2 – My Family’s *]


y family consists of three

people: my Dad, Mom, and I. I

[*M *]can easily say we are best

friends as we take liberties with each other

and push one another like coaches without

understanding the boundaries and emotions

of the athlete. Sometimes bad reactions

happen, but we reconcile within an hour or a

day later at the most. Let me take you to

both my parents’ backgrounds. This is an

important part of my message so you know

how I got my ideas and you’ll also be able to

relate since we all have our own stories at


As a child, a typical weekend for my mother

would include many types of delicious and

gourmet Indian food and snacks. A typical

weekend would start with my grandmother

making Bhatura/Puries (fluffy fried bread)

in the morning, followed by Rajma (a bean)

with rice at lunch and Cutlets or

Pakoras/Samosas in the evening. The beauty

of this habit in the foodie family was that

they thought they went light for supper with

some lentils and bread. Whenever we talked

about mom’s eating schedule as a kid, our

house filled with laughter. How can

someone even think of eating dinner after

three super heavy meals and fried snacks by

3 pm?

If you have not heard of these foods, then

visualize someone, every weekend, going to

a crazy restaurant called Heart Attack Grill,

in Las Vegas, that serves a burger named the

Octuple Bypass Burger containing a

whopping 19,900 calories. That is how

many calories the average teen should eat

for almost 15 days. Sadly, the unhealthiness

of my mother’s childhood weekend diet

nearly matched the horrifying foods at Heart

Attack Grill. Her terrible eating habits

continued until she went to a hostel during

her undergrad years. It was there she

realized the importance of eating healthier,

or maybe it was just the fact that there were

no other meal options.

If you want to know more information about

this crazy restaurant watch this video:


This unhealthy lifestyle continued until 15

years after her marriage when my father

began introducing new healthier ways of


My dad was eating and putting loads of junk

into his body. He would attack dessert as if

it would not exist tomorrow or will be

banned by the government. I have seen some

difficult discussions between my parents,

after my Dad would wake up at night, go to







sweets/desserts, leaving nothing for my

mother and I. Apart from having a sweet

tooth; he was just fond of eating. Since my

mom hates cooking (except for the

scrambled egg she makes for me every

morning filled with love), he took it upon

himself to feed all of us and take care of

himself – I guess.

And now about me and my overall

personality, habits and how I came to be like

this. I have just completed my sophomore

year (Grade 10) in high school and am on

the wrong side of the 4.0 GPA every high

schooler desires. How much on the wrong

side, I will leave to your imagination, but

that does not matter for this book.

I am pleased and proud of my grades and

performance at school as it has been an

incredible journey, for 3-4 years ago, I was

“in pieces,” as my favorite coach Aaron

Renert would describe me. Even though he

is the founder of an excellent private school

in Calgary Canada, I think of him as my

coach as he challenged me (like what a

terrific football coach would do), supported

and nurtured me to build my confidence and

improve my study habits. My parents always

helped me by never asking me about my

grades. They were just there to motivate me

to move ahead one step at a time to

eventually become a lifelong learner like

they are. During these tough 3-4 years when

I was transforming my personality, I was

supported by various quotes in my study

room and bedroom. The moment I yawned

or slipped on the path to my goals, they

would bring another quote to stick to my

walls to reinforce these positive affirmations

day and night. If I ever got irritated, they






themselves at home or in the car, to ensure

that my brain would be full of positivity all

the time. You can get some idea of Indian

parents’ nagging influence by watching a

couple of TV episodes of “How to be

Indie.” I am just kidding as my parents are

truly great and I am blessed to have them.

You may have noticed that the kind of books

I have been reading or listening to are very

uncommon at my age. I think interest in

these topics is in my DNA as the constant

discussion at home is on these topics. So,

talks in the car, dining table and gym are all

their friendly lectures halls where I keep

getting knowledge much like a nonsmoker

get to smoke second hand.

I got irritated many times at first, but now I

realize that they were right. Although this

idea of quotes seemed worthless at that time,

looking back, I have realized that all those





subconscious mind and unknowingly made

it easier for me to keep fighting and

transform my life by the foods I ate. If you






subconscious mind and how it works, wait

for a couple of chapters until I explain how

it works and share with you how you can

use it for your benefit.

I joined my father’s transition from

unhealthy to healthy before my mother

could agree. It happened somewhere around

2011-2012. It is a good example of how

being a kid; we can be positively influenced

to join the right path. It is why I am

dedicating this book to my parents and


[*Chapter 3 – How It All Started *]

uring a Toastmaster speech my

father was listening to at his club,

[*D *]the speaker shared her story on

how she blends fruits and vegetables in the

morning and drinks it to refresh and

energize herself and how she takes a bottled

smoothie to her work every day. It is crazy

to note how fast this one speech established

the foundation for my entire family’s

turnaround. In matters of healthy food, my

dad learns very quickly. This moment was

critical for my whole family as my dad

bought us a blender that very day so we

could start juicing from the next morning

onwards. That night was filled with

nightmares for my mother and I as we did

not know what was in store for us in the

following day.

The next morning my dad woke up early to

make the first green smoothie he had ever

made in his life. With a loud noise, we

anticipated that it was ready. We went to the

kitchen, and there he was, smiling with

enthusiasm. It was terrible! In fact, the

consistency of the first smoothie was so

thick that it could be called a Chutney or a

Green Jam. We all had to eat the smoothie

with a spoon. We could not stop thinking

about the disgusting blended veggies that

would now be waiting for us each morning.

My father, however, could not get a wink of

sleep as he was so excited and held his

expectations a little too high. After a few

months of resistance, he gave in and stopped

making these smoothies.

Around six months later, Mr. Arun

Bhargava father of my friend Komal showed

us his new Vitamix blender. It was the

moment my dad was waiting his whole life,

as he bought Vitamix the next day. Life has

never been same after that. I can say now

that buying this blender was the best

decision my family has ever made for our

health journey. It creates the perfect

consistency for the vegetables and fruits by

making it so thin and velvety. No more

chunky smoothies! These new amazing,

velvety smoothies were made out of Kale,

Spinach, and a couple of Oranges, Apple,

and/or Pineapple with just water. They are

nutritionally million times better than the

store-bought juice we teens go for. I will

still give some respect to Booster Juice,

Jamba Juice and Vitality bowl where the

smoothies, bowls consist somewhat of

veggies and fruits, while mixing store

bought juices. But still, these three places

are much better than fast food restaurants. I

support all three of them, however I

encourage you to go for a homemade

Vitamix smoothie to receive the nutritional


[*Chapter 4 – Bad Habits vs. *]

Good Healthy Habits

ood habits take years to build, but

bad habits take seconds to break the

G foundation of your years of hard


At a young age, my mother developed a

habit of eating a sweet and savory snack

with her afternoon/evening tea. It has been a

common habit in her family for many years.

After she got married to my dad, he

unknowingly developed this habit too! (I

have heard smoking also starts like this, but

I never expected food habits to pass on like

this as well). Eating junk food with tea is

easy and can seem normal, whereas the

opposite becomes a journey.

My teenage friend Jasmine Tharagan has

contributed the following:

[_“The industry of junk food depends on the _]

_nature of the advertisement. Without proper _

_advertising, even brands selling delicious _

_food can vanish into irrelevance. Ad drives _

_us to consume food we know isn’t good for _

_us. It’s safe to say that everyone has been _

_tempted by the colors, descriptions, tastes, _

[_and smells of junk food; even though we _]

_know, it’s unhealthy for us. I too, of course, _

_am guilty of this. Even though I am aware _

_the chips, chocolate and candy are not right _

_for me, and in the long run, there is _

_something so satisfyingly savory about the _

_sweets and salty foods on supermarket _

_shelves. It’s the craving of flavors not found _

[_in ‘healthy’ food; the extremes of sweetness _]

_and spice that draw me in and lead me to _

_consumption. It’s the desire to taste _

_something out of the ordinary, and perhaps _

[_the human body’s susceptibility to sugar, a _]

_substance with an almost addictive effect. _

_The thing is, while healthy food is good for _

[_your body and feels good in your body; junk _]

_food tastes good and therefore makes you _

_feel good. In a way, we can achieve a food _

_high by acceding the same desirable feeling _

_through junk food versus healthy food, using _

_the extreme flavors present in junk food but _

_not healthy food. All in all, the combination _

_of tempting advertising and unusual flavors _

_provides the perfect niche for exploiting our _

_body’s ability to metabolize that which is _

[_good for us and that which is not.” _]

Companies invest millions and team up with

scientists to develop these junk foods and

induce cravings in us.

[_“Did you ever wonder why you might find _]

_yourself craving cake, chips, and candy, but _

[_not broccoli? It’s not your fault. These foods _]

_are designed to make you want more and _

_more of them because they are high in fat, _

[_ salt, and sugar- ingredients that stimulate _]

[_pleasure centers in the brain” _] Dr. Fuhrman.

The reason we form unhealthy habits is due

to repeatedly eating junk food. James Clear

quotes Steven Witherly nicely:on his

website Steven Witherly is a food scientist

who has spent the last 20 years studying

what makes certain foods more addictive

(and tasty) than others. Much of the science

that follows is from his excellent report,




_ _

[_“According to Witherly, when you eat tasty _]

_food, two factors make the experience _

_pleasurable. _

_ _

_First, there is the sensation of eating the _

[_food. It includes what it tastes like (salty, _]

[_sweet, umami, etc.), what it smells like, and _]

_how it feels in your mouth. This last quality _

[_— known as “orosensation” — can be _]

_particularly important. Food companies will _

_spend millions of dollars to discover the _

_most satisfying level of crunch in a potato _

_chip. Their scientists will test for the perfect _

_amount of fizzle in soda. These factors all _

_combine to create the sensation that your _

_brain associates with a particular food or _

_drink. _

_ _

_The _

_second _

_factor _

_is _

_the _

_actual _

[_macronutrient makeup of the food — the _]

_blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates _

_that it contains. In the case of junk food, _

_food manufacturers are looking for a perfect _

_combination of salt, sugar, and fat that _

_excites your brain and gets you coming back _

[_for more.” _]

_ _

[_James Clear clarifies: “This is where the _]

_psychobiology of junk food really works _

_against you. When you eat something tasty _

[_(say, a bag of potato chips), your brain _]

_registers that feeling. The next time you see _

_that food, smell that food, or even read _

_about that food, your brain starts to trigger _

_the memories and responses that came when _

_you ate it. These memories can actually _

_cause physical responses like salivation and _

[_create the “mouth-watering” craving that _]

_you get when thinking about your favorite _

[_foods”. _]

_ _

Now let’s go back to my story.

