‘I Love Being Alert & Positive’

Raveena TANDON-THADANI on beauty, fitness, health and wellness. 

Your view on beauty?  

I believe in all things natural — including our inner and outer beauty. It’s sad that some of us in India are not ‘gung-ho’ until the West recognises, or patronises, something. In other words, we don’t appreciate what we have. The same thing happened with yoga. When the West started embracing the power of yoga, we too started believing that yoga is the best. Our country holds such natural and beautiful secrets passed on through generations; also aeons. We ought to appreciate and expand them from the ground up and in everything we do. 

Your ‘take’ on fitness? 

I’ve always believed in fitness and wellness, although I’ve kept changing my format of workout as and when my body gets stereo-typed, or ‘immune,’ to any exercise-based plan. I believe in experimenting with my workout, just as much as I emphasise on everyday wellness for my kids and other moms around. I combine yoga, pilates, kick-boxing, weight-training and exercises for the core muscles. When you are flexible with your physical fitness routine, you can adapt it according to your travel schedule and make sure you don’t miss out on it. 

Your view of health and wellness?  

When I started working in movies, I never went on a crash diet, or put myself through stress because my mother had inculcated good eating habits in me since I was a child. That’s why you’ve never heard stories about me fainting on the set of a film. I’ve done the same for my kids. They don’t touch aerated drinks. I’ve told them it’s unhealthy and they are okay with it. They know they can have it, but only occasionally. Once in a while, when I have an aerated drink, my kids scold me saying it’s unhealthy. They also fear that my teeth will turn black. I am always concerned about the nutrition my kids are getting. So, I make food which is tasty and nutritious.

I usually serve them one interesting dish with two boring dishes. But, I keep oily, fried stuff and everything that is made of maida away from them. My kids love Chinese and Indian food. Palak paneer and butter naan are their favourite foods. They enjoy Indian food at Urban Tadka in Mumbai. For Chinese food, it alternates.

Let fruit and vegetables reign in your house. Keep them washed, peeled, cut and available in plain sight, such as the front of the fridge, on kitchen countertops, on the dining table etc. Keep chips and pretzels out of sight. Better still, just limit buying too many processed snacks.

Also, do not solely rely on sneaking vegetables into every dish. While this may seem like a good tactic, when used regularly, it may backfire. Your kids will think of vegetables as something so awful they that need to be camouflaged. Instead, offer vegetables in various textures, colours and forms — cooked and uncooked, with or without dips. Try raw sweet bell peppers and other crunchy veggies at first.

For me, breakfast is brain power. The best examples of a good breakfast include: yoghurt, fruit and nuts, milk and banana slices, eggs and whole grain toast, and oatmeal with cinnamon and fruit. That’s yum — isn’t it? 

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance?  

I’m loving work again; this keeps me alert, positive and functioning, but I don’t know if I’m ready to get into long, long hours. It’s difficult to balance sometimes, while loving your work, but I realise I have my limitations. Wanna be home more; luckily it’s my choice. 

Your mantra to beat stress?  

I love having some extra time to spend with my animal companions and they seem to love having me around more often — no more ‘sad faces’ each time I leave the house. They don’t expect, or want, me to keep a social distance from them. I take out time to feed community dogs and cats too. I’ve also been helping injured, or sick, animals. All this and other relaxing activities help me to beat stress — from the inside out. 

RAVEENA TANDON-THADANI needs no introduction. A much-sought-after actress, and now producer, Tandon-Thadani has primarily worked in Bollywood films, apart from appearing in Tamil, Kannada and Telugu films, among other genres. A devoted environmentalist, she has been associated with PETA for over 20 years. She has four children, two adopted and two with Anil Thadani, her husband [This piece has been collated and curated from material available on the ‘Net [Raveena Tandon-Thadani. Photo, Courtesy: Wallpapercave]. She lives in Mumbai.

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