LARA DUTTA ZONE Your Source For The Actress
Living Well With Lara

Lara Dutta shares her approach to well-being amidst a hectic schedule.

1. Sleep Well

# 1 No Gadgets

Avoid television or any other gadgets prior to sleeping as they stimulate the brain and keep you awake. I choose to wind down with soft ambient music and a cup of herbal tea.

# 2 Minerals for Better Sleep

Foods rich in magnesium and calcium can calm you down and promote sleep. Take in small portions of cheese or fruits such as apples and bananas.

# 3 Use Sunlight to Adjust

If I’m travelling to a place with a timezone difference, I try to expose myself to sunlight in the morning between 6am to 8.30am to regulate my biological clock for better sleep.

# 4 Unwind with Yoga

Try yoga. The series of postures and breathing exercises soothes a troubled mind, so you fall into deeper, more restorative sleep.

# 5 Soak in the Sun

When I travel, I open my hotel room curtains and blinds during the day to catch some sunrays. Natural sunlight helps us produce melatonin to regulate our sleep-wake cycle.

# 6 No Disruptions

If you’re clocking enough hours of sleep on the road but still feeling tired, you may be not having enough deep sleep. I cut out sleep disruptions in an unfamiliar hotel room by wearing an eye mask and ear plugs.

2. Eat Well

# 1 No Processed Food

To give me energy throughout the day, I opt for a diet with minimally processed foods. Here’s how I usually do it:

7am: Start with some fruits
9am: Have a cup of green tea or black coffee
1pm: Add a portion of salad or avocado to my meal
4pm: Snack the healthy way- try nuts like almonds
6pm: I go for a light and early dinner to help my body rest better at night

# 2 Soothing Tea

I find drinking tea, especially green or white tea, to be a very calming ritual for me. Try the Jing Tea selection at Westin and enjoy the antioxidant benefits of tea on the road.

# 3 Cook with SuperFoodsRx™

If you enjoy cooking, try these SuperFoodsRx™ pairings and take in the nutritional benefits of food synergy:

– Olive oil + leafy greens: Lowers blood pressure
– Tea + lemon: Four times the boost in antioxidants
– Black pepper + turmeric: Up to 2000% bioavailability of anti-inflammants
– Spinach + orange: Increases absorption of iron

# 4 Healthy Alternatives

Sometimes, simply swapping out some of the foods you’re eating can have a positive impact on your well-being. Try some of my favourite food swaps:

– Instead of mayo, opt for sliced avocado
– Swap out cheese with a spoonful of pumpkin seeds
– Go with olive oil over butter
– Use hummus instead of ranch dip
– If you’re craving for ice cream, try Greek yoghurt
– Replace your bag of chips with half a cup of roasted chick peas

# 5 Daily SuperFoodsRx™

It’s easy to incorporate SuperFoodsRx™ into your daily meals- here’s how I do it, sans the hassle of cooking:

– Cranberries: use in a salad or mix with nuts as a healthy snack
– Lemons: add some olive oil to make a zesty salad dressing
– Blueberries: toss into oatmeal or in a banana smoothie
– Pomegranate: a glass of its juice for two weeks can help lower blood pressure and depression

# 6 Food Swap

Try this simple & effective food swap. Replace your boxed cereal with oatmeal. The humble and hardworking grain not only helps you lose weight, it also fights against heart disease by reducing cholesterol.

# 7 Cook some Carrots

If you’re craving for a snack, try cooked carrots- they taste naturally sweet without any refined sugars. The cooking also breaks down its tough cellular walls so our body absorbs more of its nutrients.

# 8 Greener Diet

As a vegetarian, I incorporate several servings of cruciferous vegetables into my diet. Brussels, sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy- these contain phytochemicals, fibre, vitamins and minerals that are critical to physical health.

# 9 Splash of Color

The more colorful your salad, the more nutritious it is likely to be. Mix and match different colored vegetables to add a variety of nutrients to your plate.

# 10 Keep it Fresh

I personally enjoy the Fresh Harvest course from The Westin Awaji Island, made using fresh seasonal produce from local farms.

# 11 Opt Organic

When possible, I go for organic foods, especially when I travel. Redefine snack time at The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace with a selection of light bites and refreshing drinks, all made from organic ingredients.

# 12 Stay Balanced

I make an effort to select well-balanced meals even on the road. The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa makes it easy with organic dishes that keep my body feeling at its best, away from home.

