Interview with the nutritionist Magdalena Pashova - Part 2

Expert in healthy eating

Your health isn't a matter of luck or fate, but a conscious choice"

Magdalena Pashova is a holistic nutritionist. She calls herself "a food therapist". In her practice she consults her clients either by meeting them face to face or via Skype. Her main goal is to inspire people to take better care of themselves. She has a diploma from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. You can see her articles and recipes for delicious and healthy meals in her blog Naturelita. From this interview you are going to learn why people look for the services of a nutritionist despite the abundant information in the Internet, why milk is not a good option for people suffering from calcium deficiency, what is the connection between the eating habits of Americans and the condition of their health care system and where a doctor can specialize in Nutrition.

10. There is a debate in our society whether it is so important for people to eat organic foods or buying them is just having unnecessary expenses. What is your opinion? Is it worth spending money on organic food?

Up until 50 years ago, the chemicals which are present in the food today just didn't exist. The human body cannot learn for such a short period of time to process these chemicals successfully. They accumulate in the body until at a certain point they block the normal functioning of the processes. Definitely, it is worth spending money on organic food. 
11. In his book "The Enzyme factor" the Japanese specialist in gastroenterology, Dr Hiromi Shinya, says that if people could see their digestive system from the inside, they would be much more careful with their eating habits. Do you think that people eat unhealthy food because the effects from the food on the body can be seen months or years later not right after you eat it?
Many people think that they feel alright but in fact they just ignore the signals of their body. They have got used to the feeling of discomfort so much that they just perceive it as something normal. The frequent headaches, chronic tiredness, PMS and painful menstruation are all signs that something is wrong with people's health and their eating habits. Our body is a very smart mechanism. When there is a problem, it starts giving us signals like knocking on a door. If we don't pay attention to this "knocking on the door", it stops knocking and breaks down the door with force.

12. According to some of my friends, buying healthy foods is not just a major expense in a person's budget but also another burden in their busy lifestyle as they have to find where to buy these foods from instead of just going to a supermarket and purchasing whatever catches their eye. How would you comment this?

I will give you an example with the photographer Peter Menzel who traveled around the world and took photos of the food different families ate for one week. He also interviewed them. In one Mexican family the woman gave her children Coca-Cola every day in huge quantities - 33 litres a week. She was a medical specialist and when Peter asked her why she allowed her children to drink so much of this harmful drink, she answered that the government had approved this drink which meant that it should be safe. People need to understand that the food industry tries to make as much profit as possible and we can't change this. These companies put in the food substances like sodium glutamate to make their products irresistible to consumers. It is our own responsibility to make informed choices and take care of our health.

13. What kind of people usually look for your services? People who want to get slim, people who have a health problem or people who have realized that eating healthily is important?

In my practice I meet people from all these types. I have noticed that the number of people who are interested in healthy eating is growing. Most of my clients are women. The husbands or boyfriends of some of these women come to me after they see the positive change in their spouses. Most often people become interested in healthy eating at the age of 30-45. These are my observations.

14. What are the trends in eating habits in different places of the world?

Germany and France are the two countries in Europe with the highest demand for organic products. The trend for healthy eating appeared for the first time in the USA which is the native country of the opposite trend - the fast food and the junk food trend. Americans have reached the bottom in terms of suffering from diseases connected with unhealthy eating. They are on the edge of a health care bankruptcy. Their health care system is exhausted. Last week there was a very interesting online conference organized by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Over 50 leading specialists in Medicine and Nutrition took part in it and shared their scientific findings and observations. They presented a frightening statistics that 1 in every 3 children in the USA suffer from an allergy or asthma, autism or diabetes. These are the future adults in the USA. American politicians have realized that if they don't change the situation, there will be a disaster because the country won't have a population fit for work. 

15. Is it important for medical students to study Nutrition?

Yes, it is important. There are institutes in England, the USA and Canada where physicians can specialize in Nutrition. It is sad that some medical specialists still spread the wrong idea that in cases of calcium deficiency people should increase the consumption of dairy products. Milk raises the level of acidity in the human body and the body tries to restore its alkalinity by getting alkaline elements like calcium from the bones. This means that people with osteoporosis should restrain from eating foods high in acidity.

16. Is it true that the tahini (sesame seed paste) is among the best resources of calcium?

Yes, it is assimilated well by the body unlike the calcium in milk.

17. Where is the place of nutritionists - in the health care system (hospitals and clinics), fitness clubs or other institutions?

