Lifestyle Changes

10 Lifestyle Changes I Made That You Should Make Too

You read that right. I am sharing with you 10 Lifestyle Changes I made in my life and I want you to make them too. Simply because of the following two reasons:

  1. They are easy to make
  2. They are important to make

If you love yourself and your family enough, this is a small investment. I know going organic is neither easy nor cheap. However, if you had one look at the list of food that is the most contaminated in India, you too would be depressed. You can read about it here.

Of course, it is a dismal picture. The more you read about it, the gorier it becomes. Have a look at the list of top 10 Cancer Causing Foods. Shocking! It took me a long time to accept and denounce the microwave butter popcorn. I was at a time addicted to them. A night snack, an evening binge, a movie in bed partner, it was that important in my life. In fact, so many others on the list.


Health Is Wealth


Like most, I too learned it the hard way. After I had completely, jacked my body system with late nights, insufficient sleep, stress, unhappiness, poor nutrition and crappy roadside and restaurant foods, I realized there was so much to be undone. I mean struck with a rare auto-immune disorder like Myasthenia Gravis and on top of that being the privileged one to manifest a Thymoma, that calls for a pat on the back!

With a recurrence twice to be followed by a Myasthenia Crisis and a Type 2-Lung failure…well, you pretty much get the picture. Despite making changes here and there, every now and then I was unable to continue for long. The lust for ‘tasty’, read unhealthy food would always take over.


Luke Coutinho Enters My Life


Until one day when we were introduced to Luke by a dear friend whom my husband and I can never thank enough. Luke Coutinho. This was 2.5  years ago. I was down in the dumps. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.

I remember we were at the cinema hall when Vishal insisted I speak with Luke. Frankly, by then I had thought I had done it all. Good food. Mediation. Yoga. Ayurveda. Homeopathy. Past Life Regression too if you please. And now this? A nutritionist? I neither had the mind nor the bandwidth. I had too much on my plate. Unable to handle the depression, the weakness, the lethargy, the immobility, this was not what I wanted.

When you hear the word nutritionist, the first thing that comes to mind is? Yes. Weight loss. It is only now that I realize how badly this term has been used. Luke is much more than that. A savior for me.

I barely recollect my first chat with Luke. I, however, remember all chats afterward. He is responsible for changing my life. Our lives.

Small changes in the diet were suggested initially that seemed both extremely simple to incorporate and truth be told insignificant at first. Silly me. When he explained the reason behind what was advised, it made such clear sense, I wanted it more. Not only did he suggest changes in food, but his helping me heal was holistic in the true sense.


Lifestyle Changes, Luke Coutinho, Pallavi Rao

Dr. Luke Coutinho For All- Saviour For Me


With Luke Coutinho, I learned the right way and the right time to eat fruits.  Imagine learning the art of drinking water 4 decades into your life! But I did. He introduced me to yet another beautiful soul called Amulya in Hyderabad, who did Yoga practice with me over Skype. As I say often, I am the chosen one. I continue to wonder why and how such lovely giving people walk into my life just like that.

Technically, we have met only twice in our in our lives. I am sure even he would be surprised hearing this! Haha, but the impact he has had on our household and our lives is phenomenal.


10 Lifestyle Changes I Made That You Should Make Too


I just had to share this with the world. If you haven’t yet done these, please do so, starting today. I understand completely how inconvenient initially it might be to incorporate these lifestyle changes but trust me if you will, it shall make a huge difference in your health and that of your near and dear ones.

So here is a list of 10 lifestyle changes that I made in our lives. In our home.


  1. Salt: Shifted from the iodized salt to ‘Sendha’ or ‘Rock’ Salt. Rock salt is a naturally occurring isometric crystal of salt with tremendous benefits. These include being rich in magnesium and calcium, a mood enhancer, stress buster, betters the appetite as also the bowel movement and is a storehouse of minerals.


