Category Archives: Interviews with celebrities and fitness professionals

Tripti Gupta Interview Part 2: Tripti talks about Kangana Ranaut, macros and how to eat for Thyroid, Diabetes, PCOD

5. What do you suggest in terms of macros for foods for people not on a regimented diet but want to eat healthy? What should we be looking for in terms of:

a) Total Daily macros

Total daily macros should comprise of up to 75% good quality carbs which could be in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, legumes and high fiber cereals.

b) Nutritional Content

One must stay away from artificial colors, preservative agents and foods high in trans fats. When we check the nutritional composition of any food, the fiber content in that meal plays the utmost importance.  It’s the quality here which matters more than the item or quantity. For example,  good quality fats such as olive oil or rice bran oil is better than a small fraction of fat Similarly, more of carbs in a particular food item in the form of jowar (Indian flour to make rotis) is better than less of carbs but in the form of maida (Another flour). Protein again plays a vital role whether it is healthy trans fat free protein such as chicken, eggs or is it sausages, salami and cold cuts which are rich in trans fats.

c) Protein vs Fat vs Carbs?

15% protein vs 10% fats vs 75% carbs is the best combination for person with ideal body weight. It is also essential to ensure each of these are trans fat free and wholesome fresh meals… which is the need of a healthy, active body. Choose Grade A proteins such as dairy, egg whites, fish over pulses & legumes. Choose desi ghee, olive / rice bran /ground nut oil over vanaspati, butter, margarine and processed fats. Choose high fiber whole grains such as oats, jowar, wheat and brown rice over white rice, maida and starchy cereals.

6.You worked with Kangana Ranaut to help her get into her character as a top supermodel in the movie “Fashion”. Talk in detail to us about the transformation she had to go through and what exact diets and exercise she followed to get that look? Were there any roadblocks?

Kangna was already waif thin when she met me for Fashion. But most people are not aware that for a thin person to lose weight is as difficult or even more difficult  than having an overweight person to lose weight. Getting a slim waistline to a flab free, chiseled one was in itself a challenge.  Our aim was to get the chiseled flat abs of a supermodel as well as flawless skin. In fact, it was with Kangana that the journey of “Eating Right for not only a fabulous body but also flawless skin” began for me. Getting the coffee & chocolate loving Kangana to eat fruits, fresh veggie juices and green tea was a challenge. We worked on a diet together which would help her shed inches, achieve flawless skin and keep her energy levels high and the beautiful actress did a great job. She was determined and always wanted to carry a body of international standards. Working with Kangana was a delight, her loving, child like warmth, down to earth attitude and devoted hard work is simply amazing. Even today in Bollywood, she is one of the very few Bollywood actresses who stands out on any international platform for her work & performance as well as a fabulous body. I would still call “Fashion” as the movie where she had the best body and skin she ever carried in any film.

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Kangana Ranaut looking like a super model for her role in Fashion

 

7. There are a ton of supplements and “weight loss” aids out there such as Raspberry Ketone. Do these help in weight loss or metabolism boosting or are they complete myths? What supplements do you recommend and what do they do to contribute to weight loss? What about green tea?

 

Anything that cannot be sustained lifelong is temporary. Ketone diets were originally created for Epileptic patients to meet their medical needs and limitations in food. Using these tools for a normal, healthy individual is not advisable, in fact one should feel truly blessed of possessing a completely healthy body and not abuse it. Instead nurture it, take care of it and don’t do anything to spoil it. The only supplements that support weight loss are exercise and rest. I would call these your lifelong supplements of health. Food and water has to be supported with rest and activity for life to enjoy a healthy, happy and fit body.

Green Tea is great substitute to other hot beverages. Lower in calories & caffeine, high on antioxidants and a natural diuretic, green tea also acts as a  digestive drink and promotes weight loss when consumed regularly instead of milk tea.

 

8. What foods should people with each of these common health issues use to naturally cure these issues:

 

a) Thyroid issue:

Weight management meals, Fat soluble Vitamins such as Vitamin A D,E,K rich foods to ensure healthy hormones and a Omega 3 rich diet. One must stay away from foods containing goitrogens such as raw cabbage, cauliflower, soyabean, broccoli, etc.

 

b) Diabetes:

Fenugreek seeds, Green tea, Dark green vegetable juices, low glycemic index foods, small portions sizes, high fiber meals, Omega 3 rich foods and Weight management meals

 

c) High Cholesterol:

Onion juice, garlic, Omega3 rich nuts such as Flaxseeds, Chiaseeds, deep sea fish, high fiber foods, fenugreek seeds, ensuring balance of fat soluble vitamins, green  & white tea.

 

d) PCOD:

Weight management is the common factor here, consuming low fat, high fibre, omega 3 rich foods combined with an active lifestyle can be the best cure for the above issues naturally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. In the celebrities you worked with or the beauty pageant contestants, have you encountered a situation where you thought “this is going to be a challenge” and got the desired results and how?

 

There have been many challenges in dealing with public figures, supermodels and Beauty Pageant contestants. One such challenge I recently faced with a Femina Miss India 2016 finalist was being under weight. She, being extremely tall for an Indian model with a height of 6.1ft., had lost a tremendous amount of weight which resulted in getting a highly disproportionate figure despite of having all the other promising qualities. As a judge for the Miss Perfect Body sub contest, we noticed this. Her body became her drawback and hence she lost her opportunity of reaching the top. It was a challenge to get her to eat the right proportion of carbs, protein and fat such that she would only gain healthy muscle weight proportioning out her body We worked on her diet and eating patterns in such a way that her body has regained the right balance of proportion with strength, health and glowing skin. Under my consultation and guidance she has achieved her dream body and will be again contesting the coming year.

 

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Tripti educating the Miss India contestants

 

10. We know celebrities work hard on their bodies and workout 2-3 hours a day and eat a very strict diet. How does one get the enviable Katrina Kaif abs in terms of diet and exercise? Please advise!

The key word is here is DISCIPLINE and not overly strict. One can never achieve the perfect body or perfect abs without their perfect plan. A good body is a plan which has to be created, followed and then maintained with will power, determination and a lot of effort. One need not be strict, but one should not get bored and complacent with the ideal plan which is the real challenge. A whole lot of celebrities go carb free, but that’s not always the requirement. One needs to plan their eating techniques well backed up with the right exercise to manage an overall daily total caloric intake.

Loading on fresh vegetables and running are the most successful tools in beginning your journey towards the impeccable Katrina Kaif Abs 😉

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Kangana’s perfect supermodel body in the movie Fashion which won her a National Award.

There you have it folks…Tripit Gupta has told us exactly how to look at food, plan our perfect diets and told us how to get those perfect abs! Tripti’s contact info is below….I would strongly advise you to work with her if you are looking for the right plan to help get you back on track or look good for an event….Call Tripti and her team!