3. Work Well

# 1 Start Your Day Right

After sending my daughter off to school in the morning, I give myself around 2 hours to work out, meditate and plan my day. I find that this time alone helps me work much better for the rest of the day.

# 2 Maintain Work-Life Balance

Finding balance between work at the office & family time isn’t always easy, but a fulfilling personal life translates to work. I aim to have at least a meal a day together with my loved ones.

# 3 Extra Sleep for Alertness

Research shows an extra hour of sleep at night increases your alertness the next day by 25%. If I have a major event or presentation lined up, I make sure to get more shut-eye the night before.

# 4 Ignore distractions

To get specific tasks done, I allocate uninterrupted blocks of time. Close the door, ignore your phone, and your productivity will increase.

# 5 Deep Breaths

Try my tip for recharging at work in just five minutes. Close your eyes and take in some deep breaths. Visualize a calming setting such as blue skies, and return refreshed.

# 6 Adequate Rest

I never work into the wee hours of the morning. Sleep to get enough rest, and you’ll find you can get more done the next day.

Often, after a night’s rest in the Westin Heavenly® Bed, I find myself recharged to tackle the next day’s challenges.

# 7 Switch it up

If you encounter mind block, a change of environment can give you a fresh perspective. For me, I enjoy a portable workstation with a laptop and Wi-Fi connection.

4. Feel Well

# 1 Aromatherapy

I use aromatherapy to feel well and boost my immune system.

If you’re staying at The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace, you’ll be offered a range of healing scents- from sensual Jasmine to revitalizing Lemongrass.

# 2 Coded Scents

Scents can bring about associated emotions and memories. I use the same scent for when I’m working and another for the home so I do not bring home any emotional baggage from work.

# 3 Fragrances for Recovery

Aromatherapy can offer a relaxing environment to aid in recovery after illness. A good starter kit includes ylang ylang, eucalyptus and lavender.

# 4 Relaxing Oils

When I’m feeling tensed, I reach for essential oils known for their relaxing effects, like lavender, ylang ylang and geranium.

# 5 Fighting Insomnia

I combat insomnia with a self-made spray of marjoram, chamomile and lavender in water. Shake and spritz on pillow for a well-rested night.

If an extra boost at work is what you need, try rosemary essential oil. Studies show its scent perks you up and enhances your memory by 15%.

# 6 Go Green

Not everyone lives near the park, but you can introduce the healing properties of greenery into your home by simply painting the room green.

You’ll be able to enjoy views of relaxing foliage from the comfort of your room when staying at The Westin Pune Koregaon Park.

5. Play Well

# 1 Art Therapy

Painting is a therapeutic exercise, but if you’re not inclined, a walk through an art gallery can leave you just as deeply relaxed.

# 2 Starlight

Stargazing works for me. Whenever I feel stressed at night, I identify a favorite sparkle in the sky and feel the energizing calm of its comforting glow.

If you’re staying at The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa, be sure to take in the celestial sights with their kid-friendly Stargazing Tower.

# 3 Immerse in Indian Culture

For relaxation, try out some traditional Indian activities such as rangoli, a folk art that involves creating patterns on the floor using coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand or flower petals.

# 4 Traditional Indian Games

Have some fun with your kids the Indian traditional way- try kho-kho, a tag sport, or kallankal- also known as five stones.

# 5 Restorative Classical Music

Pick up a classical instrument like the sitar or Indian flute bansuri, and enjoy the restorative benefits of music. It works.

6. Move Well

# 1 Liven Up

Studies show that people who exercise with lively background music burn more calories. For me, I plug in to pop and rock tunes at the gym.

# 2 Take Your Time

To prevent bodily injury, I increase my workout intensity by no more than 10% each time. Progressive training eases your body into new challenges without risk of burnout.

# 3 D.I.Y Weights

If you have no weights, make your own. Simply fill empty plastic bottles with sand or water. As a guide, a 500ml bottle of water weighs about 500g.

# 4 Dance to Burn Calories

Dance off the calories. This low impact sport is suitable for nearly everyone, and you can vary your workout intensity by putting on a different music tempo.

# 5 Confidence through Dance

For me, dancing is more than a sport. As you flaunt your moves, you gain heightened bodily awareness that puts more confidence in every step, even outside of dance.

# 6 Try Cycling

I enjoy cycling as a flexible exercise. You can push yourself harder or take it slow, and you get to enjoy your surroundings too.

Stay in shape at The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa by riding across the 37 acres of lush greenery surrounding.