Hello Stranger! It’s nice of you to stop by! A quick introduction is in order. We are Anup and Medha, both in our mid-30s and currently living in Vancouver, Canada. Anup is a Software Engineer by profession, and is the techie behind our little initiative called Farm on Plate! Medha is classically trained in french cuisine, who is the creative force for all the recipes, pictures and videos you see on the site.
We fell in love in high school, survived the ups and downs of the early years, and have been married for 15 years now. This website is our space where we want to share our stories from our journey towards a healthy lifestyle. We certainly hope that you would come along!
Both Anup and I grew up in Gujarat, a state in Western India. Neither of us had seen the inside of an airplane till we were in our 20s, so we are very Indian at heart! India has evolved a lot over the past 10-15 years, but the country that we grew up in might as well be its own different planet, Planet India. On this planet, the simplest of indulgences were considered luxuries which were not available to middle class families, and all families were middle class families. Dining out was one of such luxuries. Our families would go out for dinner may be once every 4 months. The prices on the menus were carefully evaluated. Food was always ordered with “we can always order more later” mindset, and later generally didn’t happen. Our moms were dedicated to their kitchens, and our dads would jokingly call them the Home Ministers. Sabjiwalas would come by every morning on their bicycles or carts to sell fresh produce picked up from local farms that day, and all moms would go through the morning rituals of buying produce for the day. Food was prepared fresh, and eaten the same day. The concept of frozen foods was as remote as the western world that we had never seen.
Both of us arrived in the US in our early 20s, and along came a lot of lifestyle and dietary changes. We didn’t have the Home Ministers who dedicatedly cooked fresh foods every day. We also suddenly found that dining out was not only affordable, but often times cheaper than cooking at home. Wendy’s, Burger King, Cici’s Pizza…oh such a wonderful concept! After a full day of working at our desks, there was nothing more liberating than to walk into a restaurant and wait for our food to arrive! Even the food we ate at home started including frozen pizzas and microwave ready meals. Anup had discovered the holy grail of comfort foods – Twinkies!
Our new lifestyle soon caught up to us. We were both carrying extra baggage now, and the love handles looked like they were there to stay. We both got more sluggish, some complaints about back pain, headache etc started getting more common. In India we are taught that if you truly love someone, you accept them for who they are. We were too nice to point out to each other how our bodies were being transformed. We just ate more comfort food when we felt low and life was good again!
In 2004, a friend of mine who I knew since high school years in India was getting married in Milwaukee, WI. I flew out to her wedding and met a bunch of my high school friends there.
Later she emailed me a couple of my pictures from her wedding reception. I still remember how disconnected I felt with the girl in those pictures that day. The girl in the picture was heavy, but more importantly, she was in denial. She didn’t think there were any issues with her lifestyle or her body. Looking at that girl in the pictures was the wake up call I needed. I told the girl in the pictures that she deserved a better life, and a better body.
Acknowledging that both of us needed to change our lifestyle and diet to be healthy again was hard. Even harder was deciding what we had to change and how we would go about making those changes in our lifestyle. For the first time in our lives, we learned to read nutritional labels on the groceries we were buying. The frozen, semi-prepared foods were slowly replaced by leafy greens and fresh, local, organic produce. We consciously decided not to think we were on a short term diet. We wanted to make some slow, long lasting changes in our day-to-day lives. It has taken us years of learning about nutrition, exercising and healthy eating to get to where we are today, and we are still discovering new things everyday.
So here we are. We are in better shape than we were in our 20s. But we are still on our journey to be happier and healthier.
We would love sharing our stories with you, and may be learn a few things from you. We are always looking for new friends, can not ever have enough of them. Please drop us a line at medha(at)farmonplate.com or connect with us on the social media. We surely hope you do!
Our recipes reflect our lifestyles and personal stories. If you would like to know a bit more about us, we recommend you start with this post I wrote on Anup’s Birthday.