Sanjini is an Actress, Writer, Producer, Martial Artist
Additional fitness information from T.C. Clay!
SANJINI is an avid proponent of fitness, sports, health, beauty and good nutrition.
Working out at the gym five to six days a week is what I love to do! When I miss a day of working out, I feel like I missed out on some fun!
I don’t have a specific plan or routine when I work out. I spontaneously choose a weight machine that catches my eye at that moment. On some days, I’ll look in the mirror and know that I need to focus more on my butt or legs or abs.
I like to work out alone. I find it difficult to work with a trainer or a partner even though I know some of the top athletes in the world including men on covers of fitness magazines and football players. I am also not like most women – I do not enjoy taking group classes because I have little patience to follow a teacher and don’t like being told what to do for an hour or two. I like freedom to do my own thing. So I don’t take aerobics, spinning, fitness dance classes, etc. I prefer to work out where the men work out!
Because I have natural curves, I work out to “shape” my body more than for power or increasing strength. I used to lift heavy weights (600 lbs leg press, 500 lbs hack squat), but now I lift weights to tone my body and maintain my curves at the same time.
I mostly use the weight machines and some free weights. I focus on mostly the lower body – legs, butt, abs! That is where most women carry fat but yet I see women mostly focus on working out their upper bodies. The same is true with men. Weight machines and free weights help to trim, cut the fat and tone the body much faster, along with some cardio - more than any group exercise class or circuit training.
The best exercise in the world is doing SQUATS!!! It works the butt, legs, upper thighs, hips, lower back, waist, abs and works the core or chi energy. I usually will do three or four sets of squats (10 reps) and then I will follow that with doing lunges (two or three with each leg – set of 10 reps each).
With each rep, I always breathe out. It is so important to breathe when you exercise and train with weights.
For the legs, I like the leg press and leg curl machines. I also like working the inner and outer thighs. Doing calf exercises are important too.
For the butt, use every weight machine you can find – the butt blaster is one of the best!
Of course, you should always do ABS, ABS, ABS!!! You can never do enough of them! You should work the abs almost every day - doing dozens of sit ups and anything that trims the waist and lower back.
With some weight machines or dumb bells, I will use heavier weights and less repetitions (ten) and with others, I will use lighter weights and more repetitions (20-50) depending on which part of my body I am working on.
Besides the gym, I love martial arts! The style I train in is Shaolin Kempo which is a Chinese form of martial arts that focuses on different strikes, defensive maneuvers, take downs, etc. I like it because it is both an art and a sport. There are five animals in this system – tiger, leopard, snake, crane and dragon. Last year, I got my black belt at the Shaolin Temple in China and trained with the Shaolin Monks. The Shaolin Monks will act in my next movie – a modern day action/adventure film about the Monks set at the Shaolin Temple and Shanghai.
I keep everything balanced – I eat a lot, sleep a lot (8 hours) and exercise a lot to keep myself balanced and healthy.
Working out at the gym, martial arts, some boxing, yoga, meditation and self-reiki helps keep me balanced.
I have been a vegetarian all my life although I did eat a bit of meat when I was younger. I realized when I was sixteen years old, when I first came to the United States to study at college, that it was not what I enjoyed eating. I have also weighed the same most of my life – 92-93 lbs.
I basically eat whatever I like which means it’s what my body needs at the time. I “listen” to my body. I usually eat savory foods with salt and lots of spices. Yes, sometimes I do eat French fries and pizza but it’s not what I enjoy eating every day.
I really don’t understand why salt, wheat (gluten), butter (dairy products) and everything that naturally grows on this Earth is so bad? A balance of everything is important! I don’t understand why people will cut out all fat or all carbohydrates out of their diet when your body needs every food group – carbohydrates, starches, glucose, fat, proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc.
I also eat natural foods. I don’t consume vitamin pills or tablets, supplements or any artificial additives. If you want extra vitamin C then eat more oranges! Everything is naturally in the foods we eat – fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, grains, herbs, spices, etc. I also don’t take over-the-counter pills such as aspirin, tylenol, etc. I don’t get migraines or any aches. People keep popping these pills in their mouths when the reason for their pain is that they probably haven’t slept well, eaten well or exercised.
