“I don’t eat anything that doesn’t feel right,” says Amaan Ali Bangash – fitness

Amaan Ali Bangash, son of sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, represents the seventh generation of a musical tradition known as the Senia Bangash school. Amaan’s musical style is praised for its precision in melody, and its bold and evocative strokes. At 42, he is considered one of the finest sarod players in the world, with global honours ranging from honorary citizenship in the US to the Bharat Shiromani award here at home. Here’s how he keeps his own system in tune:

I believe that fitness comes from a balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and — equally important — the psychological component: work that one enjoys, a positive mindset, and an ability to live in the moment.

For a healthy body, one must be in a healthy state of mind. Working out helps achieve both goals.

I work out at least five times a week, changing up my workout regimen every three weeks. My favourite is exercising the legs because I believe if one’s legs are strong, you are truly all right — you can go on with life and work and travel the world.

When it comes to diet, I don’t eat anything that doesn’t feel right in my gut. This includes foods high in salt, as well as pizza, pasta and fried food.

I eat a lot of vegetables and keep myself well-hydrated to flush out toxins. I return to intermittent fasting from time to time.

In the mornings, I have a cup of coffee, followed haldi (turmeric) water, amla juice and walnuts and almonds. Lunch is my first meal — lots of green vegetables or lean meat or an egg-white omelette. For snacks, I prefer fruit or steamed dhokla. For dinner, I have cabbage and chicken soup or green vegetables again, or lean meat or fish.

I try and avoid carbs as I do have a tendency to put on weight quickly. One day a week, I indulge in a little biryani; even though it’s a cheat day, I am careful.

When it comes to states of mind, I think not all stress is bad; sometimes, in short bursts, it can help one accomplish a goal. But this should not become a habit. My father always says it is not important to be the best. It is important to be the most loved. That is the mantra of my life.

I relax and unwind by spending time with family. Now my brother has two sons and I simply love their company. The three of us — Zohaan, Abeer and I — play cricket and many other games. God has been kind to bless me with such a loving family, as well as a bunch of good friends.

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