Simple, sane and sorted

Dr Sairam Reddy, the co-founder of UrbanKisaan, opens up about his down-to-earth food preferences, light workouts, meditation and more

Published: 17th November 2021 09:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2021 09:35 AM   |  A+A-

Dr Sairam Reddy, the co-founder of UrbanKisaan

Dr Sairam Reddy, the co-founder of UrbanKisaan

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  One would expect the founders of UrbanKisaan, which encourages people to grow and consume their own produce, to be munching on his greens. But co-founder Dr Sairam Reddy will surprise you with his simple South Indian diet. In an exclusive chat with CE, he opens up about his down-to-earth food preferences, light workouts, Heartfulness and more.

Sairam’s day starts as early as 5 am, with meditation. His day feels incomplete without a proper, calm start and finish. He explains why: “Most people wake up from their sleep worried about their chores for the day. From the very start of their morning, worry fills their mind, making the entire day feel tiresome and busy. I fear that, which is why I wake up, freshen up and calm my nerves down through Heartfulness meditation. Its primary target is the heart, where it connects you to the divine and yourself.”

The fit 50-year-old never skips breakfast. He does not prefer a fancy spread. He’s simple at heart and likes his tummy to be the same. “I love the traditional South Indian breakfast menu — idli, vada and dosa with sambar and chutneys,” he says. 

Despite his busy schedule, he ensures that he has his meals on time. For lunch, just a few chapatis with curries (not cooked in refined oils) fill him up. “I’m also a huge fan of curd. I consume buttermilk and curd rice often, it helps with digestion. The diets that many prescribe today lack good probiotics, and that’s unfortunate,” Sairam shares. 

His dinner is small yet rich in nutrients. “It consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables. Healthy and tasty salads are something that I look forward to having for dinner.” During the day, he reaches for some salted dry fruits to satiate those hunger pangs: “I don’t take them roasted. I carry salted almonds, cashews and walnuts whenever I head out.” 

We ask Sairam if he is tempted to succumb to cheat days, and he laughs in affirmation. “Yes, I do set aside a few days in a month for my cheat days and indulge in tastier foods. I get to choose from the very many yummy salads from UrbanKisaan, I don’t really have to look beyond that,” he says. His guilty pleasure is trying different kinds of fried rice! 

There are always times when a big man like him is invited to a social gathering that may not always serve the kind of healthy food he’d like. “During times like these, I stick to having steamed foods such as rice, and non-fried foods and salads.” 

Foods cooked in refined oils are something Sairam stays away from. “Virgin oils retain the essential fats that our body need, refined oils give us the bad fat.” Carbonated water and anything that’s ‘enhanced’ using sugars, he avoids. Coffee is his favourite beverage and he has it every day. “I drink green tea, but I like to give my tongue the freedom to good taste through coffee.” He loves his filter coffee over instant ones. 

Sairam is someone who believes that just a good diet can’t assure good health: “Exercise and good physical activity are important too. While I don’t lift weights or perform strenuous exercises, good breathing exercises keep me fit.”

Sairam ends his day with another session of meditation and a short prayer about not his needs, but those of others. “I do something called ‘cleansing the mind’. It eases the tension I might have been carrying all day.” 

Sairam loves to cook and can prepare a variety of South Indian curries for his family. “I try any interesting recipe that I find on the Internet. It’s a great stress buster,” he says. He credits music for giving him a sane mind. “I’m a big music lover, I love to listen to all kinds music -- Carnatic, instrumental, Western jazz, etc. These uplift my spirits.” He also loves touring places and staying connected with nature.

The fit 50-yr-old never skips breakfast. He loves the traditional South Indian breakfast


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