Nutrition is the element which the health care system needs in order for it to become holistic. In Canada there are nutritionists in gyms, spa centres, beauty salons and other places specialized in health prevention. Nutritionists can prepare menus for kindergartens, schools and restaurants promoting healthy eating. Last but not least, nutritionists can help people recover from an illness. There should be a partnership between physicians and nutritionists.

18. What is your most important message for the people who will read the interview?

My main message to them is to realize that their health is not a matter of luck or fate, but a conscious choice. They make this choice by choosing their lifestyle - what they eat, how they eat, the physical activity they do on a daily basis, the regular breaks they take, the way they cope with stress and their overall attitude towards themselves and their life.

Interviewer: Mariya Dim

Read more:

How the new labor market conditions affect the corporate culture of hospitals

Interview with the nutritionist Magdalena Pashova - Part 1

Why Doctors Seeking a Career Abroad Should Rely on the Services of a Consultancy Instead of Job Recruitment Agencies?

Interview with the nutritionist Magdalena Pashova - Part 1

Healthy eating

"Your health isn't a matter of luck or fate, but a conscious choice"

Magdalena Pashova is a holistic nutritionist. She calls herself "a food therapist". In her practice she consults her clients either by meeting them face to face or via Skype. Her main goal is to inspire people to take better care of themselves. She has a diploma from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. You can see her articles and recipes for delicious and healthy meals in her blog Naturelita. From this interview you are going to learn why people look for the services of a nutritionist despite the abundant information in the Internet, why milk is not a good option for people suffering from calcium deficiency, what is the connection between the eating habits of Americans and the condition of their health care system and where a doctor can specialize in Nutrition.

1. Hello, Magggie! Why did you decide to study Nutrition?

I wanted to have a profession which is a convergence of all my interests - healthy eating, psychology, writing, meeting people, creative activities. I found all these things in my work as a nutritionist. I think that if a job is monotonous and there is no variety in it, I will get bored quickly. I like my work because it is connected with alternating activities. It fills me with energy and a desire to learn and to develop my skills and knowledge. The most significant thing according to me is the opportunity to convey my positive energy to other people.

2. What is the nutritionist's role? There is so much information in Internet and people can find answers to their questions there.

Yes, in Internet there is so much information that it has lost its high value. Even if a person discovers contradictory experts' opinions, he or she can filter this information and derive only this that makes sense for him/her. What really matters is the way you convey the information when you meet them and how well you motivate these people to take good care of themselves.

3. What approach do you use in your job?

My approach is holistic - I strive to help people learn what food is healthy, but also to learn to perceive their body as something invaluable and to love themselves. I teach them how to recognize their body signals and how to respond to these signals.  Taking care of yourself means not just eating the right foods but also having a rest when needed and dealing with stress successfully.

Another important thing in my approach is implementing changes in my clients' lifestyle gradually because if things happen abruptly, people will respond negatively to the changes.

4. What are the other factors, except healthy food, which contribute to a achieving the desired results?

I tell people that 50% of results deoend on what we eat and 50% depend on how we eat. My goal is to help people learn to eat mindfully.

5. What does "to eat mindfully" mean?

The majority of people eat while talking on the phone or driving. They don't feel the taste and aroma of the food. They don't feel the pleasure of eating. When we don't eat mindfully, we don't know when to stop because our mind is busy with something else. If we don't chew up our food very well, we hinder the digestion process. When we eat under stress, the blood flows to the peripheral tissues of the body which makes digestion ineffective. In fact when a person eats consciously, they don't need a big quantity of food. You can neither overeat nor feel hungry all the time.

6. What would you say to those who think that nowadays there is no chance to eat mindfully because people are so busy that they often miss the lunch break or eat while working at their desks?

I am not optimistic that things will change drastically in the outer world. I believe that people should try to do whatever possible to ensure having meals in quiet and calm surroundings and if it is not possible to have lunch in such an environment, then they should aim for at least one meal a day eaten mindfully.

7. What is your opinion about omitting breakfast? I have noticed that many people who omit breakfast are overweight.

Yes, there is such a connection. I always advise people to have breakfast. When a person eats healthily, they wake up hungry. Those who say that they don't feel hunger in the morning can be sure that there is something wrong in their eating habits and their body is dehydrated. When you omit breakfast, you omit waking up your metabolism. It is not an accident that the word "breakfast" come from "break the fast" - the body has been fasting the whole night and you have to stop the fasting.

