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Me and my health: Nisha Tandon discusses her lifestyle

By Helen Carson

The 59-year-old, who lives in south Belfast, is chief executive and founder of Belfast Mela. She has three children, Sonia (34), Natalie (32) and Krishan (27), and a granddaughter, Amelia (2).

Q: Do you take regular exercise - and if so what?

A: I go to the gym as often as I can, where I use machines for resistance work and cardio. And if I'm not working at the weekend, I will go to yoga and pilates. I walk to all my meetings during the week as it is quicker than driving and saves worrying about car parking.

Q: What's been the worst illness you have had?

A: Fortunately I have never been really ill - I have been very lucky.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Pretty healthy as I have been a vegetarian since New Year's Eve 28 years ago - it is one resolution I have managed to keep. Breakfast is porridge with a flaxseed mix and berries with Jasmine tea; lunch is usually very simple and consists of crackers, hummus, avocado and fruits. My evening meal is always Indian food such as brown rice, lentils, cauliflower and vegetables, or salads which I eat all the time with ingredients such as olives and couscous. I always have chilli in my main meals - Tabasco sauce is a must. They don't have to be particularly hot chillis, I just love the flavours.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I try not to drink too much caffeine. If I'm working I will have a cup of coffee about 10am. Occasionally I skip meals, especially if I'm very busy, but keep a bag of nuts in my bag for a snack.

Q: Do you drink and/or smoke - and if so how much?

A: I've never smoked but I do like a glass of red wine with a meal at the weekend. But I don't drink during the week or when I am babysitting my granddaughter Amelia.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: Any extra nutrients I need I get from chia and flax seeds, almonds and cashew nuts. However, I think I might start taking vitamin D and C now because of my age.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: That's my problem - I don't really take time out. If I do, though, I spend it in my garden where I grow lots of my own veg - that is my time away from everything. I also go for walks in the evening which is a good way to unwind after a day in the office.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Very well. I go to bed about 11pm-11.30pm every night and wake up naturally around 5.30am-6am - my body clock is just set at those hours.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: As long as I am fit and healthy, and am able to do what I want to do, I don't worry about getting old at all.

Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: Eating Bombay mixes - it is definitely my go-to food. I love savoury food - like olives with mozzarella - and don't really have a sweet tooth at all so I don't have cravings for things like chocolate.

  • The Belfast Mela returns for its 10th year with a special opening night on Saturday, 6pm-9pm, followed by the main Mela celebration on Sunday, August 28 from 12noon-6pm, at Botanic Gardens in Belfast. Visit for more details

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