Hey I’m Shalini (SHAH-lin-ee) and I’m a resident physician that is really excited about starting my first blog! As a Jamindian (Jamaican + Indian, shout out to Djoe for this clever name), food has been a central focus of my life and my family. I took a Culinary Medicine rotation during medical school and came to the realization that every personal statement I have ever written, whether it be for college, medical school, or residency, has discussed the importance of food, nutrition, and advocacy and how they serve as a large component of why I wanted to pursue medicine. The problem is that there’s a lot of information out there and it’s easy to get confused with all the science and culinary terminology. So I created this blog to serve as a quick summary of facts, but also as a place to help link my readers to the sites that know what they’re talking about.
Given my family’s history with heart disease, heart attacks, bypass surgeries, diabetes, and breast cancer, my family and I try to be aware of the type and quality of food we are eating. I was fortunate that my Mom has always emphasized a healthy relationship with our food. We never did “diets” or tried to cut anything out entirely. Instead, we focused on balance and prioritizing certain foods over others. I realized it was possible for healthy foods to taste amazing. Proof: My classmates used to write in my high school yearbook about how much they’ll miss my mom’s food that she packed for lunch every day.
This year, my friend asked me what my New Year’s Resolution was and my answer was: to be mindful of what I’m putting in my body. I love good food and I definitely have a sweet tooth, but I aim to be more conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth and how that’ll affect my body. Don’t worry, I still eat ice cream and occasionally go on late night Krispy Kreme runs, but I find I am more enthusiastic about eating a healthy diet when I know I don’t have to give anything up entirely. Being mindful about what you’re eating is really hard, honestly. So I understand that dieting and being healthy can be hard.
What’s my point?
This blog has 3 main components: Medicine, Nutrition, and Advocacy. All these topics overlap in one way or another, so you will find some of my posts are on one or all of these pages. The main takeaway I want my readers to have is this: You can have an affordable, healthy diet and not feel like you are giving up the things you love. I’m sure everyone has heard that before, but there are a lot of myths out there and a lot of tips & tricks you can use to turn your meals around.
My long-term goals?
For this page to be something I can give to my patients when I am a physician. Plenty of people go to their 15 or 30-minute doctor’s appointment and walk out with unanswered questions (not because the doctor doesn’t care, but because most doctors aren’t taught how to cook in medical school). I hope that this website can serve as a guide for anyone who is looking for some quick, easy answers to some common questions!