Monthly Archives: May 2012
Today kicks off my series of interviews of different sectors of the fitness scene: Nutritionists, experts, success stories and even professional competitors (if I am lucky to score an interview:)). And who better to kick off the series with but my personal favorite and MY success story: Rashi Chowdhary.
Rashi and I first met over email in October of 2008. I had done ample of research on nutritionists and diets in India and came across Rujuta, At the time, Rashi worked for Rujuta, and I received my first few emails on behalf of Rujuta from her. After that, I worked with Rujuta until 2009. IN 2009, i took a break and in October, Rashi sent me a message (I think an accident but I call it fate!) saying hi. I then found out she had married…and moved to Dubai and become independent. And I have to say..since then, it has been quite a journey. I have gone through MANY ups and downs with her. I won’t say it’s always been progress. There were times when I was so stressed personally, that nothing we did helped…but she stuck with me..and I with her..and today, I am making progress like ANYTHING! I am so content and fulfilled and healthy! Trust me, she is worth every penny!
Today, i would like the world to know more about Rashi and her philosophies…and how she got to where she is….and psst….small secret! She has worked with some celebs in Bollywood too! 🙂 So..read on folks…and use Rashi to lose those inches……
Rashi Chowdhary Nutrition And Inch Loss Expert is based out of Dubai, UAE.
She has clients all over the world and pretty much communicates via phone, email, Skype and any other form of e-communication every where you can imagine. Check out her websites at the bottom of the post:
1. What prompted you to join this profession and how did you get to where you are?
Well, to be very honest while I was graduating, most people did not even know what dietetics was. A nutritionist was looked upon as someone who tells you do’s and dont’s in black and white. Like No fried, no sweets, low cal, low fat, eat more veges and fruits etc etc. People did not really feel the need to hire one unless they had some health concerns. It’s only recently that everyone has become aware of how food can have a big impact on just your weight but also the way you look and feel. So back in the days while I was studying, the main purpose for me to take this up was to literally take care of my family and myself in the future. I was always scared of being a unhealthy fat slob because for the longest time I believed that fat genes run in my Punjabi family and now I realize how wrong i was :).Well,the good thing is that fear pushed me to study nutrition for 5 long years!! Thankfully, by the time I graduated, people had become more conscious about what they put into their system and how it affects them. Sadly, quick fixes were the only solutions then. Give up carbs completely, keep off sugar and cook with no oil was all that was available. So that’s when I decided to fill that void and start a “no gimmick,low fuss lifestyle plan” My diet plans have evolved over the years but the crux of it has remained the same-A quick fix is never a good fix!
2. Tell us about your fitness/nutrition philosophy
In my opinion the simpler your fitness/nutrition plan the more you will connect with it at every level. Most often we try and do things so drastically different that we can never keep up. It’s important that your plan fits into your lifestyle so beautifully that it does not really feel like a diet that you keep going “on and off”.
3. Not many people know you worked closely with Rujuta Diwekar during Kareena Kapoors miracle size zero transformation. How was this experience? Had you worked with other celebrity clients before?
It was an amazing experience. I learned so much from Rujuta! Working with Rujuta gave me an opportunity to work with most of her celeb clients as well. It’s amazing how much time and effort celebrities put into taking care of themselves. And from what I know through Rujuta, Kareena was extremely compliant with her meals and her fitness regime. No matter where she was on the planet she wouldn’t miss a day of working out and eating right.
4. In your opinion, what made Kareena get to 48 kg? How did her meal plan change during the course of time to lose so much weight?
Consistent efforts and taking full responsibility of what she ate, her meal timings and regular workouts got her to a size zero! Her meal plans changed according to her travelling schedule. We believe in eating local produce since the nutritional profile of food that is locally grown and cooked is much higher, the nutrients are highly bio available. So in Italy she would have freshly cooked pasta and risotto, seasonal fruits were encouraged and in leh she would savor momos.
5. Give us a sample “Tashan” Kareena meal plan
For that you’ve got t o read “Don’t lose your mind,Lose your weight!”. And not just read but start applying the basics to your life. Its amazing how simple principles like waking up to a fruit and eating every few hours can have a dramatic effect on your health and well being. It does come with its share of inconvenience at first but once your body gets use to the pattern of grazing all day long, its difficult to get back to the old habit of starving for long and then stuffing yourself like there is no tomorrow.
6. How do the meal plans change for people who want to gain weight after losing so much weight (like Kareena Kapoor has lost and then re gained weight again)
I worked with Rujuta until November 2008, if I remember correctly. So I wasn’t around when Kareena started her weight gain plans.
But when you want to gain back some weight after losing, its important that you go slow. Most people get back to eating refined flour, sugar and a whole lot of trans fat. This always leads to fat gain in the wrong places and you gain back the weight in places you least want it. You’ve got to stick to the basic rules of eating every few hours, eating food close to its natural original form and hydrating well, but the main focus here should be weight gain in the form of muscle. So resistance training, calisthenics and plyometric is what you should be focusing on. Your post work out meal becomes extremely essential here. Make sure you get some good quality protein right after your work out. The consumption of unsaturated fat from unsalted nuts, avocado, seeds and olives should increase. You could also consider having coconut, cheese, soy beans etc as mid meals and up the consumption of whole grains to make sure you don’t gain fat the unhealthy way.