I also don’t like artificial condiments such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, spaghetti sauces, etc. They are filled with junk and lots of corn syrup. I avoid foods with corn syrup. I am not a fan of sweets and sugar. For example, I will make my own salad dressing with olive oil, lemon or lime, salt, pepper and fresh herbs (fresh dill, basil, others), etc.
Butter and cheese are good for you! I don’t understand why people will not eat butter or cheese but will fill their sandwiches or food with other unhealthy condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings and mustard.
I like to eat a “colorful” plate of food – that has different colors and varieties of food. All the nutrition is in every vegetable, fruits, lentils, beans, grains, nuts, dairy products (cheese, butter, yoghurt), eggs, pasta, breads and if you eat meat then fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, etc.
Make a point of eating or trying every vegetable out there – beetroots, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, mushrooms, potatoes, kale, lettuce, spinach, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, radicchio, endives, leeks, etc. Flavor the vegetables just as much as you do with your meat or seafood – with olive oil, herbs, spices, salt, etc.
I eat several times a day – quick small meals. I am constantly eating! I have a quick metabolism so when I have not eaten in a while, my blood sugar level lowers and I get angry or frustrated easily.
Also, I love very black, hot tea! Green tea is also good. Tea has natural anti-oxidants and is a very good way to start your day. I take a long time sipping my tea in the mornings. Drinking and sipping tea is a ritual in many cultures – China, Japan, England, India, many African countries, etc. When I drink tea – it’s a form of “meditation” for me. It helps to keep me relaxed, focused, gives me clarity and prepares me for my busy day. It’s also when I get many insights and inspirations on how to solve a problem. Read the book, “Mediations with Tea” by Diana Rosen.
There is NO fast track or short cut to losing weight or being healthy – eating healthy foods, exercising, sleeping eight hours and a healthy, safe sex life (use condoms, spermicides, nonoxynol 9, VCF strips, water based lubricants - NO petroleum or oil based lubricants) is also important! Don’t fill your body with junk, smoke, drugs, etc. Your body is your temple – honor it!
Equally charismatic and energetic, TC Clay is a fitness professional with 20+ years of group exercise and personal training experience under her belt. She is a renowned innovator and motivator of diverse individuals and groups. Whether it is squatting, lunging, weightlifting, toning, or burning core and abs into a "six pack attack," her passion is taking people to places and spaces undiscovered in their quests for fitness. In her own words, "I specialize in creating a better body naked."
But most of all, she takes pride in looking the part. Plain and simple, she knows how to work out! Her methods may be unconventional, but they work, and she is happy to put her practical experience up against the latest trend or theory any day!
I am a big believer that you are what you repeatedly do. The body is like a car that needs to be taken out and driven frequently.
I know it sounds cliche, but "use it or lose it"- and you can lose it in just 3 months without regular participation in physical activity. That's why I echo the sentiments of the Surgeon General and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and urge Americans to exercise with moderate (or higher) intensity for 30 minutes, 5 times per week.
Additionally, this amount of physical activity will serve to reduce and improve one's blood pressure and serum cholesterol; both of which are risk factors for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
For those who wish to go beyond mere maintenance, I recommend lunges, lunges, lunges. Not only is it the best exercise for the butt, it is a multi-joint exercise that burns a great deal of calories when done properly. Lunges are a staple in my personal fitness routine, and I can't live without them! (Ditto for squats, squats, squats!)
Here is a quick daily fitness routine you can do:
Abs-Hanging leg ups,
Single leg squats off a curb,
These body exercises are secret weapons to a successful Better Body Naked!
Protein is a must, but make sure you are consuming complete proteins like poultry and eggs. My favorite is lean seafood.
I am a proponent of the 80/20 rule: Eat lean and healthy 80% of the time (veggies, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, etc.), and for the other 20%, have a little fun.
However, the most important dietary rule I live by is that one should always be prepared to "pay the piper." The reason I have stayed this lean for this long is that when I completely slip up and binge (yes, even trainers are human...), I get up the next day and do something about it! If you don't give excess calories a chance to feel welcome, then they can't make a home on your backside.