Dietitian's Confession - Blog by Dietitian Manasi Joshi

Dietitian's Confession

By Manasi Joshi  on: 10 June 2018
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' Yes, I am a proud 'Home-Science' degree holder. Yes, I am a proud dietitian'. We are not letting our clients 'starve'. We bring 'balance' in their life. We help them lead a healthy life. Visit a 'Qualified dietitian' once & you'll know it.

 

Every career has a story. All these stories have all shades of hard work, stress, satisfaction, happiness, etc. Some are planned & some happen accidently. Some are smoothly running, some have breaks while some contains ups and downs. But all these experiences make you stronger. It is too soon to speak about my career path. But this field helps me relate to my day-to-day life. I would like to share this experience with you all.    

I am a Dietitian & Nutritionist. I chose 'Food' as my career. I am a foodie. I enjoy different cuisines, not just eating but I cook, experiment with my food & I am always ready to learn new recipes. Hence, I chose 'Food' as my career.. Yes this is a field about 'Food', about 'Nutrition' & not starvation. Hence I said.. 'I chose 'Food' as my career. We can express emotions through food. It can be care, happiness, love, affection, romance, etc.     

This is  the story of beginning of my career, about my experiences, about opinions of different people about this profession.

When I was in high school, I decided to become a dietitian and took admission in a Home Science College. Back then, in India, people were not much aware about the field of 'dietetics'. So when I used to tell people about my college, the reaction was "Oh...why Home Science? Don't you want to make a 'career'? Why do you want to go to a college to learn things useful for a home or family? Learn it from your mother." When I replied I was doing 'dietetics', they were like "Ohh....from now on, we'll eat a full meal before coming to your home....what will you give us to eat...all 'ghaas-phoos', no oil, no ghee, no sugar" etc.

Initially, these reactions used to make me nervous, but later on, I got used to it and started turning a deaf ear to these comments. I am sure all dietitians would agree with me on this.

As time passed by, I completed my graduation, post graduation and started working for different institutes to gain practical experience & polish my theoretical knowledge . I was a typical fresher; always 'on my toes' to learn new things; applying my knowledge in day-to-day life. In early days of my career, in a typical call from my mother at 2.00 PM on a workday, she used to scold me, "No lunch yet? What is this? You take care of your patients' diets, their meal times and all. What about your meal time? Go and have your lunch first."

This phase also passed by...faster than I thought.... and I got married. This was the time when I temporarily stopped applying my dietetics knowledge in my daily life. All this 'nutrition' knowledge remained at professional level only. Like any other newly married girl interested in cooking, I starting exploring my 'master-chef' skill. Thanks to my dear husband for enjoying all my successful recipes and tolerating all the failed ones.

After few years, with the glimpse of motherhood, like any new mother, I wanted to do the best for my baby. Baby's health depends on mother's nutritional status during pregnancy. In this phase, my knowledge was of great help. My awareness for my diet, physical activity, etc. kept on increasing. Let it be morning sickness, food cravings, mid-night hunger; I was able to keep a balance in everything and  enjoyed food during pregnancy.

After the birth of my baby; for breastfeeding, weaning foods, introducing solid foods & even bringing my own weight down, my knowledge was of great help.

But I must tell you, the biggest challenge is to make your toddler eat veggies & fruits. They are so picky eaters... (If your toddler eats everything, you are the luckiest parent in the universe). But I am not nagging. I am enjoying this phase as well, to the fullest. With the help of my nutritional knowledge & post marriage polished 'master chef" skills, I experiment with different recipes to make my toddler enjoy his meals. All these efforts give so much satisfaction, when  he eats & grows well. I know, day by day, this challenge is going to be bigger with him going to  school, making friends & all the media exposure (we are all surrounded by the media.. you can limit it but can't avoid it). But I know, I will come up with solutions.

All these life challenges make me stronger & grow as a better dietitian. And at the end of the day, when I look back, I feel so proud of the fact that I studied 'Home Science' & 'Masters in Dietetics'. My degrees are not limited to my office desk. My degrees are helping me take care of my family  as well as earn money. I do not leave my knowledge & work in between the walls of my office. I bring it back home, but in my case, it makes my family happy. ' Yes, I am a proud 'Home-Science' degree holder. Yes, I am a proud dietitian'. We are not letting our clients 'starve'. We bring 'balance' in their life. We help them lead a healthy life. Visit a 'Qualified dietitian' once & you'll know it.


