Fitness Nutritionist Smitha Shetty Lists Down Vedic Superfoods From Her Kitchen
- IWB Post
- February 5, 2018
“Happiness is the highest form of health”- Dalai Lama
“Hectic” and “Chaotic” – two small words, yet they encompass the life of every individual in the present era. With the mantra of having ‘no-time to even breath properly,” we fancy the dream of making Fitspiration our life motto. We enroll in fitness programs, join gyms, practice all the ABCs of a healthy lifestyle and yet, being fit-as-a-fiddle eludes us.
You might think I know the secret to fit and healthy body? Well, you are in luck, because I do have the answers to your queries. Or, to be precise, Smitha Shetty does. This Mumbai-based superwoman is a fitness nutritionist and exercise specialist.
Smitha did some squatting, pushups, and myth-busting in a conversation with IWB. For starters, did you know that Rice DOES NOT make you gain weight? And I gave it all up for fitness?! *sob*
The word is that your fitness training is quite unique. What sets it apart from the usual fitness regimen?
The fitness training that I offer is based on four factors, namely food, exercise, sleep and above all, helping to increase the happiness quotient. If someone wants to lose weight, or become fit and nothing they do seems to work, it is because something is hindering the progress. Like if someone who is lacking the last factor, has an emotional setback may indulge in overeating or eat in an unbalanced manner.
I believe that the right technique works, just devoting multiple hours in the gym is not going to bear any results. Quality overrules quantity.
Well, that’s interesting! Who was your fitness inspiration?
Well, I practiced Judo since the age of 16, and I think my inspiration came from it. I am an A-grade referee for Judo championships conducted by Judo Federation of India. Also, the year I started practicing Judo, I began to study Vedic Philosophy, like Bhagavad Gita. At 16, many may say that I was too young, but it made me realize that life is beyond what we think, it is multi-dimensional. And what will give you happiness is the improved quality of life in totality, not bits and pieces.
Also, working with sports physiotherapists, like Dr. Harshada Rajadhyasha (Sachin Tendulkar’s physio) and the late Dr. Vipul Chavda (Commonwealth medallists trainer) gave me the needed motivation and helped me to groom myself.
There are many myths associated with fitness and health. Ready to bust some?
Well, like during pregnancy women become too cautious. We almost treat it like a disease. Instead, the woman should stay as active as she was earlier. Also, regarding exercise, walking isn’t one. It is just a physical activity which is mandatory.
One myth around losing weight is that ghee is the main culprit behind it. It is so wrong, it has no fat. In India in the name of purity, we get artificial products. If it is homemade, then it is absolutely fine. Similarly, rice is also avoided by many who want to lose weight, what they don’t realize is that it is the most wholesome food and is nutritious that even can help you lose weight. My lunch and dinner are made with rice.
And the biggest myth is age. I think that the day you feel that you have no hope and give up on things is the day you turn old. You can be young forever.
Oh my! I can’t believe that I lived a life of lies all these years. But as hard it is to break the established beliefs, it is that difficult to make your trainees follow the schedule. Do you have the notorious lot?
To be honest, the people I have been training are really disciplined, I mean they inspire me at times. And if we talk about rules (laughing), there were times when they would be there even before me!
I believe that nothing happens in one day. It’s not like that you start eating right today and you would lose weight tomorrow. Do it for a month and see the results for yourself! That all the motivation one needs to continue.
You have been training Leena Nair. What fitness should be in the ‘must-follow’ list for career-driven ladies?
Leena Nair is very disciplined, which is a must. Understanding that fitness is a requirement, such women can’t neglect that. She has to eat right and have a positive mindset. Ms. Leena is a very positive thinker and that itself the key to her fitness.
We can’t forget the little troublemakers? What food would you suggest for active kids?
Well, milk is a lost cause as what we get is synthetic milk, it’s like poison. If you can get pure milk, it’s so healthy for your child. Give them rice and dal. Cook moong-dal halwa. You have to be creative when it comes to preparing the tiffin of your child and see how they’ll jump on it.
What should one pay attention to when reading the labels of food products?
So you know whatever is packed and processed, you should not touch it. See, when I say label reading, I mean understanding what ingredients go into it and when you do, you’ll realize that there is not much to eat from the supermarket shelves. Because everything is filled with fillers, artificial essence to enhance the taste.
When you go shopping, you have to pick something close to nature and less processed.
Time to ditch shopping at supermarkets, I presume. So, if I were to swoop into your kitchen right now, what Vedic superfoods would I be able to spot?
You’ll find rice because as I said earlier it is a wholesome food, and everyone should have it. All Indian basics like good quality coal-pressed coconut oil, kokum sharbet, makhana, peanuts and much more.
You mentioned earlier that you are very spiritual, so how do you connect your spirituality to fitness?
Gaur Gopal Prabhu is one of my teachers. He taught me that we must strive for balance, as most of the time we lose the essence. We need to bring a balance between our external and internal world.
We need to connect with nature, the world, and once you do, you’ll automatically avoid thinking negative about someone or harming them. When we connect our internal world to the external world, we create one beautiful family. The more you’re able to connect yourself from within, that much more beautiful you start looking on the outside. That is the fitness mantra everyone should follow.