I lived like Deepika Padukone for two weeks and here’s how it went
When your editor challenges you to reach Deepika Padukone’s level of true beauty, you take it
I have enough years behind me to have the self-awareness that looking like a goddess obviously has a lot to do with genes. If I may add, we’re blessed in assorted proportions when it comes to that particular variable. But when your editor challenges you to reach Deepika Padukone’s level of true beauty, you take it. And so began my fortnight long journey of a celeb-approved lifestyle, that consisted of copious amounts of fruit and eyeliner in a bid to feel (and look) my best self. But first, a primer on my assigned subject of beauty, diet and fitness inspiration: Deepika Padukone. Bullet number one: national level badminton player. Number two: storied reputation of following a diligent diet and fitness regime. Stats: Equal bust to hip ratio. Legs for days.
Now a quick SWOT analysis of me: junior school throw ball team. Orders two desserts a day. Intermediate-level yogini. Likes ice cream for dinner. Right off the bat, I was prepared for this endeavour to not go as swimmingly as I’d like it to. So I decided to take it one day at a time, and turns out, it wasn’t really a bad idea at all. Ahead, the TL;DR:
First up: cleaning my diet. From all the reading up I did on Deepika (read: online stalking), I learned she’s a ‘6 small meals a day’ kind of person, and a famous stickler for punctual meal times. Eating on time… A girl could try, right? Anyway, this is what her meals usually look like:
Breakfast: warm water + honey + lime
Check. I’ve been an advocate for this magic concoction for a while now. Guess we‘re off to a good start.
2 egg whites + 2 almonds + a cup of low fat milk/ quinoa/ 2 idlis/ dosas
Gracious co-worker brings me almonds and other assorted nuts.
Traded low-fat milk for low-fat buttermilk that they generously serve at work every morning.
Pre-lunch: bowl of fruits
Returned the favour to said gracious co-worker and more by packing at least three boxes of assorted seasonal fruits. Pineapples, grapes, guavas and pomegranates were on rotation. I took it one enthusiastic step further and added my own little kick to the pineapples by drizzling the slices with black salt, which is great for de-bloating.
A big thank you to aforementioned co-workers for putting up with the salt’s nasty sulphurous stink. Promise I’ll be switching to Himalayan pink salt soon.
Lunch: dal + roti + sabzi + salad + grilled fish
This was the hard part. From the dal to the fish, everything sounded great, except, every day when the sun is directly above us, I’m up against my one true nemesis – rice. Good ol’, starchy ol’ rice. I can already see those #relate hands from here.
So chin up, starchy Instagram feed down, and onward I (tried to) march to an evening snack, thinking, thank god the girl likes to eat 6 times a day…
Evening snack: coffee + fruits
…except, come sundown, and my fingers begin to itch to order me a hearty dessert—ice cream, waffles, mini pancakes, skillet cookies, cookie dough, brookies, whatever my sweet tooth concurs with that day. I’m the girl that helps people decide which dessert they should get. So swapping all that for coffee and fruits? The struggle was real.
Dinner: salad + veggies + rice
Easy enough, but I couldn’t skip chicken though. Even Deepika couldn’t take the girl away from the chicken.
Dessert: dark chocolate
No midnight sugar mania (insert sad face), so guess a brick would just have to cut it.
Meanwhile, I also had to up my fitness game. While DP is both a pilates and yoga fan, I decided to reactivate my yoga bod, stat. Here’s what I did mirroring Deepika’s routine–10 surya namaskars, marjariasana (cat pose), sarvangasana (shoulder stand), virabhadrasana (warrior pose), deep breathing, pranayama and meditation. Plus, my personal favourite – stretches. I could already feel myself breathing easier.
It’s not hard to see the actress has beautiful, clear skin. Her one golden rule: Always take off make-up before bed. Thankfully for me, this was easy. Whatever my state, when it comes to washing my face, I’m proud to say I own *big **** energy*.
Friday night. Time to play with make-up. Deepika’s go-to make-up artist, Sandhya Shekar says she requires no more than two drops of foundation. I, on the other hand, have to do an extra pore-masking step with my trusty Benefit POREfessional primer. Also, fun fact: DP does her own brows – her MUA hasn’t touched them ever. Guess that’s one thing we have in common, then.
Here’s my humble attempt at the Deepika Padukone signature look—cat eye flick, under-eye mascara action, blood red lips, and slick centre-parted hair. I tried.
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Naaila takes a crack at Deepika’s look
By the end of week one, my interest in my little fruit family had hit its saturation. I needed change. A healthy change. So I headed to Santé Spa Cuisine in Bengaluru for a creative vegetarian/vegan fare. Couple things I learnt: switch your regular pizza base for a healthier sourdough one, if you haven’t tried moringa (drumstick leaves), you absolutely have to, and leaf straws are a great idea.
Skipped a day or two of yoga in between, but the chakras have been successfully reactivated.
Can I order that lemon chia chiffon cake already? When will this end??
Full disclosure: I gave in. Twice. Two sinful nights of sugary delights. But hey, overall, I had mobilised an all-new body. My skin felt brighter, and my body felt more alive. And celeb life or no, I still went to sleep in my old pyjamas. Deepika loves her old PJs too.
Photographs (Deepika Padukone): Instagram