Divya Gugnani: Sexy Women Eat
By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar
Love to eat but worry you won’t get your “sexy back” if you do indulge? Well, according to author and entrepreneur, Divya Gugnani, Sexy Women Eat! In fact that’s the title of her recent book, which is a no-nonsense guide to staying slim and enjoying your food. Sexy Women Eat is a great read for those of us moms that say screw diets, let’s just enjoy what we eat!
Divya Gugnani, born in Springfield, Illinois, to Indian parents, is living proof that you can work and juggle those crazy 18 hour days and still find time to stay fit and satisfy your everyday food cravings. In Sexy Women Eat: Secrets to Eating What You Want and Still Looking Fabulous, Divya shows you how to make small changes in your daily routine that add up to big changes on the scale. We spoke to Divya about her book and what us working moms who still like our chicken curry and desserts can do to stay fit.
What inspired you to write Sexy Women Eat?
After working in finance for so many years and seeing women in the workforce, I realized that there were so many women who had such an unhealthy relationship with food. I observed women overeating or not eating at all because they were sitting at a desk all day. What I wanted to convey in the book, is that you can have a positive relationship with food, you can enjoy it and you can build on this positive relationship over time. I decided to write a book sharing my food philosophy and secrets for how I enjoy my meals and stay fit. It’s a non-fiction narrative of the story of my life, my relationship with food and what’s worked for me, and what I hope will work for other women.
What was mealtime like in your house?
My mother is a very healthy eater, she tortured us and I wanted nothing to do with her healthy eating in my house. I used to go to my friend’s house and raid her cupboard (but we did eat lots of fruits and vegetables.)
We’re a very Punjabi family who spends the morning thinking about lunch, lunch thinking about dinner, everything revolves around food. My parents now have someone who lives in and cooks for them.
Our culture can be one of excess, but I’ve been able to navigate it well and control my portions. America has spoiled us as well. For example when you go out to an American restaurant; you get enough food for three people!
What tips do you offer working women when choosing foods?
One big rule I convey in the book is would your grandmother eat it? Would your grandmother identify with the food and would she put it in her mouth? This really helps you think about how older generations thought about their food; what was sustainable and organic and what was available to their generation.
With time food has moved into a very chemically driven, processed direction and so it’s about going back to your roots, going to back to the fresh stuff, and shopping on the outer isles of the grocery store (not the inner part of the store because where the processed stuff is.) You can work, you can be a mom and you can stay busy, but there are little things you can do to be more active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take an afternoon walk, or lift weights at your desk; anything you can to stay active.
Can you give us some examples of what women can do to make better choices?
It’s about pre-making your meals, packing more healthy snacks, and staying super active even when you have no time to go to the gym. It all comes down to portion control (and not eating in front of the TV.) There are days when I come home and just want to sit in front of the TV, but I make sure my dinner isn’t with me.
One of the biggest tips is to not eat your kids’ food. When you have kids, you have to be mindful of the fact that their mealtime is their mealtime; your mealtime is yours. If you want to nibble with them then at least instill in them very healthy eating habits. Make sure you’re getting the greens etc. I think through five meals for the week, so that I can repurpose the ingredients. I use a lot of Ziploc bags that I carry everything in. Hummus and carrots are a great healthy snack to throw in a Ziploc bag and then leave.
Recipe from Sexy Women Eat: Baked Apples (Hold the Pie)
Makes 4 servings (166.9 calories per serving)
2 apples, cored and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup 1% milk
*1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish or use a
*2. Place the apples in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the
sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir the spice mixture into the apples
until evenly distributed. Fold in the walnuts. Spoon into the prepared dish.
Pour the milk evenly over apple mixture.
*3. Cover the apples with aluminum foil before baking.
*4. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until soft and bubbly. Allow to cool
slightly before serving.
***Tip: Covering the apples with foil before baking locks in the moisture.
About Divya Gugnani
Divya Gugnani is the CEO / Founder of Behind the Burner, a web based culinary company showcasing the tips, tricks and techniques of celebrity chefs that offers members commerce promotions to purchase ingredients and tools recommended by the experts.
Previously she was a Vice President at FirstMark Capital (formerly Peqout Ventures), where she joined in 2006, to focus on information technology investments. Divya began her professional career as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs, where she focused on mergers & acquisitions in both the High Technology and Real Estate industry groups. Divya received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. She also holds a degree from the French Culinary Institute. Divya serves on the Board of Directors of Superior Access Insurance Services and Swingtide. She has also recently launched an e-commerce site; Send the Trend, which is a new online destination for trend-specific, affordable fashion accessories.
For more info on Divya Gugnani, visit: sexywomeneat.com/about-2/
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