Anuradha Sharma: Finding the right balance

Anuradha Sharma: Finding the right balance

Numbers rule in today’s era! Be it in the form of money or our weight or counting every calorie that we eat. People’s lives revolve around weighing scales these days. Trends such as ‘Keto diet’, ‘Paleo diet’, ‘Low carb diet’ have been quite common and many of us blindly follow them as well. “Diet and Nutrition aren’t just about losing or gaining weight; it’s about keeping your mind and body healthy from the inside,” says M/s. Anuradha Sharma (M.Sc. Clinical Nutrition), a qualified dietician, and co-founder of “The Basic Meals”, where she and Dr. Pragati Pragya (Ph.D. Clinical Nutrition AIIMS Delhi) educate people to improve their entire health and lifestyle.

When the duo noticed that the “Diet Market” does not provide scientific recommendations to clients, they decided to take the matter into their hands and create awareness regarding the right practices of nutrition. For the ones wanting to manage their weight, people suffering from hormonal disorders, kidney and liver diseases, and individuals with a hectic 9 to 5 job, the team at ‘The Basic Meals’ has you covered!

The ‘Nutrition warriors’ sat down to share their experiences as nutritionists, what makes their approach towards curating diets different from others, and busted myths about food and eating patterns, in this conversation with Storiyaan.

Anuradha Sharma

Anuradha Sharma: Finding the right balance


Questions and answers

What kindled your interest in becoming a nutritionist and guiding others as a coach?

For both of us, it’s been our home and our lifestyle that kindled the interest. We have always been eating healthy, even as kids, our parents wouldn’t let us indulge in unhealthy eating habits. It is something that runs in our family and this made us choose nutrition as a field of work.

There are so many nutrition start-ups coming up in India. So, what makes The Basic Meals stand out from the rest?

Both of us are certified nutritionists and our approach is completely science-based. Here at The Basic Meals, we just don’t want you to get into good shape, we want our clients to be in a habit of healthy living, to inculcate good lifestyle habits that they will continue and not drop even when their goal is accomplished. To achieve this, we have weekly sessions with our clients, where we discuss the food they ate, their sleep schedule, and how active they have been the previous week.

Tell us some of the struggles that you had to overcome during the starting days of your journey?

The first one includes the myths about nutrition. The second is following fad diets or something they see on social media or taking advice from gym trainers, who most of the time, aren’t well educated/qualified on these topics. Clients are impatient sometimes and want quick results, not realizing that it takes time to lose or gain weight. Also, we started our company 3 months prior to the lockdown, when people were ignoring eating healthy. Everyone was experimenting in their kitchens and expanding their taste palates, so that was an issue as well.

What are the major changes you find in people's awareness about living and eating healthy in the current times?

We feel people have become market-driven. People think that home-cooked food doesn’t fulfill their body nutrition requirements, and thus, they opt for supplements that aren’t always helpful. This false awareness has forced them to adopt poor eating patterns.

How did you come up with the idea of the Nutrition Warriors program?

Children are the future of the nation. And building good and healthy habits starts from our childhood itself. So we thought of educating children about this so that they inculcate these themselves and also spread awareness in society. By this, not only their own health in later life can be improved but also the whole younger generation can have a healthy lifestyle. So, Nutrition Warriors is a club for children, where they understand what healthy eating and living are. We even collaborate with different schools for the same.

What advice would you give to the children and youth who look up to actors and models for a ‘perfect body type’?

I suggest not to believe what you see. Your target should be overall fitness as everyone is different and their needs are different too. See what works for your body and have body goals accordingly.

Obesity has been a recurring issue found mostly among teenagers for the last two years due to the pandemic. What would be your suggestion on this and some of the ways to curb it?

People have become undisciplined, especially teenagers now, and have an irregular sleep schedule. Even working from home or attending school from home doesn’t mean you have to wake up late. Discipline is a must, and so is having a night of proper sleep, food, and a workout schedule. One needs to be consistent with their daily schedule.

There is a phrase “Food can be both a medicine as well as a poison” depending upon the situation. What are the strategies you use to create the care plan for your clients to overcome their health issues?

Portion control is what matters and there is nothing called a cheat day. Being on a diet doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your favorite food; it requires you to eat as per your body’s requirements. If you are exercising daily, keeping track of what you eat, then you can eat anything you like and satisfy your cravings. You just have to make sure it is in definite proportions.

How do you track the progress of your clients and keep a check on them if they are really improving or whether they need changes or modifications in their routines?

As mentioned earlier, we have online sessions with our clients every week. Before starting with any of our new client’s nutrition journey, we discuss in length about their health and the medications they take, if any. Through our weekly follow-ups, we make sure that our clients get what they came for. We bring modifications as and when required. If needed, we monitor our clients daily as well!

A multitude of people these days are in need of a proper nutritionist but often believe it to be too expensive and thereby abstain. What would be your message to them?

If I compare, going to a nutritionist or getting a diet plan is much cheaper than eating junk food. It’s a misconception that the prices are too high, some places might be, but prevention is better than cure. After all, health is wealth!

Rapid Fire

1.Fitness to you is – Sound sleep or happiness

2.The importance of exercise to you – being able to dance when I am 80

3.One person you look up to the most – My Mom/Dr.Pratibha Sharma

4.One thing without which you can’t spend a day – Breakfast/ Water

5.Your mantra in life is – Early to bed early to rise, makes us healthy, wealthy, and wise.