This new year, we make our resolutions armed with expert advice and knowledge

Join us in a conversation with Harlene Bhasin, Lavleen Kaur, Ryan Fernando and Pooja Makhija as they shed light on what entails a healthy 2024

This new year, we make our resolutions armed with expert advice and knowledge

As we return back to our normal lives after the gluttonous fest we savoured on the night of 31st December, the air is filled with anticipation, hope, and a shared desire for positive change. For many, the dawn of a new year marks the perfect opportunity to embark on a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Year after year, resolutions to prioritise fitness and well-being take centre stage, becoming promises we make to ourselves.

While some adhere to them strictly and some give up on the diet even before January is over, this time to kickstart 2024 on a healthful note, we've engaged in insightful conversations with four prominent nutritionists—Harlene Bhasin, Lavleen Kaur, Ryan Fernando, and Pooja Makhija. Under the guidance of their expertise, together we unveil the upcoming health trends for the year ahead along with their pearls of wisdom on how one can cultivate a lifestyle that nurtures both body and mind.

Join us as we delve into the wellness wisdom of these experts, guiding you toward a vibrant and health-conscious 2024.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

Harlene Bhasin

What, according to you, is the upcoming global trend for 2024 in the health space?

I feel the one health trend that will be a global sensation in 2024 is functional beverages (think fun drinks with a gut-healthy punch). Homemade functional drinks like methi seed water (Fenugreek Seed - for better Glycemic Control) or saboot dhania water (Coriander seed - for thyroid management), drinks that have numerous health benefits whether it’s to keep you energised, improve mental agility or your gut health, are what I call functional beverages.

How do you address common misconceptions about nutrition, to promote a better understanding of healthy eating and build a sustainable relationship with food?

The best way to address common misconceptions is by providing accurate information and promoting a balanced approach to healthy eating. The key message that I emphasis on is to follow a Health Conscious Lifestyle, a lifestyle that involves making choices that prioritises your well-being. Similarly, developing a healthy relationship with food involves several aspects, but a key approach is balanced nutrition. It is important to eat whole foods and be mindful of portion sizes. Inculcating self-care practices, listening to hunger cues and avoiding strict diets are also key factors for a sustainable and healthier approach to your relationship with food.

What daily practice or advice do you recommend for ensuring good health in 2024?

Harmonious Balance in Heath or Harmonious Nutrition Balance is the one practice I feel that everyone should follow in 2024. It means achieving a state where different aspects of your well-being — physical, mental, emotional, and social — are in equilibrium.

Right- Harlene Bhasin | Left- Lavleen Kaur

Lavleen Kaur

What, according to you, is the upcoming global trend for 2024 in the health space?

In my opinion, 2024 is all about speed. 2024 is making way for a new trend: Quick Wins with Supplements. It's sad, but a fact. People are craving shortcuts for their health goals, increasingly seeking quick fixes whether it be through pills or supplements. However I believe in tailoring a balanced diet to meet individual needs, where individuals embrace nutritious foods in order to build a path to a healthier and more sustainable future.

For those with busy schedules, what are some practical tips for maintaining a nutritious diet without compromising on convenience?

Strategic planning is essential for busy individuals nowadays. Prioritise homemade, simple meals three times a day and keep changing your proteins and other veggies to avoid monotony. Create meal plans, keep batters ready and plan your food for a stress-free routine. Maintain an organized kitchen, ensuring everything has its place, with healthy foods being visible and accessible to prioritize personal well-being. Apart from that, practice mindful eating. It's not just about what we eat, but how we eat. This practice supports optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, prevents overeating by recognizing true hunger and fullness cues, and cultivates a healthier relationship with food.

What daily practice or advice do you recommend for ensuring good health in 2024?

Embrace the practice of "Shukarana" — being grateful daily. There's a saying “Learn to be grateful for what you have while you pursue what you want.” Gratitude helps in releasing the hormone oxytocin, which reduces the effect of the stress hormone cortisol leading to reduced stress and ailments.

Ryan Fernando

What, according to you, is the upcoming global trend for 2024 in the health space?

In the ever-evolving landscape of health and wellness, the year 2024 is witnessing a prominent surge in the trends of longevity and biohacking. Biohacking involves leveraging scientific and technological advancements to enhance one's physical and mental performance. From personalized nutrition plans and tailored fitness regimes to the integration of cutting-edge technologies, people are actively engaging in practices that go beyond conventional health measures.

How can one maintain overall well being effectively?

There are four non-negotiable practices that I recommend to effectively maintain your well-being:

Optimal Nutrition: Consume a proper diet that caters to your body needs and limit/eliminate toxins like smoking and alcohol from your lifestyle.

Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity, including both aerobic exercises and strength training.

Adequate Hydration: Proper hydration is essential for various bodily functions, including digestion, circulation, and temperature regulation.

Prioritize Sleep: Aim for 8 hours of sleep and avoid all the late nights being awake. Quality sleep is crucial for the body's repair and rejuvenation processes.

Lastly monitor key health indicators such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar regularly, so that you are aware of what your body does and does not need.

What daily practice or advice do you recommend for ensuring good health in 2024?

It's important to make healthy habits a priority in our daily routines, especially for a healthy 2024. One way to do this is by focusing on a balanced and nutrient-rich diet, paired with some basic systemized workouts. Strive for a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of organic fruits, vegetables, lean meat, healthy protein sources, and good fats. Adequate hydration is a simple yet powerful practice that not only provides essential nutrients for bodily functions but also supports energy levels, immune function, and overall well-being. Your body is the most expensive real estate, make it your number 1 priority in 2024.

Right- Ryan Fernando | Left- Pooja Makhija

Pooja Makhija

What, according to you, is the upcoming global trend for 2024 in the health space?

I think in the second half of 2023 there has been a massive awakening towards moving back to basics. A lot of reality has been thrown upon how how our processing techniques are toxic, where man has intervened into what nature and God made. We are now getting several studies to show that this has been the downfall of mankind and the main reason behind the boom in diseases. So I hope 2024 is going to make everyone realise that moving back to the basics and being close to nature is what we should focus on.

How can individuals maintain optimal nutrition while adhering to specific dietary restrictions?

If you are following a restrictive or a controlled diet, first and foremost, do not follow trends or a celebrity for whom it worked. The diet should work for you. You are one in eight billion people and no one else's body is going to be the same as yours. If veganism or gluten free is what works for you, do a little bit of reading. I know with social media, there is an overload of information, but sometimes there is a lack of knowledge. Read up on a couple of pioneers or leaders in the field and understand from them. After all, if you are taking away the source of a certain nutrient, we have to also adequately replace it. So, make sure that you are being watchful and informative.

What daily practice or advice do you recommend for ensuring good health in 2024?

Rather than a practice, I'd like everyone to be conscious of the fact that food is information, and every bite that you are putting into your body can help it heal or take it one step closer to disease. When I say disease, I mean all small and massive ailments. Sometimes even the smallest signs and symptoms when ignored, can accumulate into large problems. So the one thing I want everyone to focus on is to just remember that every morsel you put into your body is information and your body is a temple. Give your body the correct information, of course with a few exceptions once in a while and in controlled quantities.

Natasha Kittur

Natasha Kittur

Natasha Kittur is an aspiring writer. Her love for anything with cheese and spice is profound, but a white sauce pasta always tops her list. In her free time you will catch her reading or watching crime books and shows or go on and on about psychological experiments and theories. She aims to write a book in the fictional genre someday.

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