Actor, author and a parent — Soha Ali Khan juggles many roles. Which is why she gives utmost importance to mindful eating and healthy living. From beginning her day with yoga to keeping random cravings at bay by indulging in healthy snacking, she does it all. In an email interaction with indianexpress.com, Soha, who recently celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary with actor Kunal Kemmu, talks about her fitness mantra, diet trends and of course, motherhood.
The New Year calls for new resolutions, what have you resolved for in 2020?
For a lot of us, January is a month of new beginnings. But how many of us are able to see them through the year is questionable. Having family responsibilities, and a young daughter to take care of, I try to keep smaller, more achievable resolutions at the start of the year, and work through the year to achieve them.
Last year, we saw many celebrities promoting healthy living and eating. What is your take on this?
I feel that as time is passing, people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of healthy living and eating, yet a lot of people need that extra push to go ahead and practice it. I feel it’s a great thing that celebrities are participating in the cause as a lot of people follow them and it would further inspire the masses to eat healthy and live better.
What does fitness mean to you? What is your fitness mantra?
Fitness to me isn’t only confined to physical well-being, as I feel that mental health is right at par. So my fitness mantra is to start the morning right by practising yoga and grabbing my daily dose of health in the form of a handful of almonds to keep random cravings at bay and being a healthy source of energy, it helps me stay active.
What does your daily fitness regimen and diet chart look like?
I think it is important to have a mindful and active morning, as it sets the tone for the day. This could be easily done with yoga asana and pranayama. Also, breakfast is a very important meal and I always indulge in something healthy as it fuels me with energy and takes me through most of the morning. I need my dose of energy as I mostly wake up feeling hungry so I snack on something healthy to pack in the right nutrients before I start with my morning exercise session. My go-to option is almonds, owing to its nutrient-rich composition — they are a rich source of protein, which is not only energy-yielding but also known to contribute to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass and makes for a good pre-workout snack.
How many hours do you manage to exercise in a week? Is there a particular exercise you swear by?
Yoga for me has worked wonders as it gives me a greater sense of inner calm, control, and focus. I usually choose a calm place in my home and start with pranayama for about 5 – 10 minutes; this helps to streamline my thoughts and centre my focus. After that, I practice asanas for at least 30 minutes.
Many diet trends like Keto, Intermittent fasting among others have become increasingly popular in the last few years, do you follow any particular diet?
I don’t follow a diet trend as such but I need my dose of energy as I mostly wake up feeling hungry. I plan my meals so that I make healthy meal choices. There are plenty of recipes that don’t require much effort or time to prepare them. I usually like to have Panini for lunch, made with some avocado, fresh-veggie, seasonal fruits, and cheese. This really keeps me satiated throughout the day. Dinner, I keep it light and healthy with a vibrant summer salad with radishes, edamame beans, peppers, almonds and herbs, drizzled with a citrus dressing.
Being a mother is no easy feat. How do you maintain your professional and personal life balance?
It isn’t easy to juggle between both however, on the one hand, it is the most beautiful thing in the world to be a mother and my profession is also my passion, so I am always motivated to do more than my best. Starting my morning right really helps as it is what keeps you going even on the busiest days.
You shared about your fitness regime and diet pattern, as the exam season nears, do you have any tips for students to stay healthy during exams?
Exams can be a very stressful time for students, and approaching them with a calm mind and planned approach always helps. I remember, during my school days, my mother ensured that she had prepared a meal plan and snacking routine for me during the prep-leaves, so I would be well-nourished through the day. Beyond this, she also made sure that she kept a bowlful of almonds on my study table – so I had a healthy snack handy, if I ever felt hungry or exhausted after studying for several hours.
What is the biggest thing motherhood has taught you?
Motherhood has taught me to be extra careful about literally everything. It is the most beautiful feeling in the world that teaches you to take greater care of yourself along with your child for them.
What, according to you, is the most important thing a mother can teach their children?
Health is not only about how you look or how attractive is your physique, it is equally about how you feel. Every parent should not only focus on their children’s grades, physical health, etc, but also teach them how to think right and stay emotionally strong. For this, one should encourage their children to practice yoga at a young age.