“Oh! I am in stress”, my dad yells when we

stop him from eating sweets/desserts. It has

been happening for years. Even for a person

who continually drives us towards healthy

food, it’s hard for him to leave habits. He

hides behind the excuse of ‘stress’ claiming

that more sugar will help him and pleads us

to let him eat unhealthy. My mother and I

are currently working fixing this bad habit.

Although bad habits are tough to break, it is

still possible. The first step of breaking a

bad habit is realizing that we don’t need that

snack to function. You will find a lot of

advice on the following pages, so hold on to

this thought!

To build a good habit, it is important to

repeat the pattern several times with no

slack or compromise and avoid negative

people/media. It takes courage, will power

and support from people around us.

An excellent book inspires the following

two stories: “You can win” by author Shiv


_ _

[_Story 1: “An eagle’s egg in the nest of a _]

_prairie chicken. The egg hatched and the _

_little eagle grew up thinking it was a prairie _

_chicken. The eagle did what the prairie _

_chickens did. It scratched in the dirt for _

_seeds. It clucked and cackled. It never flew _

_more than a few feet because that is what _

_the prairie chickens did. One day he saw an _

_eagle flying gracefully and majestically in _

[_the open sky. He asked the prairie chickens: _]

[_“What is that beautiful bird?” The chickens _]

_replied, “That is an eagle. He is an _

_outstanding bird, but you cannot fly like him _

_because you are just a prairie chicken.” So _

_the eagle never gave it a second thought, _

_believing that to be the truth. He lived the _

_life of and died a prairie chicken, depriving _

_himself of his heritage because of his lack of _

[_vision. What a waste! He was born to win _]

[_but was conditioned to lose.” _] The same

thing is true of most people


_FOR THE NEGATIVE. There was a hunter _

_who bought a bird dog, the only one of its _

_kind in the world. That could walk on water. _

_He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw _

_this miracle. At the same time, he was very _

_pleased that he could show off his new _

_acquisition to his friends. He invited a friend _

_to go duck hunting. After some time, they _

_shot a few ducks, and the man ordered his _

[_dog to run and fetch the birds. All-day-long, _]

_the dog ran on water and kept fetching the _

_birds. The owner was expecting a comment _

_or a compliment about his amazing dog, but _

_never got one. As they were returning home, _

_he asked his friend had noticed anything _

_unusual about his dog. The friend replied, _

_“Yes, in fact, I did notice something unusual. _

_Your dog can’t swim.” Some people always _

_look at the negative side. Who is a _

[_pessimist? Pessimists “ _]

There are many negative influences from

media, society, fellow teens that you should

stay away from. All of them make us feel

cool with kool-aid, pop, chips, fried, fast

food, etc. Today’s teenagers learn from adult

behavior and the media. They face a lot of

peer pressure,. Many people are wrong in

thinking that there is only peer pressure in

fashion and makeup. Unknowingly we may

be developing the junk food habit as it is

more regular to go into any fast food

restaurant than to sit and eat veggies/fruits

with friends. I hope these fast food joints

start offering some healthier options in the

future. I heard Mcdonalds is changing a bit

and adding salads – although these salads

are still processed and contain an overload

of dressing, it is definitely an improvement.

Let us make a group and influence these

restaurants to carry healthy items too.

We are influenced by lot advertising from

media on fast foods, it leads us to get sucked

into unhealthy eating. When Food Network

and Travel Channel do not show any healthy

eating on any of their shows, it’s difficult to

win over these bad habits. As we are

working on controlling our unhealthy

appetite, there comes a new oily recipe,

music and fantastic looking cake on our


Currently, I have been learning and

practicing video and audio messages to

promote my blog and book to spread more

information on health around the world of

teens and pre-teens. It requires listening to a

few successful podcasts like EOFire by JLD,

Smart Passive Income, and Gimlet. Many

times I hear the saying: “We are the sum of

5 people we meet. Do we start behaving the

same way?” This may be the key to

influence other while guarding ourselves. I

am hoping I have changed a few of my

friends or at least made an impact on their

subconscious mind, so they stop and

evaluate before eating something unhealthy.

Start working on this journey, stand up if

you miss a meal or eat wrong for a week,

come back to it.

[*Chapter 5 – The Best Gift a *]

*Parent *

*Could *

*Give *

*Their *

*Children is Strong Health *


arents raise their children with love

and affection. I think the type of the

P food children eat and the

understanding they develop regarding what

is right and wrong in these foundational

years is critical as the follow the same habits

for the rest of their life. Parents are

responsible for the food habits their children


Birthday parties are a huge part of anyone’s

childhood. The cake, brownie, Jalebi, Gulab

Jamun, pop, pizza, and chips brought

together all your friends and helped create

special memories. Some snacks, definitely

cake, are very traditional to celebrate this

particular moment. How and when did this

tradition start? I don’t know but am sure it

should not be mandatory. Could we have a

party where we order fruits and vegetables

or at least have it as a side, or at least as an

option to influence kids that this is also a

food category? I am sure kids will rain

check and not attend the party if it only has

vegetables. Even if your community eats

something other than food mentioned above,

my questions remain the same.

Why do we get to eat chocolate, pastry,

brownie or Jalebi (whatever sweet or dessert

your community/country may have) for our

achievements? My father will reward me

with a brownie now and then to motivate me

- but why? Why didn’t he think of cutting a

watermelon instead? I don’t think I would

have liked it, but that’s not the point. Why

couldn’t I like it? Let us find answers and

share it on the My Nutrition Meter Facebook

Group or send me your notes and success

stories so I can share them on my website.

Many parents give in to the demands and

tantrums of their young children and provide

them with the pastries and candies.

Although this stops their annoyingness, it is

leading them towards bad habits they will

spend months trying to change in the future

or lead them to bad health as early as 35.

Why did I pick the age 35? During my blog

research on diabetes and heart disease, I

found that many Indian people (I know this

group the most) start getting these diseases

by this age. I am not an expert but based on

my research and Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of

Eat To Live, the primary cause of these

diseases is the type of food we eat. The

process of accumulation of plaque and

deterioration of health starts early. So, think

a little before handing over the next candy,

pack of chips, pretzels, ladoo, halwa, pastry,

cake, brownie or Coke, Pepsi type of soda

to your kid.

The plaque in the veins of their heart starts

building up even as a child, and by the time

he or she is 35, it starts being visible. We do

not suddenly accumulate so much plaque.

Can we join forces and create an awareness

program that educates how feeding such

food is reducing the life of their beloved

kids? Don’t fool yourself if you are skinny;

you may still be accumulating this.

Please watch the following video from Dr.

Sanjay Gupta of CNN telling us, with the

help of experts, how we can be heart attack

proof or at least avoid it. Bill Clinton’s

success story was also a surprise to me.






I don’t think parents’ love and affection

should be measured by how much they feed

their children or how many different types

of snacks and sweets they make.

I am surprised after watching Dr. Ornish’s

Ted Talk states *that in this generation *

*children lead a shorter life span than *

*their parents. *



I don’t think any parent would want their

child to live a shorter life than them, but

they still feed their children with junk. Why?

I am trying to seek answers. Please share

your views with me and educate the world.

Before my parents became aware of the

importance of health, they used to be

clueless and fed junk food to my friends and

I – especially on my birthday. The emotions

on a kid’s birthday forces parents to bring

the biggest cake, unlimited pizza and juice. I

am sure you will also not suspect that store

bought juices are also extremely unhealthy. I

realized this when I wrote my blog on Juices

a couple of months ago:

[_“A single 12-ounce glass of O.J. contains an _]

_incredible 9 teaspoons of sugar, about the _

[_same as a 12 ounce can of Coke! This _]

_equates to 36 grams of carbs, about half of _

[_what you should consume in a day. Let’s do _]

_a little math. If a person were to drink just _

_one glass of orange juice each day that _

_would mean that he or she would be _

[_consuming an extra 3,285 teaspoons (close _]

[_to 70 cups) of sugar in a year or about _]

[_53,000 extra calories.” _]

If you don’t believe me, watch this Ted talk:




how much of sugar we are eating, and

parents are giving to their children to show


These fruit juices are as just as bad as any

soda like Coke or Pepsi. I remember seeing

a poster at my school in fifth grade stating

that water is the best drink and that

processed fruit juice is one of the worst.

However, I still saw these juices in many

lunch boxes.

Did you know that the orange juice you buy

at grocery stores is a waste of money! 98%

of the store bought orange juice in North

America is pasteurized or flash pasteurized.

Pasteurization is the process of heating a

liquid to an extremely high temperature for a

few seconds which destroys the nutrients


were in


juice, leaving


with sugary water.

According to expert and author of the book

Squeezed, Alissa Hamilton – orange juice is

stripped of oxygen and flavor. It is stored for

up to a year in tanks and re-flavored before

it is packaged and sold to consumers. If we

were to taste the juice coming out of these

tanks, it would taste like pure sugar water,

not orange juice. I don’t know about you,

but I think that this practice sounds







flavor companies, the same ones who may

be supplying scent to your favorite perfume

brand, to ensure that flavor and the

fruit smell is added back to the juice to

create a fresh taste. Flavor packs aren’t

listed as an ingredient on the label because,

technically and legally, they are derived

from orange essence and oil. How shocking!

Please go to your refrigerators today and

check the amount of sugar waiting for you to

consume just inside your juice boxes. It’s

best to remove these from refrigerators


Have you ever thought why parents

continue to feed unhealthy food to their

children and fail to teach them healthy

eating habits? I believe that it is due to lack

of awareness and laziness. The lack of

knowledge is not only about nutrition but

also on how the consequences they are

currently facing is because of what they ate

earlier on in the life.

As a teen, we can also influence our parents.

My experience of controlling my parents

eating habits was required when we moved

to the U.S. My family went through this

busy phase of new jobs, new school, and

new city; it forced us live on restaurant food

daily for almost six months. It was only

when I put my foot down and claimed I

wouldn’t eat the next meal if it were from a

restaurant that my parents found ways to

balance my diet. Soon, we re-added salads,

raw vegetables, lentils and home cooked

meals into our diet. I pushed them to eat

healthy again even if it meant sacrificing

taste. Soon, flavor once again seemed like a

less important concept.

Every parent wishes a good, long healthy

life for their kids. However, by not

maintaining a healthy diet throughout their

childhood and not creating strong nutritional

habits, they are decreasing the chances of

this wish coming true. Instead, they are

setting their kids up for an adulthood filled

with medications and diseases. Always

remember what we eat as children and

teenagers are going to influence our future


In my opinion, parents are a lot more

influential on their child’s health than the

media that surrounds them. Parents can

control the kitchen in their home by freeing

it of junk and filling it up with the foods

their kids need.

An acquaintance of ours in Calgary, Canada

said this to my dad, “[_The best thing you can _]

give to your children is your health[*.” *] I have

adapted this quote to “*The best gift a parent *

*could give their children is strong health *

habits[*.” *]Disciplining them, especially in

matters of health, will allow their life to be

long and energy-filled. This foundation will

help us celebrate more Father’s Days,

Mother’s Days and birthdays in the future.

