Interview: Rashi Chowdhary: From Kareena Kapoor to The Protein Bake Shop to Size Fit!
Rashi Chowdhary started out as an assistant to Rujuta Diwekar and helped whilst Kareena Kapoor was creating her size zero bikini body for the 2008 Bollywood scorcher Tashan. After moving from Mumbai to Dubai and starting her own nutrition business, she thrived both professionally and personally, also helping me remain fit along the way!
She did an interview for my blog in May 2012. 2 years later, Rashi Chowdhary, is not just any nutritionist. She is also the owner and creator of a new Dubai based healthy Bake shop called The Protein Bake Shop, a spectacular restaurant that offers healthy desserts and other fun indulgences, guilt free! Not only has she been busy with her two businesses, she also had the time to get washboard abs like never before. How does this super fit, super hot super woman do it all? Read below to find out how how Rashi, my friend and inspiration, went from Kareena Kapoor to the Protein Bake Shop to her own size fit!
(For those of you interested in her indulgences, there is information at the bottom of checking out how to order from the Protein Bake Shop!):
Tell us about the inception of the protein Bake shop and what health value it has added to frequent visitors?
Protein Bake Shop is not just a healthier version of your favorite desert. When you look closely at the nutrition label and ingredients, you’ll see how it’s a healthy snacking option for anyone trying to lose weight/ get fit/ fighting with allergies and intolerance and gain muscle mass. Anyone battling with sugar addictions and wanting to make improvements in their eating habits will benefit from switching to wholesome baking with natural sugars at the protein Bake shop. Also, people with metabolic syndrome like Type 2 diabetes, pcod, Insulin resistance etc, can turn to the baked stuff from the Protein power range, since the total carbs are kept under 10 grams, plus whey protein isolate is used to improve the protein to carb ratio.
I’ve been practicing as a nutritionist since over 7 years now, and the amount of misinformation that exists in people’s mind about nutrition has always made me want to do something about it. People need to go beyond concepts like calorie counting, truly understand the effect of whole wheat, low fat dairy on their body and how it might not be the best option. Also, the misconception that fat is bad for you and your cholesterol and gives you heart attacks! In, my opinion, all these nutritional beliefs come in the way of us leading healthier life’s. The concept of Protein Bake Shop is based on new age nutritional science where nutrients matter more than calories, fat is good for you, refined sugar is an absolute NO and ingredients like wheat and dairy are not what marketing gimmicks make them seem like. The quality and processing methods of these ingredients are compromised heavily which makes them nutritionally very different compared to what they use to be decades ago.
How do you come up with the recipes sold at the PBS? What should the ingredients have that makes it PBS worthy?
I am not a Baker and that’s not my passion either. My passion is to create nutritionally perfect recipes. So I give my bakers the ingredients I want to use and most importantly the amount I want to use it in. Based on that these recipes have been created. Talking about developing recipes, I can’t help but brag about the one recipe I did create which is our best seller! “ The chocolate stacks” It took me 3 minutes over a phone conversation to come up with it. Since the ingredients are so simple! It’s fun to get lucky like this J
The ingredients need to be really simple, really clean. No wheat/ dairy/ refined sugar and absolutely no nasties just to improve shelf life etc.
How can people internationally order from your store? Is there anything like the PBS in the USA or Europe? How do we incorporate these items sold at PBS into our daily diets?
We’re now available in Dubai and Mumbai. We’v worked out a way to deliver in other bigger cities in India too. And we will start accepting orders by the end of this month. So I’m sure we’r not far away from reaching International markets.
So you are seriously looking fabulous and really fitter than ever of late. You did a 66 challenge to get there? Can you explicitly tell us what this 66 challange was and what your weekly routine of workouts looked like (including cardio and what and how.much?). Did you ever split up into twice daily?
Great things happen when you are open to criticism and surround yourself with people who inspire you! That’s what I learnt from the 66 Challenge. I was always into fitness and was doing cross fit for over a year now. But being part of a challenge that has a deadline was very new to me. A client of mine, Saad Umerani, who owns Valustrat, which is a consulting firm that specializes in strategy and valuation services. So I get a whole lot of great business advice and motivation for PBS too J So anyway, he got together with his friends and guys at the gym and started this 66 challenge, where they decided to get a 6 pack within 6 months. We all started out with decent fitness scores to begin with so it wasn’t unreal. He won this thing and I lost but considering he’s my client, it’s not a terrible thing!
I joined in much later so I had about 3 months to get there, which was obviously not possible but it was extremely motivating and exciting to compete.
