Where I’m Coming From…

My name is Lillian, I am an Indian-born Canadian with roots stretching from the vibrant city of Bangalore, India, to the multicultural metropolis of Montreal. My life is beautifully split between two dynamic places: I soak up Montreal’s diverse cultural tapestry during the warmer months, and as the chill sets in, I find my sanctuary in the tropical paradise of Bali.

What I love most is to nurture other people through food. I derive great satisfaction from nourishing others with simple, nutritious and mindfully prepared food. Whether I’m preparing simple green smoothies or complex meals, I try to incorporate all the things I’ve learnt about food and eating across cultures. Growing up in the south of India and then living in the Middle East (Dubai), Sri Lanaka, Canada, Australia, Bali, and most recently Barbados, has taught me so much. Most of all I have learnt to cook from the heart, using all my senses whenever I’m around food! I carry with me a mission: to transform everyday eating into a holistic, healthful experience. I aim to show the world that meals can be as nutritionally beneficial as they are delectably delightful, one dish at a time.

What I Can Offer you

I offer in-person and online cooking classes based on your needs and what you would like to learn. If you are interested to learn more about my services please clink on this link

I offer a variety of classes for all occasions and work with clients based on their budget. I specialize in Indian and fusion foods, which allows clients to indulge in the exotic flavors and spices of my culture.

I also have experience cooking a variety of other cuisines, which means that clients can learn to cook almost any cuisine they desire.

I offer my culinary services, merging the best of my Indian heritage with the global influences I’ve absorbed over the years. My cooking classes are more than just a transfer of skills; they are a cultural exchange, a way to connect people through the universal language of food. I teach my clients how to weave nutrition into their meals without sacrificing flavor—a philosophy I live by personally, too.

My cooking classes can be combine with me preparing personalized meal plans that will optimize your functional health and wellness. Each program I design is customized to support you in achieving your health and wellness goals. The mind and body are not separate, rather there is a symbiotic relationship between the two. My focus is on identifying the foods and lifestyle choices that work for you.

Food is information and literally talks to our genes and controls gene expression, hormones and metabolism. What you eat has the potential to determine your emotions and behaviours. When I prepare a meal plan for you, I choose nutrient dense foods to include in your plan, where quality calories are working for your health goals!

 I also cook for retreats worldwide. When I do so, I combine the art of culinary with the science of nutrition. My focus is sourcing locally produced ingredients to create a unique culinary experience that is customized, based on my client’s requirements.

Living and working in 7 different countries, has allowed me to understand the importance of food in bringing people closer to nature, themselves, and each other.

I take great pride in cooking with all my senses and creating mouth-watering recipes that are both beautiful and inspiring, while advocating for sustainable, ethical, and local food practices.

My skills of sourcing local ingredients, managing a fast-paced kitchen and cooking everything from scratch is what I excel at. I strive to create a memorable culinary experience that nourishes the body, the mind and soul of my guests.

I have shared my unique cooking style, attention to detail and culinary expertise on projects in the Komodo National Park in Indonesia (why sailing through over 10 Islands); on the Island of Barbados; on the Island of Bali; in various cities in India, Sri Lanka , Australia, Dubai and Canada. Always sourcing local ingredients, yet meeting my clients culinary requests and needs.

I design each project from start to finish to suit the project or occasion and the needs of the client in mind. 

To find out more on any of services I provide or to book your next event drop me a line here: lillian@becomevegetarian.org

Growing up in India – it’s all about the Food!

A little about me – I grew up in the south of India in a mega city called Bangalore (now called Bengaluru). As a family, we mainly consumed a vegetarian diet with occasional animal products. My parents and forefathers were born on the southwest coast of India. Food from the southwest coast of India was greatly influenced by the Portuguese because they colonized India for close to 450 years. This is why I think my family ate a bit of animal products due to the influence of the Portuguese diet.Growing up, I remember all our celebrations and milestones in life were surrounded around food. I came from a large extended family (my mother had 9 sisters and one brother and lots and lots of cousins) that loved to cook and eat.What we did best as an extended family was sit around large tables filled with delicious food cooked from the heart. I also recall, going on family picnics to hill stations and having baskets and baskets with lots of tiffin’s filled with delicious food, travel with us. We were that family that even carried a portable stove and warmed our food and ate from steel plates (my grandma would say paper plates, didn’t make the food taste good ). I recall my mom or one of the aunts or uncles making delicious steaming hot chai after our meals on such picnics. What I remember most, was our food was always fresh, cooked with love and hence tasted delicious.

Moving to Canada…

In my early 20’s when I moved to Canada for the first time, I found animal products to be very different tasting to the taste I grew up with. I didn’t like this new taste and my body rejected it as well. I often felt bloated, constipated or just uncomfortable when I consumed any animal products. This caused me to become completely vegetarian. I started to study everything I possibly could on food and nutrition, the mind body connection, and what works and doesn’t for my body.During this period, I became interested in why food tasted so different in different countries, despite following my mother’s recipe. A simple “Dhal” (lentil soup), didn’t taste anything like my mom’s, even though I followed her exact recipe. I started looking more into food, how it was grown, harvested, stored and the real nutrients of food, before and after it was cooked. I became very interested in food as way to heal our bodies and minds and not just to sustain us.

This is when I began dreaming about how I would make it easy to eat healthy food that’s affordable, sustainable and tastes amazing. I am not interested in fads, I have no high expectations, just a simple mission to share with family, friends and anyone really who is interested, to eat mindfully – we are what we eat!

Health has always been at the centre of my life – whether it’s been conducting research for my Master’s thesis or indulging in my passion for cooking. Health is life; life is health. I have worked as an International Public Health Consultant for over twenty-one years, most recently I  have transitioned into working full time with food and eating for functional health and wellness.

What You Can Expect From Me

My goal here is not to tell anyone visiting my site what they should or shouldn’t eat. No guilt should be felt for what foods you want to eat, including animals. My goal is simply to educate people about using food as medicine, through the programs I offer. The more we can learn about food, the more power we have to reach our health and wellness goals.

I also want to share all the lessons I’ve learnt and share the thousands of recipes I’ve tested over the last 25 years (after I left my parents’ home in India, to live on my own). Most of my recipes are simple, easy to make and nutritionally dense that satisfies the tongue, stomach and soul. All my recipes I share, plus the academic articles and studies are for carnivores – who may not want to become vegetarian (just yet or ever) but want to learn more about vegetarianism and vegetarian cooking. 

I cook from the heart and most often don’t taste food while cooking, rather, I try to be mindful and use all my senses when preparing and cooking for others. Anyone can follow a recipe, but if you follow a recipe and cook from your heart and with your senses it will be your own individual creation. That’s what I urge you to do if you use any of my recipes I’ve shared here.My greatest joy comes from hearing the tapping of a knife on a cutting board, the popping of food in a pot, the sound of sizzling delicacies in a cast iron pan, the rhythmic beat of a wooden spoon mixing…even the simple sound of boiling water vigorously. Most of all, I am the happiest when people who are eating my food are satisfied and relish every morsel of it.

To me the perfect diet has one main principle: eating real foods and not food-like substitutes.

Happy cooking and eating friends!

Lillian (aka Lilly or Lil)