Mumbai: “I think being a woman is my biggest strength. It has always given me a sense of pride. I wouldn’t ever know how not to be a woman. In my career too, I see being a woman as an advantage because a woman understands the nutrition and food needs better. It also becomes easier to coach people on similar topics as well,” says Preety Tyagi, Lead Head Coach and Founder of My22BMI, which provides complete health and wellness services.
One of the many health concerns facing India is malnutrition, which is a condition that results from consuming a diet in which one or more nutrients are either not enough or are in excess. This imbalance leads to a spectrum of health problems ranging from fatigue, weight gain/loss to severe physical or mental disability, if untreated.
“In my own quest for knowledge about nutrition, diet planning and healthy living, I experienced some life changing experiences, where I understood the impact of a well thought diet and healthy lifestyle,” says Preety. She adds, “After conquering my own hormonal imbalances through proper nutrition, I just knew that I want to help others in the same manner too”.
Preety feels strongly about empowering people with proper knowledge about nutrition and lifestyle enhancement. She says that her inspiration behind starting her own health and wellness venture was to reach out to as many individuals as possible and coach them to become better caretakers of their health. “The ideology of gut health forms the main foundation of all the diet planning we do. We target the root cause of any disease, imbalance or weight issue and by doing so, help people achieve their health goals,” Preety explains.
A graduate in commerce from Delhi University and with an MBA in marketing, Preety furthered her quest into nutrition with a degree from Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), New York. “I was very fortunate to have had a beautiful childhood, with caring parents, supportive and loving elder brothers, and a very positive environment to grow in. I loved draping my mom’s sarees around me and play ‘teacher’ all the time. I feel that I am currently living up to those childhood aspirations of imparting knowledge,” she shares.
Speaking about womanhood, she assertively states, “Being a women means being highly capable of doing things which are otherwise impossible to me. Being a women means, being strong, beautiful, worthy and valuable”. One area she is keenly interested in is that of nutrition for growing children. “I am a mother too and hence, completely relate to healthy eating and healthy lifestyle for growing kids,” she adds.
Talking about the biggest health issues facing urban Indian women currently, she shares, “The statistics of woman diagnosed with PCOS and thyroid are mind boggling. The stats seem to be rising with the passage of each year. Other concerns with the urban lifestyle which women today face are lack of sleep, stress, caffeine overload (to help them stay active), easy accessibility to junk food and even alcohol abuse”. These can be easily tackled with simple steps like avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, getting a good restful sleep of at least 8 hours every day, cutting down on excessive sugar and salt, staying hydrated and monitoring your caffeine intake.
While delving deeper into the topic of women’s health and its significance, Preety states that women’s health is extremely important as women still continue to be the primary care providers almost everywhere in the world. She addes, “Women’s health becomes all the more important in the Indian context because this is still an area which continues to be ignored. Women’s health is crucial, not only at family level but also at the national level. The health and happiness of the entire family depends on the women in the family”.
She further elaborates, “I do visit villages and rural parts of India from time to time, as I like to travel and also for the procurement of certain ingredients. My insight about women’s health in rural India is that it’s really poor. Women health issues are ignored at the family level itself, let alone the lack of hospitals and clinics available for diagnoses and treatment”.
Talking about her experiences regarding women’s health and fitness in India and aboard as a fitness expert and lifestyle guru, she points out that main difference that she has noticed is in the approach towards proper nutrition. “I find women in India more driven by myths around nutrition but this is not the case so much abroad. It becomes difficult to make them understand the real nutritional implications of these myths. The only way to deal with such situations is with facts and logic”.
Being a working woman herself, Preety feels that Indian women have flair for striking a good balance between their personal and work life. However, she reiterates the importance of nutrition in our hectic urban lives. “There is too much reliance on outside food and a lot of dependence on cooks. Cooking for yourself or your family is a lost art. Some women find it even derogatory to cook at all. This mind set has to change once more. The biggest benefit of cooking your own food is that this way, you can ensure the hygiene and nutrition of your food.”
Preety feels blessed to have a husband, who has been highly participative in her journey towards good health and in other spheres of her life too. Her children, according to her, are her endless source of positivity and inspiration. Concluding on a note of gender equality, Preety adds, “I think men should be equally involved in the kitchen. A healthy diet and proper nutrition should not only be a women’s responsibility in the family because men need to participate equally in all domestic responsibilities, just as much as we do”.