She's 40, but that's no excuse for Shilpa Shetty Kundra to skip her workout or cheat on her diet. A brand icon for fitness, the actor knows how to balance her regimen with a bit of self-indulgence now and then. Her Instagram account, which on Sundays is flooded with a spread of delicacies, is proof enough that she knows when to give tough love a well-deserved foodie break.
Summer is upon us Mumbaikars. But Shilpa knows to how to ride a heat wave well. All set to take off to London next month with her son, Viaan, the actress-turned-entrepreneur tells us about her diet and beauty regimen, fit to strike back at the swelter.
Fight or flight
Twice a year, I take off from Mumbai compulsorily — once during summer and then Christmas. And both times, it's London that I head to. Summer holidays have started and I have no idea what to do with my child! In London, we take Viaan, who turns four now, to Cherrington farms or the London Zoo. The city is more child-friendly and hence, worth the trip. Frankly, there's barely anything for kids to do in Mumbai.
If I were in India, I would hit a spa resort for a weekend. Still, there aren't that many destinations where you can escape the heat.
Keep a tab on your summer diet
I drink about two-and-a-half litres of water, which is about eight glasses, as well as fresh juices every day. I am a vegetarian and during the hot months, it is easy to digest veggies. I also consume a lot of water-based fruits like cucumber, melons, musk melons, sweet lime and watermelons. In India, fasting is the best way to cleanse your system. Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramzan during summer; Hindus have Ugadi and Navratri. You have to keep your stomach as light as possible.
Make a sunny timetable
Breakfast: I follow a high-fibre diet. I have my porridge and six to eight soaked almonds. Since I love eggs, I have them too. They are perfect for protein intake. During summer, you can add chia seeds (sweet basil seeds) to food or make a drink with it. It cools the system. Even vegetable juices made from cucumber, spinach and carrots are great to reduce water retention. Now that mangoes are in season, I eat at least two a day. It's a great morning 'pick me up'. But, one needs to choose the timing of consuming mangoes, which are high in vitamin A. Most people have it with their meals. I don't do that. I have it as a mid-meal snack or before breakfast.
Lunch: I eat brown or white rice, some vegetables, and dal with two spoons of ghee. I normally include chaas along with a cucumber and carrot salad. No raw food after 4 pm is my philosophy.
Dinner: My dinner gets done before 8 pm. It's salads and soups. I don't have chicken anymore, since I am a vegetarian now.
Cheat food: When I say I cheat, I really cheat. On Sundays, I give myself a break from everyday food. When you follow a conventional diet plan, the body gets tired of it; and will stop listening to you especially when you wish to lose weight. It's scientific. Just for a day you have to go crazy, so that your body doesn't crave anything. It is important to modify your lifestyle and be happy too.
I am lucky to have good hair but as I live near the beach, I sit with a shower cap on, because my hair frizzes out.
Your skin mirrors what you eat. Food that soothes your body will naturally affect your skin as well. I own a spa chain, but I am not into facials. A good steam session and clean up is great. Clean up from the inside, is what I recommend. Make sure your intestines are clean, and consume foods that will help do that. Take a laxative; it will cleanse your internal system.
One should stop aerated drinks completely. These drinks cause your bones and teeth to weaken, and your pH levels shoot up. I don't stock any and my house is famous for pudina nimbu pani.
I believe less is more. I don't think you should do anything until you are 40 and I have touched the mark now. Maybe it's my turn now! When I feel I have tanned a bit, I put curd and turmeric on my face. Sometimes I use fresh cream, turmeric, rose water and some glycerin as a face pack. If need be, I throw in some almonds as well. Chew on them and use the mush in the pack.
I do gross things to keep my skin clean! In fact, when you wake up in the morning, before brushing your teeth, apply your morning saliva on your face and pimples. I guarantee that your skin will be clear in two days. I have never used soap on my face. I sometimes even take papaya while I am eating it, go to the bathroom and rub it on my face.
Breathe and workout
My work out regimen is very clear. I do eight suryanamskars every day. I start with vinyasa yoga and do the 12-step suryanamaskar. Four times a week, I go to the gym.
I cannot stress the importance of breathing exercises in summer. I also do breathing exercises. And now, I have also started doing a bit of stress management training.
I also need to add this. I don't work out to maintain my body, I work out to stay fit. You should feel comfortable about your body and a lifestyle modification plan is essential. I used to say that I want to be my fittest best at 50. Now, I want to be my fittest best at 70; 70 is the new 50. It's never too late to begin.
I keep Viaan's immunity up, hydrate him and make sure he eats a lot of fruits. Sugary drinks are off limits. I make sure that he is eating breakfast, lunch and dinner; I am not bothered if he eats or not in between. When he is out in the sun or going for a swim, I apply sunscreen. More than sunscreen, it's mosquito repellent that I apply on him, for fear of dengue.