Hello, my name is Shivangi Khargonekar Rao.
I’m a 30-something woman living in San Francisco, California with my dear husband and sweet, 60-pound pup. While I’ve always had a love for food, thanks to endless supplies of delicious Indian food from my mother and my community of Indian aunties, I learned most of my cooking in my early twenties from my mother. She was the kind of mother who always made sure my brother and I were nourished by both love and food. In another life, she would have been a world-famous chef.
Ten years ago, I found myself at a crossroads with my health. I was experiencing severe digestive issues, rapid weight loss, hair loss, eczema, and more. Doctors were unable to diagnose me, and I was losing my health. My best friend who is a certified functional nutrition coach helped me understand that what I was experiencing was likely a direct result of a leaky gut triggered by processed foods. After rounds of elimination diets, including Whole30, I slowly regained my health. I ended up finding that a paleo diet was a template I could follow that seemed to work for my body, while including some dairy such as yogurt and harder cheeses which don’t trigger inflammation in my body. Finally, I layered my culture and roots on top of this diet to maintain the flavor profiles and concepts that I grew up eating as a first-generation Indian woman in the states. You’ll see that most of my recipes are Indian-inspired paleo dishes. Where dairy is included, you can swap it out for dairy-free substitutes which I always provide suggestions for. Feel free to reference my pantry essentials with my most commonly used ingredients so you’re set up for success when making my recipes.
While I still generally follow a paleo diet, everybody is different. While some dairy works for me, it may not always work for others. While grains generally don’t work for me, they may work for others. Listen to your body. It is the single most important thing we can do and can be transformational to your health. It is never a one size fits all approach with food; however, keep in mind that processed ingredients and refined sugars are likely to be detrimental to human health. I also want to note that not everyone has access to these ingredients. Wellness communities like Whole30 are creating a movement to create more equity so that everyone can achieve their best health. Until this is realized, do what you can within your means. I truly believe that food is medicine. I am cheering each and every one of you on in achieving your best health through the healing powers of food.