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Mar 12

The Real-Life Diet of Himanshu Suri, Who Accidentally Got Jacked – GQ

I'm the guy that always ate pizza and cheeseburgers, Himanshu Suri tellsGQ. I made a song about Pizza Huts and Taco Bells!

True: In 2010, the rapper, formerly of the group Das Racist, best known by his stage name Heems, created a generational earworm with Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. These days, the 37-year-olds life looks pretty different. Suri is working on a new album, preparing to host a podcast about cricket, and starting his own DTC business with goods from India. He also got sober, started hitting the gym, and gave up fast food in favor of green smoothies and protein.

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On Twitter, Suri has been documenting his wellness journey withbefore and after pics and wry jokes. He spoke toGQabout his weight training routine, doing service work after the gym, and the life-changing magic of getting jacked as a bit.

For Real-Life Diet, GQ talks to athletes, celebrities, and other high performers about their diet, exercise routines, and pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind that what works for them might not necessarily be healthy for you.

GQ:You said that youre getting jacked as a bit. Tell me more about that.

Himanshu Suri:I don't know why and how that came to be, but it felt a little strange to become a gym and fitness person. I felt more comfortable with the notion of spending every day in the gym as just a little jokesee what happens, ha ha ha. And it's the bit that keeps on giving back.

Were you a gym person at all before this or is this truly your first time getting into a routine?

I have dabbled in the gym. I definitely was more into yoga than actually lifting or doing cardio, but in the last six months or so, I started getting more into using the weight machines.

Tell me about the first day you went back and how you built up to whatever your routine is now.

I wanted to incorporate some swimming as cardio. The gym I go to was like, "Oh yeah, the pool will be ready, the pool will be ready." And the pool, a year later, is not ready. My routine is, I do about 75 to 100 sit-ups every day on a decline bench. I do three to five sets of vertical chest presses. I do three to five sets of a lat pulldown machine, and then I do three to five chest supported landmines.

Did recovery lead to you working out, or vice versa?

Working out has always been a part of recovery. It wasn't so much that one proceeded or came after the other. But I always view yoga or exercise along with therapy, medication, and fellowship as parts of recovery.

Was there anyone who you turned to for advice on what to do in the gym, or did you just try whatever felt good?

It was definitely self-taught. The free weights are where all the guys are in the gym and I still feel intimidated by the bros. I do the machines that mostly the old people do. So it was following my intuition of being intimidated by gym culture but still wanting to be active.

What are the main benefits you've noticed from getting in the gymfrom the physical results all the way to how its impacted your creative process?

Its a three part processmental, physical, and spiritualand they all kind of bleed into one another. I definitely feel less depression and anxiety from working out. And living a healthier life in terms of exercise and food, and especially sobriety, has helped me build a stronger spiritual practice. Just having the focus or energy to meditate, to pray daily. It really helps that the gurdwara, the Sikh temple, I go to is close to the gym. I go from the gym to the gurdwara on my drive home every day. They're linked quite literally in my mind.

I definitely sleep better. I have more energy, more focus, but it all kind of comes back to having a connection with the spirit world. And to tie that to music, I do feel like I'm channeling something greater than myself, as narcissistic as that may sound. What I found more recently is I can't write or record as much in one session without weed or alcohol. But I'm able to write about one thing, one concept, one song, one idea. And I think that comes from, again, just being in better mental, physical, and spiritual health.

Did your diet change at all and what does a typical day of eating look like for you now?

My diet actually hasn't changed much because I suffered from a lot of depression. I didn't look forward to or get excited about eating. So I found myself making a lot more smoothies just because it was mechanically convenient to eat in that way. I've been big on smoothies the last four or five years. What I put in them are mixed greens, cucumbers, celery, blueberries, occasionally one more fruit, like citrus or mango, and then nuts, ginger, turmeric, ashwagandha powder, and a green nutrients powder.

I love eggs in the morning if I'm eating before noon, but I try to incorporate as much of at least the beginning part of intermittent fasting, so I don't eat until later on in the day. And then I eat a lot of tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, or malai chicken. When I can afford it, I like sashimi.

I used to eat a lot of pizza and cheeseburgers and used to definitely order way too much from delivery services. But I've really cut that out in the last year or so for a multitude of reasons. And I don't get bored with eating the same things every day. I really like chicken tikka.

Do you have any food rules at all or do you try to keep it intuitive?

Yeah, I don't really. I'm not a stickler on diet. If I still want to eat pizza or something, I definitely do. I don't have designated cheat days. I just try to get in the gym. I've been eating more roti, even though, when I'm trying hard, I don't eat any kind of bread. But lately I've been eating roti. Something I really need to work on is not eating late at night.

Oh man. I feel you.

I definitely will miss breakfast all the time, but have lunch and two dinners. Unfortunately my dog is following my eating habits and expects a proper amount of food at 11:00 p.m., so that's not really good.

Whats the most surprising thing to come out of your wellness journey?

100% this interview. I think this is hilarious. And I think people that grew up with me would think this is hilarious. Because I'm the guy that always ate pizza and cheeseburgers. I made a song about Pizza Huts and Taco Bells! So I just think it's kind of fascinating that I've put in a lot of time and effort into this journey and hopefully this piece can help other people who don't think that it's possible or it's a lot of work to change your life like this. But the rewards are well worth it.

Something else funny about this whole thing is that I wasn't trying to get my arms to be bigger. I definitely wanted to stay lean. But I did not register that my arms would get bigger. And one day I was looking in the mirror and it felt like a circus mirror. I was like, "This is fucking weird. I didn't sign on for all this shit. So I think I probably should have tried more cardio and less weightlifting. But I'm also happy with the way I look. That wasn't what I went into it for though. It's been kind of a pleasant surprise. But it came from the place of just wanting to incorporate movement and routine into my life.

And then you accidentally got jacked.

Yeah. And then I accidentally got jacked and now I brush it off as a joke because I used to judge people who were in the gym every day. Its like, if I call it a joke then it'll be less corny to me.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Continued here:
The Real-Life Diet of Himanshu Suri, Who Accidentally Got Jacked - GQ

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