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Red Eve

LOVE FOR PURE AND NATURAL

Though nestled in the buzzing streets of Banjara Hills, Sridevi Jasti's house oozes serenity. Filled with fragrances of organically grown fruits and flowers, the house looks colourful and vibrant reflecting her ideology of healthy living. On a cloudy evening, filled with the chirping of birds and meows of the cats, she speaks her heart out on how she fell in love with Mother Nature, how nature gives her eternal energy and how holistic living is a must for a happy existence.

Close to nature
I was born and brought up in an agricultural family. My father worked as an engineer in an agricultural college. I had a special childhood. My summer vacations were all about being in the village with grandparents. We used to prance about in verdant fields and farms. I have had the privilege of eating fresh fruit, plucking them from trees. I am the eldest in the family and always the first one to demand a visit to farms. We used to have a separate dedicated room where all the seasonal fruits were kept to ripe organically. So, all my childhood memories are filled with indulging in fruits and learning about them.

I have been an inquisitive kid. Whenever I saw a plant, I would start questioning- “What plant is this?” If I ate a fruit, I ensured I knew the breed, how it was grown, etc. Thus, the seeds of interest in organic farming and living were sowed in me.

Pursuing the passion
After my 10th class, it was time for me to choose my further course of action. Though our family is full of doctors and engineers, my parents, thankfully, never pressurised me to choose the conventional path.

Of course, I too wanted to pursue my passion i.e. holistic living and was very determined to stick to it. That was when I chose Home Science in +2 and did a post graduate diploma in nutrition from Tirupati. Now was the time for the big leap i.e. stepping out of my comfort zone and joining



University of Toronto where I pursued my Masters in Community Nutrition. That was the turning point. In fact, all my learning happened outside the campus. Throughout my stay abroad, I gained knowledge about nutrition, holistic living and more by visiting organic stores and reading books.

I kept searching for more and more information to broaden my view about the concept.

Passion turns into profession
I was done with my education and got married. I was living abroad in different parts of the world. The quest for knowledge continued. Nearly eight years back, I visited India to expose my son to our culture and our traditions. That was the time when I realized that there was a lot of change happening in our country. Diets were on a rage. People were going for gyms or were on some crazy diets or eating supplements. Despite all these efforts they were unhappy with their body, skin and energy.

I noticed a great imbalance as they didn't have knowledge about holistic nutrition. I started sharing a bit of my knowledge. Gradually, people started noticing me. They understood that I have something useful to offer. I started holding workshops, seminars and soon Vibrant Living Foods took birth. The agenda was to make people understand that healthy eating is the key to happy living and breaking the myth that healthy foods are tasteless, and to make them realize that one can indulge in everything through mindful eating.

The obstacles
People were open to new ideas. But I did face a challenge in making them understand the power of vegan food. To convince people, especially those who eat meat, about efficacy of vegetables and fruits was very difficult. Vibrant Living foods is a vegan brand but I never wanted it to be perceived so. I wanted it to be a destination for healthy tasty food. I also wanted people to understand that food makes one feel vibrant, energetic and happy. We have to accept that if we don't satisfy our taste buds we cannot enjoy the meal.

Net intervention
With a little logic and common sense, you can figure out what works and what doesn't. There is a lot of free information that goes around which many try. Sometimes it does work. However, one must think before trying. The thumb rule is all that you eat must be from nature.

One too many players
When I started, there were a handful of people who understood organic food or holistic living. Now there are many. I am a passionate entrepreneur but not a cut-throat businesswoman. I have seen this space evolving and more and more people are getting into it. My focus has been on sharing my knowledge with as many as possible and influence them. I am happy even if I can inspire one person.

Value of food
We need not make a hue and cry about organic food. It is neither abnormal nor unique. Our ancestors survived on organic food. It is nothing but food cultivated in the most natural and pure form. Over the years, we have been using the products that are grown with the help of chemicals. Not only vegetables and fruits but meat too lost purity. We complain that organic food is expensive but we don't mind paying through our nose for chemical-loaded cosmetics. Why can’t we spend on healthy eating? Don't you think we owe that to our body? We must give just the best to it. Your confidence, self-esteem and approach to life, everything is dependent on how healthy you are.

Focus
People have to evolve from the age-old belief that fitness is about a well-chiseled body. The focus should be on happiness beneath the skin. Are you energetic and getting sound sleep? I am 50 now and instead of trying to compare myself with others who are younger and complain about my skin or grey hair, I compare myself with my best. That is why I rather flaunt my grey hair than using a chemical-loaded dye which is harmful.

The need of the hour
It is high time we go back to our basics. We have come far from nature and the effects are glaring. Nearly 70% of what we are is because of what we eat. Children are growing fast, girls are attaining puberty early, there are growing cases of PCOD, early menopause, heart ailments. What comes to our platter has drastically changed. We want everything instant and in defense mode. You feel a bit unwell and you start popping tablets. Why? Our body is incredibly smart and knows how to handle itself. Give it time to ignite its self-healing tool. Yes, when things are unreasonable and serious, address them with an external force. Else listen to your body and respond accordingly. It is imperative to educate people on the increasing body immunity and wise eating.

I am myself
My parents and my husband have been supportive. They respect my decisions. My parents have played a major role in what I am today. Once I saw my son self-sufficient and knew he did not need much of my time, I went head-on into my passion. Yes, this journey has demanded sacrifices but I have never looked at them like that because I love my profession. This has been my calling and responsibility. This is the way I give back to life.

Life Mantra
Happiness is the mantra. Everything and anything you do, eat or say should make you happy. If possible, try to spread that happiness to people around you. Look within before you look around. I don't believe in shortcuts. I would rather not take up a task than go about it half-hearted.

Future plans
The mission since day one has been to create awareness about the importance of holistic nutrition and make people realize that mindful eating is imperative. What we eat and how much we eat has a great impact on us, the nature and planet as a whole.

Signing off words
People must identify where their heart lies and pursue that. Once you love what you do, give your 100% to it. Success, money and the rest will follow. Trust me, satisfaction should be given priority. So, all you young generation out there, you are the future. So be wise, responsible and believe in yourself.

WORDS OF WISDOM
• Mindful eating is a must.
• Remember that we need to hand over natural resources for the coming generations. So act responsibly.
• Yes, the situation is bad but there is hope of a better future.

HER THOUGHTS
• Women empowerment is about their exposure to life.
• Education is must to make women confident.
• It doesn’t matter whether you are a girl or boy. All that matters is your commitment towards your goals.

 
 
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