Host of Mummy Ka Magic, chef Amrita Raichand makes nutritious food appealing yet healthy. The former model, actor and chef was introduced to the art of cooking by her mother at a very early age. She shares what makes her Thrive:
Thrive Global India: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Amrita Raichand: I meditate on most days for 15-20 minutes and then I sit down to write with my cup of coffee.
I’d like to take out some more time to meditate, but there’s so much that needs to be done in a day.
TGI: How do you unplug and recharge?
AR: There are a lot of things I’d like to do to unplug and recharge but it doesn’t always happen. I love going for lunches with my friends, going to a movie with my husband.
TGI: What’s your favourite well-being tip?
AR: Life is about creating a balance. Anybody who learns the art of creating a balance in life will always be well. I realise the value of that balance when I am not being able to create it due to circumstances. The biggest tip I can give to anyone is to do everything in moderation and create that balance in your life. I don’t believe in extremes or overdoing things, however, it’s always good to indulge once in a while.
TGI: Tell us about your relationship with your phone and how do you limit your use of technology.
AR: I must confess, that phone has really taken over our lives. There was a time when I used to wake up in the morning and the first thing I would do was check my phone. Now I am making a conscientious effort to not touch it until I am done with my writing. I switch off my phone around 9-9.30 pm and the flurry of messages in the morning is very distracting. Therefore I only touch it after I am done with my writing and morning routine.
TGI: How do you deal with negativity on social media, if any?
AR: I have only received love and appreciation from my viewers and that pushes me to do even better. I do see a lot of trolling that happens to other people on social media and I find it sad, but it’s a part of the business.
TG: How do you cope with burnout?
AR: Last year, we wererenovating our house, and my room wasn’t finished, my son had exams, and my own work, combined with heat got to me. I felt much better after getting back to my room.
We travel a lot as a family, and that’s how I usually unwind. Sometimes I also unwind with work, because my work is so wonderful, and cooking for me is therapeutic and helps me unwind. `
AR: At home, I love making roast chicken and the healthier version of cookie and brownie which my son absolutely loves.
TGI: How do you incorporate well-being into your daily life?
AR: I go to the gym five days a week for an hour and a half, that is like my ‘me time’. I do a combination of weight training and cardio. I spend that time looking after my body and well-being. In the evening I sometimes go for a walk or spend time with my mum. I have dinner by 7.30 with my son and that is usually a very light meal of fruit, salad, grilled chicken/fish/tofu. We avoid heavy carbs at night like bread, rice and roti. By 9.30 pm we hit the bed. This kind of balanced routine helps me keep well.
TGI: What benefit do these habits have on your ability to perform?
AR: More than the performance, you feel good about yourself. It’s a vicious cycle, for example, if you don’t work out for a few days, you feel less productive, your body feels less energetic and then you don’t get sleep properly. If you are following a good routine of sleeping, eating and working out on time you’ll automatically feel that your productivity is a lot more. You will feel good about yourself, and when you are happy you will spread happiness to those around you.
TGI: Who/what is your biggest inspiration and why?
AR: My mother has been my biggest inspiration because she has single-handedly brought up three kids after losing her husband at the age of 39. She wasn’t somebody who took solace in her father’s home or her father-in-law’s home and she started to work. She lived on her terms and gave us a life we couldn’t have dreamed off. She has been someone I have looked up to and we’ve imbibed this quality of being completely independent. I am a working mother, and I like that I have an identity of my own, of course, my husband and in-laws have been a strong source of encouragement and support. Otherwise, I don’t aspire to be like somebody but rather be the best version of myself.
TGI: How did you foray into food as a vocation?
AR: My journey as a chef started when I got the show ‘Mummy ka Magic’. I had always liked cooking, but somehow never thought of it as a profession. However, when I was offered the show, I knew I could do this at my own time and pace, and also give my best to my family and home.
Also, the journey started when my son was young, I wanted to feed him healthy food without compromising on taste. Children don’t like the idea of having something healthy, as long as it’s tasty they are fine with anything you give them.
That’s how I started working on the concept and that’s how my relationship with developing healthy but tasty food started.
With the kind of stressful lives we lead, it is very important we focus on eating healthy. But we do have taste buds and they are meant to enjoy the food. If we don’t find something tasty, forget a child, even an adult won’t want it. It’s unfair to expect a child to eat food that is not tasty, that’s what drew me to the show. Since I was turning this passion into a profession, I decided to study culinary arts at an institute in Singapore.
Food gives me the opportunity to stay at home and devote enough time to my children.
TGI: What is a strict no-no in your kitchen?
AR: I avoid using artificial colour or ingredients completely, I resort to natural colours like beetroots to add red and spinach to add green colour.
TGI: What makes you content?
AR: I am very ambitious, and I want to be the best at what I am doing, that’s where I strive very hard. At the same time, I know I get the opportunities only which I deserve. Knowing that makes me feel content.
The idea is to do your best and leave the rest to god. If you start understanding you get what you deserve, you will be content in life, and when you are content you will be happy and you will Thrive in everything that you do.
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