Monique Jhingon’s book Unlock Your Health will show you a proven step-by-step approach to solving chronic health problems and becoming your healthiest self in a way that honors your uniqueness
Author and nutritionist Monique Jhingon’s work has inspired countless people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle and make positive changes in their lives
Monique Jhingon is a renowned consultant and author on functional nutrition and lifestyle. You are a leading figure in the field of plant nutrition and sustainable living. With her expertise and passion, Monique champions the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet for optimal health and wellness. She is known for her holistic approach to nutrition and lifestyle, emphasizing the importance of sustainable choices for personal health and the health of the planet. Monique’s work has inspired countless people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle and make positive changes in their lives. Her books and contributions in the field of functional nutrition have earned her recognition and respect from both the professional and general communities.
- What is the main focus of your book “Unlock Your Health”?
If you take a good look around you will see that many if not most people are struggling with their health. Be it diagnosed health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease or bothersome symptoms such as low energy, brain fog, allergies, anxiety, depression, pain symptoms that interfere with your quality of life.
Unlock Your Health answers a few questions: First, why are we facing this health crisis and why is being healthy so difficult these days? Second, what are the steps you can take to find and maintain optimal health in a truly personalized way.
- How do you think individual uniqueness plays a role in determining the right approach to health and wellness?
From the day we are born we are exposed to factors that affect our mental, emotional and physical health in unique ways. Our genetics, experiences, exposures, our environment, life circumstances, our diet, the thoughts we think all translate into this unique package that is you today. A personalized health building strategy should take all of these factors into consideration.
This is one of the failures of conventional medicine. It focuses on the symptom or diagnosis and not on the person. It fails to recognize that everyone is unique and that everything in the body is connected.
In a personalized and functional healthcare approach, we look at a person’s entire history, their antecedents, triggers and mediators. We consider all the symptoms within the different biological systems and identify the common root cause of the imbalances. We approach health holistically, through dietary and lifestyle interventions and the recognition that everything matters: how we eat, sleep, move and think, our relationships, stress, connection to nature and community.
- Have you mentioned many health problems that are not included in global health statistics because they are considered sub-clinical or ill-defined? What do you think might be the impact of these unsolved health problems on individuals and societies as a whole?
These nagging and chronic health problems can seriously interfere with our ability to be our best selves. And unfortunately, we have accepted many of them as “normal”. You can prove it yourself: ask anyone you meet today how they are feeling and they will most likely tell you that they are fine. But if you dig a little deeper you will find that they may not sleep well, have a nagging pain somewhere, allergies, skin problems, be overweight and uncomfortable, may feel bloated after eating food, or have regular energy dips during the day .
None of these problems are normal. And they keep us from living our best lives. They keep us from feeling strong, energetic, positive, balanced, focused – all things we need to achieve our dreams and contribute to a better society.
- How important do you think it is to focus on the basics of health and wellness before trying new ways or shortcuts?
I love this question! We are all looking for a quick fix. It’s human nature. But when it comes to our health and correcting the root imbalances, we must first build a solid foundation. You cannot supplement your way out of a bad diet. You can eat all the vegetables on the planet, but you won’t feel your best if you have a bad marriage, sleep 4 hours a night, or don’t move your body. There are a few key things that apply to everyone that need to be implemented first.
- How do you approach different diet strategies that seem to contradict each other, such as vegan and carnivore diets? How to make sense of conflicting information?
First, it’s important to recognize that there is no single dietary strategy that works for everyone. Even if a particular diet has worked wonders for your friend or family member, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. You have to set out to find your unique approach and forget about popular fad diets. If you follow the 6-step approach outlined in the book, you’ll be able to identify what works best for you. Depending on the nature of the imbalances you are dealing with, it may be necessary to use a temporary therapeutic diet to help correct these imbalances. A functional health expert can provide the support you need in this case.
- There are endless permutations and combinations of diets and lifestyles available on the internet. So, do you find it difficult to decide what is believable and appropriate?
It can be very challenging! When I was dealing with my health issues over 15 years ago, I was very confused and overwhelmed by this information overload and the myriad of options available. Proponents of all of these different diet strategies can be very persuasive and make you think you’ve found a magic wand.
I have since completed a Masters in Personalized Nutrition and can evaluate different approaches from an evidence-based perspective. For those without this background it can be easy to fall into a trap.
As I say in the book: Approach everything with curiosity and openness, but stay committed to finding your own unique and personalized approach to food and life: the “diet” and lifestyle that is appropriate for you based on your health status. past and current health, your genetic code, your life history, your environment and your goals.
- Have you ever felt conflicted between adhering to your health goals and society’s norms or expectations, such as socializing with alcohol or indulging in sweets? How do you handle these conflicts?
We all have to navigate the complexities of modern life, and that includes dealing with societal pressure. Some common norms and expectations include cake at birthday parties or alcohol at social gatherings. If you choose not to take part, it may be disapproved. When you decide to do what it takes to be your healthiest self, you’re going to have to make decisions that other people don’t appreciate or don’t understand. Keep in mind that as you continue on this path you will feel and look better and better, people will notice, and you will be an inspiration to many.
- How important do you think it is to monitor your gut microbiome to maintain your overall health?
The gut microbiome, or the community of microorganisms that live in the gut, has a direct impact on the entire body. It affects immune system health, nutrient digestion and absorption, weight and metabolism, brain chemistry, and much more. In recent years there has been an exponential increase in studies conducted on the intestinal microbiota showing how imbalances in this area are directly linked to chronic diseases and common symptoms.
What has also become clear is that there are many factors that can negatively affect the microbiome. Our diet, stress, medications, antibiotics, infections, genetically modified foods, hyper-hygiene, vaccinations, toxins are some of the factors that lead to a compromised balance between good and bad bacteria.
This is why it is extremely important to take steps to restore, protect and nourish our gut microbiome in the best possible way. As part of this process, it can be helpful and interesting to do a gut microbiome test to assess how your gut microbiome compares to a healthy population of people and learn how to deal with imbalances.
What makes “Unlock Your Health” a must-read for those who are looking to improve their health and well-being?
Underlying everything you want to achieve in this life is the ability to feel energized, focused, balanced, and strong. If you’re struggling with health issues that are keeping you from living your best life, you need to read Unblock Your Health. It will show you a tried and tested step-by-step approach to solving chronic health issues and becoming your healthier self in a way that honors your uniqueness.
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