Out of so many parents I met, I admired

Mrs. Mona Singh, the mother of my friend

Sukhmani, the most. She goes beyond the

Canadian Food by balancing fun, taste, and

nutrition brilliantly. I am sure this

combination will keep my friend and her

entire family into the right direction.

Based on interviews and discussions

with Mona, I have understood how and

why my family calls her the “Self-

taught Nutritionist.” She agrees that

parents are immensely responsible for

what their kids put into their bodies. I

am amazed at how she successfully

fended off peer pressures from both her

children, Dilraj and Sukhmani, and

provided not only the delicious but

nutritionally beneficial food but also

the right quantity. Right portion is

another common thread with her as I

also agree that some parents over feed

their kids and family. Why do we feel

that way? A funny story she told to me

is that her husband used to finish off

half of their dinner while it is being

cooked just in the pretext of tasting.

Her strictness allowed her whole family

to transform their bad habits to life

changing rituals. Half way through our

call, she shared an important and

unique tip on how she fed her children

vegetables without them knowing. She

made a puree out of vegetables and

added it to pasta sauce, pizza sauces

and lentils. Through this, she won over

her kid’s tantrums. Her other ways to

deal with all the complaining and

crying was to “Always remind children

about how and what they were eating

would impact their health in the


Her mantras of successful parenting

have been:

- Portion size in the North American

diet is ridiculous” Watch for it!

- One Gulab Jamun (Indian brownie)

would taste same as the second one. So

just eat one.”

- “If there is no junk food at home, no

one will eat it.”

- “Always bring some raw cut up

veggies/fruits and give it to kids before

they ask for ice cream and candy when

they go outside.”

Recently, I realized that I am very lucky to

have parents that cannot cook. It helps add

raw vegetables and fruits. I never realized

how much my family had changed until my

friend Vanessa commented after looking at

my lunch of raw vegetables, chickpeas, and

salad for many days “Do your parents know

how to cook? Your lunch always seems to

be salads, cut vegetables, etc.”. I take this as

a compliment.

Chapter 6 – Where is the

[*dressing? *]

his story took place recently at my

school, and I cannot help but laugh

T each time I retell it. My journey to

reduce the amount of dressing in my salad

has reached the point that during lunch one

day one of my friends Rachel looked at my

salad and asked, “Where is the dressing?”

All my other friends then also took a look

and were shocked – and then burst out

laughing. Initially, I was confused as to why

they found my salad so funny. I responded,

“It is right here.” To my surprise, they

started laughing even more and told me that

my dressing container is so empty that I was

basically eating raw lettuce.

Although my diet had already drastically

changed from a sugary cereal to a green

smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch,

I wanted to see what else I could for a little

extra push. So, I started decreasing the

amount of dressing I use for my salad.

This journey had many ups and downs. The

quote below explains how I previously

managed and continued to live healthily. I

am not perfect; I am just sharing the story of

my journey as I get closer and closer to my

goals. I eat a little junk food and unhealthy

food almost daily but come back again on

my resolve to be disciplined.

[_“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven _]

[_times and to get up eight times.” _]

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Recently, I bought a meal from Vitality

Bowl. It is a perfect place for the so-called

healthy eater. I see a lot of high schoolers

carrying food from Vitality Bowl as a

fashion statement. The item I ordered is

supposed to be a whole fruit bowl. I was

surprised that the $13 fruit bowl had a thick

smoothie as a base with a few fruits put

together on top with granola and honey. Was

it delicious? Yes, absolutely. Was it healthy?

Yes, only if you compare it to the ready-

made juices and snacks available in stores.

A fruit bowl at home would still be the best

for health purposes. I will prefer the home

version unless I am with my friends.

I remember the quotes listening through my

parents. Although the quotes seemed

worthless at the time, looking back, I have

realized that all of them entered my

subconscious mind and unknowingly made

it easier for me to keep fighting and

transform my life through the foods I ate. If

you are currently unaware about your

subconscious mind and how it works, wait a

couple more chapters until I share how I

understood it and how you can use it for

your benefit.

Have you ever thought why we only

challenge and excel on grades/marks? Why

don’t we excel in the most important thing

that has the greatest influence on our lives?

Let us compete not only on grades but also

on our eating habits.

Chapter 7 – Our Society

here are many days where it is

important to eat some unhealthy

T food to have fun and build closer

relationships with friends, especially on

Festivals like Diwali, Holi, Thanksgiving,

Eid and Christmas, but at most there are

only around 30 such days. This leaves over

330 days in a year to maintain and

concentrate on a healthy diet.

But the most important question I have for

you is: why does our society immediately go

for unhealthy food to celebrate. Who started

this trend? Is it media? These questions

would take a whole other book to analyze.

Since this happens in every society, religion,

and country, I do not think anyone has ever

considered replacing all these party foods

with options like raw fruits and vegetables.

It is almost as if this unhealthy food is a

religious or cultural requirement.

The same concept can be applied to get-

togethers and parties. I think we should ask

our parents to include some healthy options

so that we don’t drop the ball keep moving

towards our target. After realizing and

thinking about this, I started being extra

careful about what I eat at parties and now I

come home with fewer regrets.

This junk food also surrounds school

cafeterias, carnivals, and fairs. It seems like

every single year the foods just get

unhealthier. When I think of my school

cafeteria, 99.9% is junk. Why don’t we have

some healthy options? Is it because it’s

expensive or perishable? I don’t have all the

answers, and I need your help to figure out.

You can contribute to my blog with your

views. Let us join forces to influence our

schools, fairs to keep some healthy options

to give our teens a chance.

According to an article by the Cooking

Channel titled [_World’s Craziest Carnival _]

Foods, the San Diego County Fair was

selling one of the unhealthiest snacks I have

ever heard of – fried Kool aid. Kool-Aid

itself is already artificially flavored water

with sugar, but – fried! Something I am not

even able to comprehend.

Various studies show that there is a strong

correlation between the cafeteria food and

the increase in obesity among children. Are

we giving options to our kids or are we

using them to increase revenue to fund our







The statement in this study is very

demoralizing for people like me who are

trying to make a difference, “[_Schools that _]

_are under financial pressure are more likely _

_to make junk food available to their _

_students.” _

Throughout Obama’s time as the President,

Michelle Obama worked hard on the

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. This act

forced the federal government to give more

money to schools to ensure that they can

feed their student’s more nutritious foods. It

forces school cafeterias to have less fat and

sodium and increase whole grains, fruits,

vegetables. Although the former First

Lady’s actions would hope to decrease the

number of obese and diabetic Americans

significantly, the idea received a lot of


I believe the backlash was due to our gap in

education on what food should be and how

these unhealthy foods are ruining the

foundation of our life. I encourage you all to

think how we can change the attitude of

teens. It may only influence one person at a

time, but we can grow the healthy numbers

fast if we all join in to help change people. It

is my appeal to all of you to join on this

journey to help improve teen health.

The reason why many food stores are not

willing to sell more nutritious foods may be

the price and chances for this type of food

being perishable. Managing the perishable

goods and bearing the cost of expired goods

may be a huge loss to a company’s profit.

Moreover, many Americans also usually buy

fast food instead of raw vegetables and fruits

as the difference in price are too much. The

first time I went to a Farmers Market, I was

shocked to see how high the fresh fruit and

vegetable prices were. Six apples for ten

dollars! Compare it with McDonald’s

burgers. Why buy six apples when you

could buy seven inexpensive burgers at

McDonald’s and feed your entire family for

the day. Even though some may know that

the McDonald’s burger is one of the

unhealthiest foods, it’s cheaper, readily

accessible and fills a whole family.

Due to lack education, people don’t

understand that buying raw vegetable, fruits,

nuts, lentils and healthy raw whole foods is

more beneficial because it has many long-

term benefits, unlike fast foods. * Spending *

*more money on healthier food could even *

*save you from spending tons of money on *

*medical bills in the future. *

A lot of the time, people are unaware that

what they are eating is unhealthy. For

example, many members of my family and

friends all think that they are getting enough

nutrients through the subzi’s (Indian style

cooked mixed vegetables) they eat around

two times a day. Sadly, because most are

drenched with oil and/or overcooked, one

must understand that most of the nutrients

start disappearing within 10 seconds of

keeping vegetables on stove/pan. The more

time it remains in the pan, the more nutrients

go away. The result is terrible for health,

even though the taste is fantastic.

Think about the poor Baingan (large round


I have enjoyed this Indian recipe many times

in the past, but today I saw how unhealthy it


It is an elaborate and lengthy process to

make this dish. First, you take a round

eggplant and put it on a stove. Then, you

wait until the skin is black and starts peeling

off. After ripping the skin of the eggplant,

you add some onion, exotic spices and

tomatoes. While looking at my parents

crushing this eggplant and sautéing it for a

long time, I was wondering if there is any

nutrition left in this tasty recipe. Research

proves that at more than 50% of their

nutritional value is lost due to overcooking.

The poor eggplant lost most of its nutritional

value while being cooked. I am not saying

that you should leave this tasty recipe or

many things like we eat in any culture, but

you should add some raw vegetables to your

plate to make your meal healthier and more


I have to admit that I do enjoy these cooked

vegetables. To feel less guilty while I eat

these nutrient deficient meals, I add raw

cucumber, steamed broccoli, and asparagus.

Since these habits in Indian-origin families

are hard to fix, many people in India are in

danger of getting diabetes and heart disease.

In other cultures and countries, food recipes

may be different but problems are similar.

The cause of these diseases can be either

DNA or food habits. Although we cannot

change DNA, we can certainly change our

diet. One cannot hide behind this alibi, as

the following Ted talks suggest clearly that

10% of our health is dependent on our DNA,

the rest (90%) is based on our choices.










Teens should wake up and educate their

parents to leave their age-old ways of

cooking. Cook some unhealthy food once in

a while (if you must), not three times a day

for your whole life. I understand that it is

hard to resist the flavor and craving of a lot

of these foods. I have been there and still

surrender a few times. My parents also fed

me a lot of oil filled and drenched meals out

of love, until they realized that this “love”

was doing nothing but torturing my body

and hurting my future.

The feeling how far I came in my health

journey is incredibly rewarding. After two

years on this voyage, my maternal

grandparents came to live with us from India

for three years. I was so excited to eat some

of my grandmother’s homemade food after

too long. What she presented me with was

nothing I would have ever imagined. I stared

blankly at an Indian meal called a paratha

that was drenched with oil. When I picked it

up, some oil dripped off. My grandmother

represents the type of Indian who believes

that the more the love, food will have the

less vegetable stuffing and the more oil.

