Nutritionist and Fitness Expert – Meet Tanuja Sodhi
Abs are made in the Kitchen and not in the Gym!
In today’s world, the ancient adage “You are what you eat” has become increasingly true. Takeaways and ready to eat food has become a part of our busy lives. It is not surprising then, that lifestyle diseases are becoming increasingly common across all age groups. If you are ever tempted to try the latest fad diet, here’s a word of caution this week from our Wellness expert Tanuja Sodhi. This naval officer turned nutritionist and fitness consultant believes that regular fitness and a balanced diet are the holy grail of health. Read on to find out more about Tanuja and her secret to a healthy lifestyle.
Tell us something about yourself.
I have a Master’s degree in English and am an MBA from from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai. I am an Ex-Naval officer from the first batch of lady officers in the Indian Navy in 1992. I owe my robust physical fitness to the physically rigorous life-style in the Indian Navy which taught her the significance and use of mental strength to undergo physical rigours. After the naval tenure, I fortified my fitness foundation with the Reebok certification and a Fellowship in Applied Nutrition. I set up a group fitness studio and trained women for over 10 years in activities like step aerobics, floor aerobics, cardio kickboxing, circuit training, boot camp and strength training. I am an avid marathoner and have also taken part in a couple of triathlons. I also love being a part of commando-style obstacle races and have participated in a few.
What are your areas of specialisation and which segment do you currently work in.
I presently work as a nutritionist and a fitness consultant helping people pursue a healthy lifestyle. I conduct corporate workshops and talks on nutrition and fitness. I have been writing blogs on all aspects of nutrition and fitness for a reputed pro-parenting online portal and now for my own website. I am an author of a book on child nutrition published by Rupa Publications called “Parenting in the age of McDonald’s”. The book is like a ready reckoner that helps parents in dealing with children all through their growing years with practical diet and fitness tips.
What excites you the most about your role/industry?
Given my expertise in the fields of fitness, nutrition, running and writing, I enjoy helping people acquire a healthy lifestyle by motivating them to pursue exercise and a balanced diet by making realistic and permanent changes to their way of life. It also gives me immense satisfaction to create awareness about healthy living through my blogs and motivational talks.
What is your view on holistic health, wholesome nutrition, and an active lifestyle?
I believe that regular fitness and a balanced diet are the antidotes to modern afflictions of a sedentary lifestyle such as, work related stress, obesity, diabetes, etc. Exercise and a lean diet complement each other. They go a long way in keeping the body supple and robust, the heart- healthy, the bones- strong, the brain- active, the weight- in check and the sleep- tranquil. According to me, fitness and a balanced diet are imperative and not mere alternatives.
What is the best advise you have gotten from your mentors/industry experts to upkeep with your health?
Your body is your temple. If you take care of it, it will radiate positivity and good health; but if you trash it and ignore it, it will emit negativity and will break down.
I am a firm believer of this thought and treat it like a gospel.
Please share a quick super nutritious recipe to power yourself during demanding days.
My favourite green smoothie! Here’s the link.
How do you maintain your health and your lifestyle?
I run 3-4 times a week; Strength train with 1-2 sessions of functional training 4-5 times a week; Eat 5-6 small meals through the day; Try to add protein sources to all my meals; Add good fats to my daily diet; Avoid sugar & sugar products completely; And never skip meals.
Which are your favorite foods, places to eat, places to travel?
Favourite foods: Smoothies! Smoothies!! And more smoothies!!! Besides smoothies, I enjoy Mexican, Continental, Thai and South Indian cuisines selectively and occasionally.
Favourite places to eat: “Recipes for Life” Café at Palms Town & Country Club, Gurgaon AND Suzette Creperie & café, Mumbai.
Places to travel: Treks like Goecha la Pass at Kanchenjunga Basecamp; Goa, Andaman & Nicobar Island, Goa, Europe, and many more.
Please share a wellness and fitness tip that you employ on daily basis to stay in shape and be active.
To stay in shape, one needs to spend 45 mins 6 days a week exercising and eating clean. Avoid pre-packaged foods, sugar, fried foods and refined foods. Maintain a food journal to help you accomplish this. Remember that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym, and you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
Which is your favorite food ingredient and how do you use it the most?
Flaxseeds is by far my favourite food ingredient. I play around with it with every possible dish. I roast it and powder it, and then add it to my smoothie, sandwich, roti dough, salad, yogurt, and to just about anything I eat. Flaxseed is a nutrient-bomb with just too many health benefits.
We come across multiple stressful situations on daily basis as working professionals and in society. What is your favourite way to release tension and relax?
My major stress busters are running, working out in the gym and watching good Hollywood/Bollywood movies.
What would you advise our audience to stay healthy while pursuing modern lifestyle?
This quote sums up what I have in mind: ‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
Tanuja Sodhi can be reached at http://tanujasodhi.com/