Tripti Gupta Contact info:

Andheri | Bandra | Chowpatty | Online

Website: www.ipink.in

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/TriptiGuptaiPinkTheColorofHealth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tripti_Gupta_

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ipink_by_triptigupta/

Call: + 91 7498841414 | 9967978589

 

The official dietician for The Femina Miss India Pageant Tripti Gupta talks about her journey, macros and how to stay fit after 40! (Part 1 of 2)

I found Tripti Gupta and her team very causally looking to get to the mode of doing interviews for my blog a few months back. However, at the time, I had also come to a realization that my blood reports for triglycerides were very high and I needed to make a change in my life. As I read through Tripti and her team’s accomplishments and subsequently talked to a dietician on her team, Monica, I realized that I could use this myself to get myself motivated and on track. So my blog interview took a backseat and I started to get Tripti and her team to monitor me weekly. Compared to other dieticians, her price was very reasonable and what I loved was that she followed up herself every few days with me to see my progress and Moncia would whatsapp message me if she did not hear from me every other day to see how my progress was going. Just that helped me stay on track because I knew I would report to someone. For the first time in 3 years, I got back to a weight 10 lbs lower than what I was. Just what my doctor had ordered me to do. And the best thing is, i never ever felt like I was starving! And Tripti graciously said she would do an interview for my blog. So meet the magician herself in a very very frank interview on her journey of how she started and how she coaches the Miss India contestants to look their best for the big day! (Part 2 talks about how she coached Bollywood superstar Kangana Ranaut to look like a supermodel for the national award winning movie “Fashion”).

 Tripti Gupta:

  1. Talk about your background and what motivated you to get into this profession and adopt the theories you promote for a healthy lifestyle?

 

I was born underweight, but as long as I remember, I was an overweight child most of my early years of life. Not being able to wear shorts and tees like my friends, getting teased for being fat and finding it difficult to fit into teenaged clothes became a routine battle and lowered my self confidence drastically which eventually made me into a very shy girl who didn’t want to be in the limelight. I wanted to hide or at least not be noticed. I didn’t know what body shaming was then but yes, I was teased and I was conscious…very conscious. I had accepted that I was fat and would envy those who were slim. Of course the same question, like any other young girl, would come to my mind of “why am I Fat and she thin?”

However, suddenly, things changed for me in 8th grade, just the year when a teenager gets conscious, I lost weight and tons of weight…… yes, I shrunk. I did nothing to lose it, nor did I suddenly drop baby fat. I developed Typhoid! Now that’s the most unhealthy weight loss in the form of muscle loss we know but at that point of time for a fat 12 yr old, it was a dream come true and I totally loved  Typhoid! The new body I discovered, the way my clothes now looked on me & the compliments I received unfolded a new me. I was suddenly more confident, happier & I knew by now that I never wanna grow fat again. However, as destiny would have it, I did regain the weight once again, this time gradually but by the time I reached my 10th Grade I was fat again. I knew after my board exams this weight loss would be my sole mission. After all no teenager wants to begin college looking fat.

 

Soon after my 10th exams I started walking. Residing next to the beautiful Gateway Of India, I would walk down to Cuffe Parade and Colaba Woods a good distance, I would take 10 brisk rounds and walk back. To add further I also joined the then very popular Rama Bans Aerobics Classes to lose weight. I overdid the exercise & ate almost nothing. I could soon see the body shrinking, the inches were shedding but so was my hair. Age was on my side so whatever little I would eat / not eat / starve or even occasionally binge seemed to work. There were bouts of weakness, low immunity and constipation setting in. I would guzzle liters of water and eat nothing the whole day, then end up with a pack of farsan (indian snacks) / chips and a whole lot of crap gladly thinking I could afford to eat what I like since I hadn’t eaten anything the whole day.  My issues became worse and by now I started feeling thin & OLD. It was a new me with a slimmer body but no strength. I knew something was terrible but didn’t know what?? This was the only way to get slim is what I believed.

 

It was now that time post boards that we were hunting for admissions and I applied for colleges at  Jaihind , HR , Xaviers , KC and was extremely excited to a college life coming up like any teenage girl until my Father decided to take me to the College of Home Science Nirmala Niketan. It sounded like an institute with only cooking & stitching and I didn’t want to do simply cooking… I wanted to be working girl, maybe an Air hostess or even a model. However, the real light my Father showed me was in the difference of Subjects Nirmala Niketan offered as opposed to the Arts Commerce & Science of other Colleges. This surely had a great combination and the specializations looked very impressive. The subject of Nutrition took my attention and I thought inside maybe this is my calling so what if it’s a Girls College of Home Science, the syllabus looks great.

 

My journey to the world of Nutrition began here which gradually evolved into passion. At a time when nobody knew what a Dietician is to even choose to specialize in this subject for an ambitious young girl was daring, but the passion of learning was stronger. I entirely credit my Father for where and what I am today. I am so glad Dad that I listened and chose to go by your wise advice.

Theories for Healthy Lifestyle-

I have no fancy theories and names… In dealing with my clients to help achieve their health goals I simply believed in one thing “Feed Your Need & Listen to Your Body”  All the rest is bookish and irrelevant. We all know that protein is good but if one gets bloated, gains weight or develops uneasiness then that is not the best diet for him. There have been so many of my clients including Indian politician & singer Babul Supriyo who was completely on a protein diet. Babul would eat only protein and workout extensively but his weight had plateaued. When I met him and analyzed his body type I prescribed him to eat Roti. At this, he first raised his eyebrows, “Are you sure you me to eat a carb??” he reacted. But his fat loss at that time was unbelievable & he got his best results with carbs rather than protein then.

 

The fact is, one healthy lifestyle may not be the same for all. We have to find what our body is happiest with, so my simple principle of working around any person’s diet plan is understanding & analyzing their current lifestyle, identifying their goal and simply making the corrections as per their body type & needs. Life is simple and so should be your food. Some Say Go Vegan, others say Go Veg while so many Fitness Professionals make Vegetarians turn to only Meat. So many theories to confuse us but the intelligent truth is…Eat what suits you and shows you results. If this kind of food makes me feel great, look great, I have fantastic medical & body composition reports then that is truly your Healthy Diet Plan, the rest has no meaning. After all we are all in search of just one kind of body and that is a “Happy Body”

Besides, let me warn you there are no shortcuts. No matter where science advances decades from today…. No pills, surgery, treatments and supplements can make you lose weight and keep it off forever without your natural diet & exercise simply because we all reside in a natural human body and not a machine or a piece of metal. Our body responds to everything, eating more, eat less, eating consistently or eating constantly. My motto is : “You are & will always be what you Eat”

  1. How and when did you become the official dietician for the Femina Miss India Contestants?

I was approached by The Times Group in 2014 to educate the young pageant contestants on the importance of eating right. These were young college going girls and having battled weight as a teenager myself, I truly thought I would be able to help them out with their eating pattern. However, there was one thing different I observed with the newer generation now. Most girls today suffer from too many skin ailments- acne, pigmentation, uneven skin tone, melisma which I realized are stemming from poor nutrition and also leading to hormonal imbalance. Hence, I customized a training program on Nutrition for Health & Beauty for these young contestants.  A combination to eat right for great energy, flat abs, workout along with clear glowing skin, strong hair & nails through natural Nutrition which remains the need of every supermodel today. We had excellent results with our training sessions and ever since I have been an integral part of The Times Group training. I am glad to have gotten this opportunity of being the Official Nutrition Expert for Times since 2014 to Femina Miss India 2016.

