My Fitness Routine

I love being healthy…almost like its my fix. People relax when they go out and have drink. I feel good when I go for yoga class or eat a healthy meal. It’s not to say that I’ve always been virtuous. In fact, I spent all of my 20s getting thoroughly shit-faced. But these days when I go out, I find that I prefer to leave around 10:30pm. Anytime beyond that and I start getting out-of-body experiences. Luckily I have friends who understand me and don’t get irritated with this habit. And for them (my friends) I am grateful. So here’s my fitness routine, which includes my diet, exercise and spiritual rituals. It’s all based on balance and not nearly as hardcore as you may expect.

These days I’m primarily vegetarian, not because of religion or yoga. It’s just that I don’t enjoy the taste of meat anymore. I may have an egg now and then but no more. 

  1. Upon waking at 5:30-6am I drink two glasses of coriander water. Basically coriander seeds soaked overnight in water and then strained in the morning. Its a great detoxifier and was suggested by nutritionist Lovneet Batra. Along with this I have 5-6 almonds (with skin), 2 walnuts, one fig and a few munakkas (large raisins) - all of these have been soaked overnight in water.  
  2. Then I have a cup of chai with sugar and milk. I include all food groups in my diet. I did go through a no wheat, no dairy phase but now I eat everything, including sugar, my one vice :). 
  3. After practicing yoga I eat breakfast, which is either greek yogurt with two portions of fruit, goji berries and chia seeds, or small portions of poha or upma. I used to eat a humungous breakfast when I used to go out to work, but now I feel happy with a light breakfast as I work from home.
  4. Lunch is usually around 12:00-12:30 and this is my main meal these days. I love home cooked Indian food so I eat dal, sabzi, sprouts salad with either two rotis, or red, black or brown rice. The rotis are usually slathered with desi ghee and there is ghee always in my dal too. For me physical strength is essential. I have to be able to do pushups instead of being super slim. So ghee is of utmost importance because it gives me strength.  
  5. I don’t believe in 6 small meals - I like to eat 3 main meals. In the evening I will have a fruit, or two Threptin biscuits (also suggested by Dr Batra) for protein.
  6. Dinner is usually at seven and I either eat a salad with leafy greens, capsicum, and hummus, or a stir fry with broccoli, quinoa, tofu, beans etc. If I’m really hungry I’ll eat a slice of pumpernickel or rye bread. If I’m really, really hungry them scrambled eggs of two whites and one yellow with dinner. 
  7. I drink at least three litres of water a day and one glass of coconut water. And in summer a glass of mango panna too. And yes, two cups of tulsi tea. 
  8. Before sleeping I eat a tsp of triphala with warm water. My very handsome grandfather used to eat it till he died at the age of 96. I guess this was one of the reasons behind his good looks :). 

I don’t like very high impact exercises, although I do exercise a lot. I have been to a gym once in my entire life and hated it. I do ashtanga/vinyasa yoga for an hour 5-6 times a week in the mornings, and go for a brisk 40-minute walk 4-5 times a week in the evenings. I feel this keeps me in shape. Being in good shape for me is when clothes look good on me. I don’t want to be so skinny that it starts showing on my face. 

I love my spiritual routine THE MOST. Earlier I would wake up and do pranayama and meditation in the morning. But these days I do it in the evening. I do jal neti (nasal irrigation) with my neti pot to clear my nasal passages. Then I do pranayama. And then finally my meditation, which oscillates between vipassana and mala japa. After meditation I read a few pages of any book. These days its Advice on Dying by The Dalai Lama. Lights out by 10:00pm latest.