Rasha El Baramawy is a nutritionist who’s all about promoting a healthy lifestyle minus the starvation. Originally, she graduated from mechatronics and pursued many career paths. She decided to study nutrition though when she was looking to lose weight but wanted to manage her own weight loss journey. After achieving great success, her friends wanted her to create their own meal plans and, that’s when she felt like a fish in water. We sat down with her to know all about what being healthy really means.
What makes a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is a balanced diet. We usually eat because we enjoy eating but we also eat to get nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and energy.
There is no all good or all bad food, having the right amount of everything is what really matters.
So if you manage this equation right you get to have fun and stay healthy at the same time.
What are the biggest dieting myths? And what are some of the unhealthiest ways to lose weight?
Myth number 1 is carbs make you fat.
Whole carbs are high in fiber and full of other essential vitamins and minerals. High fiber food leaves you feeling full for longer so you are actually less likely to overeat.
Myth number 2 is that coconut oil is healthy.
Negative. Coconut oil is actually a saturated fat which increases levels of cholesterol.
Myth number 3 is that you have to cut fats to be healthy.
Our bodies need fats for vital processes, it’s the right kind of fat in the right quantity that makes all the difference.
Any diet that is too restrictive or is missing a type of food is unhealthy. Be kind to yourself and be realistic. Practice mindful eating and you should be doing absolutely great.
When do we know when dieting becomes unhealthy?
When the diet makes you feel like a failure because you can’t commit to it. The reason why you can’t is probably that it’s impossible to! That’s why we say no one diet suits all.
Some people can’t go without chocolate for long. Others, can’t cut off fruits, and some can’t do a juice detox for example. People are different and everyone should listen to their bodies.
What is the ‘Jungle Effect’ diet?
It’s a theory that proves that food is medicine.
It’s drawn from “the food wisdom of the jungle elders”, the way they ate locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables in a sequence that enhanced their nutrition and ability to fight diseases.
It argues that all diseases (including obesity) happened in the era of processed foods. So, it basically says that if we go back to our ancestors’ lifestyle and look at how they lived and what they ate, most of our diseases if not all, will be gone.
Tell us about the programs you offer
I make customized nutrition plans for weight loss. By customized I mean suitable for the subscriber, a plan that he or she can sustain so they’d feel motivated and keep going till they reach their goals. My programs are different because they’re not just based on science but on personal preferences too.
There is a right balance between eating healthy and indulging every once in a while that will allow you to stay consistent and on track but also feel satisfied.
Which groups are your services most popular with?
I have subscribers from kids to elders, both men, and women. However, most of my subscribers are working women with busy lifestyles. What I offer helps them destress because it minimizes the time it takes to decide on meal plans.
I’m so proud of my subscribers’ results. I feel like my approach has proven its success in terms of encouraging healthiness as a lifestyle.
From your perspective, is there a “perfect body”?
All bodies are perfect, there are no exceptions. I believe people are becoming aware of the fact that all bodies deserve to be honored and loved equally.
We should stop stereotyping beauty. What matters more than body shape is being happy and healthy.
How can someone go on diets and eat healthily but also be body positive?
It’s all about the right mindset. You should think of eating healthy as giving your body what it deserves. Our bodies really love us. They’re always trying to keep us alive. We need to love them back.
What’s the most fulfilling thing about your job?
It’s when I see my subscribers going from helpless and losing hope to happy and confident. I’m purpose-driven and I find this a great purpose to live for.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on a new product range. There’s a huge market gap where we are. It’s supposed to make peoples’ health journey simpler and much more fun. I’m also working on updating my nutrition packages (which I do every month) so they’d best fit my subscribers’ needs.
Check out Rasha El Baramawy’s Instagram account to find out more about how to make good nutrition into a tradition.