 

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Tripti with the 2016 Miss India finalists

  1. Tell us details on what you prescribe them in terms of diet and exercise to be fit and lose weight for the big day?
  • Eating small frequent meals through the day
  • Excellent electrolyte balance is the most essential technique for supermodels and pageants.
  • Most of these girls really suffer from low blood pressure, dropping sugars, dizzy spells and irregular bowels due to dehydration hence hydration becomes another important criteria
  • Pre & post workout meals again form an essential part of their routine, giving them the right guidance for ensuring there is no muscle loss and more fat loss is again extremely essential
  • Suggesting antioxidant rich diets for glowing skin
  • Frequent snacking options when they are in between shoots, ramp walks, performances or travelling in the car
  • Late night binge options.

 

  1. Many readers in this blog are women approaching 40 or post 40 and have difficulties in losing weight no matter how much they workout. Tell us how the body changes and how to beat this plateau at this age and be able to see results?

 

As we age, it seems its more and more difficult for the needle on the scale to budge. We may restrict our diet, follow portion control, cut out desserts altogether, exercise and still the clothes don’t fit like we would wish them to. The metabolism, hormones, digestion and other bodily functions undergo a series of changes as we get near our 40s. Instead of fighting it we need to work around the issue. One of the most common factor and primary reason why woman over 40 can’t lose weight is because they have allowed their metabolism to slow down by not eating right and working out regularly in their 30s. In addition, estrogen levels begin to drop post 40 which is a huge reason for the body to lose more muscle and get weaker as a result.

 

Today crossing 35yrs itself is an alarm for one to start keeping a vigilant watch on your body. Get your medical reports done every 6 months. Check for your B12, D3 and Ferritin levels (which is a hormone of iron and it’s deficiency causes fatigue, low energy levels, excessive hair fall and increase to your weight). Surprisingly, this is not the same a hemoglobin hence a separate test for a 40+ is essential. Slow metabolism can further put you in the vicious cycle of gaining flab easily, bloating, water retention and in many cases become a hormonal imbalance. Remember! Our hormones are fat soluble hence the more fat we retain the more risk we endanger.  Keeping weight and blood reports in check is the only way to keep your body fit & young, stay alert n active and look fab.

 

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 where we talk about macros, training Kangana Ranaut and how to eat through many common diseases lke thyroid, PCOS, and diabetes.

Tripti Gupta Contact info:

Andheri | Bandra | Chowpatty | Online

Website: www.ipink.in

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/TriptiGuptaiPinkTheColorofHealth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tripti_Gupta_

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ipink_by_triptigupta/

Call: + 91 7498841414 | 9967978589

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrity Trainer Yasmin Karachiwala: Bollywood’s most sought after trainer

I doubt I can make an introduction to this extremely inspiring, strong and beautiful lady who changed my own life when I trained with her that would can come close to the person she is. She is fit, strong minded, extremely down to earth and one of the purest souls I have encountered. She trains the who’s who of Bollywood’s leading ladies and is the master behind the fittest of them all including: Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Imraan Khan to name just a few. How does she do it? What makes her THE fitness trainer in Mumbai today? Read more to find out!

1. You were the leader in bringing Pilates to India. Where and how did you see that need and how did you execute on that and create the interest? Can you have a fitness regime with Pilates ONLY and not need to weight train?

In about 2007 I had been a personal trainer for a bit and I had my own studio and I was looking for something new and different to bring to India. I found that most women, in India, struggled with their midriffs. Though I used to try different kind of abs workouts and try to mix them up, controlled food, I found that nothing really worked on their abs the way I wanted it to.
I started researching what would help and I came across Pilates. I researched some more and decided to go to the US and get trained in Pilates and that’s how I got Pilates here. You can have a fitness regime with Pilates and substitute it with weight training because, as you know, Pilates is resistance training and we use spring resistance which overloads the muscle and hence you do get benefits of weight training. But if you are trying to look muscular and build big muscles and you are trying to get a particular kind of buffed up look then of course you need to weights and Pilates ain’t going to get you there.

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Yasmin doing Pilates

2. What is the biggest difference in training a man and training a woman and the challenges for each?

Obviously men and women have different goals and reasons why they want to work out. Keeping that in mind, you design a training plan for either. There are no challenges really for me as a trainer because knowing a person’s body makes me decide what kind of a workout they need to do and schedule it accordingly. The challenges if you are asking for men and women are very individualistic because if I have big hips and that’s my problem area and if you have problem weight on your upper back that is your challenge and your workout needs to be designed around that.

3. Katrina, Deepika, Alia, Kareena, Sonakshi all have different body types. How do you differentiate between their individual workouts and how their minds and bodies react? (i.e. Deepika seems naturally thin and lanky unlike the others who have struggled with weight in the past)
I think for me after being in the fitness industry for about 23 years, I can figure it out by working with someone. So obviously when someone walks into my gym, there is no magic intuition that I have or ability that I have that I can just look at them when I walk in and decide what they should do. Having said that, once I start working with them and seeing how their bodies react to different workouts, then definitely I can manage to differentiate between their bodies and decide which workout works well with each.
Like for Deepika, you mentioned she is slim and lanky but a normal person would think weight training would work best. But with Deepika, Pilates works wonders. It gives her cuts on her arms and her legs and it just suits her. Where with Katrina, functional training works the best. So each body type is very different and the workout is designed for them.

Deepika Padukone Pilates training with Yasmin

Deepika Padukone Pilates training with Yasmin

4. Tell me a success of a celebrity who has been out of shape and came to you and how they became fit(or fitter)?

I don’t like to specifically name any one person because that’s the reason I am a celebrity fitness trainer because I don’t single them out and talk about their individual bodies so I wouldn’t want to answer that question. But let me say it another way. When they are working for a particular role and want to look a particular way then we work in a particular fashion to achieve that. Like for the ‘Lovely’ song from Happy New Year, Deepika was wearing really small cholis and low ghagras and her abs needed to be very very toned so we did a lot of Pilates focusing on her core muscles, on her abdominal muscles and worked that out.

Deepika's

Deepika’s “Lovely” body

Deepika's

Deepika’s “Lovely” Song from Happy New Year after training with Yasmin

5. How does age and sex factor into a workout plan? How would a 20 year old compare to a 30 year lady’s workout compare to a 40 year old?

Age factors into it when you are a beginner at any level. So if you are a beginner at 20, your workout may be simpler than an intermediate person at 40. So basically it depends on your fitness level. I am over 40 and I can do more exercises faster, fitter with more endurance than a 20 year old. And that’s not because of my age or their age. It is because of my experience and my fitness level. So I would say that fitness level factors into a workout plan and not age. Of course age too because if I have a 65 year old, I am not going to have them jumping around the gym and doing crazy things but at the same time there are some very very fit 65 year olds who’s goals might be to do plyometrics or whatever so it’s a very goal oriented workout.