I did not want to insult my grandmother, so I

ate it and went to my describe kind of

paratha I received. After some discussions,

my grandma agreed to slowly start changing

the way she and my grandfather ate for the

better. After this, I was still able to enjoy my

grandma’s home cooked meals, without

feeling so unhealthy. She learned it so

quickly that she started decreasing the oil in

Indian vegetables and lentils. However, the

overcooking part is still hard. This is an

example of how as a teen, we cannot only

control our life but also control the lives of

our parents and grandparents.

After three years, when my grandmother and

grandfather went back to India, all of their

friends were amazed at how much thinner,

fitter, faster and healthier they were. My

grandma always complained about her legs

and feet – even after walking 100 meters

was now going up and down the 1-2 floors

and basement, multiple times in a day and

would even go on daily long walks. How did

it happen? If an older person can change and

benefit so much, young people can do much


It took a few years of family support to build

these habits of asking the right questions

before I decide on what to eat. Sometimes I

still slip and find myself eating a little pizza,

chocolate, and brownie or drinking a sip of

iced tea. My main nutritional belief is to be

healthy and be balanced. Infrequently eating

some junk food is alright and needed for the

types of social interactions widespread in

our society today.

My friends already struggle with finding





options in them, so adding ‘nothing but raw

fruits and vegetables’ would make them

totally against going to any place with me.

Although I am a vegetarian who has never

eaten meat in her life, I support flexitarians

if they still reach a goal of receiving 50% of

their daily calories from raw vegetables,

nuts, lentils, and fruits. I have not achieved

that goal, but I will reach it soon.

I was surprised to note that our life’s

Capacity is 90 years and life expectancy is

70 years. Why is this? Please watch this Ted

talk to gain more insight and think of ideas

to change ourselves and society.



[*Chapter 8 – Media *]

veryone participates in media in

some way, whether that is through

E using an app like Facebook or

reading the news. We frequently discuss

new trends during our breaks in school.

Media is the quickest way to spread

information and start trends.

Unfortunately, while many large companies

could use media to share the importance of

eating healthy or share recipes, they use it to

make unhealthy foods even more attractive.

All this is done to earn more profits.

The media continually sell us ideas like

sugar-free, less fat, and fortified with

vitamins which are just empty words to

camouflage unnatural, nutrient-free/deficient

and hollow foods. That is why the

companies have to add so many artificial

ingredients. Just read the nutritional labels.

Educate yourself! It is the key. The facts are

available with the press of a button.

This book is about asking questions,

understanding experiences and applying

concepts that are explained in the latter part

of the book.

I watch the Travel Channel often, and I love

it. I sincerely enjoy seeing all of the amazing

places there are to visit in this world.

However, I do not approve of the crazy

unhealthy foods they always show on their

food shows. Although they are fascinating

and have very charming hosts, I do not like

how every single food suggested full of

meat and grease. I have initiated a petition to

the CEO of Travel channel to consider

adding some programs for healthy eating. I

wrote, “[_the vegetarians like myself love your _]

_channel but get disturbed by programs that _

_ignore showing vegetarian food or healthier _

_food. The majority of foods shown in this _

_program are meat filled and so greasy that it _

_negatively impacts the health of anyone who _

[_eats it.” _] We all, including these media

channels, have some social responsibility.

It hurts me to see so much obesity, diabetes,

and health issues that are caused by






understand the importance of showing what

will attract the most customers to earn as

much money possible, but I feel that it is our

social responsibility to educate people on the

healthy options of food.

Similarly, in

many of the cooking

competition shows on Food Network, the

chefs are rarely given fruits or vegetables as

a necessary ingredient in their preparations.

At most, a chef would fry some vegetables

or turn a fruit into an ice cream or cake.

There are many contests for cakes, pastries,

cupcakes, meat, etc. Have you ever heard of

a contest for healthier food (like a salad) or a

competition that checks how nutritious food

is as part of the scoring? I have not seen any

such program. I have started to write to

these channels in the hope that when the

pressure/ market is there, they will oblige. I

think it’s all about making money. I believe

we should have that also look at the

nutritional aspect of the food. It may bring

some innovation and make these foods more

delicious and sought after by teens.

Unfortunately, TV shows are not the only

reason why unhealthy foods are becoming

increasingly popular. Strong companies like

Pepsi and Coca-Cola, spend millions of

dollars on some of their advertisements to

intrigue customers and influence them to

buy their juice and pop.

Many pop companies come up with a lower

calorie drink and advertise it to make people

believe that it is healthier, while it is hurting

their bodies a lot more than the original

would. For example, Diet Coke is filled with

artificial sweeteners which fulfill the taste of

sweetness in your mouth while tricking the

rest of your body into thinking you are

consuming fewer calories. According to an

article by CNN Health named _Diet Soda _

May Do More Harm Than Good, “[_Diet soda _]

_drinkers also tend to pack on more pounds _

[_than those who don’t drink it.” _] It is caused

by the strange sweet taste increasing the

consumer’s appetite and sugar craving. The

artificial sugar chemicals in these diet drinks

cause the consumer to get somewhat

addicted and keep coming back for more.

Even if you are a frequent diet soda drinker

who has maintained a healthy weight, you

still have a significantly increased risk of

getting the top three killers in the United

States: diabetes and heart disease.

The fight against these companies cannot be

done by one teen only. We need to form a

team – a team in each school, community,

and city. It is one more reason for this book

being free. We can only fight with


I was able to say no to my dad when he

wanted to buy a slice of pizza for me one

evening. This education and my approach

explained in later chapters helped me to say

no to a slice of pizza. He sent me the picture

from Costco and asked, do you want to eat

pizza? I said yes. Then from the line/queue,

he sent me a picture of the nutritional

information, and I immediately said no

when I saw that one slice is 760 Calories!

Many junk food companies are solely trying

to increase revenue, and by fooling their

customers. Through advertisements, they

make their food look very desirable and

immediately have people across the world

craving it, without telling the potential risks

and harms. They trick their customers into

buying food that will negatively impact their

future. Shouldn’t we ask governments to

mention on these junk food packets that

“[_eating this packet will increase your _]

chances of heart disease or diabetes”?

It is tough for a single person to stand up

and appeal to these corporates, however, if

many people join and make their voices

heard, through a boycott or anything else,

the decisions of these large corporations can

be influenced or changed.

[*Chapter 9 – Why is fast food, *]

[*processed food preferred? – *]

Societal Impact

ven though some kids also have

diabetes, obesity and many other

E diseases that are caused by

unhealthy foods, many teens and children

many get away with eating incredibly

unhealthy for the early part of their life.

However, at 35 or so, the results of the junk

we have eaten will start showing up in the

form of heart disease, diabetes, hair loss or

damaged skin to name a few. As per Dr.

Ornish’ Ted Talk, one study tells that 65%

of adults and 15% of children are

overweight and diabetes has increased 70%

in 30-year-olds in the past ten years.

It was not always easy to eat healthy. While

I brought a salad or some raw vegetables to

school, my friends brought pizza, pasta, and

burgers. Every single day I was always




processed foods, but looking at the direct

and immediate impact on skin, hair loss, and

other health problems, I continued to eat the

healthy options. And although it felt

miserable then, I am happy now.

One funny situation happened every time we

went on a day trip or picnic with a group of

family friends in Calgary Canada. Every

family would bring delicious food choices

for a picnic, and if it were up to my dad, we

would have picked a few cucumbers,

carrots, watermelon. I believe and have said

many times in the book that to live in the

society we need to be open minded. I ate and

continue to eat a limited amount of snack,

junk food when required to be with friends.

To understand how we can combat so many

influences, we need to find out why we even

eat fast food.

Most people enjoy fast food because it is

both convenient and cheap. However, they

do not realize that packing raw vegetables

and fruits into a container is also very

convenient. I understand that many people

who start this health transformation think

that the taste of these plants is unbearable,

but there are ways to maintain a healthy diet

when you have less time on your hands.

There have been many days where my

parents have been too busy to cook and not

found a chance to make lunch or dinner so I

would be left with raw fruits and vegetables

as my meals. A busy schedule is not an

excuse for eating fast food, though, because

everyone can find one hour in a week to go

to their grocery store to buy some raw

vegetables to eat for the upcoming week.

Another reason why fast food is preferred is

how cheap it is. I am aware that some

families do not have the privilege to spend

lots of money on the food they eat, however

many others that can, still do not. If you are

in a family that can afford to spend up to

$50 more on their food in a month, then it is

important to spend that extra money instead

of saving it for possible future expensive

medical bills including medicine and


We have had many discussions during our

dinners in a restaurant that many people can

spend more than $100 for one meal and they

still think many times before buying

vegetable and fruits because it is expensive.

I don’t have answers for this behavior. But I

would like you to ask yourself this question

before you head out to a restaurant a couple

of times a week with your family. Would it

be possible to ask your parents/families to

skip one restaurant meal of $50-100 to

substitute for two weeks of vegetables and

fruits? Just simple math!

Another thing I found is that many people

are too lazy to cut the vegetables and they

see it as a chore. _I guess this is the cost we _

_pay to be energetic to do chores when we _

_grow up. _ Another quote from my dad is

always: “[_The sweat you put in at the peace _]

time will save you blood in war!” This quote

is one of the universal ones that I have

listened to hundreds of times and it explains

our situations as teens. The better we do

now, the better the foundation for sound

health in the future.

[* Chapter 10- Fashion, Makeup *]

and Style Conscious Teens





including me, are becoming

M increasingly obsessed with their

looks. Through makeup and fashion, girls

try to improve their appearance.

It has become a trend. I also wear makeup

sometimes even after understanding the

impact on my skin. I even heard that there

is an effect on self-confidence in the long

run, so I leave that decision and research to

readers as I am not aware of the psychology

behind it. Do share your insight on my blog

if you find something unique.

I do not think that many teen girls are aware

of the wonders of eating a healthy green

smoothie. They would lose not only weight,

but also have clearer and glowing skin, or I

should say radiant skin. I want to issue a

challenge for all teen girls to start drinking

green smoothies daily (made of pure

spinach/kale 50%, with fruit 50%, and water

- no sugary juice) for three months and

check the difference. I am 100% sure you

will be glowing and need less makeup, and

you’ll be more energetic. Please share your

success story on my blog.

Apart from this, females and males that

suffer from hair loss would also reap

benefits. I use green smoothies, and they

have significant effects, but sadly it has no

impact on father’s receding hairline.



Glowing skin is one benefit. The healthy

smoothies will provide you a bonanza of

other things. Don’t forget to add salads and

lentils and nuts as they provide you the

complete nutrition.

In my opinion, most of us are just being

ignorant of the benefits that could come

from removing the unhealthy comfort food

from our diet. Instead, the focus is going

towards the easy way out which is painting

over the acne on your face and putting fake

hair onto your scalp. The reason many of us

are don’t act on removing unhealthy foods

perfectly summarized by an English poet

named Thomas Gray when he says

ignorance is bliss,” which essentially

means that if you do not know something,

you do not need to worry about it.