Lifestyle Changes, Pallavi Rao, Rock Salt


If I hear you mumble that you do use it during the ‘Navratri’ fast, my question to you would be-then why not for the entire year? Did you know,  Rock salt ionizes the air making it cleaner and safer to breathe and hold your breath, improves management of pulmonary conditions? Hence, it is used to make natural breathing pipes.


2.  Sugar: Uff, just as you I could not fathom life without the pure white refined sugar till I understood and accepted that it indeed is the worst for health. It increases obesity, sugar levels, creates heart problems. Added to that the fact that sugar is empty calories. It has nothing. No vitamins or minerals in it.

I, therefore, shifted to our good old jaggery and honey.


Lifestyle Changes, Pallavi Rao, Honey, Jars, Harvest, Bees, Frame, Garden, Crop, Golden


We do keep a bottle of brown organic sugar for our uninitiated guests, but for the family, it is only jaggery and honey, organic or local produce. Be it in tea, coffee, lime juice or kheer. Trust me the taste surpasses that of sugar, which now if I go back to clearly tastes artificial.

And no, no powdered jaggery for me. It has to be the desi gud.


Lifestyle, Changes, Pallavi Rao, Gur, Jaggery, Organic



3. Refined Flour or Maida: Not that we were big fans of it at home for neither do we make luchis or bhaturas on a regular basis. The fight with saying no to refined flour is when we step out. Since we all most of the time eat without thinking, the deadly refined flour makes an entry by way of those banoffee pies, slices of cakes and pastries and the harmless looking, delicious tasting baklava.

My kitchen still has a small almost untouched container of refined flour. I have to admit, making your baker enthusiast son replace refined flour for whole wheat is taking time. However, as I always maintain, something is better than nothing.


Making slight changes will eventually go a long mile!


The white sauce for pasta too is made in whole wheat atta. Believe me, it hardly makes a difference. The best substitute though I have found is in a pumpkin sauce! Yum, it is.


Lifestyle Changes, Pallavi Rao, Pumpkin Soup, Soup, Orange, Plate, Eat, Food, Liquid



4. Seeds And Nuts: Friends who frequent home as also my colleagues are intrigued by the number of seeds I consume daily. 5 almonds, 2 walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower, watermelon seeds, flax, chia and sesame seeds, the list goes on. I am a big fan of these seeds that make for a fantastic snack to curb that hunger pang. Please do make it a part of your plate too. You could buy them here, to begin with!

Lifestyle Changes, Almonds, Nuts, Pallavi Rao



5. Juices: I can never thank Luke Coutinho enough for introducing juices in my life. We all know how good they are for health but the way it now has a permanent place in my morning routine is worth a mention. This juice is a powerhouse. It has beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, on days a potato, fresh homegrown coriander, mint, celery, parsley, garlic,  ginger, gooseberry (amla) or lemon in various permutations and combinations. Added to that is my dose of cold pressed coconut oil. And I am sorted for the day.

You can do it too. Just bring that juicer attachment of the mixer out of the cupboard and instead of only juicing fruits, do the vegetables!


Lifestyle Changes, Vegetable Juices, Vegetables, Secluded, White, Fresh, Pallavi Rao



6. Cooking Oil: Aah this is essential. And easy to make the change from refined to unrefined oil. No refined oil is not permitted on my grocery list. As they now say,


Simply go back to eating what your grandmother used to eat and you shall be fine!


So it is back to kachhi ghani mustard oil, the unrefined til or sesame oil, my favorite coconut oil. I buy it online and I am done for the month. No one in the house is missing the safolas and fortunes of the world.


Lifestyle Changes, Food, Nut, Coconut, Fruit, Healthy, Coconut Oil, Oil, Pallavi Rao



7. Salads: Incorporating a lot of raw salads in our food. Ok, so here is a confession. I am a typical South-Indian when it comes to home-cooked meals. I never can be satiated with salads served in restaurants. The ones with those amazing dressings and exotic vegetables and berries and cheese are darn tasty but they do not fill my stomach, at least not psychologically.