Kareena Kapoor working out at Body Image

Kareena Kapoor working out at Body Image

6. So a celebrity like Katrina or Alia comes to you and says they need to wear a bikini in their next movie. How do you train them hard enough to achieve the results in the desired amount of time? Can you give one specific example of either Katrina/Deepika/Kareena/Alia of how this happened? (twice a day workouts? Late night workouts?)

So Alia came to me when she joined and she needed to wear a bikini for her movie “Shandaar” and she had lost a lot of weight but she was just looking very very tiny so I worked a lot with her to get her to look a little more curvier and not look quite so lanky because obviously that would not look nice in a bikini. We worked out every day, 6 days a week. We started basically with Pilates because she had never done it. I wanted to do something completely different on her body. So we started with Pilates and then I moved into a little bit of weight training to add the final touches.

Alia Bhatt having fun doing Pilates with Yasmin

Alia Bhatt having fun doing Pilates with Yasmin

Alia Bhatt Pilates

Alia Bhatt Pilates

7. Imraan Khan came to you to get fit for a role. How did you do things differently with him vs a Katrina (lady) who came to lose weight and get fit for Sheila Ki Jawaani or Dhoom 3?

Imraan is a very very thin person and his body type is he is very thin and doesn’t put on muscle easily. With him, I had twice a day training. We used to do Pilates in the morning to get his core strong. Then I used to do heavy weight training, low reps and very very heavy weight in the evenings. Again, with Imraan, he would lose even muscle very very fast even while we were doing heavy weight training if he did not get enough rest between sets. So when we used to weight train, we used to do one exercise, one set, then chat for about 5 min and then do the 2nd set. Because he needed that kind of rest between exercises. And of course with Katrina for Sheila we did a lot of functional training and cardiovascular to get her to that look.

Imraan Khan's hardwork paid off with 6 packs

Imraan Khan’s hardwork paid off with 6 packs

Sheila Ki Jawaani and Katrina Kaif

Sheila Ki Jawaani and Katrina Kaif

8. Can you share some insight on Imraan Khan’s workout and diet and how you incorporated Pilates or your power plates or ATS or technoshape with him?

So I mentioned earlier with Imraan we used to do Pilates in the morning 6 days a week, very very regularly and then we would weight train every evening and what I would do with him was one body part a day. So that you worked that body part only once a week and you could concentrate on it and go slow. This was our routine for about 2-3 months before he shot for his movie.
He didn’t do any ATS or Techno shape because he was thin and weight loss or fat loss was not our goal.
His food was, at that time, very very customized to his needs. So he would eat a lot of fish, vegetables, brown rice, nuts, bananas, etc.

9. We are all born with a certain body type (apple, pear, hour glass). Did any of the Bollywood ladies you train change their body types by working out via exercise and what exercises specifically helped?

So you can’t change your body type. You can just better it and make it look better. Like say a pear shape, they tend to store weight on their hips and thighs. What you do with them is you really workout the hips and thighs and make sure they don’t store the fat there anymore. Apple shape will always store weight on their midriff, their belly. So you work through that. That’s how you better a shape. You cannot change a person’s structure.

10. What new trends are revolutionizing the industry that you incorporate into your gym?

There might be 100 trends out there. For me, whenever there is something that attracts me, I try it out and test it out for good 8-10 sessions before I decide whether that’s what I want to incorporate into my gym. I don’t get every new trend into my gym because not all new trends are great or work. The most recent example I will give you is Cross fit. Everyone was talking about Cross fit this and Cross Fit that and how great it was. So I actually did Crossfit for a month to figure out how good or bad it was because there were also opposing stories about how it was not so good and it was damaging. I tried it out and I really liked it on my body and the way it made me feel. So I went and got trained and now I customize my Cross fit for each client.

11. How would a normal person get bikini body ready by this summer? Can you share some diet and fitness regimes?
It depends on how fit or unfit a normal person is. So first I would say build on your fitness. Summer is a few months away. We would start with getting you fit, getting you ready for the intense routine before getting into your bikini. I would give you a food chart that consists of fiber, protein, good fat and carbohydrates for every meal including snacks. As we come close, we do a mix routine of strength training and Pilates. Depending on how much weight you need to lose or not, we would include cardio and the amount and type of cardio varies based on that. As summer got closer and we got closer to our goal of shedding body fat percentage as well as building muscle mass, we would fine tune it. Everybody is different so for me to give a general answer is not easy because I would then start customizing it more for each body type to get them to look great in a bikini. And that’s how I work it.

Weight training with Alia Bhatt to get bikini ready

Weight training with Alia Bhatt to get bikini ready

The end result of hard work with Yasmin

The end result of hard work with Yasmin

Well folks, the very down to earth, the very fit Yasmin Karachiwala. I know first hand that everything said by her in this interview rings very true. I personally went to train with her for about 2.5 weeks and I lose about 3% body fat in that amount of time (and believe it or not, enjoyed every moment of the torture!). (And yes I have seen her workout and she can burn out any teenager or the 20/30 somethings easily)

I thank Yasmin for giving me one of the best interviews I have ever had the opportunity to do and I cannot WAIT to come and train with you soon again! Below are links to checking out more of Yasmin:

Website: http://www.bodyimage.in/
FB: Yasmin Karachiwala’s BODY IMAGE
Twitter: @YasminBodyImage
Instagram: YASMINKARACHIWALA
For my personal experience training at Body Image, please see this blog post:

https://reshie2000.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/my-experience-at-yasmin-karachiwalas-body-image-gym-results-guaranteed/

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.

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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.

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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)

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June 2014 (After 66 challenge)

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What did you weekly workout schedule look like?

Workouts:
Day 1:

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

Day 2:

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

Day 3:

REST DAY

Day 4:

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 wallball

30 Deadlifts at 35 kg

30 box jumps over 13”

30 kcal row

 Day 5:

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

hours fasting)

Day 7: REST DAY

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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!

 

http://theproteinbakeshop.com

http://www.rashichowdhary.com/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/RashiChowdharyInchLoss

Email:  mail@rashichowdhary.com

 

Tia Falcone Interview: The Brain Behind Miss America 2014’s Perfect Figure

A few weeks ago, I read an article about a girl who went from over weight to a perfect 10 figure. As usual, my passion for fitness and nutrition and my curiosity of how she did it got me using Google until I found the answer.  The name Tia Falcone was everywhere. Further digging got me to Tia’s website where I read the most amazing story of a woman who has transformed her own life through fitness and nutrition. An amazing story of strength and passion.  A story of an understanding of what it takes to get mentally fit. I had to talk to her. So I called her and here we are.

She is the brain behind the most talked about Indian American’s perfect 10 figure in the United States and India, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri.  She herself has gone through many physical and personal challenges of her own.  No amount of introduction can express my respect for this wonderful trainer and human being.  I asked her for an interview and she responded within minutes and within 2 days I had my interview. Here she is, Tia Falcone.

