Mumbai Food: Colaba eatery offers healthy food and fitness lab
Sandeep Sachdev, once the winner of reality show The Biggest Loser, launches a cafe to ensure you eat healthy minus the feels
Banker-turned-fitness professional Sandeep Sachdev doesn't like calling his new Colaba eatery, Easy Human, a health cafe. He's aware of the stereotypes the term evokes — salads, fruit-and-muesli breakfast and cold pressed juices. "But there's so much [more]. In fact, we serve just about everything," he says. Except pizza, he adds sheepishly. "We wanted a pizza to taste like one. Since we couldn't find the right alternatives, we dropped it," he says. The menu backs his claim. We spot butter chicken (Sachdev's weakness), kulchas, buff burgers, kathi roll, and sweet potato fries. All dishes are more or less modelled on the Paleo diet, which typically excludes grain, dairy, trans fats and highly processed food.
He recalls having embarked on a grain-free diet during acting assignments — he worked with Chitrangada Singh in Sudhir Mishra's Inkaar in 2013 — but that soon translated into a lifestyle choice. But he owes his dietary discipline — eating seven meals a day which includes a mix of carbs and protein — to the reality show, The Biggest Loser, where he emerged victorious post a weight loss of 50.7 kg.
The cafe, launched last month ago, is a product of five fitness buffs who put their heads together to offer a combination of food and wellness. The space, therefore, also includes a gym and a fitness lab to hold dedicated workshops, community building activities and food experimentation. But for Sachdev, food comes first. "The mindset is 'let me join the gym first and then figure the diet'. Working out shapes you up, but eating defines fitness in the long term. You may not work out every day, but you will eat every day," he says.
For over a year, Shivali Sharma, managing director and nutritionist, Rohit Tambe, head chef, Ritesh Shaiwal, movement specialist and Pankaj Chandila, director and nutritionist and Sachdev worked on the concept that would make them take wellness to the aam junta. "We didn't want to deprive guests of the taste of the original dishes. For instance, in the butter chicken we aren't using butter. The secret ingredient is making it in nut cream. The kulchas are made with coconut and almond flour." And, because they had to be fair to vegetarians, all dishes have a non-meat equivalent. For every mutton kheema with pav, there's a soya kheema, and a creamy butter paneer to match the butter chicken. Sachdev's idea now is to make Easy Human into a hyper local venture. "It'll be customised to meet the needs of the area."
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