This Women’s Day Revive your Forgotten Self

The adage “We will eat once they are done” encapsulates a harsh reality faced by many women in India. Prioritizing the needs of others, particularly family members, often leads to neglecting their own well-being, including adequate and mindful nutrition.

 

Millions of women in India face a silent struggle against malnutrition. Putting numbers in perspective, according to UNICEF in India, almost 50% of women of reproductive age are anaemic impacting their energy levels, immunity, and pregnancy outcomes. Studies have shown an estimated prevalence of PCOS amongst Indian women has reached a staggering 22.5% and is on a rise. Rise in Calcium and Vitamin D deficiency has led to deteriorated bone health and disorders like osteoporosis in older women. Dismaying as the statistics may sound, they paint a concerning picture of malnutrition affecting women across all societal strata.

 

As a Dietician I often meet women wanting to build a healthier lifestyle. While some might have specific physique goals, I ensure to educate them about the importance of understanding the foundational role of nutrition in supporting their overall health and energy levels. Apart from merely filling up nutritional gaps, I feel in India self-care involves rigorous re-conditioning of ingrained social practices and spreading in-depth awareness on women’s health. It’s an exercise to help them acquire a mindful approach towards nourishing their bodies, minds, and spirits.

 

I believe that minor tweaking of existent culinary practices easily culls out a way for all members in a household to prioritize their nutritional needs. Chalking out meal menus in advance, help family members inculcate a sense of shared responsibility whilst ensuring adequate food portions for all. This tool has also proven helpful in trickling down the ideology about healthy eating and equity amongst younger members of the family along with the importance of avoiding under- and over-nutrition, both of which contribute to malnutrition. As a thumb rule, I advocate locally sourced fresh produce and diverse food groups to combat micronutrient deficiencies.

 

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‘So, is it enough if I adhere to a balanced diet norm to lead a good life?’, you may ask!

 

I say, while a balanced diet is essential for good health, it’s only one piece of the puzzle for a good quality life. It needs to be augmented by good care of mental health, regular exercises to boost immunity and energy levels, strong and fulfilling relationships and gratifying activities that always keep you going!

 

Self-care isn’t about bubble baths and face masks; it’s a holistic embrace of all that nourishes your mind, body and soul. It goes beyond trendy diets and expensive products, delving into the deeper meaning of prioritizing your own well-being alongside the needs of your family. It’s not about reaching parity with others, but about creating a vibrant and fulfilling life aligned with your true desires and needs.

 

This International Women’s Day, let’s commit to loving ourselves in every way, because self-love is the foundation for everything else

 

Dt Komal Patel

The Author is an Ahmedabad based renowned dietician. She believes that “a balanced and nutritious diet is everyone’s right, not a luxury”, and has dedicated herself into curating true-ingredients infused healthy tailored recipes for her clients and millet-based on-the-go clean packaged snacks to revolutionize the existing snacking landscape.

With a Bachelor’s in Food Science and Technology and a Post-Graduation in Dietetics (Nutrition), Komal’s expertise is further validated by roles like Brand Nutritionist for the Almond Board of California and Life Member of the Indian Dietetics Association. Her clients are testimony to her dedication towards empowering individuals to live healthy lives, breaking shackles of restrictions caused by prevalent lifestyle disorders like PCOS, diabetes, thyroid issues, etc. She is known to sculpt individuals to find their healthier selves by managing their weight and conditioning them into mindful eating.

Komal truly believes that food is the thread that holds the existence of humankind altogether and nothing about it should be taken for granted!

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About the Author

Dietician Komal Patel

Komal Patel is a renowned Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist based in Ahmedabad. A Specialized Diabetic Educator, Sports Nutritionist and Certified FODMAP Dietician, Komal is also a proud Ambassador of FIT INDIA Movement initiated by Government read more...

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