Looking within

With nothing but time in her hands, Jasmine Kaar decided to spend the past year improving herself

18 Jan 2021 / 10:56 H.

JASMINE KAAR was supposed to go to India for a couple of projects last year after wrapping up production for the second season of TV series KL Gangster Underworld, but the pandemic made those plans impossible.

With her work put on hold, the Sarawak-born actress, martial artist, model and dancer, tried new things and looked into ways on how to better herself.

“I looked at it as a year to work on myself,” said Jasmine, who made her big movie debut in 2019 opposite Kollywood superstar Vikram in Kadaram Kondan which was produced by veteran star Kamal Haasan.

One of the changes that Jasmine made was to go vegan. That means she will not eat any food made from, or derived from, animals and animal products.

For her, it was a slow and easy process. She’s not a fan of oils and fat like butter and ghee.

“I am lactose intolerant so I can’t take milk anyway,” added Jasmine.

The first thing she cut out from her diet was red meat, followed by white meat, fish, and finally eggs.

Perhaps it was inspired by her love for animals, or it could even be because of her friend who took her to a vegan restaurant where Jasmine discovered that vegan nasi lemak could taste good.

In any case, there is no one singular reason that Jasmine could point to as why she wanted to embark on this path. She just did it.

“I guessed it was easy because I am not a foodie,” Jasmine confessed.

She took advice from her vegan friend and used resources on the internet as a guide for her on her journey.

“I felt lethargic at first. There was also an urge to eat meat,” explained Jasmine. An urge that probably stems from her physical activities.

“But my body feels lighter now,” she went on.

Because she went vegan during the lockdown, she had to cook for herself. “I like to do simple stir-fries,” shared Jasmine. “I also tried to ask my mother to join me, but she said she loves butter and eggs too much”.

In addition to changing her diet, Jasmine took up running. However, she did not like long-distance running. She describes herself as more of a sprinter.

While the gyms were still closed, members of the public were permitted to workout outside, she took up a friend’s advice and started running around her condo. Now she runs about four to five kilometres a day.

“And that is nothing compared to what my friends and other people are doing,” she chimed, admitting that the best part of it is that she gets to do it outdoors.

She also continued her practice of Kali, a Filipino martial art that she picked up after achieving a black belt in Karate.

“I picked up Kali in 2019, and doing martial arts, in general, helps me with the choreography in movies,” remarked Jasmine. This is in addition to her experience as a dancer.

Her year of self-improvement did not stop there. For her spiritual well being, Jasmine practised Vipassana for 10 days. She separated herself from the outside world, did not speak to anyone, and meditated for eight hours a day for 10 days.

“As a result, I became more aware of other people’s emotions,” said Jasmine. She is more attuned to the positivity or negativity of someone she is interacting with, and that has changed her perspective on things.

She realised that how she got to where she is today is an accumulation of all that she did, as well as all of her past experiences put together as a whole.

“I used to look at things differently. I used to measure success by big milestones. Now I realise that it is the accumulation of all the small things that makes a difference.

“So when I am asked what’s that one thing that made an impact in my life in 2020, I tell them what my mother told me, that everything that we do is a constant improvement,” reflected Jasmine.

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