Royal Ballet Company to Bollywood’s Boot camp Master: Cindy Jourdain talks about dance, fitness and Bollywood!
Ballet. Muay Thai. Functional Training. HIIT…you name it, its all at Cindy’s Boot camp gym in Mumbai, India.
I have been following Cindy’s Instagram posts for a few months now and loved each and every workout she posted. I even borrowed some of her moves to incorporate in my routine.
When curiosity killed the cat, I did some research on this expat who was toning some of the hottest women in India….and I found another surprise.
Cindy is a ballet dancer who used to dance for the Royal Ballet Company for many years. A dancer–and as many of you know, dancing is my passion. I wondered..how did she get from a prima ballerina to a fitness coach…From Europe to India?
So I sent her a quick note asking her if she would be open to doing an interview. Within a day she and I had connected and in less than a week, she had responded to all my questions whole heatedly.
Please join me in getting to know the very talented Cindy Jourdain:
1. Tell us how you got to Mumbai from Europe and what inspired you to open Cindy’s Boot camp?
Katrina Kaif is the one who flew me over From London to Mumbai to look after her fitness regime. Mumbai was never on the map but I’m very grateful to Katrina for the opportunity it gave me. Cindy’s Bootcamp started materializing in my head after about one year of being one and off in Mumbai. I immersed myself in the culture as much as possible and did some thorough market research before taking the plunge and settling here full time.
2. Your background in dance, theater, direction and fitness is impressive! How do you incorporate all these artistic forms into being a trainer and the owner of a boot camp that is so popular now in Mumbai? What exercises do you recommend that is inspired from all these forms into your current routine?
My background has forged a very strong personality, it is my credibility and what makes me different from everyone else here.
I wanted to be true to myself and use the experiences I had as an athlete, a performer and a woman to create something unique that made complete sense to me instead of joining another renowned fitness establishment for example. I’m likely to recommend sequences of movement just like a choreography in dance or flow in yoga, it’s the grounded seamless and yet powerful quality I’m after most of the time.
3. What type of routines did you have when you were in ballet? Being a professional ballerina requires hours of training and a special diet from what we have known from movies like black swan or reading up on it. Tell us about your routines in diet and training during that time.
Ballet is an incredibly demanding profession. There’s no in between. It’s all heart and sacrifice. That’s how I was brought up through the professional ballet schooling system even if I feel I grew up quite a balanced young woman with a real need for normality and a strong outside life.
A typical day for a professional ballerina with the Royal Ballet Company is ballet class in the morning for 1h30 to prep your body for the rest of the day and continuously work on your technique. The afternoon can have 2 to 3 rehearsals scheduled depending on the productions and the roles you are dancing. These rehearsals can be 1,2,3 hours plus….. Then it’s shower & make up time for the show usually at 7.30pm, you try and fit some food somewhere in the middle but everyday is go go go really and soon enough food takes a back seat if you’re not careful! The show comes down at 10.30pm and it’s late before you’re home. I have done these days over and over again for 15 years professionally. There’s no time for much but ballet! When it comes to ultimate health and being able to avoid injuries as well as sustaining a lean yet strong physique it’s a fine balance really, the truth is there’s very little recovery time or extra time for a good strength and conditioning program (which is always prescribed in sports for athletes along with their specific training), ballerinas also can’t rehearse on a full stomach, there’s a lot of snacking involved and most of us really end up over training! Is it healthy in the long run probably not but the body adapts and the mind conquers so…I think there’s much more awareness now though and both artists and management are trying to make the right choices when it comes to schedule, fuel, recovery and training
4. Today, strength and fitness is coming before weight loss and looking painfully thin. If someone has limited strength and wants to get to being able to do a pullup or gain strength, how does one even start? Any specific recommendations on a weekly routine? Does this vary for men and women? How long would it take?
I’m glad it’s going this way even if I’m pretty sure we’ll see the skinny frame back into fashion soon with the same industries backing it up, It’s the way the cookie crumbles, the world is after constant recycling of the same thing repackaged differently, redesigned, revamped, re branded, you get my point. I never give generic advice in interviews, there isn’t one person the same but what I will say is that everyone can get their first pull up or back squat their own body weight if that’s what their goal is. You start by identifying your weaknesses and addressing your bad lifestyle habits then you put a plan together which has to be thought through with the person responsible for the plan and implemented until the end.
5. You have some popular faces coming to your boot camp classes in all ranges of age. The current talk of town Sara Ali Khan (Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s’s daughter making her debut shortly) has lost lots of weight and is a regular at your classes. How did she do it and how did you train her to lose all the extra weight to become fabulously fit? Any specific routines and eating plan she followed?
