How did you get started?
I am a clinical psychologist by education. A family emergency forced me to move India and take over the family business which was incidentally- managing a chain of internationally franchised fitness centers. Knowing that there was no going back, I started studying about fitness and in a span of one year cleared three international fitness certifications. These helped me plan and work on my own body transformation and clients that I took up. There has never been looking back since then. I am now a full time online coach working with people all over the globe and also take in a handful of clients for one- on- one coaching.
Where does your motivation come from?
My life coach- Mahatria Ra always says that being fit is every parents moral responsibility. A healthy family starts with healthy parents. Seeing parents unfit motivates me. Children look up to parents for guidance and seeing more and more parents being unfit motivates me to work with them.Being an animal lover and newly vegan, seeing my friends who are otherwise strict vegetarians eat meat to maintain a physique also motivates me to help them make right choices. We live in a world where our food choices are influenced by marketing and there is nothing in meat and dairy that you cannot get from whole food and plants. I maintain 15-17% body fat on an all plant based diet and can lift heavier than most women and even some men I know. To be able to spread awareness about right food choices to people and bring about a change not only externally but internally as well motivates me.
How do you feel your flexibility helps you both in and out of the gym?
Breaking my plateau’s on the gym floor makes me mentally stronger. Every time I set a new health goal and work crazy to achieve it, I send a message to my subconscious that I can achieve anything I put my mind on. Every sense of accomplishment broadens my mind and I want to get better and better. The gym is my training ground to fight real life.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
Weight training! I have tried group classes and failed as I dislike anything choreographed. A two muscle group split routine coupled with few days of empty stomach HIIT (high intensity interval training) works best for me. The key is to find the right balance between over training and under training.
If you had to pick only 3 exercises what would they be and why?
I would pick back squats/ deadlifts and bench press. I believe just these three workouts are enough to get in shape if done consistently and properly. They are all compound movements that activate multiple muscle fibers and really challenges your core as well. I rarely do any abs workout. Most of my compound workouts challenge the core enough. A few sets of crunches and planks per week should be more than enough. Flat belly and toned abs is more about what you eat and overall training than a 1000 crunches.
What is your diet like?
I eat a high carbs, whole food plant based diet 80% of the times. Basically if something comes in packets and is processed, I will avoid that. Lots of rice, beans, veggies, fruits, pulses, lentils and all types of grains. I have also tried a high protein dairy diet but that does not work for me. The best decision I made was to switch to a high carbs vegan diet!
What’s the one food you couldn’t live without, and how do you handle food cravings?
Pizza! More specific vegan pizza! And dairy free desserts. One way to handle is that there are not a lot of places in India that serve vegan pizza so I basically cannot even if I want to. I do eat a lot of them when travelling abroad though. Also my diet is 80% and 2-3 meals a week I will have fried food or vegan ice creams etc. Unless when I am preparing for a shoot or competition. Then I cheat no more than once a week. A high carb diet however leaves you with very little cravings. Plus cravings are a body’s way of crying out for attention due to lack of nutrients. Eg you crave chocolates when the body is low in magnesium and chocolates are loaded in magnesium. Plant based diet has more than enough nutrients required for the body thus cravings are minimal. Veggies and fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
What’s something not many people know about you?
I eat a bar of chocolate before every photo shoot, event, anything important to me. I believe it brings me luck ;). Plus its kind of a reward I give myself for being dedicated for days leading to the event.
“Fight yourself, for yourself”
“You did not come so far to only come so far. Don’t give up just yet”