I have a real treat for y’all today! My good “blend” Khushboo was kind enough to put together a guest post for me while I’m partying it up in Austin! And if you don’t already read her blog, please click over and check it out. She’s super funny and always posts about interesting topics – fun workouts, delicious recipes, life in Mumbai, etc.
A big hello to the readers of My Inner Shakti! My name is Khushboo and as an avid reader of Parita’s blog, I am sure you’ve seen my name floating around in the comments section. I blog about healthy living and my life in Mumbai over at Khushboo’s Blog. I promise you my posts are more original than my blog name so please do stop by ;)!
I moved to Mumbai from London just about 2 years ago in March 2010. Between language barriers, making friends, finding a job and adjusting to the lifestyle here, it has been quite the transition. Like a majority of you, access to healthy food and being able to maintain my healthy lifestyle did come to mind. How on earth would I manage without a Whole Foods at my disposal?? While I do still bring back staples like natural peanut butter and snack bars like Nak’d, I am more than making do with what is available here. And to be honest, it’s much easier than I expected. For an idea, here are some of the things which are facilitating my life in terms of food:
Coconut water: Gone are the days where I have to fork out £2 every time I want to rehydrate with coconut water. "Naryal Pani", as it is referred to in Mumbai, is available on every street corner for 20 rupees (about £0.30). As vendors are more than happy to deliver them home, we have fresh coconut water brought to our doorstep every single morning. And yes, I drink it straight out of the coconut!
Flax seeds & Chias: On my first trip here, I actually stocked up on both. It turns out that both are used frequently in local dishes…and cost a fraction of what they do abroad! This works out great for me because other than saving a little moolah, it also affords me extra luggage space. If you are ever visiting India, the term for Flax seeds is "Alsi Seeds" and Chias is "Sabja" or "Falooda Seeds".
Yoga classes: One of the things I miss most about London is the freedom to walk places. Over here, we are heavily reliant on cars/public transport to get to distances over 10 minutes away (fortunately my gym is of walkable distance). Although I am no more getting in extra exercise through daily walking, a fitness perk of living in Mumbai is that yoga teachers are available at a dime a dozen. Having a yoga instructor come home for one-on-one classes is very common and affordable.
Fresh produce: Although I am yet to find my beloved butternut squash and blueberries in the markets of Mumbai, the produce selection here is HUGE! And the best part is: everything is fresh! We have no choice but to eat whatever is in season so the produce undoubtedly tastes optimal. Strawberries are currently in season and you better believe I am lapping them up before they go away come March!
Snack options: As much as I try to always carry around a snack in my handbag "just in case" hunger strikes at an unexpected time, I sometimes forget. While chips and biscuits are readily available, protein bars and mini pots of hummus with pre-cut veggies aren’t! Fortunately there are other options to satisfy those trying to eat healthy which can be find on most roadsides: roasted chickpeas, corn on the cob, dhoklas (essentially steamed savory snacks made from chickpea flour). Alongside the popcorn machines and nacho counters at the cinema, cups of freshly-cooked corn are also served with various toppings to choose from like garam masala, salt, lemon juice, chili powder, or melted butter.
Grocery shopping: I won’t even lie- grocery shopping is a guilty pleasure of mine! Much to my dismay, grocery shopping in Mumbai is a completely different experience than the US/London. As the grocery stores and markets here aren’t very appealing to venture into, much of the shopping is done over the phone: I call the grocery store and tell them what I need, somebody delivers it home within an hour (even at 10 pm)! Sure I miss aimlessly browsing the aisles and coming across new products but I sure as hell don’t miss the walk home carrying heavy grocery bags!
Gateway of India
So there you have it! Although I don’t have immediate access to all the new ‘cool’ products which are featured on the blog world and have to make my Greek yogurt via the cheesecloth method, eating healthily and staying active in Mumbai is easier than I could have imagined. In terms of eating fresh food, Mumbai cannot be beat!
Thanks for the awesome post, K!!! I can’t wait to visit you in Mumbai (hopefully one day soon)!!
Have you ever been to India? Is it on your list of places to visit?
10 thoughts on “Healthy Living in Mumbai”
I loved reading this! I’m fascinated with the way if life in other countries and found you post incredibly interesting. I’d love to find roasted chickpeas on the street corner. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I would love to visit India. All of that fresh produce sounds lovely. I am like you with the grocery shopping – I would miss wandering the aisles aimlessly. 🙂
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Ahh I love this post! And how I miss dhoklas 🙂 I have been to India twice- I studied abroad all over while I was in uni, and then I spent a few weeks in Mumbai last summer staying with my best friend. Plus, Indian food is my favourite besides Middle Eastern (plus there is just so much variety of Indian food as opposed to the often rich mughlai food which seems to be exclusively associated with indian cuisine)…I also love dosa/idli sambar/etc…pretty healthy and light if you ask me.
Love this post by K — a nice perspective to eating healthy in Mumbai 🙂 Who says we need WF when we have cart wallas selling fresh produce? 😉
Don’t get me started on nareyal paani — i want, and need!!!
I’ve always wondered how ‘easy’ it would be stay healthy in India – while you don’t have Whole Foods etc you have the most amazing fresh produce, centuries of knowledge through natural, ayurvedic teachings and yoga at your fingertips and delicious homemade food.
*drooooooool* ok, really want to go back to India now 🙂
As someone who’s grown up in the US, I love seeing the perspective of healthy living from other countries! Great post!
so so funny you wrote this post Khushboo, and your question. i am in INdia at the moment, in New Delhi, just for a week. I landed yesterday. It is a totally different lifestyle comparing the west and east, and of course as a visitor, the idea of living in INdia seems so difficult, but I do agree a lot of things are available in the major cities and you can have help available at your dispose. i’d have to talk to lots of expats before i even consider moving there. Hope to meet you someday. 🙂
this was such a great post! i had no idea that flax and chia seeds were used in indian cooking. how cool!
LOVE this post! Much of what you’ve mentioned here applies to Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries (just replace coconut water with dates haha). I’d love to visit India – Mumbai and Kerala are on my list for sure.