Nutrition Coach, founder of Pravrddhi Lifestyle...
What is your favorite meal?
My favourite meal is home cooked ‘Dal Rice’ according to the nutrition science no vegetarian protein food is a complete protein but when we eat it in combination it makes it a complete source of protein. Dal rice is a complete protein with good ample amount of carbohydrates in it and after adding a teaspoon of ghee it makes a perfect well balanced diet.
Which is healthier to consume olive oil or coconut oil?
Actually that depends. If you are using it to make any curry, vegetable, dosa etc then you should definitely opt for coconut oil but if have you want to use oils in a dish that doesn’t require any cooking like humus or salads then go for olive oil.
Given the variety of rice available, which is the healthiest type to eat on a daily basis?
Hand pounded or Single polished white rice
Is it important to wave off junk food from our diets?
Eating everything is moderation is what I ll recommend. Completely ignoring any particular kind of food will create this pressure on us that we are depriving ourselves. So everything in moderation is absolutely fine and you can even try to make a healthier version of it.
Who has been your mentor through the journey of nutrition?
My Mom! She is always use to workout and I never get it what motivation she has to wake up so early and do workout and how she maintained herself with normal home cooked meal that intrigued me to be honest. She was my mentor throughout this journey gave me a wider perspective of home cooked and nutrition knowledge.
Are online blogs and vlogs a good source of learning nutritional science?
Blogs and vlogs are generally a individual’s experience we can take guidance from them but can’t rely completely on someone’s opinion. Try to look for scientific evidences to back up any opinion that would help you to build your own perspective.
What is healthier, rice or roti?
Both in moderation. In India that depends on what region you belong to eating something local and seasonal is always a healthy choice.
Should one opt for yoga and exercising or going to the gym to remain fit?
That depends on what kind of workout excites you more. Something which you can do for a longer period of time with consistency will give you give great results.
What are the good sources of protein for vegetarians?
Good protein source for vegetarians- Tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, milk, cheese, green peas, nuts, seeds, whole grain, peanut butter etc
What are the foods that one should consume for healthy skin and hair?
For healthy skin and hair specifically you need to consume good amount of protein eggs, dal-rice, soy, lentils, yogurt, sproutsetc. Further try to eat at least 1-2 servings of fruits in a day, any seasonal and local fruit will do wonders to your skin texture and hair quality.
Is it important to completely rule out sugar from the diet?
No you should never cut off a single food item from your diet. Our body crave something when we are trying to avoid it consciously so everything in moderation works fine. What you can do is avoid packed food which contains added sugar or corn syrups. Consuming 2-3 tablespoon of sugar in milk or tea is absolutely fine.
Is it important to constantly measure and regulate calorie intake?
To be very honest we should always start with tracking our macros whenever we are starting out fitness journey just to get an idea how much we are eating and how much we should eat. Daily counting our calories is not a good idea and sometimes we start obsessing over every minute calorie intake. Start tracking it for maximum 2-3 days that will be all.
What course should an aspiring nutritionist sign up to become a professional?
That’s absolutely depends at what stage you are in your career. If you have just finished with your schooling then you can opt for bachelor degree in food science and nutrition. If you are from non science background then opt for a nutrition certification course to get the basic understanding of food science and nutrition.
What kind of fat is good to consume?
Good fat is Monosaturated and Polyunsaturated fats example- Olive oil, soy oil, corn oil, nuts, seeds, fish etc Consuming them in moderation will help in maintaining good skin texture, bone & joint health, lower risk of heart diseases and maintaining healthy weight.
Does medication interrupt one's appetite or diet?
Yes definitely it depends what kind of medicines an individual is consuming. There are some medication that leads to increase or decrease in your appetite.
Describe a typical day at work for you?
In my profile its all about interacting with people either through socail media platforms, audio calls, video calls, chats, emails etc. Through the above mentioned mode users connect to me either for diet counselling or for product recommendations.
