Her wellness journey as a fitness trainer started two decades ago when she made yoga cool in the glam circles of Bollywood. Check out her instagram feed and you will be inspired to turn a shade healthier. Meet practising health coach Deanne Panday who walks the talk and is super fit and utterly gorgeous at 50. A strong believer in being beautiful inside out, fitness is a way of life for her, and not just the hours spent at the gym. The author of two fitness related books (I’m Not Stressedand Shut Up and Train), Deanne is currently working on her third one.
In a candid conversation on beauty and wellness, and everything in between, she shares a few recommendations for becoming the healthiest version of you.
1. Being a health coach, how do you connect wellness and beauty?
They are interconnected. Beauty is not only about doing things externally. It starts from within. Fitness industry is taking a wrong turn with undue emphasis on how we look on the outside. I don’t believe in diets that are based on deprivation to achieve a certain body type. The obsession with body types and striving to get to size zero eventually leads to psychological issues, as body image distortion and low self-esteem are interlinked. Beauty is beyond aesthetics. It is being confident in your own skin. Real beauty is how you treat people when people are not watching you.
2. You are super stunning at 50. What is the secret to your glowing complexion?
I have realised that if you are happy then your skin will also glow. And happiness is not something that is served to you on a platter but you have to go for it. I put myself first and I am unapologetic about it. As women, we tend to place children, in-laws, friends, spouse and work ahead of us. We have to change this. We have to come first. I don’t believe when people say that they are too busy to find time for doing things they like. You can’t blame your kids or your boss or anybody for not giving you time. You have to find that time. Head to the gym or do yoga. Read a book. Book yourself a treatment in your favourite spa or go out with your friends for a movie. It could be any of these things or more. You need to figure out what makes you happy, and find a way to get it without grumbling. The impact of stress on skin is immense. Life is never perfect, there will always be missing links but you need to find ways to manage the stress.
3. You have often said that we are what we eat. What are your food rules?
You are what you eat, so be mindful of the nutrient content of what you are putting inside your body. I believe in following the 80-20 rule. In a day, 80 percent of the time eat healthy and 20 percent eat whatever you would like to. It is basically portion control. You eat more of which is good for your body and much lesser of empty calories. I don’t believe in suppressing cravings and completely avoiding carbs or any other food group. Being mindful is the key. Eat in a bowl instead of a plate. Make intelligent choices. Swap fast carbs with slow carbs. Instead of French fries, you can go for baked potatoes. And if you do feel like having French fries, have some but don’t go overboard. That we should not eat rice or not eat roti are all myths. You can eat pretty much everything as long as you watch the portions. I recommend making slow and steady changes to your lifestyle and not swing to extremes in the name of fitness.
4. Over the years, has your beauty regime remained the same, or has it evolved with time?
My skincare routine has always been minimal. I believe in leaving the skin alone and not touching it often. Even on a regular basis I don’t do cleanups or facials. My skin care essentials include a facewash, a sunscreen and a day moisturizer. Since last year I have started using an under eye cream. I am a big fan of all things natural when it comes to skincare. Coconut oil, turmeric and moringa powders are an integral part of my skincare closet.
5. Why do you give preference to beauty products derived from nature?
What we put on our skin matters as it gets absorbed in our bodies. That’s why I like Indian beauty brands as they are natural and organic, and much gentler on the skin. I am a big supporter of going back to nature. Ancient Indian beauty traditions using natural ingredients such as haldi (turmeric) and chandan (sandalwood) are the best. I have tried Gotukola Indian Ginseng Rejuvenating Beauty Elixir Facial Serum from Just Herbs and I have liked its effect on my skin. Recently I used Just Herbs Micellar water and indeed it was effective in removing all traces of make-up.
6. What advice do you have for people who lead action packed lifestyles to stay fit and stress-free?
You have to slow down. You can slow down by keeping aside time for yourself. Do yoga. Listen to music. In your space, light some sage, place a few greens, and transform your home into very your own wellness sanctuary. Selfcare has to come first. Only if you are happy can you make others around you happy.
Deanne Pandey: Beauty Bytes
The first beauty/skincare product you use in the morning… Facewash
The product with which you pack up your day…
undereye cream & night balm
My husband’s aftershave
The beauty ritual gives you an instant high…
An authentic ayurvedic massage
Beauty essentials you never leave home without…
sunscreen & facewipes