About a year ago I tried to get on a diet advised by a nutritionist, but I failed to stick to it, mostly because it needed so much effort to make specific “diet” food and I couldn’t stop thinking about what to eat next. Such a bother! Recently, I had the opportunity to host a live session with nutritionist, Dr Aalika Shah, on the topic of intuitive eating and functional medicine. Throughout our conversation, I gathered some nutrition-related tips that could seamlessly fit into my everyday diet. Win-win, amirite?

What is Functional Medicine?

Working in the field of preventive health and functional medicine, Dr Aalika Shah strives towards focusing on treating an individual by correcting their lifestyle, nutrition and also prescribing medication if need be, to provide a holistic rectification of an ill-health to reach optimal health. Functional medicine is a better approach as opposed to merely prescribing medication to mask the symptoms without actually treating the root cause of the ailment, she explains. Makes sense! Especially since every individual is unique and their individual requirements will vary from time to time. Food for thought—you may feel healthy, but are you?

What is Intuitive Eating?

This was one of the most exciting topics to be discussed during the live session. Intuitive eating is all about getting attuned to your body signals with regards to your hunger and cravings. It is crucial to understand when you’re hungry so that you can eat then, irrespective of the time, and stop when you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Being a food lover, I find myself overeating pretty often. So, I’m taking note of that!

I’ve always been a hardcore non-vegetarian eater and a major hater of vegetables. So obviously, I took the opportunity to ask Dr Shah a question that has been mine, and my mother’s significant concern ever since I was a child – “What can I eat to get the essential nutrients of vegetables without having all the sabzi-bhaji?” Bad decision, also, a total bummer. It turns out, there’s no substitute for eating veggies. Now, that’s on video by a nutritionist! *BRB, need to cry a little* Thankfully, Aalika did give a few tips on how to incorporate them into meals in a not-so-obvious way such as using micro-greens and making a veggie smoothie. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll try that.

A huge takeaway from this live was understanding the concept of intuitive eating. Be it hunger or random food cravings; you have to be mindful about quantity and picking nutritious food over junk food. Additionally, taking the required amount of prescribed supplements and incorporating the right food in your meals to have a balanced diet.

The expert answered so many faqs in addition to those asked by Malini’s Girl Tribe members during the live session. If you hadn’t tuned in, you can still join the tribe on Facebook and watch the whole live.

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