1)      Question: I read about your difficult story to get where you are today physically. Tell us what happened and how did you overcome those physical challenges through diet and fitness?

When I was in my 30’s I was injured. Very injured. I had gone through quite a few surgeries and injuries and had gained about 40-50 pounds. I was 75% permanently disabled and in a lot of pain. When my surgeons decided to re-operate on parts of me that had already been through surgery, I decided I did not want to live like this: fat, on an extensive amount of medication and steroids, I had constant asthma attacks and almost died twice. At that point, I had what I would call an epiphany of sorts. It was time to try something new, which was the hardest thing for me—and anyone for that matter. It was the last resort, one I had not tried—eat right and exercise.

My goal was to feel better, to not be in constant pain and to be able to wear jeans again. I constantly lived in sweats as I did not want to buy bigger sizes. I felt isolated due to embarrassment of my weight gain and how I looked.  This is actually a big issue as people who have never been through such weight gain like this can never understand how many ways (other than physically) it can affect a person. And when it starts getting to affect your life and mental health, it is a big issue.

At this point in my life, I was in my 30’s and out of shape and unhealthy. I walked 20 feet and would be so winded, I needed to sit down.  So I went 100% right away on eating clean and slowly started on the treadmill. I also stopped smoking cold turkey. It took me about a month at that point to get myself moving in the right direction in terms of exercise.  Little by Little, I was able to do more and more. It was about 12 weeks later that I noticed a MIRACULOUS change and was feeling better in ALL areas. It was an incredible difference in my health, the aches and pains, my mental state, the depression and isolation I was feeling. At the moment the light bulb went off in my head, so to speak. This was what I needed to FEEL better. At that point, I was VERY motivated to keep going.  About 6 months later, I hit the mark I was looking for and I have stayed there for the last 15 years.

2)      Question: Did you have any difficulty maintaining what you achieved both mentally and physically?

 

There was a point where I got too thin. I was losing too much weight and I had to re-asses what I was doing in terms of eating and workouts.  That was actually a lot of fun because I never thought I would ever have a point in my life where I had to eat more and workout less! At some point, I finally found a perfect maintenance spot and I have been there for the last 15 years.  There have been and currently are times and periods where I cannot workout due to my heavy work schedule (6am to 7pm). I am working on adjusting that schedule to be able to take care of myself.  My workouts are important for me to learn and I become a better teacher when I learn new exercises.  I like to keep things fresh for my clients and as I learn new things, I can then teach it to my clients as well.

3)      How did you motivate yourself to keep working out to see progress during the time you were trying to lose weight?

I will be honest, I HATED to workout, probably even more than the average person.  There are theories that say if you workout for 90 days, a person gets hooked both mentally and physically. For me, that did not happen for about 8 months.  I did not like working out, but I knew I had to do it to get myself where I needed to be. So I gave it a 120% and MADE myself workout.  Almost every day, I always thought of reasons why I could not go workout that day, but at the end, I always went. It was very mental.

4)      How do people get past the hunger when on a diet?

Well, when I started eating clean, I was hungry ALL the time.  When you are used to binging on wrong foods, your stomach stretches out and it takes time for it to get used to less food.  During those times, I would mentally have a talk with myself and say “You got yourself into this, now get yourself out and stop feeling sorry for yourself”. To get through it, you HAVE to be mentally strong and ask yourself “Do you want to continue feeling this way or do you want to feel better?” Mental strength is 200% of the effort.  For me, eating clean is the best thing that has happened to me, because I FEEL good.  The way I look is icing on the cake. In my life, I never would have dreamed I could look the way I do now.  Weight training is miraculous for your physique and how it changes your body.  However, getting through this is one of the toughest things in life, and I am sure Nina would agree.

5)      What workouts do you recommend for women who are trying to become bikini ready?

 

The first thing is to have an image in your mind of how you want to look. It is important to have the dream to know where you are going to. When starting out, you need to understand the immediate results are going to be mental. The physical benefits take time to get there. It is not an overnight miracle. Be aware of how you feel mentally.

 

6)      What kind of diet changes do you recommend anyone looking to lose weight or become physically and mentally fit?

Change your diet to 6 small meals a day.  When I say 6 small meals, it is not 3 big meals and 3 snacks. All your meals should be approximately the same size.  That is the biggest realization I had was having 3 meals and 3 snacks was the biggest mistake. Now, it is 6 small, healthy meals.
What I usually do is save my last meal for around 8pm or before I go to bed (I sleep early because I wake up very early). This way, when I am watching TV I don’t feel deprived of a snack. So I will have something like eggs with fruit or Greek yoghurt with raspberries, chicken on a whole wheat pita, etc.  These are small meals, so they do not take much time to eat.  When you are eating 6 small meals and eating clean, it is very simple. Calories in vs. Calories out. It doesn’t matter what and when. You should be burning more calories than you are eating if you are trying to lose weight or for maintenance, calories in=calories out.  The other recommendation I have is to not over complicate food.  Gluten free, organic, fat free are all hype. Fat free has tons of sugars.  Others can be high in fat. You have to learn to read your labels and go as clean as you can.  Go with right vs. fat free. One great example I tell my clients is mayo. Light mayo is better than fat free mayo.  Drink a ton of water. I also use cinnamon on oatmeal, yoghurt, and chew cinnamon gum because it reduces your appetite and helps with hunger pangs.  Spicy food also raises your metabolism.

7)      Is diet really 80% of the battle?

I think it is a 50-50 puzzle. Everything has to be just right. It is important to have both things. Some people think if they workout, they can eat whatever they want and that is not true.  The opposite is also untrue: Diet without working out.  You will not lose weight effectively. Neither will work alone long term. It might work temporarily.

 

8)      What differences in workouts do you prescribe your male clients vs. the female clients? Is there a difference? What about diet?

I don’t really go by gender when it comes to my clients. I go by an individual. Each individual has their own set of issues like injuries, knee operation, heart attack, blood pressure, etc.

So it is more important to give each person a personalized workout. Whatever I give you would not work on a 60 year old man or even another 35 year old woman. I never repeat my workouts for clients because you cannot just take a workout and copy it for 10 different people. Every single person is different.

9)      Let’s talk about weight loss for a minute. While research shows the number on the scale should not be used to measure success, let’s face it, if someone is eating well and working out and that number does not budge at ALL, it de-motivates a person. What are some reasons for this? And what do you suggest to solve this “issue”?

People over complicate fitness and weight loss. It is not complicated at all. If you are not losing weight, you are either over eating, or not burning enough calories out. All the small cheats in a day add up. A quick bite of chocolate, just ONE drink, leftovers from someone else’s meals, etc. Trainers sometimes get frustrated and try to find something medically like a thyroid issue. First you have to make sure you are right on both diet and exercises and be true to yourself.  Calories in vs. Calories out. If after that you are not losing weight, get your thyroid checked.  I have an underactive thyroid and I gained 10 lbs in 6 months which is very frustrating because I had no control. Once I got on medication and had it stabilized, the weight came off. But generally, ensure you are eating right and burning out the calories.

