Young entrepreneur and healthcare specialist Asmi Ahmad talks to Aakanksha Naval-Shetye about making an impactful difference when it comes to leading healthy lifestyles, adapting a humane approach to disease management and launching Diaeta!
Healthcare consultant and young entrepreneur Asmi Ahmad is a strong advocate when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle! But what sets her apart is the fact that not only does she believe in maintaining a balanced life for healthy individuals, but also works extensively on bringing about these healthy changes in lives of patients undergoing extensive treatments. A degree holder in MSc. Nutrition and dietetics, PG in Clinical Oncology and Nutrition for diseases and cancer nutrition management, it is her humane approach to disease management where symptoms can be managed through diet and lifestyle changes that can help patients lead a healthy and pain-free life. A rising star in health care industry, she is also a much popular lifestyle and health influencer. In an exclusive interview, she talks to us about making a positive change through her work and also reveals all about launching Diaeta – her first nutritional supplement line!
How has this city helped you achieve your dreams?
Dubai gave me my wings! In Dubai, even sky is not the limit, this city makes you want to be the best version of yourself and the amount of opportunities we are exposed to here are remarkable. Also being in a city where you get to interact with people from around the world, see their culture, traditions, food, the mindsets, especially the local Emirati food which is so packed with nutrients that it’s purely inspirational… Living in Dubai just diversifies your thinking and that has really been a pivotal point for me in working towards my dreams and aspirations. Nothing is impossible when you are in Dubai!
“My goal has forever been and will always be to ease the pain and symptoms of the people going through painful diseases and now with the nutritional supplement line I’m one step closer to reaching every home and heart!”
What aspect of healthcare as a profession do you find most challenging and what’s most interesting about it?
The most challenging aspect has to be the journey of earning your client / patient’s trust, I believe unless your patient trusts you, they won’t trust your treatment methods and so you won’t be able to do your job. However, this journey is also the interesting part of my job when I see a patient getting results or being pain-free without medicines and just enjoying life, it gives me pure adrenaline rush to see people happy!
What’re the most common healthcare concerns you see that are lifestyle-related and can easily be rectified?
Delusions about body positivity, not to say everyone should have abs, but be free of ailments. Nowadays, body positivity is a cover for ‘I’m lazy’ and that needs to stop! Excess body fat leads to a ton of problems such as imbalanced hormones, increased inflammation, increased risk of diabetes, CVD and cancer, not only health wise but also physically your appearance is compromised by the side effects of being overweight which leads to low self-esteem and social anxiety. These problems can be easily avoided by keeping most of your meals healthy and nutrient dense and of course sometimes enjoying the cheat meals along with choosing a physical activity that keeps you toned!
Mental well-being and physical well-being go hand-in-hand, so how do you approach this and balance the two?
Your mind holds much more power than you can imagine! So always keep your mind on your side, one way of doing this, which also impacts your physical wellbeing is by eliminating the toxicity around food, people love terming foods as ‘bad’ and ‘good’, personally, I believe all food is good but quantity and frequency matters! So for my patients nothing is off the table, they can enjoy everything, but not every day. This allows you to be healthy and pain-free yet have no regrets. To tell yourself that something is ‘NOT ALLOWED!’ will only make you want it more and then you constantly having to resist and be sad over what, food! That according to me is not worth it! We have enough stress in our lives already we don’t need an ice-cream to be added to the list!
Can you share some tips to have a healthier and balanced lifestyle?
My number 1 tip would be to always listen to your body and soul! If you feel like a certain diet or food is making you uncomfortable in anyway then simply eliminate it from your lifestyle and add something your body agrees with, but here, being honest is the key! Otherwise none of our bodies WANT to agree with spinach and instead want fries. Then comes the body itself, have at least 30-45 minutes a day for some form of physical activity, could be literally anything you like! Third and most importantly take care of your mind, in life many things / people / situations will try and tear you down but as long as you keep your mind positive you will always shine through, and yes it won’t be easy throughout, but we can all try! So in short, love your body, live your life and nourish your soul!
What is your approach to treatments especially in cases of cancer?
Cancer not only impacts you metabolically, but also physically and mentally, so I believe in treating all three. Once a person gets on chemo/radiation or is even going for surgery or any of these cocktails, the side effects of these treatments start to show up, which can be quite a challenge to go through. So we provide a personalized plan that is custom made for each client to meet their needs and provide relief at the earliest! Along with a safe space to talk, this can be regarding the treatment, their own fears or even basic emotions, anything that helps, we are here through your journey!
What is the advice you’d share with patients suffering from long-term illnesses?
My first piece of advice to a long-term illness patient might sound weird but it is: DON’T STRESS, because stress makes everything worse. For example when an arthritis patient stresses they tend to create more inflammation that increases the pain. The most important thing to do in long-term illness is to figure out which type of diet / lifestyle can help you stay pain-free, increase the duration between flare-ups, help you reduce the pain meds and improves the quality of life!
We are launching Diaeta, and its first nutritional supplement line which is purely focused on bettering the health of the people suffering from diseases. The line consists of supplements and meal replacements which will provide a delicious way of managing the symptoms. These products are non-GMO, all natural, gluten-free and just filled with helpful nutrients.
Tell us about your new endeavor?
We are launching Diaeta, and its first nutritional supplement line which is purely focused on bettering the health of the people suffering from diseases. The line consists of supplements and meal replacements which will provide a delicious way of managing the symptoms. These products are non-GMO, all natural, gluten-free and just filled with helpful nutrients. My goal has forever been and will always be to ease the pain and symptoms of the people going through painful diseases and now with the nutritional supplement line I’m one step closer to reaching every home and heart!
What’s the way forward?
The world of treatment is changing altogether, people are now more drawn towards side-effect free treatments and they also want something that will cure them rather than just hide their symptoms! That’s exactly what I aim to do as well! So we want to bring in personalized treatment plans which will make sure that the patient receives the maximum benefit from us in the shortest amount of time possible!
What would be your advice to people fasting in Ramadan who are suffering from arthritis?
Fasting has shown to reduce chronic inflammation however when someone fasts during Ramadan its sole purpose is spiritual! It’s such a beautiful month filled with immense amounts of blessings. Having said that, fasting has been shown to reduce the inflammation in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases by reducing the pro-inflammatory factors in the body and also reduces insulin resistance which has been helpful in preventing cancer as well. So this month isn’t just helpful for your soul, but also for your body, so HAPPY FASTING!