Interview with the nutritionist Magdalena Pashova - Part 2

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

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