Finding someone that can understand you mind, body and spirit is hard. Meet Jalpa Dhaduk, from hospital worker to holistic worker she helps individuals break through their blocks with a mix of nutrition and reiki. After years of battling her own inner body image demons, she was able to block out the noise and break into the health and wellness world, including planning health focused retreats! Learn more about Jalpa’s journey and offerings below.
SDS: What was the moment that led you from treating acute and chronic diseases in hospitals to becoming an occupational therapist, certified nutrition counselor and Reiki master?
Jalpa Dhaduk: It started with a feeling of emptiness every time I stepped into work. Watching patients and their families suffer from consequences of chronic diseases that can easily be prevented from diet and lifestyle changes was painful to watch. There just isn’t enough education out there. Hearth attacks, strokes, amputations from diabetes – they can all be prevented. The patient isn’t the only one who suffers, the whole family does.
Growing up in an Indian family, I picked up on pearls of wisdom from my Mom and Grandma on using food as medicine. When my siblings and I caught a cold, we were given ginger and turmeric tonics while dairy and sugary foods were taken out of our meals. Within a few short days, the cold took care of itself. I understood how powerful food was at a very young age and nutrition school felt like the natural next step.
Two years into my nutrition practice, I noticed a powerful pattern. Clients who were carrying around belief systems surrounding the idea of not being worthy of achieving perfect health had difficulty keeping the weight off. Although I counseled clients in positive psychology during our session, it just wasn’t enough. We needed to go deeper and remove old traumas and blockages they are carrying around as weight.
Changing food habits is easy, sustaining them because you believe you are worthy is the challenge. Reiki helps break toxic patterns of thinking and behavior, leading to long-term health benefits. Pairing nutrition and Reiki help clients clean up their eating habits and sustain them long-term because now there is a permanent mindset shift.
SDS: In a city like NYC it’s hard to be healthy when you’re constantly tempted with bad choices. Do you have any tips on how to practice self-control and still live a normal life?
JD: I think we are luckier than most cities. Over the past few years, it has been increasingly easier to make cleaner choices.
Tip #1: One of the easiest tricks I teach clients is to have something healthy before you leave for a night out. I recommend a green smoothie or veggies with hummus. When you fill yourself up with the good stuff, you are less likely to overindulge in foods that will ultimately make you feel slow and lethargic the next day.
Tip #2: Order a salad or veggies as your main meal and share an entree. This way, you fill up with vegetables and can still have your favorite foods.
Tip #3: Often when people go out to eat, all bets are off and they go all in. Remember, there is another meal coming. You can have small portions of indulgence anytime you want. Shed the all-or-nothing mentality. You’re there to enjoy the company, the food is a bonus.
Tip #4: If possible, choose the restaurant ahead of time and look up the menu. Choose what you’re going to order ahead to time so you’re not ordering out of impulse.
Tip #5: Limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks. The sugar content adds up really quickly and you are more likely to lose track of what and how much you’re eating.
SDS: How did health issues in your personal life lead to your deep dive in nutrition? Where did you begin the journey?
JD: I’ve dealt with weight and acne issues since the age of 13. I’ve tried pretty much every diet out there because I used to believe my body was never good enough. I suffered from self-esteem and self-sabotaging behaviors. It’s been a quite a journey of educating myself, unlearning old beliefs and affirming new, positive ones. It took years of going back into deep, dark parts in order for me to heal.
Now, I thank every part of my body for allowing me to live this life. I know I am enough and living a balanced, clean life is a part of honoring my highest self. I now understand that this was a part of my journey to ultimately bring me to this phase of life. I was meant to do this work. My past helps me empathize with pain that I know many women feel.
SDS: For those interested in breaking into the health and wellness world, any tips on where to begin the self-discovery?
JD: Block out the noise and start listening to your inner voice. Remember, if there isn’t a market for it already, you can create it. You don’t have to quit your day job and jump into a new passion/career. (Unless you really want to – more power to you!) You can start building in the hours you’re not at work. Do your homework, show up in your best self and NETWORK! Some of my best opportunities have come from connecting with others. Above all, follow your intuition and stay true to what you believe will serve others.
SDS: As we move into summer, what foods should we be considering? Do you have any favorite blogs you follow for recipes?
JD: In the summer, our bodies need light, cooling foods. Think tropical fruits, lots of veggies, and of course greens. Decrease animal protein consumption and swap with more plant protein as it is easier to digest and absorb. My two favorite bloggers whose recipes I use ALL the time are ohsheglows.com and minimalistbaker.com.
SDS: What’s next for your business? How can someone work with you?
JD: My goal is to offer more avenues of healing for the body, mind, and spirit – because they all matter when it comes to true health. Without a positive mindset, a perfect body still won’t make you happy. We are in full preparation for our annual Wellness Retreat to India in March and now offering Sound Healing & Reiki Ceremonies monthly.
For a consultation for Reiki or nutrition, please visit www.nourishbyjd.com. My office is in Hoboken, NJ, however virtual consultations are also available.