Avantii Deshpaande, with a master’s degree in Food Science and nutrition, is a leading dietician and nutrition consultant. She is also a popular YouTuber and the winner of the Women Achievers of Pune Award 2020. With a keen knowledge of the science of food, Avanti helps people achieve their fitness goals with easy-to-follow, interesting diets and workout regimes while staying true to her tagline ” learn the art to eat smart “. She has a passion for gourmet cooking and was fortunate enough to make a career out of it.
In talks with Storiyaan, Avantii Deshpaande talks about problems associated with PCOS, breaks myths associated with the Keto diet, talks about supplement food, and gives some amazing health advice. Have a look at this interview to know more about how to lead a healthy and lifestyle.
Questions and answers
What made you take up Nutrition as your career choice among all fields and how did your study of the field contribute to your fitness journey?
I have been passionate about gourmet cooking right from my childhood. Hence, I decided to be close to my passion, and turn it into a career. My choice of career has not only helped me to look at food as an ingredient but as a nutrient that can help nourish both body and soul. Along with the science of food, I take a keen interest to understand exercise, its forms, and how it will impact the body.
What made you specialize in PCOS consultation?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is very common in India. One in every four women of childbearing age is affected by this. It’s rampant among the millennials owing to the unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise, and stress. If PCOS is not treated on time it can lead to serious problems like infertility, diabetes, and even cancer. It’s very important to nip the problem at the bud, hence I have a specialized program known as 90 days PCOS SMART to help you reverse the symptoms of PCOS by treating the root cause.
Can you talk to us about your workshop at SOFOSH and the response of the audience present in it that made it memorable?
As nutritionists, it’s very important that we give it back to society. SOFOSH is an NGO in Pune which serves patients with TB. They also run an orphanage. I have been taking regular workshops with the help of Anganwadi helpers to help them realize the importance of healthy eating, hygiene, and sanitation. These experiences help me to better myself with every passing day.
It is said that moderation and diversity are the key ingredients for a good nutritional diet. How far do you agree with it and how can our readers incorporate it into their daily lives?
It’s very important that you look at the diet you consume as something which you will be able to adopt as a lifestyle change. You do not have to give up your life or socializing because you are on a diet. It is very important that you are able to follow a diet routine that is balanced and you are also able to binge eat once in a while. That is the key to moderation.
What is your opinion about keto diets and is it a sustainable practice? If not, what can be a better alternative?
Any diet with a name has got a limited life as it cannot be followed over a period of time. Keto diets are ideally meant for epilepsy patients but have been adapted and modified for healthy individuals. The success of a keto diet is due to the drastic change in the diet which is fun, to begin with as you start seeing a good weight loss but it has to be done under the supervision of an expert or else it could have health implications. So, it’s alright to follow the diet for a short period of time and then get back to your regular eating habits.
How did listening to daily positive affirmations bring about a change in your overall psyche and how did you begin with it in the first place?
There is so much that we wish to achieve in a day and it is very important to be focused. Positive affirmations work on the subconscious mind and will help you to attract what you are really looking for. It will remove all the negative thoughts that you might be having. For example, if you are trying to getting leaner and somehow distracted with the goal, listening to this affirmation will automatically keep you more focused as it’s your subconscious mind which will lead you to the goal.
Your clients have often drawn inspiration and copied your recipes and have come up with positive reviews. How do you research healthier food recipes and how do clients’ positive feedback motivate you?
As I mentioned earlier gourmet cooking has been my passion. It’s fun to use an ingredient and give it a healthy twist, and still keep it tasty. Most clients are surprised to see the diets that are given to them as they feel dieting is boring. We add a lot of combinations to make it interesting and help them achieve their goal. I have compiled all these recipes and will be launching my cookbook soon “Learn the Art to Eat Smart”.
What is your technique of building a rapport with your patients and does it help you provide them with better solutions to their problems?
Nutritionists don’t just give diet plans but also are counselors because a lot of times diets are just not about weight loss, it’s about the underlying problems. Mental health has a lot to do with physical health so it’s important to connect with the client to understand if the weight gain is just because of a bad diet or if there are any underlying health issues. So, we spend at least 1 hour with the client to know his or her lifestyle, medical history, meal patterns, etc. This helps me chalk out a detailed diet that has a better success rate.
How far are you convinced of the necessity of dietary supplements for teenagers without any health condition and are vitamin supplements really needed for keeping their energy level up?
The media has been able to create a buzz around the importance of supplements over food. But as Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. It’s very important that you focus on the right food before you decide to pop a pill, as the food ingredient will have the right ecosystem for the absorption of nutrients present in it. For example, absorption of whole milk protein is better than whey powder as milk contains calcium, phosphorus, and carbs.
Tell us about your experience during your first shoot with Fine Foods and what made you take up the offer?
I realized a long time back that it is very important for people to get credible nutrition knowledge from the right sources. So, I have a YouTube channel dedicated to this cause. I was approached by fine Food for the commercial shoot as the store also has a lot of healthy gourmet food. I have formulated a range of health foods under the brand name of “Avanti Reconnects to The Roots” and it is available at Fine Foods too. We decided to do the advertisement as we share the same philosophy.
a. Carbs make you obese. True or false? – False
b. Your favourite workout? – Intense weight training
c. Most underrated fruit when it comes to nutrition? – Mango
d. Your greatest inspiration of all? – Women entrepreneurs
e. Your favourite way to blow off steam? – Cooking