Sara joined the classes recently and enjoyed the group atmosphere. She was eager to do well in class but the weight loss is a result of what she did before she joined so you would have to ask her that question. At the camp I saw an improvement in her mental focus, her form and general conditioning. The celebs or top influencers who join my classes let go of their profile as soon as they step through the door for that hour and train hard just like me, just like you.
6. What type of diet do you recommend your celebrity or normal clients? The bootcamp classes are quite taxing on ones body…can you give a sample meal plan you recommend in India for vegetarians?
One diet never fits all. The idea is to find nutritious food that suit people’s body and an eating plan that fits their lifestyle. After my classes people have to rehydrate and make sure that fuel gets back in. There’s a recovery day in between classes and I talk about anti inflammatory food often to contribute towards optimal health. India has a lot of superfoods and Ayurvedic herbal remedies available such as wheatgrass, chia seeds, flaxseeds, moranga & triphala powder to name a few which are really soothing to the body and packed with anti oxidants, raw proteins, essential vitamins and minerals suitable for both veg& non veg. Grains and pulses such as Dahl, beans & quinoa for example contain a decent amount of proteins and will suit vegetarian requirements however it’s more macro ratio, quality, quantity, timing & frequency that will make a difference when it comes to fuelling for training
7. What is something you personally have learned and have achieved since moving to Mumbai from Europe? Has the way you eat changed since you are in India now and a fitness instructor vs a ballerina?
I’ve learned to be more patient, I’ve learned to be more present and in the moment, I know that I can survive and thrive on my own anywhere in the world and that’s a big one for me!
Regarding my own diet since changing industry and moving to India, I tend to eat more healthy fat and less refined carbohydrates. I stay away from dishes full of sauces and try and stick to my mind & body beautiful mantra as much as possible which involve sleeping 8hours, drinking plenty of water, staying away as much as possible from wheat & dairy, alcohol, no caffeine & no nicotine.
There you go folks…a winning combination of art and fitness along with the determination to be the best. I definitely learned a lot from her and will be in her class on my next trip to Mumbai for sure;-) See a taste of her class here:
For more information on training with Cindy, see her details below:
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”).
- 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”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/TriptiGuptaiPinkTheColorofHealth/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ipink_by_triptigupta/
Call: + 91 7498841414 | 9967978589
Interview: Radhika Karle: Nutritionist and Trainer to the very “Khoobsurat” superstar Sonam Kapoor and Model Turned Actress Esha Gupta
I had the thought at 3pm January 6, 2015 to interview this American educated celebrity trainer in Bollywood. At 7 pm EST, I sent her an email requesting an interview for my blog. At 9:30 pm EST (morning in India) she responded right away that she would be happy to do it. By 4 am EST, I had her answers filled out and ready to post!
Here is a trainer that trains one of the best bodies in Bollywood: Sonam A. Kapoor along with Esha Gupta,the very handsome Fawad Khan and other B-town celebs. I expected a long drawn out wait for a response and then maybe a few days to wait until she completed the interview. This amazing, down to earth nutritionist made my week by being THE fastest and easiest interview for my blog SO FAR. I can go on and on with praises..so before I bore any of you with my own #FanGirl Moment, please meet Radhika Karle– Bollywood’s celebrity nutritionist and trainer.
Radhika Karle’s Bio
Radhika holds a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Texas Woman’s University, Houston. She has also done a fellowship in Adolescent and Sports Medicine which allowed her to work with professional and division 1 college-level athletes. She returned to India 8 years ago and started Radhika’s Balanced Body, Creating Healthy Minds and Bodies, her nutrition clinic, Pilates studio, and personal training center in Mumbai.
Radhika has 14 years of work experience in the field of wellness as a nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga and Pilates instructor. She currently is working with clients on a one-on-one basis for nutritional counseling and Reformer Pilates workouts. Radhika loves to travel and be outdoors and a grocery store run is always a must at a new city to check out the local fare!
Interview with Radhika:
1. Your background is a variety of education and you also have a Masters Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Texas Woman’s University, Houston as well as a fellowship in Adolescent and Sports Medicine which allowed her to work with professional and college-level athletes. What were the reasons you decided to start your business in India rather than the USA?
Most of my family was back in India so I was ready to go home. 🙂 However the decision to start my own wellness studio was because I saw a serious need for that in India. Looking good is one thing however feeling good and being fit is an entirely different concept which I felt was lacking in India. I wanted to bring my concept of wellness and fitness which is what is practiced in the West to India.
2. You are the brains behind Sonam Kapoor’s super hot bikini body for Bewakoofiyaan and Khoobsurat. Talk to us about this. How did Sonam find you?