Lifestyle Changes, Kosambari, Salad, CPallaviRao

Kadale Kosambari


I, therefore, decided that since food is so essential to my being and taste has to be as per my palate, I once again went down the recipes handed over generations from my mother’s side. I and my family are a happy lot and look forward to new types if Indian salads on the plate I shall be sharing these with your from time to time here if you are keen. You could leave a comment below for me to know.

8. No Microwave: It was a blessing in disguise. My microwave went kaput. Again. I took this as an opportunity and decided not to go for a new one. No microwave in our house. You can imagine the furor made by my two helps. “How can we heat the food? Make instant idlis? Re-heat the lunch leftovers?”We all have read how bad microwaves are for our health. I said not a word. Its been 5 months are we are managing well.

In fact, now the family reaches the dining table on time. We eat together. Fresh food. I sent the old one for recycling with Croma. If you want you could do so too here. Less guilt.

Microwave Harmful, Lifestyle Changes, Pallavi Rao Narvekar


9. Cosmetics: Now this is a tough one, I would say. Doable nevertheless. When Luke in one of his videos spoke about the biggest organ in our body is the skin and all that we feed it relentlessly with, it was a shocker. Who doesn’t like to feel and smell good? To give up a branded moisturizer is a tough call.


Even If You Manage 5 Of 10 Lifestyle Changes, It’s A Starter!


Without taking undue stress on this, I decided to take baby steps. Shifted from body moisturizer to Olive oil (which I prefer more on the skin than in the salad) and oil from flowers. I would like to thank my dear friend Uma Mansharamani, who introduced me to her range of oils. You could sample Nature’s Absolutes- here. I have almost stopped using body creams especially after reading its carcinogenic effects.


Lifestyle Changes, Oil, Geranium


I still have a long way to go as far as the limited cosmetics I use. Will keep updating them here nevertheless.


10. Say No To Milk: Those already on this journey might be wondering why I put this point at the end of the list! That is because I love milk. Sigh. I have always loved milk and milk products, so this clearly was and remains the toughest of the 10 lifestyle changes I made. But then when you got to do it you got to do it.

The most difficult was giving up the milk in tea and coffee. I tried almond milk as a substitute but found my taste in …aah….coconut milk. Can’t have it with tea but my Bru coffee with coconut milk is delicious.


Lifestyle Changes, Coffee with Coconut Milk. Pallavi Rao

My Coffee With Coconut Milk

Since the elders in my family refused to have their beverage any other way, I had to think of a plan B. And I found him right in our colony. The oldest traditional milkman was appointed who gives fresh buffalo milk. He insists they are fed the organic grass. I shall have to take his word on this though he has given an open invitation to visit his ‘Goshala’ anytime even without an appointment.

So, yes, the Mother Dairy milk and milk in cartons have a life ban in our household.

In conclusion, I have to say this to you, my friend, we all know-discuss-crib about adulterous food all around us. They are mostly not under our control. However, things that we have control over, we should simply own it up. Even a 30% change is a change. Even 3 out of these 10 lifestyle changes deserves a pat on the back.

For remember, how we treat our body in these 20 years is how it shall treat us in the next 20. A lesson learned the hard way.




*Meanwhile as always, a small little big prayer to the medical fraternity to find a sure shot cure to Myasthenia Gravis for me and my fellow travelers across the globe.*






  1. hey there girlie…awesome post…thank u so much..now would love to receive your recipes….much love

  2. Thanks for the prompt reply Pallavi…Do you use Extra Virgin Olive oil or regular olive oil and also i would like to know what brand you use as i keep reading all the time that most of the brands of olive oil available in the market is not pure…kindly advise.

