Thursday, 16 November 2017

Top tips for raising healthy kids!

The video was recorded for a Live TV show, on UAE national television channel, Dubai one (11th Oct, 2014) The host is Aishwarya Ajith, a popular celebrity and emcee in Dubai.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


I generally scroll my Facebook feed  to find amazing claims like "Eat this and lose all the belly fat" , "Drink this and clear your acne in 5 days" , "Celebrity lost xx kgs by just doing this". 

Do you see them too?

Some of them are so MAGICAL, I feel complied to check them out, only to find that such claims are either click baits <know more about that here> or cooked up theories, based on hear-say. Some of them are so far from the truth, that if followed to the 'T', can be dangerous and cause serious implications. 

To my surprise and concern, these feeds are doing well, with so many followers, all looking for a quick fix, a simple method, a sure shot way, to look great and get fit.

If you are still reading my post, I'm sure you must be looking for the advice that will help you TRANSFORM, forever.

Read on, and find out.
After working hard to get a post degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and practicing the same for over 6 years, counselling clients from different countries, I can safely say this: 'there is no magic pill, no super-drink, and no herbal tea' that will help you achieve your desired goal- be it lose fat, just stay lean or bulk up. 

The reason we spend so much time trying to find a quick fix is that we feel we can out-do a bad diet. There is no way that the morning 'lemon and honey elixir' is going to help, if you have gulped down cola with last night's dinner. This is a fact. 

I feel the public, in general, has become gullible, thanks to the huge 'wellness industry'. Its like the the 'Monkey See, Monkey Do' effect- 'Celebrity X, lost xx kgs, post-baby, in record time', so all my expecting mothers want to lose pregnancy weight, asap, and it has now become a race. 
Another famous example is a popular film actor, putting on loads of body fat and lose it to single digits in record time, to morph into character and do his role in the best way. Wow! However, just the montage of weight loss was propagated, leaving the public clueless about how the team who made that happen was working non-stop, using every method possible, to make the transformation possible. 

Keeping the cliches aside, I want to share the most important tools to help you reach your health goal.

Determination, Dedication and Discipline, along with a Dietitian, who can show you the way, using your common sense, all along.

Issued in public interest, Shiren's Diet Diary.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Just for Laughs: Types of people I counsel...

In my practice, I meet people from different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. But all of them have one thing in common- they all know how to read. What and how much they read, especially about nutrition, tends to make up so much of their personality. In the first 5 minutes of the consult, I can easily estimate which category to place the client. It’s famously said that one must not judge a book, by its cover. In this case, I am rarely disappointed. 

The types of people I counsel: 

1) The Nutrition Beginner:Having being introduced to carbohydrates, protein and fats in school, this person would be a sponge to know all that they can. They read little and are known to droll at food pics (#foodporn #foodies #foodlovers). Ever eager to learn though, he/she would come in with a notepad and pen, and will fiercely note all that you say. Without doubt, they will paraphrase, repeat and quote the dietitian, whenever they get a chance.  

My Rating: Love the newbies to bits. Their minds are clean slates, they generally have great attitude and their curiosity makes the counselling so satisfying.

2) The Nutrition Pro: Now these clients normally are experts who just don’t have a degree in nutrition. They know the difference between Omega 3, 6 and 9 and maybe, some of them, can quote the Kreb's cycle as well. They visit the dietitian for cross reference on fads and trends.
My Rating: The consultation seems like a symposium of nutrition, with each party well versed with correct facts and can end with high- fives!

3) The Protein Nut:
 Equipped with a protein shake in the backpack, the 'Pro-teen' junkie, comes in with a smile, and an attitude to defend the cookie-dough flavored whey, till death do them part. He may or may not work out, but due to popularity and taste, has fallen victim to the protein shake band wagon. With a preference to replace all meals with shakes, this person would need the most convincing to go slow.  
My Rating: Please don't get me wrong, we all need protein, but this addiction to man-made shakes, gets me confused. 