When you omit breakfast, this is unnatural for the body and it tries to store in the fat cells as much as possible from the nutritional substances present in the food which you eat during the rest of the day. This is the reason why people omitting breakfast are usually overweight.

8. What should people eat for breakfast?

It doesn't have to be anything similar to the popular English breakfast - eggs, bacon and beans. It can be a cup of yoghurt with oats, a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. Breakfast should correspond to your lifestyle. If your work is connected with heavy physical activity, you'd better eat a bigger quantity of food. If you spend the whole day in front of the computer, you don't need a large portion because you burn almost no calories during the day. The bottom line is that you have to have some kind of breakfast to wake up your metabolism.

9. Some people,  like me, for example, eat small portions at small intervals of time. Other people eat large portions two times a day. Which is healthier or this is something so individual that there isn't a strict rule?

Yes, it depends on the individual to a large extent. Everyone should listen to their body. However, it is important to learn how to recognize our body signals. Many people force their body to go through long periods of hunger because this seems more comfortable. They just wait till the end of the working day to give their body some food. Another example for unhealthy eating is trying to subdue a negative emotion with food even if you are not hungry. 

We really need to put our health at the beginning of our list of priorities.

Interviewer: Мariya Dim

Read more:

Interview with the nutritionist Magdalena Pashova - Part 2

How can young doctors deal with stress?

Birth control pills raise the risk of glaucoma

Working on Honorarium Abroad Is a Chance for Doctors to Earn a lot without Emigrating

Creativity and Entrepreneurship – Scientifically Proven Benefits We Derive from Living Abroad

Moving abroad

The tendency for opening the borders world-wide and the global economic crisis have caused a huge wave of migration of people who want to work abroad temporarily or permanently. According to the statistics this applies not only for the residents of the countries most badly affected by the crisis but also for the residents of developed regions of the world like Germany and England. Looking for a better life is a common human feature. IT specialists striving to excel in their profession abroad and medical workers trying to find a better job in the medical field are among the most usual cases of emigration.

No matter if the reason for moving to another country is seeking  job vacancies or something else, a new study shows that the adaptation to a new environment and a new culture spurs creativity and entrepreneurship in emigrants.

Scientists from the business university INSEAD have done a series of surveys in order to find out what the effects living abroad has on human mind. They tested the widespread thesis that “travel broadens the mind.”

The participants in the study fell into three categories: those who live abroad or who spent many years abroad, those who had been only on excursions without settling in another country and those who had never been abroad.

All participants were assessed in terms of their inclination to take risks and to seek adventure. This was done in order to check whether people moving to another country are more creative by nature. The results of the study confirmed this assumption but it also showed that moving abroad increases the level of creativity in people.

It is not just a coincidence that some of the most famous people like Pablo Picasso, Rudiard Kipling and Ernest Hemingway spent years abroad.

The adaptation process that takes place when a person moves to a foreign country is a challenge at all levels (professional and personal) and it establishes new connections in the brain.

This is the reason why travelling abroad doesn’t bring the same benefits like living abroad. Scientists have discovered that people who have spent a longer period abroad are also more likely to become entrepreneurs. They also predict that in the future companies will start looking for people who have lived abroad to fill the job positions requiring a higher level of creativity.

It turned out that age matters when it comes to deriving the maximal benefits from living abroad. These people who move at an earlier age enjoy the biggest positive psychological transformation.

Emigrants fall into two main categories: those who seek adventures and those who want to escape from a poorer country to a richer one accepting any job they can find.

In the new millennium, however, emigration or temporary living in a foreign country doesn’t mean giving up the qualifications and professional experience you have attained in your native country. The new wave of people moving abroad are highly qualified specialists who want to continue their career in the new country without making a compromise with the hierarchical position they deserve.  They seek the support and assistance of competent consultancies like Forum der Medizin in order to plan carefully the career steps they want to make and to find the most suitable workplace abroad. The adaptation process runs smoothly when people are prepared about what they can expect in the new country. In this way they can enjoy an adventure that will make them more creative as well as more successful in their profession.

Last but not least, scientists have come to another wonderful conclusion – those who have returned to their native country are able to change their mindset to a more creative and problem-solving mode (the effect lasts about 10 to 15 minutes) just by remembering a situation from their stay abroad when they coped with a challenge successfully!

Author: Mariya Dim

Read more:

How to finance your education in a foreign country

Birth control pills raise the risk of glaucoma

Emigration: Yes or No?