If teens start putting the passion and energy

into changing the foods like smoothies,

salads, lentils, whole grains, our generation

could be one of the healthiest generations

yet to exist on this earth!

We can also understand how little

importance we give to our health that we

take care of our car more than our own


The last time my dad refueled our car with

gas, I realized that our bodies are very

similar to cars. Both need to be refueled.

And if the gas is not excellent quality an

issue will come up in the car, and it will

need to go for maintenance, similar to if the

body is consuming too much-processed

foods it will need to go to the doctor.

Through this analogy, it is evident that just

like a car, our bodies need to be refueled

with proper food to stop it from

malfunctioning. A car needs to go for

regular preventive maintenance just like we

do annual check-ups. Are we taking care of

our health similar to what we do for our

cars? Are we making an effort to understand

whether our bodies have a right foundation

and will last longer?

*Chapter *

*11 *

[*- *]

*Balanced *

Life/Open Minded Approach

eople in our society these days are

either in love with the idea of

P veganism and continually insult meat

eaters or are meat eaters that offend vegans

for never experiencing the beautiful taste of

bacon, fish, chicken and steak. They are

both closed-minded and do not even bother

thinking of living a balanced life, with an

appropriate amount of meat and vegetables.

Even though I have never eaten meat in my

life, I am friends with both types of people.

Over time, I have become open-minded

which has resulted in understanding both

sides of the story.

When I moved to my new school in

California, my first vegan friend often told

me a disturbing fact. “[_Cows are raped to be _]

_mothers to produce milk and calves, without _

_leaving a few days of rest in between. The _

_babies born are immediately then taken to _

_kill to make soft meat as being a baby meat _

[_it supposedly sells for more”. _] The same

must be happening to _lambs, goats and other _

_animals. _ I also watched a disturbing Netflix

documentary on it to learn some more. On

her advice, I watched some PETA videos of

a newborn calf immediately getting killed

for meat. Vegans believe that even people

who drink milk are encouraging the animal

farming and situation mentioned above and

they should also consider themselves

responsible for the plight of animals. They

think that when the cow’s milk producing

ability is finished, it goes for the same fate -

someone’s food.

My understanding after watching lots of

shows on TV, researching and discussing at

home, is that it is impossible for me to

change the mindset of meat eaters, therefore

I am focusing on moving teens away from

processed food

Additional argument against animal farming

is made by a UN study. Animal agriculture

is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas

emissions, more than the combined exhaust

from all transportation. It is said to be

contributing more than all the cars in the




Just like my first vegan friend, I have many

friends who are meat enthusiasts and often

joke about calling themselves carnivores as

they rarely eat any vegetables or fruits at all.

They often laugh at the fact that I am

vegetarian and they do not forget to remind

me how much I am missing out on. When I

ask them to give me one more reason, other

than taste, on why I should start eating meat,

they say health – specifically protein. Some

also wondered how I am going to survive in

a real world without meat.

They usually ask:

“If you don’t eat meat, chicken, or fish,

where do you get your protein?”

I understand and agree that many types of

fish and other forms of meat are excellent

sources of protein, but your body needs

more than just that. To function it needs

Vitamins and hundreds of nutrients and so

much more. Unfortunately, nearly none of

these vitamins and minerals are in any kind

of meat.

I am open-minded to the fact that eating

meat, drinking milk or being vegan is a

choice a person makes in life. My

recommendation is to consider adding raw

vegetables and fruits to meat diets to slowly

reach to a level where around 50% of your

calories come from vegetables, fruits, lentils,

etc. and avoid junk and processed food.

Eating raw vegetables and fruits is just one

thing. During a typical week of mine, I find

myself tempted to eat brownies and chips.

Since I do not eat these junk foods often and

balance them with many vegetables and

fruits at home, it is manageable. Obviously,

it would be best to avoid all of these foods

entirely, but that is practically impossible for

a teen in our society. I remember my best

friend Alison in fourth grade’s story. Even

as a kid and pre-teen she was so health

conscious. Every time she ate chocolate, she

would rush to the refrigerator and grab a few

pieces of broccoli. This habit of eating raw

broccoli every time she went for a processed

food or chocolate is serving her well as a

water polo athlete.

A newly published article in _JAMA Internal _

Medicine has investigated the relationship between (animal vs. plant) protein sources

and mortality risk from almost 30 years of

follow-up from the Nurses’ Health Study

and Health Professionals Follow-up Study,

which together included over 170,000


Interesting findings came out of one





asked: *What *

*would *

*happen *

*if *

*the *

*participants replaced some of their *

[*animal protein with plant protein? *] They

analyzed the data to estimate how

participants’ risk of death from all causes

during the follow-up period would change if

some of the animal protein sources

(equivalent to 3 percent of total daily

calories) were replaced with plant protein


• Replace



meat: *34 *

percent decrease in risk

• Replace



meat: *12 *

percent decrease in risk

• Replace poultry: 6 percent decrease in


• Replace fish: 6 percent decrease in risk

• Replace eggs: 19 percent decrease in risk

• Replace dairy: 8 percent decrease in risk1

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

[*Chapter 12 – Passengers are *]

*responsible for their belongings *

et me give you a little background of

Indian parents, they always try to

L make Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl







understanding that everyone can’t be like

him or her. I digressed to provide you a little


Throughout my life, no matter how much I

study, my parents, like most Indian origin

parents, always demanded more. I have

never been a very studious kid so my dad

would try to play mind games with me to get

me to study a little bit more. I vividly

remember what he said one time when he

looked at my tired face and wanted to

squeeze the last drop of productivity out of

my waking time. He brought forward a so-

called excellent idea that he would hold the

book and flip the pages and I [*“just had to *]

[*answer” *] the question. So simple right! After

a couple of minutes, my ten-year-old mind

got the trick, and I told him to reverse the

roles. He stepped back and walked away

stating his favorite quote’ “*Passengers are *

responsible for their belongings[*” *] that I had

already listened million times.

  • *

My father grew up in India (Haryana State)

and frequently used the public bus. He never

forgets to remind me how lucky and

pampered I am, as I do not need to stand

outside in the sweltering heat of 45 degrees

Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) and sit for hours on

an overloaded bus most, drive with 1.5 times

the capacity leaving little space to sit and

relax) In all his long commutes of 2-4 hours

in 45-degree Celsius, heat waves coming on

to his face and intense vibrations on the bus

on the road with some potholes, the best he

could do was to stare inside. On these buses,

there is a message written all over,

“[_Passengers are responsible for their _]

[_belongings,” _] and for some reason, this stuck

with him. As his education continued, he

realized that this saying could be used

philosophically for many different things,

including health. He used it million times

with me to remind that I will suffer the

consequences if I study any less than his

expectations on the weekend.

The passengers are all of us, and our

belongings are our bodies. No surgery or

makeup can cover the damage of how

irresponsible you have been with your body.

Whether someone’s terrible health is from

false advertising, media or health-ignorant

parents, their body is the one that is going to

suffer. If we are diabetic, obese or have any

other sick health-caused disease/disorder,

the people around us will just feel sympathy,

but will not be able to do anything else. So,

it is important to that we stand up for

ourselves and take care of our health and be

strong enough to avoid the food we are

tempted to eat almost daily because of our


My family has slipped many times and

almost gone back to how unhealthy we used

to be, but we help each other stand back up

and continue our path to greatness. One of

these times was the first six months in

California. My parents were so insanely

busy with their new jobs and settling down

that they had no time for grocery shopping

or cooking. It resulted in them buying

takeout and bringing it home. For the first

six couple months in this new country, I

understood the need for this but also how

important it was for us to go back to our

healthy lifestyle eventually.

After six months, I stepped on the scale to

see that I had gained a few pounds and I

noticed I was losing hair. It is when I knew

that we were settled down enough for my

parents and me to take out some time in

their day at least to go grocery shopping.

When I first told my parents this, they said,

“[_What, we don’t have time for that!” _] I knew

this was just an excuse to keep eating the

food we were more than pleased.

After a couple of weeks of reminding them

about the importance of nutrition and all the

stuff they once told me, they finally

understood. And now, five months after on

our health path, we are pleased to be back at

the place we once were in Canada, health-


Chapter 13 – Triangle of Life

while ago during all the pressures

of GPA, good university and

A career, I was thinking about the

things I want most in my life. I came up

with a list of three things that would make

my life perfect: health, knowledge, and

wealth. I think it is important to work hard

and get as close to perfect as possible in all


My dad used to be part of a club called the

Running Room where he, and a bunch of

other people who were passionate about

running, would come together and run as a

group. He always came home amazed at the

grandmas, and grandpas even in their late

sixties and seventies that came to run many

kilometers with him and many younger

people. However, some Indian grandparents

I met, including mine, are now going

through some issues with their body, like

arthritis, diabetes and having troubles

walking. Why is there is such a difference? I

realized, after observation and discussions

with my parents, that if it were not for the

unhealthy food the grandparents ate as

children and adults, carelessness, and

unawareness of the impacts of unhealthy

food, they would have been just as athletic

as some of the Canadian seniors at my dad’s

running club. Some people can hide behind

their genes, so let them be. I cannot

convince everyone. I am looking for like-

minded individuals who can get motivated

with these examples and open their eyes and

agree to explore better options and improve

their future.

We will grow up to be adults, parents, and

grandparents. *Do you want to be a runner *

[*at 75 or have diabetes at 35? *] The choice is

simple. Looking at the reports and

observations of many wealthy Indian (Indian

because they are the ones I met the most)

families, it seems most are forgetting the

most important aspect which is healths.

For one of my blog posts, I decided to write

about heart attacks and what causes them.

Through research, I found that there are

many diabetic and heart patients in India. I

understand that there are many other

countries with a similar amount or more

heart patients, but I am commenting on India

because that is the culture I am most familiar


  • *

  • *

  • *

[*Chapter 14 – My Mantra of *]

Healthy Eating

nderstand the concept of nutrient

density with our family guru for

U nutrition, Dr. Fuhrman, who states

“What makes my dietary advice unique is

that it is focused on quality, not quantity.