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Quick snack recipes for toddlers
11 July 2018
When you have a toddler at home, it is a big challenge for parents in all aspects. I take it positively. The more they challenge you, the more they are challenging their own cognitive system. They can remember things very well, even the names of their favorite foods. Therefore, making their food choices is a real challenge. They remember what they had had, when you were on a vacation two weeks ago & they start demanding the specific food at home or when you pass by restaurant / similar food outlet chain. They even remember the cabinet where you keep their favorite food items in the kitchen. One moment they are playing & suddenly they come to you & demand something. (And let me tell you, most of the times it is something that you do not want to give them frequently like Chocolate or chips etc. OR it is not a right time for that food for example, when you are preparing lunch, they'll ask for their favorite snack). The same thing happened yesterday. While I was in my kitchen, thinking about evening snack for my two years old, and he came and said, " ??...??? ????? .. ?????? ??" (Mom, I am hungry, give me a chocolate)  ... (Recently, we had vacations in Switzerland & Belgium and he remembers it very well that we have chocolates at home  ) OMG... Now what .... what to do..???? I do not want to give him a chocolate..  ...IDEA...   THAT is what I am going to share with you. A quick recipe of what I did then....  [I even carry this with me while shopping or on a day trip. You never know when and where these kids will demand something to munch in.] Recipe 1-  Groundnut Laddu - a super-quick recipe    Ingredients (for two small laddus) Roasted groundnut powder - 2 tablespoons Grated jaggery (???/????) - 1 teaspoon Ghee - Half teaspoon or as needed (If jaggery is soft, even less ghee would suffice to ensure homogeneity of the mixture) Cardamom powder- 1 pinch Procedure: Mix the above ingredients to form a homogeneous mixture and make laddus (a size of a chocolate ball). For added benefits, you can even add dry-fruit powder to the mixture. Really a simple and quick recipe... right??? It can come handy when you have a lot to do, but have no time for a fancy recipe. I know they are not chocolates & your kiddo knows it very well. But you can always tell them "We do not have chocolates, but I made laddu for you. They are your favorite ones." If your kiddo loves laddu (most of the kids do), this trick will definitely work. They are healthy power packs of nutrients for your toddlers. Note: Store them at cool dry place in an air-tight container or in a refrigerator to store for longer period (and to prevent them from getting rancid). Nutritional benefits: Power pack of nutrients & energy No refined sugar Source of protein, iron & trace minerals Recipe 2 - Dry-fruit Laddu or Rolls Ingredients: (for 8-10 rolls) 1 cup seedless dates (I am taking a 100 ml measuring cup) 1/2 cup mixture of your favorite dry-fruits like almond, cashew nut, walnuts etc. (roughly chopped. If you are giving these to your toddlers- make it into a powder)   2  teaspoons ghee 1 pinch cardamom powder Procedure: Take one and a half teaspoon ghee in a non-stick pan. Add seedless dates & roast them till they are soft. Add the dry-fruits & cardamom powder & immediately turn off the heat. Mix the ingredients well. Take the mixture in a plate. Let it cool down for some time. When it is warm (the temperature you can handle to make laddus with your hands - but make sure that it is not completely cold) make laddus or rolls. OR you can even make it into burfis - just grease the plate / tray with ghee & remove the mixture from the pan to a plate. Spread it evenly in the plate with the help of spatula when hot. When warm, cut into square pieces & cool it down. Note: Store them at a cool dry place in an air-tight container or in a refrigerator to store for longer period (to prevent them from getting rancid). Remember that when you keep them in a refrigerator, they can get chewy, hence won't be a good option for toddlers. Nutritional benefits: Power pack of nutrients & energy No added sugar Source of iron, protein, vitamins & trace minerals   Both these the recipes are really good options (even for adults) as an 'on the go' snack, when you are away from home. You can store both these preparations at room temperature for 8-10 days in an air-tight container & cool dry place (not in really hot summer days). This long shelf life makes it a really good option even when travelling.    
Manasi Joshi

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M.Sc. Dietetics & Certified Diabetes Educator , Netherlands 

Manasi Joshi is a renowned freelance Dietitian & Diabetes educator from Pune, India with expertise in different streams in Dietetics such as Clinical Nutrition, Diabetes Management, Sports & Fitness Nutrition and Lifestyle Modification. She is not just a professional dietician, but herself is a foodie.  Therefore, she always aims at finding a golden middle of your health and treating your taste buds. Rather than current trends like crash diet, meal replacers, skipping meals etc., she firmly believes in healthy food habits and natural ways to optimize lifestyle. Hence, she typically advocates seasonal and indigenous food habits.In order to keep up with the pace of our busy schedules, Manasi has adapted to online diet consultation program. So, save your precious time by connecting with her on a single click and invest it in your favorite sport, or spend it with your family.Manasi has happy customers accross the globe (India, USA, Europe, & Australia etc.) Scientific approach to Manasi's consultation originates not only from  her attitude, but also from her active participation in research programs at different stages of her career. She is proficient in the field of clinical nutrition in versatile specializations such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac diseases, Liver diseases, Neurology, Nephrology & Critical Care. She also has rich experience in lifestyle related disorders and weight management.  During a community based nutritional research project conducted at KEM Hospital, Pune, in her role as a research assistant, she has done nutritional assessment & given dietary guidance and counseling to adolescent girls & boys, pregnant women & their families.
Manasi Joshi
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