Bani Nanda is a pastry chef and founder/owner at Miam Patisserie. In spite of being surrounded by sugary sweets that she creates and sells, she stays clear of them to maintain her healthy lifestyle. Responsible for the calorie addition to many in the city, she makes it a point to detox once a week and workout regularly. Team FitNut got a low down from her on her journey and how she maintains her healthy lifestyle!
What made you want to be a pastry chef?
It’s a very creative field! Since my existence revolved around studying physics and math, pastry was soothing, like therapy :). I used to escape my studies and bake things at home. My mom has always been a baker and I guess I followed her path.
You had mentioned you have struggled with your weight and fitness at a few points in your life, how did you get to shedding the weight and maintaining it?
I was always a big girl. I have a big stature and I’m tall. To top this, I was always overweight! After I graduated from high school in 2008, I started getting inclined towards fitness- mostly running and aerobics. Within a few months I shed my baby fat and I was still on the heavy side! Between 2008 and 2012 my weight went from 85 kilos to about 70 kilos. I never did any kind of diet control, my metabolic rate was high. I left for Paris in 2012 for my culinary training and completely lived off cheese, bread and wine (I do not regret it 😉 ). This resulted in a further weight fluctuation and I started gaining again. When I returned to Delhi I had gained about 10 kilos and met with a dietician, Suruchi Garg. She really helped me with eating right. Nutrition is a way of life and most people do not have a clear insight. My diet charts included everything from healthy to fun options and didn’t make me miserable at all. With the help of my dietician, I lost 15 kilos in total and I have stabilised my weight at 63 kgs. Through her, I learnt that it’s important to detox once a week.
Walk us through your detox strategy.
Detox is the best! I do it every Monday without fail. It’s basically a way to rest your stomach and also shed off any extra grams that may have piled on during the weekend. I’m a foodie, I love dining out and this can be very expensive in terms of calorie intake. During the detox, I’ll start the morning with a big glass of mango smoothie and almonds. For lunch I’ll have lots of fruit- any fruit! During the afternoon I’ll have green tea. For dinner, I go for frozen yoghurt or sometimes even ice cream. It sounds like torture, but believe me, it keeps me really fit and I can be carefree for the rest of the week.
How do you answer questions about not indulging in your own creations?
I spend so much time in my atelier and I’m always surrounded by sugar and butter and flour! It doesn’t excite me anymore because it’s like routine. I don’t get cravings and I don’t binge. I do however enjoy eating bits of cooking chocolate.
What does a normal work day look like for you at Miam?
I start my day around 9 am. My sous chef, Gunjan and I plan out the production schedule for the day and the next day. A normal day involves a lot of planning, brainstorming, testing etc. I also have to keep track of my inventory, customer calls, accounting, runs to the bank etc. I’m basically the founder, pastry chef, accountant, marketing head, customer care attendant and PR head all rolled into one. The summers are still calm and it’s off season. Things go totally out of control in the festive season, especially during Diwali.
What keeps you motivated?
I guess it’s my creativity that keeps me going. There is so much more that I have yet to master, so much more to achieve, I follow the success stories of so many entrepreneurs, chefs and restaurant owners. Everyone brings so much inspiration. I have amazing talented friends who are pursuing their dreams just like me, they keep me motivated with their energy and I feel like we have all journeyed out together to achieve bigger things in life :).
Favourite workout and calorie burning activities?
Best calorie burning activity for me is running. It completely pumps me up. I run on the Sirifort track.
I also go to the gym 4 times a week. I feel like I can now work on toning and shaping my body.
Favourite cheat day meals?
Chocolate, lots of chocolate.
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*featured image courtesy Aastha Manchanda