Deanne Panday doesn’t believe in diets; She swears by positive attitudes, healthy routines, and clean eating for wellbeing. At 52, she defies the age she calls “just a number”.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, the fitness expert, who recently launched a product with Paul Penders, talks about anything healthy.
The pandemic made it clear to everyone how important a “healthy life” is. But what exactly does “healthy living” mean and mean?
Healthy living means different things to different people. For some, it could be exercise, eating healthy, or doing yoga, while for others, it could be meditation or a vacation. For me it is a comprehensive balance of all aspects. It’s not just the food on your plate or your workout, but your mind, how positive it is, and your thoughts as well. Food is not just about what you eat, it’s where it comes from, who grows it, and what type of soil it is grown on. A good balance between all aspects is what I call healthy living.
In your book Balance, you talk about the 13 most important elements that lead to a happy and healthy life. Could you elaborate on that?
The 13 critical aspects – relationship, home environment, finances, career, health, physical wellbeing, spirituality, joy, home-made food, creativity, education, social life, the impact of climate change on health – must be balanced in living a happy, healthy life Life. For example, if the home environment is out of sync, it can lead to stress and spikes in cortisol levels, which can lead to increased appetite. This then leads to weight gain no matter how much time you spend in the gym. Health and physical well-being are just as important as spirituality, which can mean different things to different people. For some it is yoga, for others meditation, for others charity, for others the house of worship.
The health crisis has also shown the importance of boosting immunity in order to keep various diseases at bay. What would you suggest for that?
Covid-19 made us aware of the importance of strong immunity. Everyone is talking about eating right – foods like turmeric, kadha, khichdi, vegetables. But for me, it’s the stress that you have to watch out for. When you take stress out, it affects your gut, the body’s second brain. So keep stress at bay, do lots of meditation, yoga, music, walks, and anything else that makes you happy. Self-love is important.
Diet is just as important; I don’t believe in diets, I believe in how our grandparents ate balanced meals. All of these aspects increase your immunity, along with the consumption of herbs like ashwagandha, spirulina, and lots of vegetables.
Home exercises became very popular last year. What exercises do you suggest that you practice daily?
Home exercise became popular last year, but it has also taught us many lessons – for example, we can’t rely on a trainer, gym, or class. We can do our training at home with minimal accessories. If you go through my Instagram page you will see that I’ve done a lot of home workouts. Practice home exercise such as exercise daily; If you have steps, exercise on your stairs or take advantage of your patio.
Beauty and wellness go hand in hand, and you also said that what you eat is reflected on your skin. Can you give us a few tips and tricks for healthy, glowing skin?
Many herbs, superfoods, fruits, and vegetables are very good for your skin. Nuts and seeds are good too. Drink plenty of warm water or liquids like coconut water. When choosing a juice, make sure you have it once it’s mixed. Do not keep it in the refrigerator.
Superfoods, 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 don’t 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 choose oil, use healthy oil. Steam your vegetables, leave 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 also trained Miss India candidates. But when did your personal fitness journey begin?
My fitness journey started when I was 11-12 years old. When I was very young, my friends would go to the park while I was doing the Jane Fonda workout at home, the 60 minute and 90 minute challenges. Jane Fonda was a fitness icon at the time and had released videotapes. I enjoyed working out from their workout videos.
You defy age and are a role model for many. What’s your mantra for a fit life?
I’m 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 exercise, it’s your mind and your thoughts. It’s about being fearless. Fear is only man made, if you are fearless in mind your mind can be limitless. Traveling, being happy, being with people, just living and letting live is my mantra for a happy life. I don’t watch TV or read newspapers, I gain knowledge by reading lots of books.
Age is only a number. It’s not just about going to the gym or getting a lean and healthy body, this is not healthy. It’s so much more, your mind must be very healthy, your body and soul should be very healthy. To be happy from within, one should be able to be happy without material things in life.
If there was any advice you would give youngsters today, what would it be?
Today’s youth are heavily influenced by social media, Bollywood and Hollywood. I would tell them to be confident. They are all born beautiful, gifted and creative. Find your beauty, creativity and shine no matter what. Don’t go by what society says, but by what social media says. Travel, live, explore, work hard, be humble, honest and fearless and do what you love, love what you do. Don’t take pressure off people. Live your life and be confident. You are all born for a reason, God gave you a gift, explore that gift, find out what your gift is, share it with the world, work hard and be fearless.
You recently connected with a skin care brand. Are you someone who experiments with cosmetic products or sticks to home remedies?
I partnered with Paul Penders because it’s vegan and 100 percent natural. This fits my personality and I firmly believe in it. I don’t experiment with products. I only use minimal products for my skin, body and hair. I use home remedies. What I eat, I also apply to my skin. That’s why Paul Penders has My SkinFitness Complexion Booster from Deanne Panday is something that I believe in and that I support.