How Celebrity Nutritionists Take Care of Their Own Diet

Pooja Makhija and Shonali Sabherwal reveal secrets of their well-being, importance of fermented foods and why it's okay to have cheat days.

We asked two of the most well-recognised nutritionists in India the secrets of their daily food routine. Here’s what they revealed:

Pooja Makhija

I begin my mornings with a glass of water mixed with apple cider vinegar. I have three almonds while prepping my kids for school and later, have breakfast by about 9 am. It’s usually four egg whites and bread.

Between breakfast and lunch, I usually have a couple of fruits and a glass of buttermilk.

My lunch comprises dal, a vegetable, salad and a cup of rice. I include seasonal veggies in my meals. For instance, during winters, my meals are accompanied by fresh mango ginger pickle for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Most people get hunger pangs in the evenings, same goes for me. So as soon as I reach home from work, I make myself a glass of vegetable juice that keeps me satiated till dinner, which is usually chicken or fish cooked Continental style or sometimes, pizza or pasta.

I believe that you should eat what you enjoy eating. If you’ve eaten right for major part of the day, you’re allowed to pamper yourself. For instance, I don’t consider nibbling on a piece of dark chocolate. I even eat out a couple of times in the week. The key to leading a healthy lifestyle, however, is never exceeding more than a bite or two of foods that are indulgences.

(With 15 years of practice, Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist to stars like Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor. She is author of two best-sellers Eat Delete and Eat Delete Junior for child nutrition)

Shonali Sabherwal

My mantra is to live a simple life and maintain a balance with the foods I eat as that’s what the practise of macrobiotics is all about.

My day begins at 5 am with yoga and meditation. I also do functional exercise routine and never skip workouts.

I have lunch at 12:30 pm and dinner by 7 pm. I’m strict with this routine and that’s what keeps me going.

I follow vegan lifestyle, so I avoid dairy and meats. I also avoid sugar, refined flour, and processed oils.

I ensure that I have one whole grain a day, preferably millets or brown or red rice along with two-three fermented foods and a fermented drink like non-dairy kefir.

Fermented foods are the cornerstone of my nutrition. They keep me away from trigger foods like honey, fruit juices and table salt. Instead, I use rock salt or Himalayan pink salt.

In my soup, I add miso paste. I also have lots of leafy greens through the day and seaweed twice a week.

My go-to snacks in the middle of a hectic day are fruits, carrot or cucumber sticks with hummus, rye crisps, sweet potato chaat or sprouts chaat. You will always find nuts and seeds in my bag.

The day I eat a bowl of white rice or bite into dark chocolate is a cheat day for me. I make sugar-free desserts twice a week. Once a year, I also pack my bags for a month-long retreat Ayurveda retreat in Kerala.

(Shonali Sabherwal is a macrobiotic nutritionist and author of three books: The Beauty Diet, The Detox Diet, and The Love Diet. Celebrities like Neha Dhupia, Sidharth Malhotra and Esha Deol, among others, swear by her diet recommendations).

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