The following quotes are from this book Eat

to Live. It concentrates on the type of foods

you eat. Its most important nutritional

concept is:

[_H=N/C _]

[_Health = Nutrients/ Calories _]

[_“For excellent health and life expectancy, _]

_concentrate on consuming foods that _

_contain a lot of micronutrients and fewer _

_calories. _

_Micronutrients _

_are _

_vitamins, _

[_minerals, and phytochemicals; they do not _]

_contain calories, but they have vital _

_functions in the body. Calories come from _

_fat, protein, and carbohydrates. You want to _

_take in the foods that contain the most _

_micronutrients per calorie. You want to get _

_the most nutrient bang for each caloric _

buck. When you eat this way, calorie-

_counting no longer matters. _

_ _

_High micro nutrient foods come straight _

[_from nature; whole plant foods, such as _]

_vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, and beans, _

[_should be the basis of a healthy, anti-cancer _]

_diet. Without adequate micronutrients, food _

_cravings, discomfort, and the demand to _

[_over-consume calories can be overwhelming _]

_and derail any effort to lose weight or eat _

[_healthfully.” _]

Eat raw vegetables is “eat as much as you

want.” The following is a list I follow. I

have tried almost all of them and eat most

(based on availability) regularly. I promised

that this book is not about recipes and food

groups, but these couple of charts and pages

provide extensive information about my

approach and will help you and I apply the

concepts to reach our goals of eating

nutrient dense foods. All kinds of meats,

chips, processed foods, white bread, pasta

&, pizza have no or very little nutritional


[*Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient *]

[*Density Index (ANDI) *]

Sample Nutrient/Calorie Density Scores



Collard Greens


Mustard Greens




Swiss Chard


Bok Choy








Brussels Sprouts










Bell Peppers










Sweet Potato








Iceberg Lettuce










Flax Seeds










Sesame Seeds






Sunflower Seeds


Kidney Beans


Green Peas










Peanut Butter




Pistachio Nuts










Milk, 1%






Whole Wheat Bread






Brown Rice


White Potato


Low Fat Plain Yogurt




Chicken Breast


Ground Beef, 85% lean 21

Feta Cheese


French Fries


White Pasta


Cheddar Cheese


Apple Juice


Olive Oil


White Bread


Vanilla Ice Cream


Corn Chips




Nutrient Scoring Method

“To determine the ANDI scores, an equal-

_calorie serving of each food was evaluated. _

_The following nutrients were included in the _

[_evaluation: fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, _]

_phosphorus, _

_potassium, _

_zinc, _

_copper, _

_manganese, selenium, vitamin A, beta _

_carotene, alpha carotene, lycopene, lutein _

_and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, _

_thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, _

_vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, choline, _

_vitamin K, phytosterols, glucosinolates, _

_angiogenesis _

_inhibitors, _

_organosulfides, _

_aromatase inhibitors, resistant starch, _

_resveratrol plus ORAC score. ORAC _

[_(Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a _]

_measure of the antioxidant or radical _

_scavenging _

_capacity _

_of _

_food. _

_For _

_consistency, _

_nutrient _

_quantities _

_were _

_converted from their typical measurement _

[_conventions (mg, mcg, IU) to a percentage _]

[_of their Dietary Reference Intake (DRI). For _]

_nutrients that have no DRI, goals were _

_established based on available research and _

_current understanding of the benefits of _

_these factors. To make it easier to compare _

_foods, the raw point totals were converted _

[_(multiplied by the same number) so that the _]

_highest _

_ranking _

_foods _

[_(leafy _]

_green _

[_vegetables) received a score of 1000, and _]

_the other foods received lower scores _

[_accordingly.” _]

The following picture from his book Eat to

Live is a reminder what happens when we

eat nutrient dense foods vs. processed

foods/meats and oil.

  • *

  • *

[*Chapter 15 – Recalibrating our *]


he first time a person with a history

of eating unhealthy tastes a small,

T raw piece of kale, I can guarantee

you that they will spit it out. It happens

because your taste buds are not used to the

peculiar taste of vegetables, let alone one of

the grossest and healthiest ones – kale.

However, after a week of strictly eating

these vegetables, your taste buds will

recalibrate, and you will get used to the taste

and very soon start enjoying it.

There are many kinds of detox. I watched a

documentary on Netflix where a person did

amazing things with just fresh pressed juices

and smoothies for 60 days to restart his

health journey. Another one I read recently

about is sugar detox. It will be very hard as I

love chocolates, but maybe I can try. We can

build an online group.

_“Sugar makes you fat, ugly and old,” said _

Brooke Alpert, a registered dietitian and co-

[_author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, _]

[_ Lose the Weight -- Look and Feel Great." _]

_“What we’ve discovered in the last couple of _

_years is that sugar is keeping us overweight. _

_It’s also a leading cause of heart disease, it _

_negatively affects the skin, and it leads to _

_premature aging.” _

_ _

The author of this book assures that on this

sugar detox plan, you can add an apple on

the fourth day. “ _By the fourth day, an apple _

_tastes like candy,” Alpert said. “The onions _

[_are sweet! Almonds are sweet! Once you _]

_take sugar away from your diet cold turkey, _

_your palate and you start tasting natural _

_sugars again.” _

I have to improve a lot, and I found that my

Dad also steals chocolates at home. I have

found a few candy wrappers in his car

almost daily and wondered how he gets

those. We figured out that he gets a few

pieces of candy every day from his office

receptionist since he can’t eat it openly at

home. Let’s change the habits now at teen

and pre-teen level, so we don’t end up as an

adult like him. Even though he is very

healthy and tries hard to control his

temptations, but he has been unsuccessful to

reduce his weight for the last many months.

Maybe this sugar detox or juice detox will

work for him as well. He is a determined

person once he decides something – he will

make it. Hopefully, this book will change

him as well. It will be a gift to me.

“Children can benefit, too.” Lustig’s

research revealed that “when obese children

eliminated added sugars from their diets for

just nine days, every aspect of their

metabolic health improved -- despite no changes in body weight or total calories


I am sharing a true success story from Vince

Chan. Vince is a family friend who has done

various detox diets in the last few years and

is in a great shape. The following is the story

in his own words.

[_“Ever since I was a teenager, I can _]

_remember myself struggling with two skin _

_issues. One was acne, and the other was _

_eczema. _

_ _

_There are some possibilities behind this. _

_Most teenagers go through significant _

_hormonal changes, and some of that can _

_impact acne. Eczema is very different. There _

_are varying levels of eczema which can be _

_as simple as dry skin to flaky and painful _

_raw looking skin which is irritated by water, _

_grass or almost any allergen. _

_ _

_While _

_Acne _

_was _

_just _

_a _

_superficial _

_embarrassment, I still had to manage it and _

_deal with the odd embarrassment from it up _

[_to my mid-30s. Unlike most females (and _]

[_some males), I did not use makeup to mask _]

_my acne. _

_ _

_My eczema was very extreme. There were _

_years it became so painful that my skin _

_would crust and I would almost be in tears _

_from the pain. The only way to alleviate the _

_pain was to go to the doctor to get cortisone. _

_My sister also had the same issue. However, _

_she still struggles with it today. _

_ _

[_Coincidentally (or maybe not coincidentally) _]

_both issues ceased around 35. I looked back _

_to see what significant change I made. The _

_only real difference I made was my diet. _

_Prior to 35, I ate lots of carbs and minimal _

_fats. This is the diet we were led to believe _

_was healthy in our generation. I had always _

_been an athlete and performed several hours _

_of exercise every week leading up to 35. _

_ _

_At 35, I suffered a major leg injury and _

_could not perform weight bearing exercises _

_for four months. I immediately put on weight _

_and knew there had to be a better way. One _

_of the biggest changes I made was to start _

[_eating a high-fat low carb diet. The weight _]

_melted off. In my case, the skin began to _

_clear, and the acne rarely comes back. _

_Carbs and sugar are a direct cause of _

_inflammation. _

_Once _

_I _

_remove _

_the _

_inflammation caused by simple carbs and _

_sugar, so did the skin irritations. _

_ _

_However, when I have my cheat days _

[_(usually once every few weeks), the acne _]

_immediately returns and with a vengeance. _

_In fact, I often ended up with giant pimples _

_the next morning. I should point out my _

_cheat days always consist of extremely high _

[_sugar and carbs, e.g.,) donuts, apple _]

_turnovers ice cream, wine gums, fries, pizza, _

_naan bread. _

_ _

_I have since implemented a further _

_technique. I perform regular fasts in the _

[_length of 16 – 144 hours. This clears the _]

_inflammation caused by these foods as well _

_as eliminates all other toxins in the body. _

_The result is clear skin in usually a few days _

_as well as many other benefits. I should _

_mention that I do not recommend fasting for _

_people who are still growing as there are _

_not enough studies done to prove whether it _

_has adverse effects on growth. _

_ _

_Now in my 40s, I can still replicate this _

_pattern with high predictability. I only have _

_bouts of acne when I decide to eat like a _

_teenager, while my sister still suffers from _

_acne and eczema almost 365 days of the _

_year. I should also mention that not _

_everyone responds the same way to these _

_types of foods. My body is extremely _

_sensitive to sugar and carbs so the results _

_can be seen immediately while some people _

[_are almost immune to sugar and carbs.” _]

I will start trying one of these detox diets

one or twice a month. I heard from my

mother that she does some religious fasts,

which can also be a detox diet option.

However, observing carefully how much

food a fasting person is accumulating in the

allowable period of the day was funny to

me. My mother keeps some religious fasts,

and I see that her lunch bag is similar in size

of other days; maybe just the type of food is






encountered was when I Googled “Indian

Fasting recipes,” and I received numerous

options on recipes. Are you kidding? 70+

recipes for a religious fast! I am further

confused when I see pictures of these

yummy recipes

I digress again, but my point is that detox is

possible when we control our mind. I am

trying to convince my mother to go on a

fast/detox. Let’s see if she can become my

role model like Vince.

I think it’s a fight between mind and body

and Intellect. I will explain this concept soon

in the coming chapter.

Chapter 16 – Compound Effect

any teenagers and adults in our

modern society want to see

M immediate results and are too

lazy to work hard for them. Many people sit

like couch potatoes eating popcorn in front

of their television and watch ads on how a

product can give them skinny thighs in a

month. Usually, these products just leave

people with less money in their pockets. It is

important for everyone, including me, to

learn that we have to work hard for the

results we want and that we cannot get them

by just pressing a button, like many other

things in society these days. I remember one

of my close friends telling me that my idea

of a healthy life seemed too difficult. So

now, I want to share the importance of the

compound effect.

This graph above taken from Darren

Harrdy’s book showed me that it could take

up to 27 months of wise choices, good

behavior, and a healthy habit to yield the

results we all dream of. Although 27 months

is a long time, the effect will eventually kick

in in a few initial months, and it will bring

massive results as the compounding effect

works every additional month. I hope you

understand compounding math in school

and, if not, just ask an adult.

These wise choices can be as simple as

observing and being conscious of what we

are eating and understanding the impact it

will have in the future.

While reading this portion of the book, I

realized that my family went through a long

period of struggles before we could

successfully integrate a vegetable smoothie

into our daily lives. It all started around five

years ago listening to the Toastmaster

speech, where my father thought that it was

a very good idea to make our family

healthier. Vitamix, as mentioned earlier,

brought revolution in our lives. We have

been drinking vegetable and fruit smoothies

almost daily and have grown to love them

more and more. It took us more than two

years of complaining, stopping, restarting

and my tears before we started enjoying this

part of our lives that filled each day with a

little more energy.

