Learn how to eat right ~ Upcoming Session by Harpreet Pasricha

The next Navhind Times workshop on March 22 at Dempo House, Panaji, will see award-winning celebrity nutritionist and director of Diet Dr Clinic, Harpreet Pasricha, speaking about nutrition, weight loss, superfoods, etc. Participants will also get a free body composition analysis with nutrition counselling. 

Maria Fernandes| NT


Owner and director of Diet Dr Clinic, a chain of wellness and weight loss clinics in India, Harpreet Pasricha has been in the wellness business for over 20 years. With a post-graduation in food and nutrition, a certification from International Sports Sciences Association, USA, a certified practitioner of Nutrigenomics, and a doctorate in alternative medicine, her achievements in the field of nutrition are many.

Her fame as a credible lifestyle guru has established her as one of the leading nutrition experts in the country and she was awarded the International Quality Award by former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen. She was also honoured with The Best Nutritionist in India at the India's Best Doctors Award (IBDA) for making a real difference to her clients' lives and achieving the highest levels of excellence in her offerings.

Pasricha believes that each individual has a unique constitution and her holistic approach to weight loss revolves around this belief. Through personalised diet plans, regimented follow-ups, and constant encouragement she helps her clients achieve realistic goals.

"Quite often people have many misconceptions about diets. They are under the impression that being on a diet means eating only soups or salads for dinner or cutting down calories. However, at Diet Dr Clinic, we believe in eating right and not eating less, being healthy and not being deficient in any vitamins and minerals," says Pasricha. The workshop thus has been planned keeping in mind the plethora of weight and lifestyle management issues faced by many people. "Participants will learn about the importance of a natural and healthy diet in weight management. The workshop will touch upon the dangers of falling prey to crash and fad diets which can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies and damage to internal organs," she says. Pasricha will also help participants gain an understanding of different superfoods and the dangers of packaged foods, through engaging games, quizzes and demos.

The talk and workshop, she says will benefit all age groups, from children to adults. "Since we are all exposed to a wide variety of foods, becoming aware of what we are consuming especially the detrimental effects of sugar and other additives found in packaged and processed foods is extremely vital. It is imperative we all realise the need to be discerning about our food choices," she states.

Diet, as we are well aware, affects our general health and well-being and dietary deficiencies and imbalance can cause serious medical conditions. Life span, health, immunity, energy, metabolism, complexion, strength, enthusiasm, lustre and mental as well as emotional clarity are all adversely affected by foods, stresses Pasricha. "Actually, you are what you digest and assimilate and you become diseased by the foods that your body does not digest," she says. "People are plagued with many illnesses, primarily due to unhealthy dietary choices. Hence by understanding the individual's body type and health parameters, we will be able to help the person by giving nutrition counselling so that they can accordingly set realistic health and wellness goals and be able to achieve them."

Along with helping people lose weight, Pasricha is also involved in, designing of special menus for people suffering from migraine, acidity, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and various other medical problems. Speaking about the common mistakes people make with concerns food and diet, she says that the most common is following crash or fad diets to lose weight. "These are temporary methods that aid in weight loss and eventually have other side effects such as hair fall, skin pigmentation, vitamin and mineral deficiency etc. Instead, eat right!" says Pasricha. She recommends eating all food groups and not eliminating any. "This can cause an imbalance of micronutrients and would adversely affect internal organs like kidney, the gut, heart and liver. Instead, incorporate the many local and seasonal superfoods that are easily available into your diet," she says.

Dispelling a common myth that people have that bananas, rice and potatoes are fattening, she says: "Although a banana is sweeter than an apple or orange, it has only 85 calories. Bananas are a wonderful source of potassium and contain valuable protein. Dieters report bananas are more filling than some of the other fruits and are also great for reducing constipation. Similarly, rice and potatoes are also essential in food as they are a source of B-complex vitamins, fibre and amino acids. All these foods should be consumed but in a wiser manner."

Participants at the workshop will be introduced to some superfoods like kokum, amarnath, virgin coconut oil, desi ghee, chia seeds etc. "Superfoods are foods that have functional properties that help reduce deficiencies, aids in reducing weight and improving overall health. They can be simple foods found in your kitchen and are not necessarily expensive packaged foods. Though many foods could be described as super, it is important to understand that there is no single food that holds the key to good health or disease prevention," states Pasricha.

Asked what are some major food-related health issues that women in India especially Goa face, she answers, "In today's generation, we find every fourth woman suffering from gynaecological issues such as PCOD/PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, etc. This was not common 10-20 years back, but nowadays, we see girls even at the age of 15 detected with PCOD/PCOS," she says. This, says Pasricha, can be contributed mainly to the wrong eating habits such as excessive consumption of packaged, processed foods, fruits and vegetables being sprayed with injections and pesticides, chicken injected with growth hormones etc. "These eating habits have eventually affected the hormonal balance in women leading to the gynaecological problems," she says.

(If you are above 13 years of age and would like to participate in the workshop, log on to navhindtimes.in/events and fill in the registration form. The last date for registration is March 16.)



Some basic eating guidelines by Harpreet

- Do not confuse thirst with hunger. Drink instead of eating when hungry in between meals. It dilutes digestive gastric enzymes.

- Try to eat at almost the same and approximate times every day.

- Don't eat after 8 p.m. or two hour before going to sleep.

- Sit down when eating and eat in a peaceful environment (that means no TV, reading, heated discussions, etc).

- Don't eat when emotionally upset.

- Don't over eat. Overeating stretches the stomach so you'll need more to feel satisfied and creates toxins in the digestive tract.

- Fill one-third of your stomach with food, one-third with water and one-third empty.

- As much as possible, eat fresh foods, the best quality you can afford. Prepare the food with love on your mind and peace in your heart.