 

10)   It is well known you are the brain behind Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri fabulous figure. Explain how she became your client and what her goals were?

Nina bought a living social deal I had put out of 3 sessions for $25.  She came in for these sessions and I sit down with all my clients and take a full assessment and she had to divulge her personal info. We connected immediately.  Right in the middle of that conversation, I blurted out “You are an absolutely beautiful person” which is when she told me she had wanted to do pageants but had gained weight and couldn’t do them.  Then she said she would LOVE to do Miss Rochester and can I help her lose 10 lbs in 4 weeks?

I didn’t know anything about pageants, but I found out they come in quick succession: Miss Rochester, Miss New York and Miss America were all quick. She had 4 weeks until Miss Rochester, about 8-12 weeks after that to Miss New York and another 8 weeks to Miss America.

She asked me to help her by sponsoring her and I told her I would be happy to sponsor her (sponsoring meant giving her free training) but only on the condition that she showed me seriousness and do what I told her to do and not to lie about what she is eating, etc.  I told her very clearly I will not put time and money into someone who is not serious and is just fooling around. Nina came in every single week and lost weight every single week. That is how dedicated she was.  From the time she came in to Miss America, she lost a total of 40 lbs with me.

 

11)   What is a sample meal plan you suggested to her? Can you give the readers a day’s meal plan she was on during her “Road to Miss America”?

 

Well I gave her a clean diet. No condiments, no butter, nothing extra. All the food had to be very fresh, nothing processed, nothing white. 6 meals a day, all the same size. Nina said to me that the best thing I said to her was “this is not gourmet eating”. It is all about fueling your body with the healthiest things you can feed yourself and small quantities. It is like filling a car with premium gas and only fueling enough to go the miles you are driving, not the full tank. She understood having 800 calorie meals will not help. Smaller meals raise your metabolism.

12)   What about her weekly workout regime? How many hours a day did she workout and how many times a week?

Nina was on a time sensitive schedule to when the pageants were so she had to commit to extra time daily to get to her goal faster. So what she did is not an everyday thing.  But she was exceptional and would do about an hour of weight training with me and another 45 minutes to an hour of cardio. So I would say she did about 1.5-2 hours a day 5-6 days a week.

 

13)   Tell us about Nina now post her win? I is she still on your workout plans?

Nina is on the road constantly so we do not get to train together. As Miss America she is never in one place for more than 48 hours.

14)   What is next for you, Tia? You have your own gym, you have a celebrity client and you are physically and mentally very fit. What do you want to do next? Perhaps a book or video?

My initial dream was to have my own gym. And at the time, that seemed like a ridiculous dream. But it happened. Then the dream was to be able to make ends meet by having enough business full time (I stayed on as a trainer at planet fitness because I was scared I would not make enough money). I was truly not prepared for any of this.  I have clients on a waitlist now.  Now that all this has happened, my next vision is to make personalized workout videos for individuals. I am currently meeting with a firm to make that happen.

I also am trying to hire trainers to work for me as I need to be able to have more time myself. But for someone to represent me and my gym, they not only have to be a good trainer, but an exceptional human being. For the interviews, I have them train me and I need to make sure how they treat people, how they help people, the attitude. It is not about the money. I also want to hire a massage therapist for my gym.  It is my DREAM to be able to make personalized workout videos for people who are remote. I want to be able to talk to my clients over the phone/Skype, make their workout videos to match their needs.

End of interview

Well, I know for sure I will definitely be hiring Tia for my own workout needs! Having done this interview, listening to Tia’s journey and Nina’s journey has definitely inspired me and I am sure it will inspire every single one of you!

Nina—if you are reading this, I would be HONORED if I could follow this up with an interview with you. I am sure the readers would also LOVE that!

Visit Tia’s website:

www.tiafalconefitness.com

Top Mumbai Model and Actress: Amruta Patki on her fitness mantra

Profile: Amruta Patki is a top model in India, former Miss India Earth 2006, former Miss Earth Air 2006, an actress in Hindi as well as Marathi films. Amruta is also a singer and a nominee of Radio Mirchi Music Awards 2013 as best debut singer.
I am actually at a loss for how to even introduce this beautiful and very down to earth Mumbai model. Maybe the best thing is to just start with how I met her. I was browsing twitter one day and the photographer who had done my own portfolio had posted some very nice pictures of Amruta. I became curious and started browsing her Twitter feed and saw post after post about yoga, workouts, pictures of her dinners, favorite foods, etc and became intrigued. So for a few weeks, I just watched…and one day, she posted a picture of her after a workout and I was floored. There was no size zero..there was no waif like model, here was a SUPER FIT and healthy girl who had achieved so much in her only 27 years of age.

So I thought, let me try my luck. Not expecting too much, I tweeted her for an interview. I kid you not, she responded within MINUTES and agreed. At that point, I still expected some starry attitudes or didn’t really expect the interview to happen. Seriously, she was SO easy to respond to my emails, gave me her mobile number right away and we finally were able to speak on the phone . I had promised her I would only take 15 minutes of her busy schedule; she talked with me for almost 45 minutes! And that too, so friendly with all levels of honesty and absolutely no clichéd answers.
So without further ado, I am HONORED to bring you Amruta’s very honest and very interesting past and present fitness &health mantra:

1) Question: Amruta, how do you stay away from the pressure of size zero being in the fashion and movie industry? Isn’t it a common misconception that models are waif like and starve to be accepted? Have u ever felt that you needed to change ?
Answer: I believe that all things should be balanced. Input into the body and output from the body should be balanced. I maintain a good diet, eat in moderation, but burn it out. Everything in the universe should be balanced by input vs output and that includes the mind and body.
I definitely do not starve myself because I am a TOTAL foodie. In the last 7 years, I have traveled to over 24 countries for my work and have tried cuisines in all parts of the world (Japanase, African, Indonesian, Malaysian, etc). So I allow myself to binge and eat and have fun. However, to balance the days I do this, I cleanse myself for the days I do not binge. I believe in only home remedies and Ayurveda and so I follow the principles of Ayurveda to ensure I output the toxins from my body.
For example, if I have a shoot coming up, or I have binged with friends the night before, I take to the following routine the next morning and every day until my next indulgence:
1. Be very careful of what I eat for the next few days
2. Drink a lot of hot water first thing in the morning (cleans the system)
3. Avoid carbs the whole day ( no rice or roti for the next 2-3 days)

2) Question: So what do you eat when you are being careful of your diet?
Answer: I am a non-vegetarian and I eat chicken, eggs, fish and now recently, I started eating red meat once in a while. I am very careful of this as it is high in cholesterol and makes a person’s personality quite aggressive (you are what you eat concept). In addition, I take an Ayurvedic supplement called Triphala. Since I am traveling quite a bit and am forced to eat out during this time and also an insomniac (which contributes to acidity),
For more information on Triphala, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triphala
I also have cultivated a liking to Green tea. I did not like this before, but after I saw how much it improves the skin and I start feeling healthier and lighter, I have started enjoying it more!
The one food group I stay away from are desserts. I LOVE desserts but I stay away from them because they are an absolute ADDICTION. As long as I stay away from desserts, my mind doesn’t ask for them, however , once you start, then the mind remembers it and it is harder to not indulge. So I try and stay away from that.
If I am getting ready for a shoot, I switch myself to Nachni or Oats roti and then stick to a very light dinner such as Salads or a glass of butter milk or a milk shake with little bit of honey. This diet keeps me light and allows me to have a nice flat stomach if I have to show it for my shoots or modeling assignments

(Info on the Nachni grain, aka Ragi, is found here:
http://www.mangaloreanrecipes.com/recipes/index.php/food-information/glossary/glossary-data/1372-ragi-nachni-nathno-finger-millets.html)

 
3) Question: Do you have a dietician to plan your charts? Or do you just know what to do yourself?
Answer: I Used to have a dietician in the past, but now I know my body really well and what ti responds to, and no one can know my body like I do, so I take care of my diet myself now.