Just as an extended period of consistent

good habits can improve the quality of your

life, your grades, your chances of getting a

good career or a school of your choice, a

long period of consistent bad habits can ruin

your choices too. The same formula works

for health too, even though the resulting

benefit or loss is visible after a couple of

decades or so. That is why I think we don’t

think twice before enjoying the juice, chips,

brownie, cake, greasy type of food, just to

name a few. If you make a choice that may

seem like it will not have a significant

negative impact at the moment, it will still

add up every meal, each decision and

negatively impact you exponentially after a

few years.

It somehow works as a bank balance. The

better food we eat, the more positive the

balance. Similarly, the wrong kind of food

takes away this bank balance and turns into

a negative. The bankruptcy can be a heart

attack or diabetes. You can visualize with

ease what I am trying to say. I believe that

one time I eat junk food, for example, I

realized that my decision to pick up my

afternoon snack (a spinach wrap from

Starbucks on my way to tutoring from

school) similar to a fast food place even

though it says spinach. I was feeling good

from a taste and convenience point of view,

but I had a feeling that I may be

overstepping on my resolve to eat healthier

food and improve. I initially felt like there

was little to no impact on your weight and

health. However, as time goes on and

months pass, you will begin to see quick

increases in your weight, a decrease of

energy, and you have more health issues. It

could have happened, but I started to add a

salad and raw vegetables only for dinner.

My point is, since I have already eaten a

crab and sort of junk food, I should

compensate and fight it with better nutrition.

As per the Last Heart Attack by Sanjay

Gupta of CNN, plaque adds up in your

arteries over time, and it does not just

quickly appear when you are an adult. It is

important to throw out bad habits, no matter

how small they may be, because these minor

actions will add up to one huge negative

impact. Watch the Sanjay Gupta the Last

Heart Attack documentary again.

To change, it is important first to be aware

of your actions and acknowledge that there

are certain things you need to improve. You

need to own all your actions before you can

even begin to think of changing them.

Although I had gotten a lot of help from my

parents to improve my habits for healthy

eating, I needed to understand that the fruits

and vegetables I was eating were for my

health and benefit. We cannot blame our

surroundings (parents, TV, school cafeteria).

I believe that we are the hero and victim of

our own decisions.

I like Darren Hardy’s statement:

[*Small, Smart Choices + Consistency *]

[*+ *]

*Time *

[*= *]



_ _

All of the small changes we make in life that

seem insignificant will add up to create a

radical difference in an extended period. In

health, these minor changes could be

drinking one green smoothie every morning










better yet, use Spiralizer to get Zucchini

pasta or noodles. I have successfully

replaced white and processed pasta by

around 60%. My goal is to be 100%.

Success is the result of small, smart choices

and consistently over time. Many people get

frustrated when they do not see a change

after a short period. However, it is important

to keep working consistently and efficiently

before we can begin to see a payoff. After

you get used to these diet changes, you can

start to take more baby steps to improve

your quality of life even more.

The following has been in my head a million

times when I needed to recover from an

awful school test result or a bad choice of


“[_The secret of life, though, is to fall seven _]

[_times and to get up eight times.” _]

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

If this is not enough, watch the speeches that

I listened to an uncountable number of

times. It was forced listening initially, but I

started liking this stuff as I was fighting

back on my GPA/school percentages as well

as healthy eating habits.




Chapter 17 – Rebellious

[_ blogger ]Julia Gottwald _ _ [ said “You_] can’t really “run off” a burger –

A _ recent studies _ _ [_show a lack of] _exercise is not to blame for rising obesity _

_rates, bad diets are the real driver…You’ll _

_get taller”, “it’s good for your health”, “you _

_need your 5 a day.” Things that everyone _

_has heard again and again during their _

_teenage years, and for most of their life. And _

_apparently, they’re not even that useful _

_either. _ American


_have _

_demonstrated that the only way to convince _

_a teenager to eat healthily is to make them _

_think eating fruits and veggies is rebellious. _

_If the normal way of seeing healthy eating is _

[_that it is lame, then you don’t want to be the _]

_kind of person who is a healthy eater. But if _

_we make healthy eating seem like the _

_rebellious thing that you do, you make your _

_own choices, you fight back against _

[_injustice, then it could be high status.” said _]

[_David Yeager, co-author of the research _]

[_from the University of Texas at Austin.” _]

Teens of this age start rebelling against

everything. Can we focus on the right

objective that can help us live longer and


Rebel against all corporations and media!

Somehow, we need to make it popular to eat

healthier food. I have started a petition again

Travel channel and will start many more.

Let’s connect and start groups to influence

teens and pre-teens in schools

We need to become a sponge to listen to

great ideas and implement them rather than

blindly following the community/religion/

country we belong and type of food our

parents/grandparents thought were the best.

Rebel against these customs that make you

eat cake, pizza, pop, chips, Jalebi or sweets

on a birthday. Start by asking to add


[*Chapter 18 – Act First, Think *]

[*Later or is “Act decisively after *]

[*evaluation.” *]

have written this book in an easy to

read style. My family’s philosophy is -

I “Act first think later – with a twist”. I

hate this saying but it works. I improvised it

to say “[_Act decisively after evaluation.” _] It

essentially means acting decisively rather

than getting seized by “Analysis Paralysis”

type of syndrome. Following this quote can

stop us from going into the endless analysis

paralysis circle, which will never allow us to

move forward with our lives. I understand

that this could have resulted in us wasting a

lot of food and money, but it did help us in

taking risks to improve our knowledge and

health, and that is worth a lot. We continue

to evolve and waste less now.

There may be a few right or wrong

interpretations of this phrase. It may be that

someone may think that it leads to careless

picking of foods without analyzing risk. I

am not asking for you to jump from a

building or rock without thinking, or drink

and drive, or pick up a sugary drink/pastry

without thinking. All I ask you is to take a

step towards the goal of healthy living. Once

on the path, we can fine-tune our efforts

with different detox or diet methods to suits

our goals based on the new information.

Don’t get stuck by the fact that there are so

many conflicting views on diets and you

don’t know which one is best. I also don’t

know except that 50% or more calories per

day should be from raw vegetables, fruits,

whole grains, and nuts.

Based on this slogan at home, we have

bought things like Spiralizer, Edamame

spaghetti, Vitamix, and many types of

vegetables and fruits and that we never ate

before asking anyone. I would say jump on

this philosophy and start the process of

eating raw vegetables and green smoothies

and doing a sugar detox of some kind to get

an immediate effect, without delay. Don’t

overthink about taste. Just do it! After a






develop/recalibrate, you will be able to add

more. I am sure you will make some

mistakes every week just as I do, but we are

teens right! We will come back to the right

path soon after if we follow the proper

advice in this book and answer the questions

I have been asking.

Don’t just think and fret about all possible

consequences or the entire plan with detail

before stepping on to this beautiful path of

healthy eating and questioning every time

our hand goes out to that food. Analysis

paralysis thinking happens when a lot of

people think, oh my god! I will never be

able to able to get this.

Recently, at an incubator program, I learned

the concept called MVP-minimum viable

product. The concept is related to my

thinking as we understand the needs of our

bodies, know the goal is a long healthy

disease free life; then we just move on and

fine tune while walking towards our goal. In

my opinion, the following quote summarizes

it beautifully. “[_Heads I win and Tails I _]

[_don’t lose much.” _] Manish Pabrai’s book-

The Dhando Investor.

The quote applies very well to our health. If

we start this journey and can reach the

ultimate goal of 50% calories from raw

vegetables, lentils, nuts, and fruits, we win.

If we are unable to meet this target and fall

short by say 20%. We are still 30% better.

Keep it up. Join me and change the world

“[_What you do is what matters, not what you _]

think or say or plan.” – Jason Fried, author

of Rework

[*Chapter 19 – How do I do it? *]

*Subconscious mind *

t is a teen nutrition book, and I should

be giving some recipes, charts and

I recommend some great dietician or

nutritionist. I think you can hire one

nutrition expert, but unless you decide and

win over your mind, you are fooling

yourself. The focus of this book is going to

the “why” of teen nutrition. I am sharing

what I learn on Body Mind Intellect and

Subconscious mind, which by the way is not

easy stuff.

My parents have been on this incredible

journey of reading books, audios, and videos

of various authors on these concepts. I have

seen many heated discussions in the car and

at home on what they understood from each

sentence minute of audio. It’s funny to see

the same quote being perceived differently.

To my benefit, I heard both the stories. I

hope some people can understand my plight

when I am trying to shut off and look

outside and act like I am listening; my dad

somehow looks through the rear-view mirror

and say, “Fantastic! Did you see, Shambavi,

how beautifully this guy has explained the

concept I think we should implement.” I

don’t know how he always figured out that I

just shut off. Anyways, the benefit of all

these years is that I somehow understood

these difficult concepts in my simple way

and am trying to implement them and I see

great results. I am a person who understands

concepts in simple terms.

I promised that this book would bring more

questions than the solution. These questions

will hopefully trigger a thought in our minds

You may explore a little more of these

concepts. These are very in-depth and

philosophical, and I cannot do justice to

them at my age and limited knowledge.

What I can say for sure is that they are

logical and work and I believe in them


The subconscious mind is developed with






understanding the impacts of the wrong

choice. Every time we read well about

healthy eating, it gets accumulated in our

subconscious mind. The good things will

just come up the moment you need it to


There are lots of books, websites and health

gurus telling us what to eat and what not to

eat. Sometimes it is conflicting as one

website says squash is good and other it says

it can be poisonous if juiced with another

fruit or vegetable. What to believe or not is a

big question for teens and children,

especially when we have no context and

background from before the internet.

Do I fail? Yes, I do many times a week, but

I come back because of concepts like BMI,

Sublimation and a few more…Read on!

[* BMI- Body Mind and Intellect *]

  • *

Growing up, I attended a Bal Vihar

(Children Spiritual school) run by Chinmaya

Mission (a Spiritual organization). I listened

to the commentary of BMI from the founder

of this organization, Pujya Guruji Swami

Chinmayanada, who explained this concept

extremely well. The explanation and BMI

concept help drive across a point about how

we should live life. I have this poster in my

study room as a constant reminder, and

every time I show signs of slipping, here

comes a lecture from my dad reminding me

of BMI. Both of us try to follow this chart

(my dad has it on his office wall) on

different applications in our lives. I think to

some extent it has now become a little part

of my life at least for healthy eating.

