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The world of nutrition and wellness is evolving and Health Coaching, a new approach which focuses on bio-individuality has emerged.
Life evolves and sometimes it evolves in a way that makes us change the very course of our career. My health Coach Manpreet Pannu, who has been guiding me on various aspects of life, and not only health, is one such individual who has successfully changed course n this manner.
Manpreet is a software engineer by qualification and now, a successful health coach in Dubai where health issues related to the modern lifestyle are common.
I met her at a seminar in Dubai, which she had conducted. got convinced by her talk and chose to enroll fora 6-month coaching program. Getting to know her slowly, like reading a novel page by page, was a health-awakening journey for me.
In this interview, Manpreet Pannu shares her thoughts on health coaching, which is an emerging profession around the world.
Manpreet grew up in Himachal Pradesh, that beautiful state of India where nature is at its best. Her parents had inculcated healthy eating habits in her and her siblings since childhood. She says that they were not exposed to biscuits, bread and noodles, but were happy with home-cooked traditional food.
She affirms, “Whatever you learn as a child, you carry forward those habits into your adulthood. That is one reason I want my children to have traditional whole foods and not fast/junk foods.”
A software engineer by profession, she gave up her full-time job when she found that she couldn’t balance her personal and professional life, and needed more time for family at that stage.
When her children were sick, Manpreet says that she would take them to the doctor but always walk out puzzled. She says, “I wanted more clarity but doctors were too busy to answer my questions.” Since then she was hungry for knowledge around health, especially around what would be good for her children.
She started researching and developing deeper insight into food and nutrition to ensure that she could make nutritious food for her family.
In fact, the starting point of her journey was her learning as a parent. She stresses, “Instead of teaching our children, we can learn so much from them.” She became so passionate about health and about clearing a way through the confusing information floating around that she started raising health awareness and doing health related workshops in the school and community.
Manpreet then connected with The Health Awareness Center, Mumbai, which further enhanced her insight into holistic health. She pursued and completed her certification in holistic nutrition with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York.
Manpreet tells me that people confuse health coaches for dieticians or nutritionists but that is not correct. She clarifies, “A Health Coach guides and supports you towards your health-journey.” They help people to make nutrition and life-style changes, but don’t believe in giving a diet-plan. They educate and support people to build healthy new habits and create sustainable lifestyle changes.
She adds, “You can eat all the fruits and vegetables but still be not in good health. As health coaches we identify that area and work with the client to achieve overall health which includes exercise, career, spirituality and relationships. We spend time, listen to you and help people become healthier and happier in all areas of their lives.”
Spending less time in the kitchen is another key area that Manpreet always focuses on. She believes that less time in the kitchen means that food is less processed and healthier. During the weekend, she involves her children as well in the kitchen. After all, it is very important for our children to learn to cook a simple meal by themselves. This will help them all their life.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and if the kitchen is organized and full of nutritious foods then the whole family is healthy. Manpreet therefore offers a service where she helps organize a client’s kitchen and give it a healthy makeover. She is also passionate about health awareness among children and conducts regular workshops for children.
There is lot of confusing information about health everywhere. Health coaches also work to correct common misconceptions about health such as ‘Everything that is healthy is not tasty’, and share tasty, healthy recipes that satisfy all the senses.
Health Coaching provides clarity and empowers you to know what is best for your body – what works for you and your bio-individuality. In this ever-changing world, this new profession is emerging to helping people strike a balance.
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Image courtesy Manpreet Pannu
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