If youāre like us, youāve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but theĀ hand sanitizerĀ and theĀ electric toothbrush. We asked actress and activist Freida Pinto ā who is currently partnered with Clarks and an ambassador for Girl RisingĀ āĀ about the books, oils, and yoga straps she canāt live without.
In 2007, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was put on the birth-control pill to restore fertility and whatnot. But itās a hard condition and I felt like I was never really given the full picture, which I think happens a lot, especially when youāre just given these quick-fix āband-aidsā for larger problems. For me, it was time to get off the birth-control pill, which wreaked havoc on my skin, hair, and moods for a couple of months. Iām a big research person. Thatās one of my favorite things. If I werenāt an actress, I feel like I would do really well in investigational research. So during my research phase, I wanted to try everything natural for my body. I wanted to get to know my body again in my own way. And Alisa Vitti was very crucial in that journey.
I feel like with gynecology especially, itās been a very male-driven field. How does someone who has never had a period in their life empathize fully? This is not me going against male gynecologists, but this is me really saying, if youāve never had a period in your life, how do you know what it is? When I read this book, I felt like, oh holy hell, things I havenāt been told! I think one of the most brilliant things I read in this book is about the various phases of your menstruation cycle. Itās no longer, āOh, Iām PMSing.ā I donāt even use that term anymore. I just say, āIām in the luteal phase.ā And if someone doesnāt know what Iām talking about, I tell them to buy this book. Every woman should know.
I started using oils during childhood. My parents are from the south of India, so I grew up using things like coconut oil. That was very common. These essential oils are something that I came to in 2011 when I was shooting Girl Rising. They can really change your mood. Iām also not a coffee drinker, so one of my favorite tricks is when Iām jet lagged and have to go to an event or have a shoot right away, I rub peppermint oil on my belly and around my back, shoulders and neck. I just tap a little bit of peppermint oil in each place and it wakes my body up instantly. I swear itās better than a caffeine rush. I learned this from my naturopath. I was like, this is fantastic. Now, peppermint oil always travels in my kit with me.
I read a lot of self-help books, but I wouldnāt really describe them like that. I call them self-educating books. Iām not looking for how to make a million dollars or how to win a guy. The books where I can actually educate myself are my favorite, especially now that Iām older; I turned 35 this year. My yoga teacher gave this to me when I was 28 and I was like, ugh, boring. And I didnāt read it. What a mistake. When I turned 30, I picked it up. I was in a place in my life when I felt like I needed something like this book to talk to me on a more personal level, and it was a game changer. This was a very educational book on how the mind works, obviously in the slightly more spiritual way of explaining it. I think, being a woman, no one tells you that at 30, your hormones are changing and your mind is changing. I started feeling different at 28, and by 30, it was like, Whoa, this is a real change. Any woman in her 30s will agree that something happens. Something clicks. Something changes. I started feeling more comfortable. I started weeding all the bullshit out of my life. I no longer was interested in dealing with it.
This was actually introduced to me by my reflexologist and Iāve been using it for about a year. For me, it just takes the edge off. It calms my nerves and helps me not be in fight or flight mode the whole time. Weāre constantly behaving like we have a tiger chasing us and we donāt. The CBD oil is just a little reminder that everything is okay. I used to eat a lot of CBD chocolates, particularly from this brand Baceae. I have no idea how you pronounce their name properly, but their chocolates were the best. Iām not the kind of person who can eat just one piece of chocolate. But with the CBD chocolates, you also have to be careful, you just canāt be popping them like regular candy. So I just went back to the oils. I started using it for sleep too. It gives me a very restful, deep sleep. The kind where I can sleep for a full eight hours uninterrupted and wake up feeling good. However, you canāt use CBD oil and at the same time be on Instagram and Twitter. Itās not magic. I have a rule where I only get on Instagram when I have something to say. I donāt even do it on my phone. I do it on my assistantās phone. I donāt have the app anymore. I also donāt charge my phone in the room that Iām sleeping either. Itās always in another room. I take a lot of steps to make the CBD oil work.
Iāve used this for a while. Thereās two oils for my skin that I love. One is an oil only available in India. Any time I do anything for an American publication, I put everyone in a very frustrating position because I always talk about this amazing oil and you have no access to it. Hopefully that will change, and I wonāt tell you how, but I think it will change soon. But thereās a wonderful apricot-kernel oil from this brand called Pahadi Local in India. I put that on and then I use this facial recovery oil after that. I change things around for the seasons, so now that it is getting a little colder, Iām a lot more dry. This Eminence oil is amazing. Iām constantly getting makeup done, taking makeup off, and rubbing my skin to do so. The facial recovery oil is great for rebalancing my skin and keeping it clear and hydrated.
Thereās so much you can do with yoga straps, and thatās one of the reasons that I always travel them. You can often ignore the body when youāre running around trying to get a million things done in the day, but all it takes is ten minutes. Itās such an easy fix to do one or two times during the day. Two times is the ideal. Three times is amazing if I can get it in. Then the rest of the day Iām so active on my feet, so thatās my cardio. I typically just do shoulder openers, hip openers, and hamstring stretches. Iāve been practicing yoga for many, many years. I do yoga with teachers one-on-one too. It keeps me balanced. I try to always be present and mindful. All of that can only be done when you make that commitment to yourself. Itās not like one day youāll wake up and suddenly be enlightened when youāve only been doing these mindful practices for 15 minutes the day before. Itās a lifelong practice. You just stick with it. Thatās what life is, anyway. Till your dying day youāre just learning. Iāll definitely be doing yoga until Iām on my deathbed. Well, I hope for something less morbid. When Iām old, Iāll be in Palm Beach stretching. That sounds better.
I meditate every morning. Some days, I get so excited about meditating that it will go on for 30 minutes. And other times I canāt even do ten minutes without getting distracted. Every day is different. I accept myself and honor whatever I bring to the table every day. I specifically love Headspace because itās designed in such a way that you can do courses. I love structure in life. Right now, Iām on the third part of a managing anxiety course on Headspace. It provides you with tools that you can use throughout the day, like small breathing exercises in case youāre feeling stressed after a meeting or whatever.
Meditation means different things to everyone. It doesnāt just mean sitting and closing your eyes and clearing your mind. You just need to take the time for yourself. Iāve noticed a huge difference in my life since I started meditating. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. If I have not meditated in the morning, I do find I have a scattered thought process and behavior and lack of focus. But as I meditate, it gives my mind that extra boost I need when itās already crowded with a million things.
Iāve had such a love for Clarks for a long time that when we came together for this partnership, I already had an organic story to share. I have a size ten-and-a-half foot, but growing up in India it was very difficult to find my size when all the shoes were made for smaller feet. My feet werenāt represented at all, so when Clarks came to India in the early 2000s, it was a game-changer for me. I finally had a shoe size where I didnāt have to cram my feet into a shoe two sizes too small. And they were stylish and cool. The Desert boot became my favorite shoe. Plus, I feel like I can walk a million miles in them. The more you wear them and break them in, the better they get.
But then I thought, okay, if they want me to raise their platform, I want their platform to raise something else, which was Girl Rising. This organization means so much to me and I did not get any pushback from Clarks when I said Iāll only partner with you if you help me with this. And they did it, which just made this partnership even better. Clarks is all about comfort and what Girl Rising is also doing is creating a safe space for girls to be comfortable in their skin. We want these young girls to tell us what they really dream of so not only will they sort of reach for the stars and live their dream, but we can give them the tools they need to do so, like education.
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