What are the pros and cons of being a nutritionist?
Pros- 1) You will definitely eat healthy and people around you will be motivated to do so. 2) Better food and nutrition choices. 3) Interact with new people on daily basis. 4) You can experiment a lot with diet and workout. Cons- 1) People expect miracles from any diet and workout schedule so most of the time they are not patient with any program 2) Some clients do not follow the diet plan and will blame that you program is not effective.
Chocolate has some benefits. Is it safe to eat chocolate in moderation?
Yes, definitely chocolates have good health benefits but do check the ingredients list before opting for any chocolate for added sugar and preservatives. Further any thing in moderation is helpful.
For underweight individuals, what food should one inculcate in their diets without gaining excessive weight?
To gain healthy weight we should always opt for options which are healthy and calorie rich apart from normal home cooked meals you can add milk, smoothies, tofu, sprouts, nuts, nut milk, fresh fruits, oats etc
What is your go-to diet?
Normal Indian home cooked food (Dal-rice, roti sabzi, dosa, cheela, curd, lots of veggies and fresh fruits). 6-7 small meals in a day with at least 3-3.5 liter water.
What role did your educational background play in your career?
For me it didn’t because I have completely changed my carrer from being a financial professional to a Nutritionist, but I wish I would’ve known my calling earlier but its never to late to learn about new things and move forward with profession for which you are passionate.
How do you see your job evolving in the future?
Earlier it was combination of both online and offline counselling but due to this pandemic we have learnt a lot of things are possible through online modes. So in future I think most of the counselling and consultation will shift to online modes.
When did you step into the field of nutrition?
I was always inclined towards reading about what new diet is in trend and tried few of them myself, all of them seem to worked for a shorter period of time but in long term none of them worked not a single fad diet was sustainable. Out of curiosity I joined a nutrition program and after each and every class I realized all the misconceptions floating around. At that moment I found my calling and decided to be in this nutrition field.
What's the advice you would like to give to an aspiring nutritionist?
Never stick to a particular ideology, try to read various reasearch papers to get better understanding on any topic with scientific backings, try to experiment and figure out what works for you and try to make a journal of all the learning’s through out this phase.
Is it good to take in nutrient supplements?
As the name suggests ‘Nutrition Supplements’ these helps in supplementing our diets. They are beneficial but not mandatory. For example if you are working out regularly specially weight training then your protein requirement increases, but if these requirements are not being fulfilled by your diet you should definitely go for a protein supplement.
Since you are a nutritionist, do your family and acquaintance use this to their benefit?
Yes. Definitely, my family and friends both ask so many questions on day to day basis and always ask for opinions. If someone suggests them to try this new fancy diet then they come and ask for logics that why this will work and why this will not work. They don’t believe on everything they listen and read about weight loss and day by day trying to make sustainable choices in there life.
How does one find out whether or not they are getting the required nutrients?
There are many parameters on which you can check whether you are getting proper nutrition or not. I ll list some of them below- a) Quality of sleep b) Digestion c) How light you feel whole day d) Quality of skin, hair and nails e) How often get cravings for junk food etc.
What is your guilty meal?
My guilty meal is definitely noodles not instant noodles but the normal one but to balance it out I add 50% veggies and 50% noodles in the dish and try to make it myself so that I have control on what all ingredients I am adding.
Is it necessary to have a keen interest in cooking to become a nutritionist?
No definitely not. I don’t like cooking but I know how to cook a basic meal and what all ingredients I should choose to make my meal more healthy & delicious. So even if you are not interested in cooking that absolutely fine. Having knowledge about how to make a meal more nutritious is what make you a good nutritionist. All the best!
How often do you indulge in cheat meals?
I don’t have a cheat meal. I eat everything in moderation so I never get this urge to binge eat or cheat with my meals. Suppose I feel like eating burger so I ll make a burger with lots of veggies in it minus all the sauces and dips.