We got up close with Pooja Vig founder of The Nutrition Clinic.
1. How do you think your knowledge and studies in Microbiology and Nutrition and Functional Medicine has helped you create an edge in your business?
I studied microbiology and worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years. A personal health experience, the illness of a loved one, lead me to ask more questions about how everyday choices can seriously affect our health.
It became important for me to understand how to prevent illness and my background allowed me to approach this from a scientific perspective.
I found a great fit with Functional Nutrition, a component of Functional Medicine. Functional Nutrition is an evidence- based approach to wellness, which focuses on identifying and eliminating the underlying cause instead of just treating the symptom.
2. What is one big mistake that people make in starting a healthy lifestyle? (Besides unhealthy dieting)
There is a lot of information out there which is readily available which is great but on the other hand does lead people to try change too much all at the same time. We believe in a systematic approach that is achievable over time.
3. What is one stereotype you wish to debunk about healthy lifestyle?
There are a lot of extreme approaches to health and one of these is a juice detox. Whilst we certainly are behind vegetable juices as part of or in-between meals we don’t recommend juice detoxing on its own. It is high in sugar, provides no protein or the correct nutrients required for safe detoxification.
We have been running well-rounded and supported detox programmes at the Clinic since we started with such good , long-term results we decided to develop RESET, a supported detoxification program you can buy online.
RESET is a simple, easy to follow 10 day program designed to boost your bodies natural detoxification system. RESET is not about deprivation. It is focused on flooding your body with the nutrients it needs, removing the toxins that slow you down and filling in the gaps to allow your body to thrive.
Each day you will have a morning shake, followed by a solid meal from the detox for lunch and another shake for dinner. Throughout the day you will take key supplements and an afternoon mineral boost to support your body through the program.
The best part is hearing all the benefits people experience and the long-term changes they make.
4. Share with us 3 easy steps to starting a healthy lifestyle.
- Eat breakfast not dessert. Most cereals, muffins and breads have the same sugar as desserts. Rethink your breakfast eggs and veggies, protein rich smoothies and even left over dinners make a great start.
- Make sure you are getting enough good quality fat, coconut and olive oil, nuts, salmon and avocados are all great sources.
- Reduce grains. A lot of meals here are predominantly rice or noodles with a small side of protein and an even smaller side of vegetables.
5. Cancer is a leading killer disease here in Singapore, why do you think that is so ?
Cancer, like many illnesses is a multi-factorial illness. Environment, food quality, increase of processed food and an increase of stress all play a part. We also have a lot of toxins to deal with in our environment, for one BPA in plastic is a known Xenoestrogen which disrupts our endocrine system and is known to have adverse effects on hormone sensitive organs such as the breast. Think for a minute how much plastic we are exposed to from water bottles to take out food. Start small and look at easy steps like investing in a glass or stainless steel bottle for your water.
6. What are some common trends or patterns you see with patients and is this a reflection of a wider audience?
We have seen an increase in children and teenagers with food sensitives and a startling number of teenagers with auto-immune diseases at our clinic.
We also see a lot of women who feel fat, frazzled and fatigued. They may feel low energy, have digestive issues, food cravings, hormonal issues or not be sleeping well. All of these systems are integrated and we look at connecting the dots in a systematic approach. So often symptoms are treated in isolation and people just don’t get the results they are after. We should never lose sight of the fact we should all wake up every day feeling fantastic.
7. Seems like everyone’s getting a cold or sneezing what can we do to boost immunity?
Interestingly enough the bulk of our immune system is in our gut, so if you keep suffering from colds and flu you should really delve deeper into what is happening with your digestive system.
Here are our quick 3 tips for boosting immunity:
- High levels of Vitamin C, look for a whole food supplement as it will be better absorbed and utilised by your body versus a synthetic option.
- If you don’t already take a probiotic to support your digestive system.
- Take an antimacrobial or superfood like Hyssop, Olive Leaf, Echinacea, Propolis, Turmeric or Garlic if you feel a cold coming along. There also is a lot to be said for a bone broth soup… this is a great way to support your digestive system and build up immunity and is particularly good if you have lost your appetite.
8. What’s your advice to aspiring health entrepreneurs?
Follow your passion and know your strengths. I have a fantastic business partner, Rohini Anand who has built the business and operational side of the Clinic. This gives me the time I need to continue to update my knowledge every few months through the latest seminars and mentorship programmes.
9. Why the decision to start up your business and what are your goals for 2015 ?
For me it was a very personal decision that evolved from my own experience and strong belief that health has to come first. This may sound obvious but health is so often viewed as the absence of disease when it is so much more then this!!
Take a simple example like having low energy and think of the impact this may have on your life as well as your families. When clients regain their energy and are bouncing out of bed in the morning ready for the day, the impact this has on other areas of their life is astounding. When you feel good so much falls into place.
Functional Nutrition is largely about prevention, our bodies give us so much information but most of the time this vital information is ignored. Through a change of diet, removing food sensitives and healing the gut we have seen the direct impact lifestyle changes has on day to day to day life.
In 2015 our focus is on launching programs, starting with RESET, our supported detoxification program that provides long-term change and literally allows you to stop and hit the RESET button on your health.