Why Mind, Nutrition and Movement for a Better Health?

why mind, nutrition and movement for a better health

We are constantly reminded that the one and only person that can change is oneself; in order to achieve holistic wellbeing, one must accept personal responsibilities for incorporating sustainable actions and simple commitments into their everyday life.

“Fighting Cancer with the Thali” by Rita Date and Dr. Seema Sonis is a simple short book that can work for family members who have a family member suffering from any chronic issue. The book shares the three pillars a better health: Mind, Nutrition and Movement. 

The human body is a wonderful mechanism that works because of its extraordinary powers, complicated functionality, and exquisite design, but don’t you believe that we are overusing it? Our obsession with screens led to an explosion of metabolic disorders amongst millenials and generati. Yes, we are aware of it and have subscribed or purchased many tools and techniques to keep a check on our biomarkers but are they really sustainable? Can’t we tweak our inherit daily rituals to bring mind-body harmony.

Interviewee/ Guest Details

In this chat on the mat, our conversation with Rita Date, Nutritionist and Inspiring Yoga Mom who volunteered at a cancer cente, gave nutrition consultations, and realized that there was no easy accessible information for patients on what to eat during their treatment. This led to the making of her book, ” Fighting Cancer with the Thali”. 


hellomyyoga: Why did you decide to arrange Mind, Nutrition, and Movement in this particular sequence?

Rita Date: Both my co-author Seema and I debated on what should come first – mind or movement. The lack of movement is a serious issue in India and contributes to metabolic disorders. Our bodies are meant to move and this is not happening and if it is happening it is not enough. That one hour in the gym is not enough if you are sitting the rest of the day. It is better to have smaller spurts of movement throughout the day. There are more desk jobs in India than ever before, and entertainment at home is more affordable so we as a society have accepted this inactivity. 

This lack of physical activity needs to be addressed, however, we decided to keep the Mind first in the MNM principle because the mind is paramount in our life – it is a powerful tool that shapes our reality and influences happiness, success and most importantly our health. Our mind has the ability to control stress which is a major factor in our health.

hellomyyoga: How does the phrase “Ahaar, Vihaar, Aachaar, and Vichaar  is similar or dissimilar with mind, nutrition, and movement?

Rita Date: Ahaar, Vihaar, Aachaar, Vichaar are part of the yogic philosophy. Ahar can be equated to nutrition but Vihar, Achar and Vichaar urge you to follow the set a rules prescribed in the 8 limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The MNM Principle in my book are more direct in their approach.

hellomyyoga: What are the red flags that you find in digital revolution of fitness, nutrition, and mental trends?

Rita Date: Currently, there is no shortage of information on health-related topics in both mainstream media and social media. There is no fact-checking for either media and people can get misinformed. Research is cited in articles and posts but what type of research is it? The consumer of this information needs to be aware of this before making conclusions. Health is a multi-billion dollar business. It is a common practice for companies to fund their research to promote their own products and then get media coverage and hire social media influencers to sell their products.

The negative mental health effects of social media have been proven, especially on the youth.  It can also lead to tremendous stress, pressure to compare oneself to others, and increased sadness and isolation. Instagram and Facebook are not going away anytime soon so we need to have mindful consumption of these types of platforms.

hellomyyoga: How do you think the framework Mind Nutrition Movement play in a cancer patient’s recovery?

Rita Date: Your thoughts will impact your recovery. Having a positive attitude towards your treatment will help you. It is natural to be angry, sad, scared and frustrated when you get a cancer diagnosis but in time one should feel they are going into a battle as if at war, facing their enemy with strength and resolve. This mental attitude will help in fighting the disease. 

What you put in your body for this fight is important and will play an important role in the battle. You should check with your doctor about exercise and movement but in general when you have the energy you should not be sedentary. Exercise is one of the best anti-depressants. 

hellomyyoga: What kind of lifestyle modifications would you recommend to those who find it difficult to balance a good healthy self time and office time schedule?

Rita Date: I suggest keeping 10 minutes a day for meditation. This is non-negotiable. Do 20 minutes if possible, but everyone can find 10 minutes, maybe spend less time scrolling on the phone! If you do not have time for “workout” then stay active at work. Stand and do your work part of the time. Set a timer and move for 5 minutes every hour. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Conduct meetings while walking. Find ways to move through the day and keep movement a priority on your days off.

hellomyyoga: What advice would you give mothers on how to incorporate the MNM framework in their kid’s daily life?

Rita Date: Even during exam times, ensure your child exercises – preferably outdoors. The energy they will get from this activity will boost their brain power and improve their mood. 

Do not give your kids bakery products and processed foods regularly. Processed foods such as breakfast cereals and biscuits add no nutritive value except the unhealthy carbohydrates in the way of sugars and unhealthy fats. Find better alternatives for snacks. There are many home cooks that can make nutritious snacks if you do not have the time.

Studies are important but do not put undue pressure on your children. They most likely put enough pressure on themselves.

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