How do you pick your food while eating out?
I make it a point to eat at home before I leave. But if we go to a restaurant I may indulge once in a while. I mostly pick Oriental food (steamed fish and sushi). I prefer vegetarian food and love greens.
When abroad, I order a lean steak sometimes. In India, it’s a good idea to ask for tandoori chicken when eating out. But I would never eat run–of–the–mill party food. In fact, if you think about it, Indian food, chosen rightly can be really healthy with all the fresh veggies, seasoning (chaunk) and turmeric, which has terrific anti–ageing properties.
I avoid fatty, oily or fried stuff because it adds kilos and inches over a period of time. I never eat at weddings because that’s not the kind of food I want to eat. Ice creams, mithai and stuff like that are completely out for me. And I don’t even crave them. When we are at a party, my husband looks at my plate to see what I have taken and this perhaps makes him avoid bad food. I must say he also makes it a point to go to the gym regularly.
- 8.30 am
- Tulsi leaves mixed with some cinnamon + fresh ginger.
- Regular tea with skimmed milk.
- Papaya with a dash of lemon juice 10 a.m.
- A glass of celery (2 stalks) + 1/2 an apple juice.
- A bowl of Kellogs’ all bran porridge with skimmed milk + kala til + 1 spoon of flaxseeds with a few strawberries or cherries 11 am – 12.30 p.m.
- Exercise: mainly walking, breathing, yoga stretches, meditation 1.00 pm Lunch.
- Brown rice + veggies (cooked in little oil). Or 2 rotis made out of a mix made of 1 kg each of Nachni atta, Bajra atta, Besan atta, Bran. Curd, suran (elephant yam) tikkies with bhindi/gobi
- A power nap of 15–20 mins
- Tea with skimmed milk
- Walnuts, almonds and pine nuts
- Cups of green tea in between 7 p.m.
- A tomato/broccoli/spinach soup.
- Chicken/2 vegetables + paneer (home–made).
- A snack of besan chilla.
Any no–nos as far as food is concerned?
I avoid sugar, maida, white rice (refined foods) and make sure not to use too much salt. Even our rotis are made of a mix of jowar, bajra, millet, soya. We don’t eat dhuli hui daal but go for rajma, chana, lobia, these are good for roughage.
The secret of your glowing skin?
It comes from what goes into the system. You look good from the outside if you are healthy from within. If your blood circulation is good, your face glows. Any exercise that makes your skin sweat–swimming or dancing–is good for you. Drink enough water, but not too much, that puts pressure on your kidneys. The fluids in the body must come from fruits that make your complexion glow. I do not go for facials. Nor do I ever use oil in my hair. Given my healthy diet I don’t need to. I just wash my face, tone and moisturise. Also I use a scrub to clean my face sometimes. I use home–made packs like multani mitti, but these are less important than your food intake.
Yoga and meditation are great stress fighters. Exercise also helps by releasing good hormones. Apart from that my dogs are my big stress busters.
I bathe them, talk to them, play with them. Meditation is of great help. When you turn your mind inwards and away from the world, it works wonders! I do it every day.
Happiness seems so elusive. What makes you happy?
Look, I am happy (touch wood) because I know exactly what I want out of life. I have got it and I am contented. I started out as a child artiste and worked three shifts in the studios every day, without a break. Between the ages 13 and 21, I did over 52 movies. I had no childhood or youth. So when Rishi popped the question I decided to hang up my boots for good at 21. Nothing gave me more happiness (I even returned producers’ advances) because that was what I wanted. Many people ask me if I want to return to films. But this is my life and this makes me happy.
I focussed on my family and bringing up my children. And now, leading a healthy life gives me a lot of pleasure. Simple things like bathing my dogs, ironing clothes and oiling my kids’ hair give me pure happiness. I like to call people over for dinner and see the smile on their faces when they enjoy themselves.
I am great friends with my mum–in–law and sis–in law. Also, I have a close circle of friends who I go out with often. Just yesterday I was out on a ladies’ night. And then, my exercise is my meditation. When I walk in the morning I sing, dance and jump. My husband wonders if I have gone nuts, but I guess he lets me be as he can see the joy in me!