Food-show host Maria Goretti believes in living life to the fullest, even while working out

Updated - September 17, 2018 06:29 pm IST

Published - September 17, 2018 04:55 pm IST

23dmc Maria

23dmc Maria

At 46, Maria Goretti is lean and lithe. A dancer. An advanced PADI diver. A half-marathoner. A mountain climber. A telly-show host, a cookbook author and a hands-on mom. Maria returned from Paris last month, having completed a six-week intensive patisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu. Whipping up dreamy delights (going by her rather luscious posts on Insta) and not having gained a single kilo even after all that food tasting.

Spilling the beans

“My fitness schedule is erratic,” she shares, having run her last half in January earlier this year. Busy with shoots, her show and her family, dance slid down the agenda as well. As did aerial yoga. “I have been lucky enough to inherit fit genes,” she says with honest humility.

Maria begins her day with a banana (“because I love the fruit, no other reason”) and drinks a glass of warm water (“I only drink water that is warm”). That’s followed by a clutch of dry fruits: two each of cashews, walnuts, almonds; five of raisins and pistachios; one each of fig and apricot.

Breakfast is two eggs, sunny side up (“That is the only way I eat eggs”), with a slice of cheese. Lunch is vegetarian: dal , vegetables (“no apple gourd please, though I love dry, stuffed karelas in the masala that is typical of the Jaipuri preparation of the vegetable”), with pickle and papad .

“Dinner is when all four of us (her kids Zeke Zidaan, Zene Zoe and husband Arshad) are together, and we have either lamb or chicken, with a soup and sautéed or grilled vegetables on the side,” she shares.

At about 4 pm every day, there’s an espresso. “I am a coffee person, I dislike tea. I don’t like bread — however fresh and good it might be — and milk. Though I love ice cream and yoghurt. In the evening, I also have a snack. It could even be paani-puri with the kids if I am picking them up from some class,” she says.

“I believe in going with the flow. Even in class in Paris, when we were to taste what we were baking, we devoured everything because we used to be starving. The idea is to burn what you eat. I have always been on the run. Studying in Paris, I was walking from my school to my apartment. The weather was great and I loved exploring the city on foot,” she says.

Honestly speaking

“I’d die if I had to go on any crazy diet, especially the ones where you have to weigh the amount of food you can eat. I am 5 feet 1 inch in height, and weigh 56 kg. Ideally, I should weigh 48-50 kg. But honestly, I don’t care,” says Maria, in her signature candid style.

So what’s her midnight snack? “ Roti with a cold, cooked sabzi (veggie) from the refrigerator,” she replies promptly. “Though my all-time comfort pick is chocolate. I like velvety, gooey chocolate and can eat chocolate at any time of the day or night. I am not fussy like that,” she laughs, confessing to having indulged in tons of nougat in Europe.

“My anthem is to stay happy. The feeling instantly translates into your physical and emotional well-being. I started pursuing my passion for baking rather late in life, but I am going for it with gusto now. My belief is to smile, be positive. Don’t be too hard on your own self. Try it. Enjoy what you do and stay active. Things then instantly have a way of falling into place,” she says, signing off with a smile, packing furiously to leave for London in a week’s time for the second phase of sharpening her baking skills.

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