— Jasmeen Dugal
Fitness chef, nutritionist and mind-body coach Eefa Supernova — who holds certifications in Exercise and Nutritional Sciences from International Sports Sciences Association and Diploma in Gastronomy and Nutrition from Le Cordon Bleu — took Bombay by storm with her transformation programme. The feathers in her cap? She's trained Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma and Tanisha Mukherji to name a few. In conversation with her!
''A little about me … I was born in Bombay. So even though I lived all over my roots are in Bombay. My parents moved to Lonavla in the mid Seventies. I went to boarding school in Panchgani at the age of ten and was brought up by German nuns, which probably explains my 'rebel without a cause' streak!! After completing school I returned home and moved to Pune to complete my education. I stayed there till 1999 and spent all my 'social service' hours working in the kitchen and the swimming pool. It was a great life!! I moved to Bombay later that year and worked as a model before diversifying into nutrition and fitness in the new millennial. The rest is history…
I've always loved writing and speaking… telling stories. My menus and events empower me to do just that in the most creative entertaining ways. There is a bit of history here. My parents are restauranteurs. Having grown up in restaurants, I always had a passion for food. My brother is a die hard fitness enthusiast and I totally hero worship him. Between those two, I was always looking for ways to eat that would allow me to lose my childhood chub without insulting tastebuds and the beautiful culture of cooking and eating together. I guess that was my early inspiration. However, I've seen my parents lose everything they had, running so called 'successful' restaurants and hotels. It put a fear in me to never go down that road myself, no matter how passionately I loved food. Their financial loss destroyed us as a family. It was only in recent years that I have learnt to overcome childhood fears and am now working on developing business skills around my passion.
My passion for food, wine and health culminated into graduating from Le Cordon Bleu and International Sports Sciences Association [ISSA]. Seeking out my mentors at the ISSA was the smartest move of my life. They cultivated and cultured me from being a simple yoga teacher and self taught nutritionist into an elite body transformation coach who could produce massive results for clients. The success that followed gave me confidence that I could follow my passions and be financially successful. With my newfound confidence, I took the plunge I'd been dreaming of since I was a teenager, a dream to graduate from the Cordon Blue. I applied, got accepted and graduated early last year at the age of forty four!! From that very first day that I entered the professional kitchen, I have never been happier. Between these two brilliant institutes I've learned the best technologies in nutritional sciences and gastronomy. ISSA taught me the benefits of eating high antioxidant content food like zucchini. The Cordon Bleu taught me how to take that simple zucchini and turn it into an eye-popping, delicious show stopper on your plate, that you just cannot resist.
However, there are huge challenges nutritionists face today. People are looking for a magic bullet and the rubbish on social media hasn't helped. Non qualified nutritionists who are making brilliant sales copies and selling rubies in exchange are the greatest threat to real Science. I view this as a blessing though. It clears out the idiots from my client list and allows me to work with responsible clients who are willing to put in the hard work and the discipline. The resources I use are results. My clients who have transformed are my best resources and I have no problem turning down clients who will not do the work and ruin my reputation!! That said, if my clients survive the first month, they are generally some of the most happiest, healthiest and energetic people. I have seen amazing results. Three women have lost 10 kgs and10 per cent body fat in the last year. But what's more important is that these women are now confident, happy people who can focus on their businesses and families rather than be caught up in a vicious weight yoyo, where it's all they can think about. One of the women I have worked with lost over 14 kilos in a little over a year. What's more astounding is that she ran five marathons last year and cut her timing on the Mumbai marathon by seventeen minutes in a year!!! This is unheard of!!! Professional athletes cut their time by two- three minutes a year and that's called the gold standard.
There is one thing I will always regret though — I don't work with athletes. It's a choice I had to make when I decided to stay back in India and work here rather than move to the U.S., join ISSA and work with Olympic athletes. It was a hard choice but family came first and I have no regrets. I continued to work with my core clientele, which is Bollywood actors, upper crust societies and industrialists. Here I introduced the idea of "looking like an athlete" and of course the health benefits that come with it. The idea caught on like wild fire and I was in business. The last missing link was learning to transform that super effective nutrition plan into a beautiful restaurant-quality plate of food. All roads led back to the one dream that I still had to fulfil… Le Cordon Bleu.
What nutrition trends am I paying attention to? 1. The Keto trend which is being so bastardised and wrongly used. This year a lot of the medical reports will be out and I'm looking forward to talking on the topic more publicly then. 2. Black food: black food is going to be the next big thing 2019 and I'm looking forward to creating some hip dishes in this color.3. Small Plates: This is my favorite trend and one that only comes with benefits. The 'appretivo bar' concept from Italy is here to take over the party scene and I can't wait to be the one to lead the trend in India. 4. Eating the rainbow: This one's been around for three years now and not about to go anywhere. My prediction is that chefs are finally going to realize the importance of eating different colored fruits and vegetables and get brave enough to serve it in fine dining. I will, for sure. That said, people often ask me what are the five best foods to incorporate into an average person's diet. 1) Whole grains, which are least processed 2) All fruits and vegetables you can possible find 3) Beans or chicken 4) Water — plain, clean and unflavored 5) Top quality antioxidant supplements.
Looking forward, there’s so much I want to do! Number 1 is the private dining scene I've just started. My biggest goal this year is to put out my first book and add massive value to the lives of my readers through my seminar: The Anti-Aging Code. The information I have gathered and the resources I've been blessed with need to be shared. People are living in such a state of fear and scarcity even though they have fat bank balances and that's sad. I want to help bust ridiculous myths and educate them that they can live a life of love and abundance as far as their food is concerned. A daily gourmet meal service is also on the cards. So is initiating street kids and rescued kids into the art of cooking and food service. Lastly, food and wine pairing events. Bon Appetit!''
29 August 2021 2:47 pm SANDHYA SHETTY ON HER LIFE, HER RULES
7 May 2020 8:52 am IN CONVERSATION WITH BHARAT THAKUR
29 November 2019 5:36 am IN CONVERSATION WITH SANDHYA SHETTY
30 August 2018 2:24 pm STARVING FOR ATTENTION?
21 July 2018 3:46 am IN CONVERSATION WITH ROWAN TISSERA
18 July 2018 2:04 pm STUD TRAINING