It was Sonam’s mother, Sunita Kapoor, who first came to train with me for Pilates. She had done Pilates in Los Angeles and was looking to continue in Bombay. She mentioned this to Ayesha Shroff, who was already training with me, and recommended me to Mrs. Kapoor. I think it was after 2 days of training with me that Mrs. Kapoor asked if I would train her daughter. I agreed and it has been a fantastic roller coaster ride with Sonam for the past 3 years!
3. You traveled with her to places during shoots out of Mumbai in order to ensure she is regimented. What was her weekly regime to get that flat bikini body? How did traveling with her help?
Yes, I have been traveling with Sonam for the past 6 films. We are currently going into our third schedule with Salman Khan for Sooraj Barjatya’s next film. When Sonam travels she does not have time to think about meals. I ensure snacks are carried, she gets her food on time, she stays hydrated (air travel really dehydrates you), and obviously we workout.There really is no weekly regime as travel for shoots, events, and promotions are VERY hectic. However Sonam’s routine incorporates the following:
- Pilates – 3 times per week; it is the best fully body integration exercise and works to whittle Sonam’s torso.
- Weight training – I usually break it up to upper body and lower body; this is Sonam’s favourite exercise.
- Interval training – We did a lot of this during Sonam’s shoot for Khoobsurat as it helped keep Sonam’s stamina at an all time high which was needed for her quirky character in the film.
- Cardio – Sonam and I both love swimming which makes for a great cardio workout.
4. What was a sample diet chart for Sonam while she was trying to lose more weight?
We recently did an ovo-vegetarian diet plan (eggs for protein, no meat, no dairy)which worked very well for Sonam and allowed for some great inch loss.
- Pre morning workout – Juicifix cold pressed Go Green juice + fruit + black coffee
- Breakfast – 2 eggs + 1 slice gluten-free bread
- Snack – 1 cup pomegranate + Green tea
- Lunch – 2/3 cup cooked rice + ½ cup cooked lentils (dal) + ½ cup cooked vegetables (sabji) + ½ cup salad
- Snack – Juicifix cold pressed fruit juice + ½ fruit – apple/orange/ or 1 cup watermelon
- Snack – Grilled vegetable sandwich with Green chutney (mint, coriander)
- Dinner – 1 cup vegetable soup
5. You have a strong base in Mumbai in teaching Pilates. What made makes Pilates the ideal supplement to training? What drew you towards it?
Full body integration, core strengthening, and flexibility – Pilates offers all 3 of these and much more and that is what drew me to make Pilates a part of my wellness regime.
6. There are misconceptions that Pilates is “for women” and not for the manly man, however any athlete who has tried it has gone on record to say it is harder than their normal training routine. Do you have many male clients that incorporate Pilates into their program? What is the purpose?
We have many male clients who, though they cringe (yes it is MUCH harder than the conventional weight training workout) when it is their Pilates workout day, realize it is very important to have a strong core and be flexible. The core is the powerhouse of your body so the stronger your core, the stronger your entire body.
7. Nutrition is an important part of training. Some say its 70-80% diet and only about 20% training. What are the differences in diet charts you plan between women clients and males client? Can you give a sample one that you would prescribe your male clients trying to look fitter and stronger?
The meal plans I create at Radhika’s Balanced Body are all personalized meal plans based on the client’s lifestyle, fitness goals, and any medical conditions.
8. Do you train any other celebrities other than Sonam? If so, who and how do their training regime differ from one another?
Esha Gupta trains in our studio. The husband-wife dynamic duo of musician Sangeet Haldipur and playback singer Anusha Mani train at our studio too. And male celebrity clients who have done nutrition with me are Fawad Khan, Rajkumar Rao, and Ali Fazal. I also had the opportunity to train Fawad Khan while we were shooting for Khoobsurat. 🙂
9. In your opinion, what is the difference between losing weight to look like size 0 and being fit?
Losing weight is just that – it does not matter if you are losing body fat, water weight, or good lean muscle mass. It may not necessarily be healthy or even done in a way that is sustainable, meaning the weight would come back on.
Being fit is about eating healthy and nutritious meals and snacks, exercising regularly, having an ideal body fat percentage and muscle mass, and living pain-free!
Well folks..there you have it! Hopefully I will have the pleasure with meeting with Radhika in person soon. Below are links of how to follow/contact Radhika:
Radhika’s Balanced Body social media links:
Website – www.balancedbody.in
FB – https://www.facebook.com/RadhikasBalancedBody
Twitter – @RadhikaKarle
Instagram – RadhKarle
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!