4) Question: You tweeted once that you lost 2 KG in 10 days. Tell me the secret!? How do YOU manage this? Is it diet or exercise like crazy?
Answer: I believe that your weight loss is 70% diet and only about 30% exercise. If you are eating badly, you can workout like crazy and not see results. I only workout for one hour a day. I don’t know why some people log 3-4 hours a day. So, for the times I want to quickly lose 2kg, I will do the following changes to my diet:
a) I completely cut OUT carbs at night and I cut DOWN on carbs during the day.
For r meals like lunch I may have 1 roti+veggie sabizi + salad or fish
b) About 3-4 hours after lunch, I will have an evening meal like sukha bhel, some fruit, 1 idli
c) I mostly do as much liquids as I can for dinner. For example, I will drink 200ML water before I start my meal and then have 2 bowls daal.
I even did a detox diet for about a week where I had UNLIMITED fruits all day.

5) Question: Wow! So isn’t this difficult? Don’t you get hungry!?
Answer: Yes, it is very difficult, especially the first day or so. Then, your body gets used to this. But you need to be very mentally strong to do something like this. So you really need to want to do this. Also, people with extremely healthy bodies can do this (perfect blood reports, and physically very fit). I would not recommend anyone to do this and definitely NOT for an extended period of time. It can definitely hurt people with illnesses.
However, at the end and after a few days, I noticed, my skin was GLOWING as my body purged the toxins , my hair was great, all the toxins were gone and surprisingly I was not was not weak at all as someone may think as u get natural sugars from the fruits so u have energy.
I hardly pushed my body to work out during this time. So by the end of 10 days, I lost 2 kg fat and 2 kg muscle.
One interesting thing is that once you are done and you go back ON food, you must do it very slowly. A friend of mine did this with me and started eating normally straight away and her body rejected regular food. Once your body gets used to raw foods, it needs to be introduced to foods slowly. If you take care of what you eat and stick with raw foods, you can lose about 6-7 KG in a month.

6) Question: What are your workouts like? I notice you have all kinds of days when you tweet on twitter?

Answer: I keep pushing my body to do different things. For cardio, I like running and cycling. I also do weight training, Pilates and definitely yoga I make sure to keep it to 1 hour a day and not more than that.

7) Question: Talk to me about how you got into Miss India and won Miss India Earth 2006 and went on to be a finalist during the Miss Earth pageant. Did you workout? (BTW, I loved her answer to this question because it is really inspiring):
Answer: I always wanted to be in entertainment industry in some way. When I was growing up, I had huge inferiority complex being as tall as a “giant”. So when I got to college and I was asked to participate in a fashion show, I decided to try it. This fashion show was choreographed by a professional photographer. Once I walked for it, he asked me to participate in a Miss Mumbai contest.
One thing to know is, I studied in the Marathi medium in school, so I was not fluent by any means at the time in English. So I was apprehensive of going into a contest and getting on stage, how would I talk in fluent English. But, I went keeping in mind that they would pick me on my beauty and looks, not how well I could speak English. I won that pageant and Hemant Trivedi saw my pictures. Hemant is my guru, my mentor and where ever I am today, I owe it to him.
So I was asked if I wanted to shoot for Hemant Trivedi and I shot for the clothing store Sheetal. He aso groomed me during this time by advising me to start workouts, watch English movies, look on the internet to see pageants, do research on my own on how to walk, how to talk. And then he told me to come for the Miss India auditions.
I believe going for Miss India was destiny as the universe was giving me signs. 1 month prior to auditions was signed up with Pantaloons to be their brand ambassador. And guess what? Pantaloons was sponsoring Miss India that year. So everyone was very excited that I was going to be part of Miss India and I won Miss India Earth that year. I can also speak a VARIETY of languages that helped me such as Konkani, Panjabi, Hindi, English, Gujurati (She spoke to me in PERFECT Gujurati) and Marathi.
(Trust me I was blown away by her admission of not having learned English in school, her English was so perfect, I would never have guessed she self learned).
Then Miss Earth was about 6 months after I won Miss India, so I was put through workouts and dieted for it, worked on my skin and hair as well. At that time, since I did not know my body the way I know it now and I did not work out as much then, it really pushed my body and was quite difficult. I know my body now and I gain weight quite easily. For example, if I just binge for a week or 10 days, I can easily gain 1.5 KG. However, fortunately I can also lose just as quickly. So I have to be careful for events.

8) Question: You are in a profession where it is cut throat, a path full of potential disappointments, criticism. The news today is filled with Jiah Khan’s suicide and that some girls just cannot handle it.
How do you keep your mind calm on a daily basis and through these tough times?
Answer: I am very spiritual and by that I don’t mean religious. I believe that there is some form of energy in the universe and to just love and respect people.
You have your own expectations for yourself, and everyone has a destiny and in this rat race in the industry you really just have to be happy, and move on if u don’t get there because it is not the end of the world. It could be you are maybe destined for something else.
So when I find myself with less work or not having the projects I want, I stay positive and optimistic and make sure I keep busy with friends. Or I enroll in courses that help me. Recently I did the art of living course which was great. Also, every year in June a mountain trip is a MUST for me and is like fuel In fact, I just came back from one. It allows me to be within and see Nature, eat health and meditate.

9) Question: Who is Amruta Patki’s favorite celebrity?
Answer: I really like Deepika Paudakone. I find her hot and she is always looking so put together and she can carry anything. If I see her at press conferences in jeans and a top or at functions in saris or she is shooting in a bikini or shorts, she NEVER looks unclassy. She can carry off anything with style and class.

10) Question: What is next for you?

Answer: Well, I have done modeling, done Marathi films, I just did a song for a Malayalam film (coming out this week!), am looking into Telugu offers. I did a Bollywood film which didn’t go for me as I had hoped, so now I am being very choosy with what offers are coming my way. I have to make sure it is right and I don’t want to take my attention away from the modeling industry. Once you are out of sight, it is very hard to get back in, so I have to make sure whatever I do does not affect my fashion career.