BMI as explained as per online resources of

Chinmaya Mission:

[_“The physical body, the densest aspect of _]

_the human personality, contains the five _

_organs of perception and the five organs of _

_action. The size and shape of the body differ _

_from individual to individual, but the _

_essential material composing it and the _

_functions of the organs are common to all. _

_Again, _

_the _

_subtlest _

_aspect, _

_the _

_Consciousness, which is the core of man’s _

_composite personality, is one and same in _

_all human beings. The variable factor in _

_man is the mind and intellect equipment. _

_ _

_ The mind is the seat of impulses and _

_feelings, and it is common to all living _

_creatures. Animals also possess a mind, but _

_man alone can discriminate and analyze his _

_feelings as and when they arise. He alone _

_can allow his actions to be guided and _

_directed by his power of discrimination _

_instead of being driven and carried away by _

_momentary impulses and feelings. This _

_faculty of discrimination, this power of _

_judgment, this capacity to discern what is to _

_be done and what is to be avoided, is the _

[_function of the intellect.” _]

_ _

Even though this is a complicated concept,

all teens will benefit from a simple

understanding of this profound aspect of our

life. I am sharing how I understood it and

what works for me. You may think that it’s a

fight between our Body, Mind, and Intellect

- Intellect being supreme should guide the

other two. I am only 10% into understanding

it, but I see lots of success already.

The most important thing in the BMI

concept is whether you are listening to your

mind or intellect. To those small, daily

decisions about your fitness, are you

listening to your mind or your intellect?

The understanding that if we blindly follow

the mind, then maybe we are just animals, is

a compelling feeling for me. Animalistic is a

word we use at home too much to explain a

situation where we just followed our mind’s

feeling and desires about food, and we ate

without looking at the consequences.

Like I mentioned before, there are three

primary faculties that each of us is born

with: Body, Mind, and Intellect. We draw

our emotions and preferences from the

mind, while intellect gives us the ability to

reason, rationalize and think for ourselves.

We need our body to take an action. The

body is fed and kept in great shape only if

we eat right. As the following questions

suggest, every daily action is dressing, or

shopping or washing clothes.

[_“Will you wash your favorite dress instead _]

_of dry cleaning or without reading the _

[_label?” _]

_ _

[_“Will you wear sneakers with dress/suit and _]

[_go to your favorite party?” _]

_ _

[_“If you or your parents don’t take care of _]

_car properly, will it run smoothly and _

[_increase its longevity.” _]

We always spend more time on our clothes,

shoes, makeup than our health and what we

eat. My recommendation to every teen and

pre-teen is to start asking questions about

whatever we eat. Qualify through the

intellect, not your mind.

Intellect is improved with a lot of






subconscious mind which later helps us into

our daily decisions on food.

So how does this play between body, mind,

and intellect many times a day? As an

example, when I went to my tutoring every

day after school, I passed by a Starbucks. I

love to sit, relax and eat a spinach wrap or a

bagel almost every day. It became a habit,







unconsciously to Starbucks every day much

just like animals follow their regular pattern






questioned. The play went like this daily:

Mind says:

“[_Spinach wrap is good and tastier, and _]

[_spinach is healthier.” _]

[_“What wrong will one wrap will do? _]

[_“Today was tiring at school; I deserve one _]

[_rush of sugar through a brownie.” _]

_ _

[_“If I eat a bag of chips now, I will shed the _]

[_same in my gym; one bag of chips and _]

_chocolate will not increase my weight, _

[_right?” _]

_ _

[_“Lunch my parents packed was not my _]

[_favorite, I deserve one cheat meal.” _]

Intellect corrects;

[_“I think a spinach wrap is just for the name. _]

_It has very little spinach and rest is just junk _

[_food.” _]

_ _

[_“I have carrots and a banana in my bag for _]

[_this time; I should eat that first.” _]

[_“I should save my calories for my dinner _]

_otherwise I will be nutrient deficient but _

[_double on calories.” _]

_ _

[_“I should take care of my health, naturally _]

_glowing skin and reduce hair loss, and need _

[_for makeup.” _]

Body seems to be the wrong fellow in the

fight between mind and Intellect. It receives

calories and responds to whatever we put in

it. I have learned that it is just a vehicle like

a car, which is getting good or bad food fuel

based on who wins between mind and


*Suppression vs Sublimation *

  • *

There are times when there is no junk food

like chips, chocolates or ice creams at our

home. My father has a habit of going to the

pantry/kitchen, opening the refrigerator and

hoping something is there, but how can we

find anything if we did not buy it. But you

know the hope is always there. It happens a

few times a day. But then the day we get

something, he attacks them as if there is no

tomorrow. My mother suffers as she cannot

keep this type of snack (junk) food at home

knowing it will be finished soon after it


I have heard her constant reminder to my

dad with a word called “Sublimation.” I

added this new word in my vocabulary a few

days back. It is a profound word that is used

by spiritual people a lot but has a lot of

application and significance to our lives. It

directly helps our goal of healthy eating and

controlling the urge to binge eating or eating

processed foods

The understanding of this word is possible

only with another word “Suppression.”

Here is an explanation I found from

Chinmaya Mission resources:

[_“Distinction between suppression and _]

[_sublimation: So long as an individual lives _]

_at the level of the senses and does not _

_appreciate the higher values of life, it would _

[_be detrimental for one to take to self-denial _]

_and suddenly and forcibly give up sense _

_pleasures. If one does so, one will merely be _

_suppressing inherent tendencies, which _

_cannot but erupt with greater force at a later _

_time. Suppression, therefore, results from an _

[_independent and forceful self-denial based _]

_upon blind belief, untrained enthusiasm, or _

_from sheer superstition. However, if a seeker _

[_practices self-restraint and simultaneously _]

_educates oneself with the knowledge of the _

_higher values of life, the mental vision and _

_capacity widens and develops continually. _

[_When one’s vision is thus developed and _]

_maintained, the lower animalistic tendencies _

_automatically disappear like the mist before _

_dawn. _

_This _

_is _

_called _

_sublimation. _

_Sublimation, therefore, is the elimination of _

_some of the known false values of the mind _

_as a result of intellectual conviction and _

_conscientious _

_persuasion. _

_Suppression _

[_degenerates an individual’s mental attitude _]

_while sublimation improves and strengthens _

_it thereby enabling the individual to be a _

[_greater and mightier personality” _]

This chapter delayed my book for a few

days as I wanted to do justice with this

powerful and difficult concept. After a lot of

research and discussion I have understood

that “Suppression” is forced self-denial

similar to what we do with Diets and come

back to old ways of eating and weight and

nutrition deficient food the moment the diet

is over. “Sublimation” is a natural





understanding, clarity of vision, intellectual

conviction and dedicated efforts guided in

right direction. You can also think of

Sublimation as being aware of nutrition rich

and deficient food and the consequences of

our choices. The path to sublimation

requires us to understand the food and its

long-term impact on our lives. It’s hard to

follow, but if we are driven by intellect

instead of a reckless and wavering mind, it

leads to a long healthy life, glowing skills,

beautiful hair and a sharp brain.

So my message to all the teens and pre-teens

is to follow the path of sublimation and not

suppression. It can only happen with being

aware and the suppression comes back like

spring will bounce back if we press it hard.

We can suppress our food habits through

diets and control a couple of options here

and there, but the long lasting benefits come

from understanding the cause and effect of

this urge to eat junk food and not to get 50%

of our calories from Raw vegetables and


Hope you join this incredible journey or

transforming ourselves and help our fellow

teens worldwide with the education and

skills to combat against the Evils and devils

that pull us towards the junk food with the

help of subconscious mind, BMI and

sublimation concept

*Fight between Good and Evil, *

*Triumph and Defeat *

Ravan aa gaya! I have heard this comment

thousands of times since I was a little kid

every time I threw a tantrum to get

something unreasonable (from my parent’s

perspective). In English, we can understand

that Ravan is Evil which is defeated by

Good. (Rama), although Ram and Ravana

has a religious significance.






important comment is that there is always

Triumph and Defeat.

Our job is to stand on guard against Evil and

Defeat so that they don’t enter our

subconscious minds and make us their

puppets. Defeat and Evil come in the form

of Travel Channel food programs or Food

network, which glorify junk and greasy food

and make us seek that kind of food. They

make us feel that without eating this kind of

food we are losing something important and

that life is not complete without it. Another







advertisement, society, and customs. Like I

said before, we need to question whether it

is Ladoo, Halwa or Cake. Ask why I am

eating it. Why is it required? Be on guard; I

have listened to all kinds of stories about

why a particular sweet/dessert is eaten on a

given day.

While guarding yourself, you can fend off

the attacks; we can only win over Defeat and

Evil if we educate ourselves with knowledge

about the kind of food we eat every time,

each day. The knowledge and wisdom

generated will help us win our daily battles.

*James *

[*Clear’s *]

[*“Outer *]

[*ring” *]

[*strategy & 5 ingredient rule” *]

I am excited to see this idea from James

Clear on his website and have started to

incorporate in my strategy to overcome the

temptations of eating junk food. He states

_ _

[_“First, you can use my “outer ring” _]

strategy _ [_to avoid processed and packaged] _foods at the grocery store. If you limit _

_yourself to purchasing foods that are on the _

_outer ring of the store, then you will _

_generally _

_buy _

_whole _

_foods _

[_(fruits, _]

[_vegetables, meat, eggs, etc.). Not everything _]

_on the outer ring is healthy, but you will _

_avoid a lot of unhealthy foods. _

[_You can also follow the “5 ingredient rule” _]

_when buying foods at the store. If something _

_has more than 5 ingredients in it, don’t buy _

_it. Odds are, it has been designed to fool you _

_into eating more of it. Avoid those products _

and stick with the more natural options.”

You may decide to implement BMI,

sublimation, outer rings or 5 ingredient rule

or all of them like I am. The idea is to

embark on a journey yourself and help your

fellow teens so that we can help each other

to improve our health and all teens

worldwide. The path to change our habits

along with my fellow teens worldwide is

tough but can become fun if you start

following it for some time. After a while, it

becomes a habit. I welcome you all to join in

my journey to help change the world. You

can reach me at:

Email – [email protected]





  • *

  • *

[*Sources: *]


























How a Teenager Fell In Love with Healthy Eating

How I Fell In Love With Healthy Eating does not share healthy recipes or a ton of different nutritional facts as you can already get sufficient information with the click of a button through Google - why bore everyone with more? However, I will still share the most breathtaking facts. Instead of providing nutritional facts, I will ask questions that usually do not come to the mind of the average teen. These questions are meant to trigger and reach the subconscious mind of a teen and force them to start considering the types of foods they put into their bodies. Throughout this book, I will add a dash of nutritional facts to strengthen my arguments.

  • ISBN: 9789386915047
  • Author: Shambavi Dhall
  • Published: 2017-09-13 18:35:36
  • Words: 19289
How a Teenager  Fell In Love with  Healthy Eating How a Teenager  Fell In Love with  Healthy Eating