Minal Raja

I met Purnendu whilst visiting a friend at Cambridge University back in 1993. As I enjoyed the strawberries and champagne on a summers evening at one of the colleges, I was flabbergasted when he told me that he doesn’t touch alcohol and that he fasts during Ramadan. I thought to myself, he must be either very religious or a class-A nerd! I was only 22 years old, I was fit as a fiddle and let’s say I had a perfect bikini body.

We were in touch again in 2014 in London. I was now a mother of a 4-year-old and I weighed 25 kgs more than I did when I first met Purnendu. He knew me as a very fit and a sporty lady back then and here he was walking and talking with a middle-aged, overweight, sleep-deprived, just done with breastfeeding mother!

From a very general chat, we engaged on specific topics of consistency and cumulative effects. It dawned upon me that it was lack of consistency and the accumulation of just a few extra daily calories over the years that had slowly but surely caused the weight gain over time – lack of consistency in eating, drinking, sleeping and exercise. Purnendu’s guidance was instrumental in the changes I made to my daily life. I ensured that I exercised daily, drank at least 2-3 litres of water, had adequate sleep and controlled portion sizes.

The next step, again with Purnendu’s guidance, involved exploring the quality of the consistent exercise and food intake. He taught me the importance of including strength training and intermittent fasting for my programme. I also took to doing longer fasts during the period of Paryushan. This was a time to reset my body. Through our discussions, I also started believing in the importance of plant-based nutrition. As a family we have made nutritional changes for the better – plant-based nutrition is exciting, appealing and trendy!

Purnendu has given me invaluable insight into bringing up a confident child and also helped me on a wider scale with my relationship with family and friends.

He is a great mentor and friend.

Minal Raja
Mother, Adventure-Seeker, Polyglot, Charity-Worker