4) The"NO"it all: They visit the dietitian because the doctor/family/well-wisher has forced them to. Even the receptionist can make out. Body language talks so much. Complaining about trivial things is also common-place, like the wait, the AC being too powerful, or otherwise.
And then, the non-cooperation. I know that even if they semi- commit to the tasks, it would be chucked out, the minute they walk out of the session. They have no intention to come in for a follow-up and wish for the session to conclude.
My Rating: The client is just not ready. Counselling requires prep for both sides, so if you are not up for it, no forcing, suggestion or recommendation would help
Now, which one are you? ;)

Monday, 25 July 2016

Your food could affect your mood.

Picture this: You leave office at half past 5 in the evening, with-holding the urge to snack at the office hangout. Running late, you drive through traffic and reach your home, only to find it in a mess. You start to clean up, but just as you reach the fridge, you find that you have no milk for the baby.
The head ache you get while trying to juggle, could just be because you are famished and malnourished and not only because you have a low tolerance level.

There is so much literature supporting the fact that: Food does affect your mood.

Have you felt happy while indulging in "comfort foods"? Certain foods, when had in moderation of course, can bring in happiness. Here are a few examples of foods, having a positive effect on your mood.

Peanuts: Loaded with protein and fiber, which can help you avoid the tiredness that makes you an easy target for sadness or anger. This mood food is also a tasty source of healthy fats, vitamin E, folic acid, and other nutrients that can lift your spirits. However, keep those M&Ms in check, cause refined sugar can cause a temporary high and bring around an awful slump after.

Chocolate: Cocoa boosts brain serotonin, the happy hormone, enough said.

Share your Double Frrroooozen Hot Chocolate (Serendipity3dxb) with your friends
Bananas: And surprise surprise, the sweet banana has it all wrapped up bundles of mood enhancing dopamine under one peel. Plus, don’t forget all the healthy vitamins and minerals it contains too, such as potassium, vitamin B6 and iron.

Sunflower Seeds: Hello, sunshine! A natural way to increase your serotonin levels, sunflower seeds have a high concentration of folate and magnesium, these nutrients account for regulating and boosting mood.  

Oranges: Did you know that just by smelling an orange or lemon scent can perk you up? Oranges and other citrus fruit are loaded with vitamin C, which helps lower stress, and folic acid, a B vitamin that can bring you up out of the doldrums.

Bring a little sunshine to your hectic and stressed days, by indulging in these, but keep in mind that moderation is key, as it’s easy to go overboard with these foods.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Continue your physical journey, post Ramadan.

The holy month is a great spiritual journey and helps one embark on a holistic physical journey as well. The Suhoor prepares the body to face the day, while the Iftaar replenishes the body for prayers through the night.

Now that Ramadan is over, the healthy habits formed during the month, are generally lost by most. Most of the clients I counsel complain of 'eating sickness', (that feeling of uneasiness after most meals), once they resume normal eating patters,  I am entailing a few to follow, to stay on the healthy path, keeping illness and discomfort at bay.

Breakfast is a must: Now that we have our lazy bones have kicked in, its easy to fall in the 'no time for breakfast' pitfall. However, it is imperative to continue fueling the body, with wholesome foods and break the 8-10 hour fast. Keeping it simple, it key here. Try the recipes from here today.

Eat in moderation: Studies show that keeping an intermittent fast (between meals) helps stabilize our blood sugars. But now that we have access to food at our liberty, most of us lose self control and discipline. We tend to go overboard and indulge, much at the expense of our digestion. 
Eating slowly, and chewing the morsels can help slowing down the speed of our meal, keeping portions in check.

Drink, drink, drink: Did you know, most commonly, we mistake thirst for hunger. Make sure you hydrate and sip on fluids throughout the day.

You gotta move it, move it: Yes, you do. No more 'fasting, hence, tired' excuse. Trainers normally up the ante, post Ramadan, and reaching 10,000 steps a day, should not be difficult. Remember, we can eat and hydrate as per our wish, so moving around should be on the wish list, too.

Don't ditch the good path, stay on track with these tips and continue your physical journey to good health, wellness and fitness.