How did you decide to become a health specialist, did someone inspire you or was it your own decision?
Since I was in school, I was heath oriented and more aware about well-being than any of my schoolmates. It’s just came to me as an idea and I developed it over the years, and so I decided to major in it at university. Becoming a health specialist made me feel that I can help others by guiding them to reach their health goals and that was what kept me going all those years, until today. I genuinely love nutrition, and I am currently writing my thesis in food safety and quality management.
What kind of opportunities did your passion for health give you in your career?
When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. My passion for health opened up a wide range of opportunities for me and allowed me to grow my career path. Earlier this year, it lead me to become the Wellness Ambassador of W Doha and gave me the chance to develop health workshops that cover different topics, create healthy menus, and answer guests needs for more health-conscious food options.
Please tell us more about your special nutrition programs?
The ''Feel Good Look Good menu'' is a new healthy menu that can be found at W Doha restaurants (Market by Jean Georges and W Café) that include detox, ketogenic, vegetarian and light items that support different type of diets that guests are adopting. We also developed a healthy section in the breakfast buffet to kick start your day on a positive note. Our newest dishes include a delicious keto pizza, that also includes a vegetarian option. We even extended our health menu items for in-room dining guests to enjoy in the comfort of their rooms.
Do you prefer to work with individuals or corporations such as a restaurant and what is the difference?
I have worked with individuals during one on one consultations in my clinic and also with larger groups and corporations such as hotels, restaurants and companies. I can say that they are completely different experiences but I still enjoy them both. Individual consultations allow me to focus on one-on-one interactions and customize my lifestyle guidance according to the person’s needs and life choices. Whereas, group workshops allow me to be creative and have more interactions as people tend to open up and share their own experiences with everybody around, which in return generates positive team spirit and connections with each other.
What is relation between Nutrition, Diet and Psychology?
The combination of those three ingredients is what makes the perfect recipe for a better quality of life. Nutrition focuses on how diseases, conditions, and problems can be prevented or reduced with a healthy diet. There are several types of diets that can be adopted depending on each case, such as weight loss, weight gain, vegetarian, high-protein, vegan, detox, etc. Similarly, a healthy lifestyle requires a stable psychological status. Several psychological problems are related to unhealthy behavior like insomnia, negative body image, emotional eating, bulimia, anorexia and anxiety. All these factors can be harmful to the body and prevent a person from achieving a healthy weight and lifestyle balance.
As we know, you are also a very well known actress; does your nutrition knowledge help in any way in your career?
Acting and dietetics are interchangeable in a way that they both support each other for my career. Acting allowed me to have an influence on society, to represent brands and be the image of several companies and to make an impact about health awareness. Also, as a dietitian it has always helped me regulate my eating patterns and my actors friends to regulate and maintain a healthy lifestyle even during long hours of shooting and stressful work conditions. Being an actress helped me connect more with people and communicate in an easy way.
I'm very comfortable talking in public and being in front of a large audience which in return gives me more confidence about myself and makes me feel at home around guests that I had just met in a workshop.
What made you want to partner with W Doha to be their Wellness Ambassador?
When W Doha management contacted me to be their Wellness Ambassador, I was very happy with this opportunity because it allowed me to partner with a well-known lifestyle hotel that is considered a culinary destination which gave me the platform to combine my knowledge as a dietitian and food safety expert to promote the first wellness concept in Qatar.
Can you tell us more about the monthly Wellness Journey you created with W Doha Hotel & Residences?
When W Doha decided to introduce the wellness concept in their hotel, we wanted to shape it in a way that was beneficial, fun, and informative. We created the ‘’Wellness Journey” which consists of a monthly workshop that focuses on a specific health topic presented by me to all the guests in an engaging and informative way, followed by an interactive fitness session and then a live cooking session with W Doha’s Executive Chef. To top it off, we offer a full buffet made of healthy items related to the topic of the session. When you attend the workshop, you can really feel you are living a journey of wellness and you go out with the motivation that fuels you to a healthier lifestyle.
What was the inspiration behind the healthy menus you developed at W Café and Market by Jean Georges, and what factors do you usually take into consideration when choosing the dishes?
I wanted to create a menu that suits and satisfies all body types and needs. My focus was on keto, vegetarian, detox, and light items. We also created grab and go items, healthy snack boxes and detox juices that are convenient to take to work, to the gym or when you’re simply in a rush. I always focus my ideas on what people need and what fits naturally with their lifestyle.
What inspires you the most in your career and how do you develop it?
What inspires me most is the fact that I can help people have a better quality of life, support them emotionally and make a difference. Many of my patients have described becoming healthy as a life-changing phase when they become more comfortable with their bodies, their sleeping pattern, and their stress and confidence level. That’s what gives me the satisfaction. I always develop my self by being up to date to all new science research, projects and training sessions. Most of all the experience and interaction with people is what motivate me and help me to develop my skills and knowledge.