Imagine being told by a doctor at 13 years old that you have diabetes and that you’ll be lucky if you make it to your 30th birthday.
It seems hard to believe in this day and age, but that’s the diagnosis Surinder Kumar’s father, Kanshi Ram, was given way back in the early 1900s, when western medicine wasn’t available to many people in India.
Thankfully, Kanshi Ram had other plans. He lived to be 75, and what he did to get there set in motion a family legacy of holistic health and better nutrition that lives on with Surinder and his son, Daven.
“My dad was always at peace,” Surinder said. “He was fairly healthy, and he always had advice for people on nutrition.”
Fast forward to today, and Surinder and Daven, both Flower Mound residents, are the proud founders of TruEats Modern Baking Company.
This online-based store launched in January and combines Kanshi Ram’s wisdom with Surinder’s technical and scientific knowledge of food science to bring plant-based, gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, protein and fiber-rich bakery mixes into the homes of health-conscious families.
Currently available on their site are TruEats Pancake & Waffle Mix, Brownie Mix, Dutch Chocolate Muffin & Cake Mix, and a Zero-Calorie Premium Sweetener.
TruEats is all-natural in every way, with ingredients that include everything from chickpeas and almonds to moong dal and natural sweeteners.
But none of it is at the expense of flavor and great taste. That means you can have a healthy treat while enjoying palate-pleasing recipes such as chocolate chip banana bread waffles, brownie cookies with nut butter frosting, cranberry orange scones, brownie pops, baked cinnamon donuts, and whatever else your sweet tooth craves.
All of the products were developed by Surinder and marketed expertly by Daven. Their mixes are gluten-free, no added sugar, low glycemic, diabetic-friendly, and dairy, soy, and GMO free. They are plant-based, vegan, and also a good source of protein and fiber.
“We saw a shift with COVID-19 to at-home consumption,” Daven said. “Families had more time to bake and cook at home, and they were looking for healthier options. There are products out there, but they lack a lot of things like protein, fiber, and, of course, taste. We thought, ‘How can we deliver something that provides positive nutrition for people with dietary restrictions and tastes great so that the entire family can enjoy?’”
Luckily, the answer to that question and so many more were right up Surinder’s ally. Surinder has a Ph.D. in food science and nutrition from The Ohio State University. He has helped launch hundreds of healthy food and pharmaceutical products over the past 40-plus years while working for innovative food companies such as Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, Warner Lambert Consumer Products, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.
He retired in 2007, but he continued developing products and solutions for diabetics and people with other dietary restrictions — largely because of what he had learned for so many years under his father’s mentorship.
As the story goes, Kanshi Ram set out to learn as much as he could about his condition from ancient books called Ayurveda and his village elders. He learned to combine good nutrition, daily exercise, and meditation — and it extended his life.
“He walked four miles every day, he meditated, and he had a very simple diet of grains and legumes that created a very healthy combination of proteins,” Surinder said. “I watched him and wanted to pursue that. I wanted to understand the rationale behind his diet and why it made so much sense. TruEats is a great combination of my father’s wisdom, my technical and scientific knowledge that I gained here in the U.S., and Daven’s marketing expertise.”
Daven said hearing stories about his grandfather and now working with his dad to implement those ideas is special.
“It’s been phenomenal. My father’s passion throughout his life is to carry that torch and legacy from his father,” Daven said. “All the nephews and nieces he’s helped bring over to the U.S., and those he’s influenced in India — for me to be a part of that and build that legacy with my own children is special.”
The best news of all is that Surinder and Daven have only scratched the surface for what TruEats can be in the very near future.
On April 6, Surinder plans to publish a book through Barnes & Noble and Amazon inspired by Kanshi Ram’s wisdom called “Everything You Need Is Within You.” Beyond that, their goal is to continue educating families on the healthier food choices that are available today and eventually partner with local universities and healthcare officials who would be interested in including TruEats products in any diabetes research or clinical studies.