  3. Greetings !!
    Am inspired Pallavi. You are real fighter and thanks for sharing your experiences. Very good advise by you. We must listen to our body asap. What our grand parents were eating was the right menu for us and its relevant today and wilk be relevant tomorrow. I recently connected with RAHUL, whose life was resembled with me when i was child leaving in chawl in Mumbai and my father was mill worker.

    Currently left the job and doing farming in kokan and trying to live simple life and eat local foods.

    I must take this opportunity thank DR LUKE for his wondeful work and FB live for giving valuable advise on body and food. I read and watch his FB post daily.

    I pray to almight for your speedy recovery and God to give you strenght to fight.

    God bless !!


  4. Am inspired Pallavi. You are real fighter and told us your experiences. Very good advise and we must listen to our body asap. What our grand parents were eating was the right menu for us and its relevant today and tomorrow. I recently connected with whose life was resembled with when i was child leaving in chawl and son to mill worker.

    Currently left the job and doing farming in kokan and try too leave simple life and eat local foods. Its need of hour and onehas to decide how long ones to chess big dream.

    I pray to almight for yiur speedy recovery and God to give you strenght to fight.

  5. Looking forward to receiving salad and juice recipes from you Pallavi as more or less me and my husband all the 9 /10 points suggested by you as we are ardent followers of Luke…dosnt the olive on your body leave you all sticky ????

    1. Hey Pushpa!!! Thanks for writing in shall post the recipes this weekend. No re olive oil ideally I apply with a Dropbox two of water. It gets soaked in no time and if it still feels greasy then just use a damp towel and clean the skin softly once. Feel the change in one weeks time.

  6. Serendipity, isnt that whats its called?! I chanced upon Luke’s video where he mentioned Crohes Desease at a time when a close friend had a family member diagnosed with it. I passed the link to her and we are both now addicted to listening to him and yes, taking baby steps to follow his advice. ANd then I chanced upon your blog ( via following Luke) and it was just the added inspiration I needed. Your journey and attitude is amazing and so motivating.
    I wanted to check this with you – when ordering food items online, how does one ensure the use-by date? I am soon moving to a Senior Living community at Lavasa and being able to order online rather than multiple trips to Pune will be so convenient!
    I thought it was better to eat the whole fruit or vegetable rather than juice it. Why is juicing better? Or is it more easy to digest?
    Another query – asked by another reader too – what is point no. 8 which we have missed in your 10 points ?
    Thanks for generously sharing your journey for our benefit. I wish you all the best and look forward to the recipes and more tips!

    1. I shall answer in the reverse order Madhu!😁
      I missed on one point.an important point shall so thebneedful this weekend.
      Secondly,the reason for the vegetable juice and not whole veges simple.you never. 1. You will hardly be ever to keep a steady daily intake of as many Vegas each day. Ideally, churning in a mixi and have it at one go. What he additional in raw they the day is added bonus for the body. 2. It is difficult to to chomp on two full carrots, a tomato, a beetroot and coriander and chew on garlic and ginger all at one sitting. Best is to juice it.the 1st point…Well, ideally the exp day should be mentioned in the product description on the shopping website.i tho k so..I hope so. However, as Luke mentioned in his fb video just 2 or 3 days ago is to read the fine print in the labels and Chuck stuff. Do watch that one.

  7. Enjoyed reading this. As you say baby steps first. Is it just me but I noticed that there were 9 tips and not 10 on your list. Are we missing something ? 😊Would love to know what it is!

    1. *hides face in her palm* yes…missed out on one point while numbering the. Shall add that soon..important point.
      Yes baby steps is what works.i has initially tried changing EVEEYTHING in the house at one go . Eventually nothing happened. Plus the stiff opposition from the helps and the family members…so small changes. One thing at a time.😁

    1. Nehaaa!!! I tell you milk for me was the hardest. Bwaaahhhh…
      But to answer your question:
      We can get our calcium intake from khus khus, til seeds, amarant, almonds, walnuts, sweet potatoes and believe it or not oranges

  8. Would also recommend adding a bowlful or at least 1/4 cup of different types of berries to the diet daily: anthocyanins, ellagic acid, polyphenols that benefit our memory, have anti- cancer properties, also research shows improves our heart health(increases HDL, may increase levels of nitric acid), preserve bone health and digestion… basically complete body benefits:)!!