7. Is there any miracle to losing flab instantly? Detox?
In my opinion, Fad diets/detox plans are a complete waste of time, energy and muscle. Fad diets make you lose too much weight too fast. There is no bravery in following a fad and losing say for eg:10 kgs in 2 weeks! Most often the weight you have lost is mainly muscle and water. That is exactly what you lose when you fall sick. So fad diets are a way of self-induced sickness.
Most often, the fad diet is so far away from what your “normal” lifestyle is that when you give it up-you always gain back the weight in no time. So you are back to square 1 but this time you have a slower metabolism and lesser motivation to take charge of your life and more fat to knock off! Downright foolish if you ask me.
8. What is Rashi’s fitness mantra? What is YOUR meal plan and fitness regime?
Well, the main focus of my fitness regime now is on gaining muscle mass. My personal trainer, Boyet is absolutely brilliant and knows exactly how to push me and most importantly when to stop!:)He trains me with a wide variety of exercises, it’s a great mix of resistance and plyometrics.I hit the gym 3-4 times a week, no more than 45 minutes per session. But my fitness regime is incomplete without a proper pre and post work out meal. A peanut butter sandwich 1 hour before work out and 2 hard boiled eggs or protein shake taken along with a fast carb immediately after work out, really help me with burning my fat and feeding my muscles!
9. Any other advice to people wanting to get fit and stay fit?
My top 3 favorite tips that really work are:
–Rate your plate: Make sure that most of the food you eat is close to its natural original form. So pick a whole fruit and not the juice. Snack on whole wheat seeded bread and not refined white bread which is stripped of all its nutrients and have full fat milk/yoghurt in stead of bingeing on that fat free ice-cream.
–Hydrate: Have 3 lts of water every single day to make sure you cleanse your body of all toxins and help your liver metabolize fat efficiently.
–Wake up to a fruit and not caffeine: Caffeine puts your body in the starvation mode since it is an appetite suppressant. wake up to a fruit to keep your sugar levels stable all day and keep those massive cravings away. Have your cup of java 20 mins after the fruit.
Sorry for the delay in this series…..but what better day than mothers day to end the “dedicated to women’s lives” series of posts. So far, the last 2 posts of discussed marriage, motherhood/pregnancy, thyroid, PCOS. This post will conclude some of the common life changes or issues women go through the course of their lives.
5. Diabetes: Rujuta’s book explains that while the common person thinks of diabetes simply as “high blood sugar”, the REAL cause of diabetes is “starving cells”.The cells are not getting the proper nutrients the insulin is supposed to deliver to them. A big part of the solution to this are the following 4 principles:
–Do NOT skip carbs for dinner since the body would need them in this condition. DO, however, replace carbs with the wholesome kind : Rice, jowar, wheat, barely, etc.
— Eat every 2-2.5 hours to avoid the dip in blood sugar
–Eat foods rich in Selenium, Zinc, Chromium or take as supplements
–Eat adequate amount of protein and complete meals such as Kichidi+kadhi+ghee OR roti+sabzi+curd OR rice+daal+sabzi
Also include in a complete workout that adds in cardio+weight training and forward bending yoga asanas. Include as much rest and sleep into your schedule as you can. A complete 7-9 hours is a MUST. A sample diet plan would look like:
Meal 1: Fresh seasonal fruit (best way to stabilize blood sugar levels on rising. Make sure to do this within 10 min of rising)
Meal 2: Museli+ Milk or Oats+Milk
Meal 3: Handful Peanuts
Meal 4: Paneer roti wrap with veggies
Meal 5: bowl of yogurt
Meal 6: Cheese sandwich
Meal 7: Soy Milk
Meal 8: Roti+Sabzi+daal
6. Menopause: Last but not least, the dreaded “change” a women goes through in her late years. This is the time when how you have taken care of your body over the last 10-15 years will start to show. If you have been feeding the body proper nutrition, working out and taking the right supplements, the body will be able to transition much easier. This helps in taking responsibility of you, yourself and your body both physically AND mentally. Even the most gentle, caring women will start feeling angry and irritable around this time. The body may want different types of food during this time, things that were appetizing before may no longer be. Instead of eating 1 roti, your body may ask for 2 or more rotis. The following are some healthy strategies to start abiding by if you are close to or are already going through menopause:
— Ensure the protein intake has gone up as the body will need more protein during this time
–Add in extra calcium as the Calcium requirement goes up. Add in Calcium Citrate at bedtime.
–Take antioxidants with Omega 3, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium
–Abide by all rules in part 2 of thyroid functions as this will be affected as well.
— excercise such as swimming, water exercise classes, walking, trekking are great
— Sleep Sleep Sleep!
As we conclude this women’s series, I would like to note: if you carefully read through each section, you start noticing that the primary guidelines for each health issue or milestone in a women’s life uses the same general principles. It is how you handle and nourish your body that matters. Keeping your self mentally fit as well as physically fit is very important. After all….it’s tough to be a girl!