You know her as a successful actress, an author, and now a doting mother to a three-year-old, actress Soha Ali Khan is a delight, both on and off-screen. The 'Rang De Basanti' actress is also a fitness icon for many, and the internet cannot wait for her to drop her skin-care routine. In an exclusive chat with NDTV Food, Soha Ali Khan spoke to us about her love for healthy snacking, eating clean, her morning rituals and desserts that rule little Inaaya's heart. Steal some ideas, maybe?
1. One diet tip you received during the pregnancy that you would like to give other expecting mothers
Being pregnant surely brings many concerns along with healthy eating tips from your loved ones. Growing up, I looked up to my mother and tried to imbibe her healthy lifestyle choices into my own routine from an early age. Pregnancy requires a lot of energy along with staying active, which is why I made sure I practised Yoga and practised mindful snacking throughout. For expecting mothers - my advice is - be sure to include wholesome foods that are rich in nutrients such as fruits, dairy products, nuts like almonds, which provide energy and adds a host of nutrients like protein, iron, vitamin E, folate, zinc, copper etc. which will add to your overall health. And make sure to stay hydrated!
2. What do you think about 'healthy snacking'? How often do you take a snack break in a day?
It's all right to snack through the day, but as long as it's on healthy and nutritious foods. Often, we overindulge in unwholesome snacks then worry about gaining weight, hence I prefer opting for wholesome snacks such as fruits or almonds are known to provide energy and have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which further helps in keeping my hunger at bay. Besides that, almonds are easy to flavour and can be mixed with any Indian spices and can be consumed throughout the day which makes them a good choice for snacking without worrying about weight gain.
I snack twice a day which is during mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Mid mornings start with a handful of almonds and mid-afternoons are for a smoothie made with fruit jaggery powder and low-fat yogurt.
3. Are you on any special diet currently? What do you eat all day?
I am not an avid follower of diets. I usually practice healthy eating and include a lot of nutritious foods in my diet, along with daily exercise. My routine usually is as follows - I start my day with lukewarm water/Methi water along with a handful of plain or soaked almonds and consume them through the day at regular intervals, to keep my cravings at bay. For breakfast, I usually eat a Dosa or an omelette with fresh fruits and a gluten-free toast with honey. For lunch, I like to eat chicken or fish with some dal, vegetables, and brown rice or roti. I end the day on a light note and usually have a salad with lots of vegetables, almonds, and herbs drizzled with a citrus dressing.
4. Is Inaaya a fussy-eater? How do you deal with her tantrums, if any?
Thankfully she is not a fussy eater. Since she was small, I have ensured I fed her everything, so that has helped form a good eating habit and routine for her. Besides that, I believe I set an example for my kid, so I try to eat as healthy and well when around her especially. Plus, she's always eating from my plate, so I include as many fruits, nuts, and vegetables as possible. However whenever she's not in a mood to eat vegetables or fruits, so I make a smoothie for her which she drinks happily.
(Also Read: Why Soaked Almonds are Better Than Raw Almonds)
5. Tell us what you like to sneak into Inaaya's diet without her knowing it
Inaaya is her mother's daughter and loves eating sweets occasionally. So I ensure making cakes and desserts and include almonds in it to keep it yummy plus healthy. Her go-to desserts are Spiced Banana Almond And Jaggery Cake or a Whole-Nut Chikki.
(Also Read:Why Should You Consume Jaggery (Gur) in Winter?)
6. Your guilty indulgence?
A nicely baked gooey vegan chocolate cake. Most people don't like it but I am fond of it!
7. The go-to comfort food that you can binge on all day
I am very fond of Indian food, especially Tandoori Chicken and Dal Tadka. Dal is my all-time comfort food. With its high nutritional value, I feel less guilty while eating it.
8. A dish you really enjoy cooking?
I am not much into cooking but a few dishes that I enjoy cooking are yellow Dal and Pasta. Recently during the lockdown, I tried experimenting on new things and baked an Almond Carrot Crumble with my daughter, which turned out quite well indeed.
9. A cooking hack/secret tip that saves you a lot of time in the kitchen?
Under normal circumstances, I don't cook. However, I tried to do simple recipes that don't need much prep time or effort. Besides, I always plan my meals in advance, so it saves time and helps in keeping me fit.
10. You have fabulous skin, some foods that you would like to recommend for the same
I am blessed with good skin genetically. But I believe it is important to eat healthy and nutritious food to keep the skin healthy from inside, apart from all the skincare regime we follow. So, I include wholesome alternatives such as berries, tomatoes, avocados, and coconut oil which have been a staple for years in my diet to enhance skin health. Another one food that I highly recommend is almonds as they contain healthy fats and Vitamin E which have shown to impart anti-ageing properties that may benefit the skin. But it is most important is to keep yourself hydrated.
11. Do you make changes to your diet every season? Some go-to winter foods you swear by?
I am very conscious of what my family eats. My day always starts with a handful of almonds, as they contain several nutrients which are known to support the body's immune system. During winters, I try to include as many seasonal fruits possible in our diet. I like having beetroot juice and Amla, because of their beneficial values for the skin. Beetroot juice gives a glow to my skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.