India’s Top Nutritionist, Dr. Shikha Tells Why We Need To Say Yes To Food While Dieting
- IWB Post
- February 6, 2018
Dr. Shikha Sharma needs no recognition. India’s top nutritionist and holistic health coach, Shikha founded Dr. Shikha’s NutriHealth (previously Nutrihealth) in 1998 after she observed the lack of awareness about the importance of diet amongst people. Shikha never formally studied Nutrition and Diet.
In fact, she had done her MBBS in Cardiology from the prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi. It was during her work as a Junior doctor in the hospital, she observed that most people with heart diseases do not realize the role of their diet in keeping her heart healthy.
For 19 years now, Dr. Shikha’s NutriHealth has been striving to introduce innovations in the field of Nutrition and Diet.
Pioneers in the concept of integrating modern nutrition with the Ayurveda and acknowledging the link between Nutrition and genetics of a person, they have created a sustainable change in the lives of thousands of people.
I had an exclusive conversation with Dr. Shikha Sharma and apart from getting her expert advice on various health and skin issues, I also tried to gain an insight into her personal life and childhood food patterns that shaped her belief in the power of balanced and healthy diet.
Most of us have the most cherished food memories with their grandmothers and mothers. And, then there are those Dadi and Nani ke nuske that slowly become a part of our life which we carry forward and advocate in the later stages of our lives. We started our conversation with discussing the valuable lessons that Shikha learned about food and diet from her grandmother.
“My grandmother and mother never allowed us to enter the kitchen as we were asked to focus just on studies. But, our entire family was highly disciplined in terms of food. Everyone ate whatever was prepared and had a fixed time for all our meals. Our kitchen was always stocked with tons of fruits. We were never a foodie family and I remember this phrase that my Dadi always used, ‘Don’t become a chatora in your life, otherwise your attention would always be on food and not on other important things,’” she said.
“So, for me, it has never been about the taste of food, but, just to use it to satiate my hunger,” added Shikha.
Talking about her food discipline, she swore by the health benefits of Protein shakes.
“As a working woman, our protein requirements are not met through our meals. The balanced intake of protein shakes is a great way to meet the protein requirements. It’s not only fulfilling but also keeps you energized.”
Wanting to know about her cheat food (LOL), I enquired, “Share that one emotion that weakens your food discipline.”
“Like I said, for me the science of food mattered rather than its taste and portion, so I don’t think that I ever have any problem in maintaining the food discipline. But, if I may confess, I have this addiction to tea. As a student of medicine, we had to work and study for long hours and that’s when I picked this habit,” confided Shikha.
Well, we also got a sneak-peak into her everyday schedule and meals:
“So, my day starts with a workout with my personal trainer and a Bharatanatyam dance class on the alternate days. Then, I have my breakfast which is mostly Quinoa with milk and a fruit. After breakfast, I get ready and leave for the office which is a 40-min drive from my home. In between my breakfast and lunch, I have tea and coffee. For lunch, I have sprouts or any other salad with a fruit. Again some coffee or tea in the evening. I come back home at 9 and have 1 chapati for dinner,” described Shikha.
Golden Rules Of Detox
Detox done wrong results into more harm than good. Shikha suggested the crucial points that we all should bear in mind before going for that detox plan:
- You need to drink lots of water. Like lots, especially on the first day of your detox!
- Eat lots of fruits as it will provide fiber necessary for the smooth bowel movements. But, remember to eat light and mild fruits and not acidic ones like oranges. If you want to eat pineapple, eat in small quantity.
- Avoid juices as it will only increase the sugar content.
- And, most importantly, DO NOT binge-eat after the detox!
Shikha broke the myth around the Zero-Sugar Diet and told us why we need natural sugar and not the white sugar.
“The processed white sugar is the one we should all eliminate from our diet. Our bodies do not require white sugar at all. What our body needs for energy are the natural sugars which come from fruits and vegetables. So, preserve the natural and let go of the artificial factory made sugar for good!”
Building Blocks for Future Health
Shikha briefed us on the small things and activities that will contribute to better health in future.
- Include lots of fruits in your diet. It will give you that skin glow, too.
- It is imperative to indulge into some kind of exercise or physical activity after the age of 30-35.
- Include Aloe Vera and Amla Juice in your daily diet. Just mix one spoon of each in a glass of water and have it in the morning. Great for hair and skin, too!
Dieting? Say Yes To Food!
Debunking the old concept of dieting and encouraging people to go for Yes-Diet approach, Shikha explained,
“Before, dieting meant eating a lot of boiled food. So, this concept of boiled food actually originated from hospitals where the patients were only given bland food. So, dieting became a bad word which meant boring and unappetizing food. But, with more and more people exploring the field of Nutrition and Diet, now the meaning of Diet has evolved. There are so many diets nowadays like, ketogenic, Mediterranean, etc. to choose from.”
“Also, now people’s approach towards diet has also changed. Wellness has become a bigger goal than just curing the illness. Now, diet is not about punishment, but nourishment,” she added.
Fight PCOD the right way!
Today, PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) has become a common phenomenon and it is increasing at an alarming rate. PCOD is a lifestyle disease and diet has a major role to play in improving this condition in women. Shikha explained how the following changes and inclusions in diet can work wonders to control PCOD.
- Have a teaspoon of Fenugreek Seeds. You may either take it with water or you can also consume it with roti.
- Take 1 tsp of Triphala powder with warm water every day.
- Have AloeVera and Amla juice daily.
- Cut down on sugar and maida.
Me: Stress eats away the health of a person. Give advice to our readers on how they can release the stress so as to ensure overall health.
Shikha: I mentioned earlier about my dance class which is a happy activity. I always wanted to learn Bhartanatyam. So, doing it now, gives me joy, helps in releasing stress and puts me in a positive mood for the day ahead. Indulging into activities that give you happiness and adds to your knowledge and skills is a great way to bust the stress.
Me: Summers mean Mango but most diet says no to Mango. *puppy face* How can we bring in the mangoes in our diet?
Shikha: *laughs* The key is to have everything in moderation. You can have mango just make it a point to take it with a glass of milk or namkeen lassi so that the body sugar level doesn’t shoot up.
Shikha: We are the first company to offer wellness with technology as the Client interface. We have clients from all over the world and our Nutrition teams connect with them through, Voice, Video (Skype) and YuWoW App. Also, we are the first ones to have introduced a smart scale, Body Fat Analyzer (BFA) which is a Bluetooth-enabled digital weighing scale measure different characteristics of your body composition. This device is connected to YuWoW App which can be accessed by the clients easily and all the information about the client is then automatically transferred to our Nutritionists which help them to plan their diets accordingly
P.S. If you wish to seek diet and health consultation, you may visit Dr. Shikha’s NutriHealth website, here.