How do you stay on track?
A. It’s a question of attitude really. You have to be determined to follow a regime. I’ve incorporated every principle of healthy living into my routine. I do half an hour of yoga (with surya namaskar) every day, no matter what, and I walk a lot. You must make small changes in your life if you want to keep fit and healthy. It’s amazing what you can get used to if you decide to make up your mind about it. There was a time when I used to go to KT Galaxy (a popular movie theatre in Mumbai), hide and eat three or four samosas at one go (they were delicious). Now, I can’t even look at samosas!
I am proud to say that my children have grown up healthy too. In fact, my daughter Ridhdhima is now my health guru. She is a very sensible eater and has a lot of self–restraint. She shares with me health tips that she’s picked up from reliable sources ever so often.
Ranbir my son (who is a star in his own right) is also a healthy eater. When we go out for dinner as a family, he often encourages me to break my resolve. “Come on mom this is really good, here, just have one bite of this dessert,” he tells me. I smile and hold back. And to be honest, it’s not that difficult either.
My fitness routine is a combination of walking, yoga for half an hour and working out at the gym three days a week. Actually I am not big on gym workouts because going over is a hassle (you need to change, get into your car and all that jazz). However, when I do, I focus on weight training, dumb–bells and leg stretches.
But walking is like bathing for me–I need to do it every single day for 1 1/2 hours. I have actually created a walking path inside my home. I plug in my iPod (and listen to up–tempo Hindi remixes) and walk single–mindedly. I ignore all distractions (phone calls, people talking) and focus on my walk.
I do yoga half an hour every day for maintaining the balance and flexibility of my body. Meditation and pranayam are also very important and I practise them daily.
Tell us about your daily diet?
I have tulsi leaves, cinnamon powder and ginger first thing in the morning, followed by celery and apple juice, a natural detoxifier. This is followed by regular tea with skimmed milk. I eat fruits in a way that negates the sugar (papaya with lemon, pear with rock salt, apple with cinnamon powder). For breakfast I have a porridge made out of Kellogs’ allbran cereal with skimmed milk and a sprinkling of kaala til and a teaspoon of alsi (flaxseeds). Lunch consists of two vegetables, a salad and a katori of dahi. Sometimes followed by chicken and/or fish (patrani machchi or grilled chicken). In the evening I have 5 almonds and one walnut and Rajgir ki chikki which is good for the bones along with regular tea.
At 7 o’clock I take Isabgol which is something I’d recommend to everybody as the key to good health. A good clean stomach is very important for a healthy system. Isabgol is recommended thrice a day after each meal but I take it once in the evening. I enjoy an evening soup (either broccoli, tomato or vegetable soup) and eat dinner at 8.30 or 9 which may be paneer made from skimmed milk or anything that is cooked in very little oil. No ghee or butter for me. And I avoid animal fat at all costs. Sometimes I eat fi sh or grilled chicken for dinner. If I’m hungry later in the night I have a besan chilla (a pancake made with chick–pea flour) which is rich in protein.
Nothing deep fried is made at home, no one likes it. No paayas or biryanis either. Of course, when we have guests we offer the normal Peshawari food but otherwise we use minimal oil to cook.