Celebrity nutritionist Sridevi Jasti opens up about Vibrant Living, and serving deliciously healthy food to Hyderabad

A nutritionist's secret to creating delicious health

author_img Rachel Dammala Published :  24th March 2022 01:56 PM   |   Published :   |  24th March 2022 01:56 PM
CREATING

Sridevi during a workshop at her store

Nutritionist Sridevi Jasti, a known face among the who’s who of Hyderabad, grew up loving good food with all her heart. “Thanks to my mother who was a great cook, food was always a festive affair at home — no matter the time of the day or size of the meal. That was how I ended up spending most of my time in the kitchen. So, when it was time for me to pick a course to pursue after school, it was a no-brainer to go for nutrition.”

Sridevi went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree, PG diploma and Masters’ and various other courses related to nutrition along the way. “But more than these, it was living, eating and experimenting with foods across the globe in places such as Canada, the USA, Dubai, Russia and parts of Europe that gave the most valuable lessons when it came to food,” she says.

She started Vibrant Living (VL) 12 years ago — a healthy, plant-based, organic food store — at Prashant Hills, Rai Durg. Her store is all about creating clean, vibrant, raw and plant-based superfoods that are traditional, tasty and truly healthy in every sense. “When I gave birth to my son, I visited Hyderabad often so he could learn Telugu from the people around and not just me alone, since my husband is a foreigner. It was then that I saw people here trying diets that the West tried hard and failed at; I wanted to change that.

Only food could’ve made me shift permanent base to Hyderabad and that’s how Vibrant Living came to be.” Business is never on Sridevi’s mind, it’s responsibility that takes centre stage at VL. She explains, “I’ve always looked at myself to be the mother hen, caring for those around me — beginning with me being a woman, a hands-on mom, the oldest sibling at home, the tallest in school (laughs). So, that’s where I see myself as I head this place. The fact that we live in Telangana that grows the best of the rich crops is a blessing.”

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With Samantha Ruth Prabhu

For Sridevi, health and taste were never mutually exclusive, food always meant taste and health. “That is why we call our food ‘deliciously healthy’ and we mean it. When I call myself a foodie, I’m not saying I’m a glutton. I’m saying I can discern between good and bad food, and the former means it has the best of taste and health. We, at VL, not only sell the ingredients you’ll need, but also meals for those that lack time to prepare them. But I’d prefer people learn to cook themselves, they need to know what’s going inside, how much of it is required and how each of this affects the body,” she says.

Sridevi credits the pandemic for making people stop and think twice about what they’re consuming. The holistic nutritionist is proud that Hyderabad is leading the country in its efforts to promote a vegan lifestyle. However, she maintains her distance from the various labels. “We were a vegan brand since day one, but never called ourselves that, more because of the inhibitions some people have about such food being boring and bitter, and to not use these just as a means to sell ourselves. About seven years ago, I did 40 episodes on a Telugu TV channel of plant-based recipes without using the word ‘vegan’,” she shares.

She blames people’s ignorance for the thriving fad diets: “As long as people remain unaware about the magic that food is, the way it heals and lack discernment about eating healthy, fad diets will rule the market.”  She says gut health plays a huge role in one’s mental health and her eyes light up as she elaborates, “Eating good foods releases happy chemicals in your brain. They are also good at helping you relax your mind during stressful times, and a non-stressed brain helps you make better decisions in life, so it’s this powerful, invisible cycle.”

Sridevi, who runs paid and free workshops every Wednesday and Saturday about healthy cooking and living, would soon be opening a school in Gundala, Adilabad district. This, through her NGO Deliciously Healthy, where good food and education will be top priorities.

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