The Financial Express
Mother, actor, author, fitness enthusiast – Soha Ali Khan has donned almost all the hats, yet she is reinventing herself with every passing day. The actor, who believes that it’s never too late to get back on track and in control of your body, sat down for an exclusive chat with financialexpress.com’s Eshita Bhargava to speak about her daily routine, fitness regime, her mantra for keeping fit and healthy, and more. Excerpts from the interview:
I am very conscious about what I eat and being confined to home mostly for the last two years has surely made us realize the importance of following a diet that not only nourishes the body but also supports the immune system. With this context, there is a strong need to pair a wholesome diet with regular exercise and mindful snacking while also making a serious effort to control stress. I do this by mostly adding foods like nuts like almonds, Haldi, Hing, in my own and my family’s diet. Having a little one at home also puts me under a microscope as she eats from my plate regularly, so to make sure she eats well too, I add ingredients that are healthy and tasty like broccoli, almonds, fish, dal, etc. to my meals. Additionally, since childhood my mom has inculcated the habit of consuming almonds daily, and I also know that they are a source of 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, zinc, etc. which is important to help grow your muscle mass and keep you energetic through the day. In the long run, each of these elements combined may help in promoting better health for every family member.
A post shared by Soha (@sakpataudi)
2. What’s the secret to your glowing skin?
Whether it’s my diet or skincare routine – I have always looked up to my mother for advice and tried to emulate her habits. I learned from an early age that maintaining your skin does not always mean trying out only homemade nushkas or using cosmetic products. What we eat affects many aspects of our health including our skin as well. I am very particular when it comes to skincare and a believer in the natural skincare routine. I’ve also been very mindful of my diet in order to maintain healthy and glowing skin. When it comes to natural beauty, almonds fit right in. Almonds are rich in antioxidant vitamin E, which may help protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, caused by pollution, UV rays from the sun, and other environmental and intrinsic factors. The benefits of almonds are long known as it is one of few natural foods that have been part of Indian culture and according to texts published in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. Besides eating healthy food to nourish my skin from within, I also make sure to keep myself hydrated and drink at least 2-3 litres of water as it helps balance the pH level, flushes out the toxins, prevents zits and acne, and helps reduces the sagging of skin.
3. You’re a hands-on mom, how do you get the energy to keep up with your kid?
Yes, a lot of my time is taken up with Inaaya, but there are certain things that I have tried to bring under control. These are aspects like nutrition, physical wellbeing, happiness, and being present in the moment. I have tried to work all of that in, though I don’t actually get a lot of time to think about myself. But I try to do things that will make me happy. So, if I eat right, work out well, sleep and wake up at the same time every day, I feel that I am better equipped for the rest of the day.
A post shared by Soha (@sakpataudi)
4. Does Inaaya imitate your healthy habits? How do you make sure she eats healthy? (Kids can be picky)
Since kids are fussy eaters, it becomes necessary for us to design a food chart that is interesting and healthy. For my daughter’s daily diet, I try to make sure to include a mix of foods that provide her with all the essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fibre, good fats, etc. that her body requires for growth and development. So, I make sure to include a variety of pulses, eggs, nuts like almonds, green vegetables, oats, carrots, cucumber, fruits like bananas, berries, apples and other seasonal fruits.
When it comes to snacking – I don’t want her to grow up with unhealthy snacking habits, so I try to limit fried foods. Instead, I prefer giving her almonds, and seasonal fruit. I soak the almonds overnight and give them to her in the morning. Starting her day with almonds is a small yet great change that helps aid in leading a healthier lifestyle from a young age. Besides that, kids are very active, and it’s important to harness that energy by keeping them engaged, but also ensuring there is some sense of routine. So, I plan her week in advance and ensure there are different physical activities that she engages in like Zumba, dancing, reading and doodling, to keep her active.
5. How has your lifestyle evolved post pandemic?
The pandemic has surely taught us to stay healthy from within which is only possible by eating right, exercising well and being happy. It has also taught us to be happy in the little moments of happiness as life is too short and not in anyone’s control. Without default, I follow a healthy lifestyle routine and make sure that my family does the same. I ensure that our day is well-balanced with healthy meals and snacks in between along with exercises.
6. How do you manage fitness and work together?
I am very diligent when it comes to exercising, I have a routine that I follow regularly. During shoots, it was challenging for me to adhere to a routine but what that break also made me realize is that once you break an existing routine, it’s all the more difficult to get back to it. Therefore, working out regularly is the key. My workout routine is a mixture of High Intensity Interval Training, yoga and jogging. I usually indulge myself with HIIT four times a week, jog twice and practice yoga maybe once a week. This exercise routine also helps me set a good example for my daughter, and I definitely sleep better at night, feel happier and relaxed – thanks to my exercise regime.
6. Please share your favourite almond recipe
My daughter is very enthusiastic about participating in cooking – so sometimes I let her roll her roti or mix a batter for a cake. One of our favourite recipes is that of a Spiced Almond Banana Jaggery Cake, and the baking process gets my daughter more excited. She’s learning so much from it and enjoys it. Almonds are a part of our daily diet and we make sure to eat a handful of almonds every day. Almonds make for a healthy and nutrient-dense snack, which can be consumed raw or added to oats, smoothies, and shakes. Eating them regularly also helps strengthen my family and my own immunity, as they are known to contain copper, zinc, iron, and Vitamin E – each of which is a nutrient that contributes to the growth, development, maintenance, and normal functioning of the immune system.
Serves: 3 – 4 person
Butter, unsalted 1/2 cup
Jaggery powder 1/2 cup cinnamon
Ground 1 ½ tsp
Nutmeg, ground 1/4 tsp
Almonds, sliced 1/2 cup
Sugar 3/4 cup
Eggs, large 3 no
Orange zest 2 tsp
Banana, ripped & mashed 1 1/4 cups
All-purpose flour 3 cups
Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Buttermilk 2/3 cup
• Melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into an 8-cup pan; brush the butter over pan sides and bottom. Mix together the jaggery, cinnamon, nutmeg, and almonds. Sprinkle bottom of pan with half the jaggery mixture; combine the remaining mixture with the remaining melted butter; set aside.
• In a large bowl, beat remaining 1/4 cup butter with granulated sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Beat in mashed banana.
• Mix all-purpose, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add to the banana mixture along with the buttermilk; stir until well blended.
• Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon remaining jaggery sugar mixture evenly over top; cover with remaining batter.
• Bake in a 180° oven until a long wood skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake on a rack for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Serve the cake warm or cool.
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