February 12, 2021 5:30:14 pm
Deanne Panday does not believe in diets; she swears by a positive mindset, a healthy routine, and clean eating for well-being. At 52, she defies age, which she says is “just a number”.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, the fitness expert — who recently launched a product with Paul Penders — talks about all things healthy.
The pandemic made everyone realise the importance of ‘healthy living’. But what exactly does ‘healthy living’ mean and entail?
Healthy living means different things to different people; for some, it could be a workout, eating healthy, or doing yoga, while for others it could be meditation or a holiday. For me, it is an all-round balance of all aspects. It’s not just the food on your plate or your workout, but also your mind, how positive it is, and your thoughts. In food, it is not only about what you eat, but also where it comes from, who grows it, and what kind of soil it is grown in. A right balance of all the aspects put together is what I call healthy living.
In your book, Balance, you talk about the 13 vital elements that lead to a happy and healthy life. Could you elaborate?
The 13 vital aspects — relationship, home environment, finance, career, health, physical wellness, spirituality, joy, home-cooked food, creativity, education, social life, the impact of climate change on health — are needed to be in balance to live a happy, healthy life. For example, if the home environment is not in sync, it may lead to stress and an increase in cortisol levels, which can lead to an increased appetite. This will, then, lead to weight gain, no matter how much time you spend in the gym. Also, health and physical wellness are important, so is spirituality, which can mean different things to different people. For some it’s yoga, for some it’s meditation, for some it’s charity, while for some it’s the house of worship.
The health crisis also highlighted the importance of boosting one’s immunity to keep various ailments at bay. What would you suggest for the same?
Covid-19 has made us realise the importance of strong immunity. Everybody talks about eating right — foods like turmeric, kadha, khichdi, vegetables. But for me, it is the stress that one needs to pay attention to. If you take stress, it affects your gut, which is the body’s second brain. So, keep stress levels at bay, do a lot of meditation, yoga, music, walks, and anything that makes you happy. Self-love is important.
Nutrition is equally important; I don’t believe in diets, but on how our grandparents ate well-balanced meals. All these aspects increase your immunity, along with the consumption of herbs like Ashwagandha, Spirulina, and lots of vegetables.
Home exercises became quite popular last year. What exercises do you suggest one practises daily?
Home exercises became popular last year, but they also taught us a lot of lessons — for example, we cannot be dependent on a trainer, gym or any class. We can do our workout at home with minimum accessories. If you go through my Instagram page, you will see I’ve done a lot of home workouts. Practice home workout daily, like movement; if you have steps, workout on your staircase or you can use your terrace.
Beauty and wellness go hand-in-hand, and you have also said that what one eats reflects on their skin. Could you share a few tips and tricks for healthy, glowing skin?
A lot of herbs, superfoods, fruits and greens are very good for the skin. Nuts and seeds are also good. Drink a lot of warm water or any kinds of liquids like coconut water. If you decide to have a juice, make sure you have it as soon as it’s blended. Do not store it in the fridge.
Superfood, super herbs, Indian herbs like ashwagandha, spirulina are very healthy. My favorite vegetable is mushroom. Mushrooms are very healthy and high in vitamin D. As Indians, we do not like going out in the sun, so the only other way to get vitamin D is through mushrooms. Consume very little oil and if you do decide to use oil, use healthy oil. Steam your vegetables, have them half raw and half cooked.
You have worked with many Bollywood celebs like Salman Khan, Bipasha Basu, Sonakshi Sinha and even Jacqueline Fernandez, and have also trained Miss India contestants. But when did your personal fitness journey begin?
My fitness journey began at the age of 11-12. When I was really young, my friends used to go to the park while I used to do the Jane Fonda workout at home, the 60 minutes and 90 minutes challenges. Jane Fonda was a fitness icon at that time and had come out with video cassettes. I used to enjoy working out from her workout videos.
You defy age and are a role model for many. What is your mantra to a fit life?
I am 52 now, and my fitness mantra is to have a healthy mind and body. Wellness for me is a very broad spectrum it’s not just what you eat or your workout, it’s your mind and your thoughts. It is about being fearless. The fear is only man-made if you are fearless in the mind, your mind can be limitless. Travelling, being happy, being with people, just live and let live is my mantra to a happy life. I do not watch TV or read newspapers, I gain knowledge by reading a lot of books.
Age is just a number. It’s not just going to the gym or trying to get a slim and fit body, that’s not being healthy. It’s so much more, your mind has to be very healthy, your body and your soul should be very healthy. To be happy from the inside you should be able to be happy without any material things in life.
If there is one advice you would give youngsters today, what would it be?
The youngsters today are very influenced by social media, Bollywood, and Hollywood. I would tell them to be confident. They are all born beautiful, are gifted and creative. Find your beauty, creativity and excel and shine no matter what. Do not go by what society says, do not go by what social media says. Travel, live life, explore, work hard, be humble, truthful, and fearless, and do what you love, love what you do. Do not take pressure from people. Live your life and be confident. You are all born for a reason, God has given you a gift, explore that gift, find out what your gift is, share it with the world, work hard and be fearless.
You have recently associated with a skincare brand; are you someone who experiments with cosmetic products or sticks to home remedies?
I tied up with Paul Penders because it’s vegan and 100 per cent natural. This is something that matches my personality and I firmly believe in. I do not experiment with products. I use minimal products on my skin, body and hair. I use home remedies. What I eat is also what I apply to my skin. That’s why Paul Penders My SkinFitness Complexion Booster by Deanne Panday is something I believe in and endorse.
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