Well Amruta, here’s to see you soon in many more movies and hopefully something fun in Bollywood too! Thank you Amruta for such an AWESOME interview and I will surely call her next time I am in Mumbai as she has promised me a coffee together I have added some links of Amruta’s website and videos of her I found interesting:
http://www.amrutapatki.in/ (Amruta’s website)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1W2BUqiagk (Paisa Paisa Malayalam movie)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amruta-Patki/220373357463 (Facebook fan page link)
https://mobile.twitter.com/amrutapatki @amrutapatki (Twitter link)

Interview: A Professional Yogi: Rebecca Thieneman Yoga and Nutrition professional for men and women

Background

I met Rebecca when I moved to Atlanta in 2008 and joined Lifetime Fitness. My mom had already started her yoga classes and had so many praises for the way she teaches and her nutrition and yoga AND meditation techniques, I just had to meet her. At the time, I was also going through a tough time personally and was looking for ways to calm myself. I had also started researching the benefits of yoga and staying fit.  And trust me, Rebecca’s classes and her advice was not just the praises I had heard from my mom and several other members at the club.  Her advice on a day to day life, how to handle stresses in your life and how to really use the techniques practiced in yoga in daily life has really stayed with me.  Not only a yoga teacher but she became a friend as well.

Today Rebecca will talk not only about her yoga and nutrition experience but a little secret I stumbled upon by the ways of google: Rebecca was in a fitness competition during her college years! The training and dedication it takes to compete is mind-blowing. And so my respect for Rebecca’s dedication to her craft and career grew even more. Here is one person who has gone through the trials and tribulations of getting a perfect 10 body.

Rebecca Thieneman Yoga and Nutrition professional is based out of Atlanta, GA and currently works as an instructor at Lifetime Fitness.  She is also pursuing further certifications in yoga in India. To contact Rebecca, please see the end of the interview:

  1. What made you want to turn towards yoga and nutrition as a career option? How did all this start?

I have always been passionate about health, and believe that while there are many ways to live, the only way to thrive is by sharing your passion with the world.  I took my first yoga class at 16, and studied nutrition on my own until I was able to enroll in a university and study it more formally.  Throughout college I taught fitness and nutrition classes in dorms, for sororities, at the campus recreation center, in local fitness facilities, and for various events and organizations in the community. I wrote for various health and fitness publications, and I had the privilege of teaching an Undergraduate Science of Nutrition course for several semesters while I was completing my Masters degree.  I have for as long as I remembered sought out ways to share my passion as often and with as many as I could.

2.   Yoga is a very talked about topic for weight loss these days. Many people are confused what yoga to do when. Can you talk about some of the different types and how to incorporate them into goals such as weight loss, meditation, peace of mind, depression, bouncing back from an injury, etc?

Yoga of any kind has benefits for all of the above. There is not a single person on the planet who would not benefit from this practice. That being said, Vinyasa yoga is a very active form of yoga, great first thing in the morning or any time during the day when you need a little pick-me-up. For a practice more focused on deep stretching and relaxation, yin or restorative yoga may be more appropriate.

3. What kind of nutrition plan do you suggest to your clients? Any foods that you recommend nutritionally that are perceived as “fattening or high carb” but actually have a high nutritional value?

I recommend as many whole foods as possible.  With the low-carb craze fruits are often discouraged however I encourage my clients to include them daily. I also encourage vegetarian meals whenever possible, reducing the volume of animal-based foods, and instead focusing on plant-based proteins and healthy fats such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, legumes, beans, and nuts.

4. What are your thoughts on a “yoga” diet plan? Some yogis stick to very basic foods, right? Macrobiotic?

Yogic eating does include foods that are sattvic-or pure-in nature. It also includes paying attention to how you eat. Mindful eating is a great example of how the practice of yoga can become a way of life: being in the moment, and experiencing things one bite at a time.

5. We talk a lot about women and their weight loss struggles. Let’s flip the switch for a minute and talk about men. What would you suggest to a man wanting to lose weight? What is different for them vs women?

Some common factors I have noticed when it comes to men are their eating schedules and the lack of concern they have with their food choices. Often eating is an after thought during the workday, and meals are put off until arriving home in the evening. This creates an unhealthy balance of caloric intake throughout the day. Women seem to be more concerned with food factors such as organic vs. inorganic, brands, caloric content, nutrition integrity etc. while men seem to be more driven by taste and convenience.

6. What would you suggest to a man wanting/needing to gain weight? What is a sample diet chart?

Eat, eat, and eat some more! The amount of calories needed to gain weight is as significant as the amount of calories avoided in losing weight. To get the calories in, I generally recommend 3-4 solid meals with nutritional supplements in between.

7. I came across you one day in my Google searches being in a women’s fitness competition. Can you tell us about how you decided to take that on and what type of commitment it took?

I have always enjoyed fitness. As a former dancer and marathon runner, I appreciate challenging activities that require discipline. During my freshman year of college there was a local competition that I decided to channel my long hours in the gym towards. While I didn’t expect to win, this outcome led me to compete in quite a few more advanced competitions in the years that followed. Getting your body composition into peak condition is as much about diet as it is exercise-if not more. The combination of extended training and strict eating can be exhausting at times. That being said, I think it sharpened my character, and helped me endure my college years with more ease.

8. What was a sample diet you had to follow for a day and how many months did you stick to this?

Generally, the diet I followed was very calculated. When it came to carbohydrates, I focused on minimal sugar intake, though I did eat low glycemic fruits and natural sugars until several weeks out of the competition.  Other common carbs were brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, non-starchy vegetables of all kinds, and whole grain cereal. I also prioritized lean proteins and avoided condiments, and processed foods of all kinds as much as possible.

9. What was the workout plan like for the week training for the competition?

First thing in the morning on most days I would do low-intensity cardio for an extended duration. Later in the day I would do high volume weight training, a short bout of high-intensity cardio, and have routine practice.

10. Can you suggest a sample plan for anyone wanting to lose weight? Does working out 3 hours a day help?

When it comes to nutrition, I suggest focusing not just on calories but the volume-the actual space-the food fills. There is evidence that volume contributes to satiety, the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. This means non-starchy veggies, fruits, and naturally high-fiber foods top the list. Protein is another nutrient that can help you feel fuller for longer, and also requires more metabolic energy to digest. Including a vegetable and/or fruit at every meal along with a lean form of protein is key. I also recommend using an online food journal such as thedailyplate.com, sparkpeople.com, myfitnesspal.com, etc. to keep track. The additional accountability and awareness this activity can provide makes a significant impact.

11. Tell us about what you do to keep fit and healthy?

I practice yoga daily, and run 3-4 days per week. I follow a vegetarian diet and always keep an open mind towards new foods and new types of physical activities.

Rebecca Thieneman: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002418570752

Interview: An expert’s advice: Rashi Chowdhary Nutrition and Inch Loss Expert

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.

Background

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.

 

http://www.rashichowdhary.com/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/RashiChowdharyInchLoss

Email:  mail@rashichowdhary.com

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