An ambitious entrepreneur, Vanika Choudhary left her corporate job after a six-month sabbatical. Feisty and with no intention of wanting to head back, she thought of making something she felt passionately about, a part of her work life—eating clean. That’s the backstory of Sequel. Considering she’s a proponent of clean eating, and the ingredients are sourced from abroad and diligently picked to create a menu that is fresh, colourful and delicious, we asked her if she has cheat days.
“I was always eating clean. Organic food, gluten-free, and no refined sugar was always a part of the deal. I don’t believe in diets and aspects like cheat days or binge days,” she says rather candidly. A healthy perspective is about clean eating every day, as opposed to resorting to a “healthy meal” as part of a diet, believes Choudhary who admits to always making healthy, clean bowls for mealtimes, and experimenting with different ingredients at home. “All I did was extend this practice further and started a café, that way I also got to share these recipes and the food with more people, especially, people who seek clean foods more often,” she smiles.
A new mom, Choudhary says pregnancy is just another part of your life. She maintains her energy and enthusiasm. “People often think of pregnancy as a disability and treat it like it’s some sort of a medical issue. I don’t get that. It’s just as much a part of your life as anything else and if you eat clean foods, practice yoga and meditation or any form of exercise you prefer, it’s mostly smooth sailing.”
HypnoBirthing and water birth
“Whatever your body tells you, it is instinctively always guiding you to something,” she explains about her reason to opt for a water birth, where a mother’s body is half-submerged in water for at least a part of your labour, delivery, or both. The all-natural birthing technique is said to be less stressful and painful than modern birthing methods.
She took it further with training for HypnoBirthing in her second trimester. “Just as much as I practise clean eating and try to keep it natural, I wanted my childbirth to also reflect that and so we started HypnoBirthing classes.” She trained with a HypnoBirthing coach from Australia. The childbirth education course needs immense practice but it helps a mother-to-be to relax and manage pain better during the delivery.
Beating the blues with Pre-natal Yoga
Through her pregnancy, Choudhary stuck to her yoga and Pilates practise, dedicating an hour to her workout. “I had nausea and was quite exhausted in the first few months of my pregnancy. It got better when I started being mindful about the food intake and regular workout. If you learn to listen to your body, you’ll see that it conveys clearly what it wants and all you have to do is pay attention and be aware and mindful. A good dose of workout definitely makes the whole journey easier,” she says.
Making the right food choices
That old wives’ tale about eating for two? Strike it off. For Choudhary, her pregnancy has meant staying connected with her philosophy and eating good wholesome food. “If you eat organic, sustainable food that comes fresh from the farm to your fork, it will eventually have an impact,” she says.
“It’s all about being happy and content. You need to treat your pregnancy with due care but at the end of the day, it’s just a part of your life. I love my food, eating healthy does not mean you don’t get to relish what you consume,” she says
She talks about having adopted a pet dog—a French bulldog. “A dog, during your pregnancy?” she smiles at our scepticism. I ask her if they consulted a doctor, people tend to usually stay away from pets when they are pregnant. She shrugs and waves her hand “Oh, we didn’t ask anyone. We love dogs. So we just went right ahead and got one.”