Transforming Lives Globally from Powai, Mumbai
With 18 years of profound experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics, Dr Pooja Sharma stands as a beacon of expertise and dedication. Her illustrious career began with impactful tenures at renowned health brands like Apollo and AIMS, where she honed her skills and deepened her understanding of nutritional science. This solid foundation paved the way for her to establish her own clinic in the vibrant heart of Powai, Mumbai, a venture that has blossomed into a hub of transformative health and wellness guidance.
Dr Pooja is not just a local consultant but a global nutrition visionary. Her reach extends far beyond the confines of her clinic, offering personalized nutrition consultations to clients around the world. Her approach is deeply rooted in the latest scientific research, tailored to the individual needs of her clients, ensuring that each one benefits from a plan that is as unique as their health journey.
What sets Dr Pooja apart even more is her personal journey into the world of marathon running. At the age of 40, she embarked on a new challenge, starting her marathon journey. This endeavour, though just the beginning, is no less a reason to celebrate. It represents her commitment not just to advising others on health and fitness but also to living out those principles in her own life.
Beyond her professional accolades and personal achievements in running, Dr Pooja is a mother to two teenagers, a role that she juggles with admirable grace and efficiency. Her ability to excel in every aspect of life, balancing a demanding career with the joys and challenges of motherhood and her newfound passion for marathon running, is nothing short of inspirational.
She embodies the essence of a modern woman who can pursue a successful career, nurture a thriving family life, and chase personal fitness goals. Her journey is a testament to her belief that with passion, dedication, and the right balance, one can achieve excellence in all life’s arenas. Dr Pooja continues to inspire not only her clients and family but also fellow professionals and aspiring dietitians, showing that with hard work and heart, every ambition is attainable.
This blog takes you behind the scene of this story of triumph, discipline, and the transformative power of the right guidance. Dr Pooja not only conquered a half marathon but did so while juggling a demanding professional life and managing a health condition that many would consider a setback.
Through a captivating interview, Dr Pooja unveils the pivotal role of expert coaching, the science of personalised diet planning, and the relentless discipline required to excel in any endeavour, especially one as demanding as marathon running. Whether you're a seasoned athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or someone looking for that spark of inspiration to start a health journey, this story is a testament to the fact that with the right guidance, training, and discipline, there are no boundaries to what we can achieve.
Dive into this inspiring narrative and discover how you, too, can push beyond your limits and achieve your fitness dreams. Let Dr Pooja's journey motivate you to embark on your own path to success, proving that age and circumstances are but mere numbers and conditions when it comes to realising your true potential.
Can you describe your lifestyle and health before starting this journey?
"My journey to a half marathon was driven by a desire to overcome my limitations. I have asthma, and initially, my stamina was low, even though I was running short distances like 2 km. My coach played a pivotal role in this transformation. He advised that to build stamina and lung capacity, long-distance running was key. This advice not only challenged me but also set me on a path of personal growth and better health.”
What motivated you to begin this transformation journey?
"My preparation strategy was twofold: a carefully balanced diet and a training regimen. Nutritionally, I focused on a vegetarian diet rich in proteins like lentils, chickpeas, and peanuts, complemented by dairy products for essential nutrients. Fruits like Banana were a staple, especially before runs, and I ensured adequate hydration to prevent cramps. My physical training included consistent weight training three times a week to strengthen muscles and bones, essential for long-distance running. Stretching before and after runs was crucial for flexibility and injury prevention."
What is your Dietitian's Perspective on Marathon Nutrition?
"As a dietitian, I recognised the unique nutritional demands of marathon training. I tailored my diet to ensure a balance of macronutrients - incorporating high-quality proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. I focused on nutrient-dense foods to optimise energy levels and recovery, and supplemented my diet with essential vitamins, like Vitamin D3, to compensate for potential deficiencies."
Can you walk us through your typical day in terms of your diet?
"My typical training day was planned to optimise my performance and recovery. It began with a pre-run snack like a banana or dates for quick energy. Post-workout, I had a hearty breakfast of hot dishes like poha or upma, combined with milk and sprouts for protein. The rest of the day included regular meals focused on balanced nutrition with millets, lentils, vegetables, and dairy, interspersed with healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, and fruits."
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?
"I believe we all need some guidance when it comes to excelling in any field. Balancing professional duties with training demands was a challenge I met head-on. I owe this ability to a time management book my uncle gifted me. Prioritising exercise in the morning boosted my metabolism and helped manage hunger throughout the day. Understanding the importance of exercise not just for physical health but also as a stress reliever has been crucial in maintaining this balance.
Another major challenge was my asthma, which initially hindered my ability to undertake long runs. My coach suggested swimming to build stamina and taught me proper breathing techniques for running. This approach, focusing on both technique and cross-training, was instrumental in overcoming these hurdles."
How did the training and completing half marathon impacted you on personal level?
"Completing the half marathon has been a transformative experience. It has bolstered my confidence and reshaped my views on fitness, especially for those over 40. It taught me the importance of endurance, mental strength, and the deep connection between nutrition and physical activity, fostering a holistic approach to health."
Do you think Mental Health plays a role in overcoming Physical Challenges?
"Mental health is the cornerstone of successfully tackling such physical endeavours. Mental resilience, peace, and adequate rest are just as crucial as physical training. It's about developing a mindset that sees beyond the physicality of the challenge to embrace the mental and emotional journey."
What advice would you give to others who are just starting their health transformation journey?
"For those considering a half marathon, especially later in life or with significant responsibilities, my advice is to start slow and be patient. Building endurance is a gradual process. Balance your running with strength training, prioritise nutrition, and never underestimate the power of rest and recovery. Always ensure you're medically fit for the challenge ahead."
Looking forward, what are your goals as a Dietitian and in Personal Fitness?
"Inspired by my grandfather, who maintained his health and independence well into his 80s, my goal is to advocate for a lifestyle that emphasises consistent exercise and a strong nutritional foundation. This journey is not just about weight loss or gain; it's about fostering a lifelong commitment to health and well-being for myself and others."
It is evident that Dr Pooja’s journey is more than just about nutrition and fitness; it's about embracing life’s challenges and transforming them into triumphs. She is a living example of what can be achieved with determination and the right guidance.
If you have any questions about nutrition and health, Dr Pooja is more than willing to be a part of your journey. Don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation, whether you're taking your first steps towards a healthier lifestyle or aiming to push your limits in fitness. With her extensive expertise and personal experience, she is uniquely equipped to guide you on a path tailored just for you.
Remember, every journey begins with a single step, and your step towards a healthier, more fulfilling life could start today with Dr Pooja Sharma.