What the health experts don’t eat
So you think people who are fit always eat healthy? Guess again
CAROL SINGH - @AntidoteCleanse
Singh juggles a fashion career with running Antidote, a New Delhi-based cold-pressed organic juice company, which she heads along with sister Nadia Singh Bahl.
CAN’T STOMACH: “Soy. Especially the industrially processed variety like soy milk, tofu and tempeh. It’s marketed as a wonder food but isoflavones (phytoestrogens) found in soy can cause hormonal imbalances. Plus, soy plantations have been the cause of deforestation of the Amazonian jungles in South America. So yeah, no ahoy for soy.”
CHEAT CODE: “I love dairy but I’m particular about where I’m getting my milk from, so I seldom eat commercial milk products. But when I do, I can’t stop – strawberries and cream, kheer, kulfi, tiramisu, rasmalai, ice cream – the list is endless!”
DR REKHA SHETH - @DrRekhaSheth
With three decades of dishing out beauty solutions under her belt, Dr Sheth is one of the country’s leading dermatologists.
CAN’T STOMACH: “Oats. My palate just can’t get used to their insipid flavour. I think there are tastier sources of fibre with antioxidants and protein, like wholegrains and wheat bran.”
CHEAT CODE: “I love ‘unhealthy’ food like chaat and batata vadas. Weekends are for indulging, and weekdays to make up for all of it – after asking my dietician, Niti Setalvad, of course.”
LIZ MIERSCH - @LizMiersch
She’s currently the Editor-in-Chief of Q by Equinox, the editorial site behind the hard-to-take-eyes-off ‘Contortionist’ video that has over 7 million views.
CAN’T STOMACH: “Protein powder because it tastes like fake food to me. I have coeliac disease, and when avoiding gluten, honestly, it’s tough to avoid anything else! I don’t eat food that is made with more than three ingredients. It’s a very simple rule that’s easy to follow – and it still allows for potato chips (potatoes, salt and oil)!”
CHEAT CODE: “A burger (on a gluten-free bun of course), fries and a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. What can I say? I always listen to my body, and sometimes it tells me it needs meat and sugar.”
With hundreds of fitness tutorials to her name, certified strength and conditioning specialist Galbraith is no stranger to the gym. She is also co-founder of Girls Gone Strong, a blog that creates awareness about training, nutrition, health, and wellness.
CAN’T STOMACH: “Fish. My coaches in the figure competitions suggested eating tilapia, so I gave it a try, but the juices from the cooked tilapia had coagulated and turned into a ‘fish jelly’. It was the smelliest, most disgusting thing I’d ever seen. To this day, the thought of fish makes me gag.”
CHEAT CODE: “I’ve had phases when I restricted my intake of food, and then found myself eating in excess to the point of being physically ill. So I swapped the erratic intake with a more satisfying one. My favourite foods to indulge in are ice cream, tortilla chips and queso, and dark chocolate.”
RUJUTA DIWEKAR - @RujutaDiwekar
One of the most qualified and sought-out nutritionists in India, she has celebrities lining up for her doable diet plans.
CAN’T STOMACH: “Fresh salads. They are anything but fresh unless the greens are grown in your backyard. Salads degenerate; they aren’t sodas to be bought, stocked and consumed later. Instead, I cut raw vegetables fresh and eat them as a small part of a freshly cooked meal and not as a replacement for a full meal.”
CHEAT CODE: “I don’t have a ‘cheat’ day. When you fear carbs and avoid calories, your brain is going to ask you to eat a pastry late in the night. I simply eat my mithai and fried snacks on days that I am surrounded by loved ones, and have plenty of time on hand to chew slowly, laugh loudly and relish the whole experience.”
PAIGE HATHAWAY - @PaigeHathaway
Lifting 20 kg? Child’s play. In each arm? Piece of cake. This ripped 26-year-old gym machine makes us feel sorry for ourselves. And it gets worse when she Instagrams a picture of chomping down on a cheesy pizza. #WTH.
CAN’T STOMACH: “Trail mixes and energy bars. A regular bag of trail mix has salted nuts and sugar-coated raisins with M&Ms stuffed into it. A small handful is easily 300+ calories! As for protein bars, most of them are just processed junk, full of artificial ingredients and fillers. READ. THE. LABEL. My rule of thumb is, if I can’t pronounce or don’t know what ingredients are on the label, I skip it.”
CHEAT CODE: “I love a good cheat day. Nothing is more fulfilling than rewarding yourself for good, consistent, healthy habits you held yourself accountable for the previous week. I love a hot cheese pizza with extra cheese to go alongside frozen yoghurt at those creative ‘do it yourself’ topping bars! My favourites are salted caramel and Dutch chocolate. Yum!”
We’ve all been there – trying to get a salad down our throats when all we can see are the desserts lined up prettily at the counter. And just when you’re about to give in to temptation, you look at the magazine in front of you and see people who look nothing less than perfect. But don’t put them on a pedestal just yet. Even the healthiest people cheat, binge and hate ‘healthy foods’; they just know how to balance out the rare indulgence. We brought in a bunch of peeps who dedicate a considerable portion of their time to living healthy and got them spilling their dirty little health secrets.
LISA HAYDON - @HaydonLisa
CAN’T STOMACH: “Drinking urine is hugely popular these days, but I just can’t. Eek.”
CHEAT CODE: “Chocolate, peanut butter, cheese. Nom, nom, nom.”
Photograph: Prasad Naik
SHARMILA NICOLLET - @MissNicollet
The leggy Bengaluru girl could easily be walking the runway, but she’d rather be teeing off as the leading female (and the only Indian) golfer on the European Tour.
CAN’T STOMACH: “Vegetables, because I never liked them. I’m a complete meat lover. I balance my diet by taking nutritional supplements to make up for any lack of vegetables in my diet.”
CHEAT CODE: “Though I eat healthy food six days a week, Sunday is an exception. Pizza, milkshakes, cheesecake, chocolate mousse and Indian sweets are on top of my list.”