Supriya Shetty is a dietician. She has been associated with the field of fitness and the Satvik lifestyle since the early years of her life. She takes pride in following the Indian culture and believes that our Vedas and scriptures have. Supriya truly believes that the food we consume not only nourishes us physically but also mentally and emotionally. And it is the small habits in our lives that lead to big changes.
She encourages people to focus on themselves, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and turn a deaf ear to societal norms of fitness and spirituality. Simple and healthy food is part of a Satvic diet. Satvic meals boost vitality, happiness, tranquility, and mental clarity in Ayurvedic practice. A Satvik lifestyle simply entails paying attention to the food you consume, the physical activity you engage in, the literature you read, the life philosophy you develop, and the level of mental control you attain throughout your lifetime.
Food that gives you positive vibes and energy is Satvik (positive praana), anything that takes away this energy, and makes you feel less energized, sleepy, lazy, and drowsy is Tamasik (Zero Praana), and food that brings about negative emotions like restlessness, aggression and anger is Rajasic (Negative Praana). It is also important to incorporate Satvik habits like eating with your hands, eating in a cross-legged position, and practicing gratitude and meditation that bring together the Satvik lifestyle
Q) What was your starting point? How did you start with your Satvik journey?
Supriya Shetty- I grew up in a spiritually inclined atmosphere. My grandfather got me into reading through texts on the rich culture and heritage of India. When kids my age were reading fiction novels, I was reading the Vedanta and ancient scriptures. I had gurus since the early years of my life, who taught me about food, how one should consume it, and how it nourishes our body not just physically but also mentally and emotionally.
One of the purest souls I know, made me realize the importance of vegetarianism in a practical and humanitarian light 23 years back after which, I gave up consuming non-vegetarian food. Slowly, I started exploring the Satvik lifestyle and incorporated it into my life as it aligned perfectly with my background in Clinical Dietetics and was so well synced with scientific reasoning.
All of this has brought me to where I am today and I don’t think there is anywhere else I’d rather be.
Q) What is your definition of a Satvik lifestyle?
Supriya Shetty- Sadly very few people know about the Satvik ‘Lifestyle’ and many think it is only restricted to food or diet. What is most focussed upon in a Satvik lifestyle is the ‘vibration’ that you receive from everything you do and everything you consume. Traditionally, we measure the value of food in calories but as per the yogic philosophies, it is measured in Praana or Praanic value. Praana, or life force is a subtle energy that makes a difference in how you feel- energetic, calm, angry. Based on this Praana, food can be categorised into 3 types Rajasik, Tamasik, and Satvik.
Food that gives you positive vibes and energy is Satvik (positive praana), anything that takes away this energy, and makes you feel less energized, sleepy, lazy, and drowsy is Tamasik (Zero Praana), and food that brings about negative emotions like restlessness, aggression and anger is Rajasic (Negative Praana). It is also important to incorporate Satvik habits like eating with your hands, eating in a cross-legged position, and practicing gratitude and meditation that bring together the Satvik lifestyle.
Q) How does food affect us? As they say, what we eat is what we become.
Supriya Shetty- Science believes that the food we eat becomes us, but in reality, we become the food we eat. Food not only impacts our bodies but also our minds. It’s not just the nutrients but also the vibrations. Life is a mixture of all three gunas, Rajsik, Tamsik and Satvik.
For example, when our mind is positive, our thoughts and lifestyle will be of Satvik nature, a warrior will usually have a Rajasik lifestyle as he needs to be aggressive and that’s the guna he needs on the battlefield. People who feel lethargic most often have a Tamasik lifestyle.
Focus on the needs of your body and strive to nourish it well.
Q) What is the biggest myth about fitness?
Supriya Shetty- Firstly we must understand that we are who we are and not how we look. People can be different internally and externally. Fitness is feeling good in your mind, body, and spirit. So according to me, the myth is that fitness is for society. Don’t fall prey to depriving diets and unnecessary meal supplements.
Don’t be fit for society, to show them off, rather do what suits your body and what you feel is right.
Q) Other than diet, what other things can lead to weight gain?
Supriya Shetty- The 4 main pillars that affect our weight gain or loss are diet, exercise, sleep, and stress or emotional health. There is very little awareness about sleep and stress. But these 2 factors affect our health more than diet and exercise. Even if you consume healthy food, and workout well but don’t get enough sleep or are stressed then you are triggering the hormones and not absorbing what you’re eating. Don’t target weight gain or loss, target health gain and a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Q) What is your definition of spirituality? And does it only involve god?
Supriya Shetty– Being spiritual is often confused with being religious. There’s a huge difference between these two terminologies. It’s about the state of mind. Deeply all religions say the same thing, they conclude that all of humanity is under one divine umbrella. Differentiating between gods will only lead to more chaos. All religions have some practices and each practice has scientific reasoning backing it up. Spirituality is all about what we believe in, what makes us happy, and what makes us feel like a better human each day. If we can maintain a calm and positive mind and keep it vibrating at a high frequency while doing the right thing despite the external chaos, we can say we are already on our path to spirituality.
Q) What could be the first steps a person should take to get into the Satvik lifestyle?
Supriya Shetty- The Vedas talk about three important steps to optimizing health- Shravanam (Listening), Mananam (Contemplating), and Nidhityaasanam (Implementing). Listen to your body, understand what it needs, and take steps towards nourishing it. It is said a wise man is the one who knows exactly when to stop eating. Your beliefs will eventually resonate with this get to know about all this. Try to keep your body, mind, and soul in sync. Follow things that are true to your culture.
Q) What is nutrition therapy?
Supriya Shetty- I have been associated with hospitals in the past where I practiced traditional clinical nutrition. Through my experiences and studies, I have learned that there is always a link between science and spirituality. In nutrition therapy, we find ways to combine these aspects that will help us nurture our bodies physically, scientifically, and spiritually.
Q) Why should one follow Ayurveda?
Supriya Shetty- Ayur means age-old and Veda means wisdom therefore Ayurveda means age-old wisdom. It is proven as per studies that the food true to our DNA can heal us. The Vedas are eternal and they have been written with a lot of experience. There is a scientific explanation to all our scriptures.
We should take inspiration from our culture and be true to do. Even the West has started to adopt our practices, it’s high time we turn around and pick up where we left off.
Q) What is your daily routine to maintain your physical and mental health?
Supriya Shetty- For me it is to be in sync with my mind and body, to listen to it deeply. Our biggest diet guru is our stomach. When we are suffering from something, it’s our body’s way of communicating with us, and there is always a reason why it is happening. No one knows your body better than you. It’s better to nurture your appetite than to suppress it. I also follow some small habits like cooking meals in the right way, calming down before a meal, sitting cross-legged, eating with my hands, offering prayers of gratitude, and eating slowly.
It is rightly said, ‘ A healthy outside, starts from the inside’.
With her experience and studies, Supriya has been able to help herself and many others walking on the path of fitness and spirituality. According to her the first step towards a healthy lifestyle is to recognize the needs of your body and to keep it in sync with your mind and soul. In the end, it’s all about feeling content within your skin.