I was working out 4-5 times a week doing cross fit movements and WOD’s. Not a single workout was over an hour. With my work schedule and stress levels, I would just be losing muscle and the high levels of cortisol would never allow me to burn fat around my waist. Once a week was fasted state cardio. This really seems to be a thing that works for my body. In 3 months I saw myself jump from 30 kgs to 45kgs on a front squat, jump from 20 kgs to 28kgs on a bench press and 58.5 kgs to 72 kgs on a deadlift. And NO I have not bulked up. Most Indian women have this misconception of bulking up if they lift. It only makes us stronger mentally and physically. My body has never been this toned and firm before. The feeling is phenomenal!
April 2014 picture (“Before)
June 2014 (After 66 challenge)
What did you weekly workout schedule look like?
1) 3 RM – Deadlift: 67.5 kgs
2) 10×30 seconds: 5 deadlifts @47.5 kgs
3) 8 mins AMRAP:
7 over head squats
14 Push ups
4) 30x back squat @ 20 kgs
30x Thrusters @20 kg
1) 6×6 bench press @ 22.5 kg
2) 6×6 walking lunges @40 kg
3) 5 rounds every minute:
40 skips, 3 clean and jerks at 35 kg, 8 burpees
1) Back squat 6 x 4@ 40 kgs
2) For time:
30 kcal row
30 box jumps over 13”
30 Dead lifts at 35 kg
30 wall ball
15 Assisted dips
30 Deadlifts at 35 kg
30 box jumps over 13”
30 kcal row
1) 10 RM front squat: 35 kg
10 RM deadlift 60 kg
2) 1 RM clean and jerk 35 kg
3) 3 rounds : 1 round every 5 mins
75 skips, 21 Kettle bell sings @ 20 kg, 12 Burpees
Day 6: Fasted state interval cardio early morning: 40 mins on empty stomach (12
Day 7: REST DAY
What about diet chart? Fill out the below chart of what YOU ate to get you that fit
Meal 1: 7:00 am 1 tbsp of butter + black coffee
Meal 2: 9:00 am 3 whole eggs cooked with veges
Meal 3: 11:30 am sweet potato cooked in ghee + 12 Almonds
Meal 4: 2:00 pm 4-5 chicken legs + veges
Meal 5: 1-2 Almond cookies or Chocolate stacks from The protein Bake shop
Meal 6: Post workout: 1 scoop of protein shake
Meal 7: Beef or fish + veges or 2-3 Paleo pizzas with a chicken salad
How often and what do you “cheat” meal with?
I Have access to Protein Bake shop. So I really don’t feel the need to cheat anymore. With snack options that cur your cravings so well and are so perfectly balanced nutritionally, cheat meals are really a thing of the past for me. Chocolate cake, dark chocolate, peanut butter cake, cookie and even pizza is no more a cheat meal for me.
How do you get in your workouts, eat right, and run two businesses (PBS and your nutrition business)? What is your routine and secret?
Honestly, I eat, sleep, dream, breathe, talk, walk Nutrition. It’s my only thing you know! When you have so much passion and so much love for what you do, work never seems monotonous, you are never tired to do more, think more, work more. I guess that’s what does it for me.
Your trainer seems amazing. What kind of workouts does he do with you to keep you on your toes? Cross fit or boxing? Anything special that has helped your body more than something else?
My trainer Martin Ruski is the best thing that happened to my career. The first time I trained with him, I just did not want to go back. I felt it was just too tough. But I guess I knew if I didn’t go back, I would just stay where I was. He has to a great extent changed the way I think about Fitness. It’s not about getting the abs or the flat stomach, it should always be about how fast you want to run and how heavy you want to lift and how badly you want to break your own personal best! With any sort of workout, it’s about consistency.
What about portions? Some people just feel hungry all the time. What is the cause of this and how can it be managed? (I hear this from many women quite a bit).
Being hungry all the time could mean a lot of things. Emotionally, you could be going through a lot of stress or are just bored and don’t have too much exciting stuff to do all day. If you don’t have a fixed sleep and wake up cycle and don’t sleep very well all night, your appetite will be larger the next day. If you are insulin resistant, chances are you will be hungry soon after you finish a carb rich meal. Lastly, from a nutritional standpoint, if you do not eat enough fat and protein in each meal, you will always be hungry for more. Once you know the reason, get straight into finding the right solution and get started with eating clean. You’ll never regret this decision.
Tell me what your next goal is? (Cuz you know there is going to be a follow up interview!)
To take The protein bake shop to unimaginable heights, making it accessible to practically everyone trying to eat clean, get fits, lose weight and stay healthy!
Posted on June 22, 2014, in Interviews with celebrities and fitness professionals and tagged 6 pack abs, 66 challenge, Dubai Nutrition, Indian Fitness, Kareena Kapoor, Paleo Clean Eats, Protein Bake Shop, rashi chowdhary, Size Zero. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.