    Next favorite of mine to the list of seeds you have Pallu, is hemp seed : they are exceptionally rich in healthy fats, minerals and protein :have essential fatty acids LA omega 6 & ALA omega 3; GLA- lot of heath benefits!!
    Great source of Vit E & minerals(calcium , zinc, iron, Phosphorus, magnesium, Sulfur, Sodium, potassium)
    Help in improving heart health.💕

    1. Hey Rupali! Bilkul! Berries and hemp seeds. Frankly speaking, though I know the benefits of help- never tried them yet. And berri3s in love but am allergic to most. Damn.
      But yes both are superb!!!

  9. Loved reading your post! Well summarized so many of Luke’s videos. Your perseverance and motivation to cure yourself is eye opening. I made some kosumbari today after reading your post. Being a kannadiga that recipe reminds me of home, would love you see more salad recipes.

  10. Congratulations on bring able to achieve and do so much for your self and family. Thanks for sharing our life story. Stay blessed always. Eould love to receive the salad and awesome looking fresh juices recipe please. Stay blessed always .

  11. Very nicely written, I follow few steps mentioned here but not all. Will try to incorporate others as well, can you please share salad recepies

  12. Hi Pallavi…. very inspiring post. I’ve been pretty particular about following and sticking to most of these lifestyle tracks for years. switched to sendha salt for past few years and this past week I even managed to make a switch from sugar to jaggery in my tea….and you are right the taste is much better and now I realise that sugar consumption was actually not as welcomed by my body as jaggery one is …. all this thanx to Luke really. He not only motivates us but changes suggested by him actually empower us to remain motivated to stay away from wrong choices.

    Only thing that I m not confident about is the milk part. I use it in my tea and also make paneer, curd and ghee from it. Please suggest how should I go about making changes in this aspect of my lifestyle.

  13. That was inspiring n motivational as well…all of us in the sangha are on that route…thanks to Luke! Do keep it up n looking forward to the salad recipes!

  14. Pallavi…was enlightening to read your article. Congratulations on your perseverance…look forward to receiving your salad and juice recipes…I am inspired and looming forward to follow this…

  15. Hey thanks for sharing your journey…good to c the baby steps u took and difference it made …would love to have salad recipes

  16. You are not just a survivor but a real inspiration Pallavi. I bow to the immense courage and will. You have made me more confident about myself – I can do it too, positively!

    1. Absolutely you can Priyal. I realized its just a mindset. I am not saying it is all easy but it is so doable. Wonder why and how we deviated from our simple living and eating habits.

  17. Thanks a ton Pallavi Mam for your valuable inputs in this article,my wife is also suffering from cancer and we also once met Luke sir on 13 of March this year, and if I am not wrong you too had an appointment with Luke Sir on 13/3/2018 at 11.30 am at Reset clinic in Mumbai just after our appointment at 11 am.
    But unfortunately we can’t afford Luke sir’s programs as we are financially drained after reoccurrence of cancer to my wife.
    Thanks again for your valuable tops on food and healthy diet.keep suggesting in topics.

    1. Mehul, I am sorry to hear that your better half has to go through so much pain and angst. Keep the faith. Good nutritious food and a very very positive attitude shall make her pass these tough times. A virtual hug to her.

      And I must add that if you sincerely follow Luke’s videos, then ALL the information regarding why cancer happens, how it can be prevented with lifestyle changes, looking after the gut, all about acidity to even what to have during chemo’s and how to handle its side effects, all of it is in there on his FB live and channel videos. It is truly amazing. Mehul, do watch the videos. So much to learn. All your questions and apprehensions shall get solved there. Seriously!

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