In an interview, Ranjani Raman, dietitian, child nutritionist, and certified diabetes educator, shares her insights about nutrition and her entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us about yourself and how you developed your interest in nutrition and dietetics
Ranjani Raman: Food was always close to my heart, so I did my Masters in Dietetics and Food service Management. I wasn’t too keen initially to do counseling and work on diet plans, but I was always interested in having a food outlet. However, when I started practicing, I realized that people needed help. Mostly, the right help!!! There was so much nutrition information available that people weren’t aware of what to follow and what not. This is where I started pulling myself up with a strong vision that I should help people understand what they should do to nourish themselves rather than what not to eat.
What motivated you to start Nutrition Tattva?
Ranjani Raman: I was always entrepreneurial and was passionate about new ideas and meeting new people. I experimented by working part-time and did feel strongly that there is a huge scope where people need help in terms of nutritional guidelines, strategies, approaches, and, most importantly, counseling and being there for them. I shifted from my corporate job when I strongly realized it was either “Now or Never.” My main motive was to build something people interested in getting healthier can rely on. So, I just took the plunge.
What tools and methods do you use to help your clients achieve their nutritional goals?
Ranjani Raman: We work on a very personalized basis on a 1-on-1 approach simply because each of us is different. We believe in keeping it simple and making clients understand various nutritional strategies so they can follow them for life. In step 1, we collect a lot of data about their food habits, medical conditions, allergies, timings, nature of work, and many more, which helps us tailor their plans. Post this, we work with them for a specific period, making periodic modifications to their nutrition plan to help them achieve their goals. Our counseling methods and approach are individual-specific.
Where do you think Indian parents go wrong while feeding their children?
Ranjani Raman: There may be top 3 three things
- Being ready to provide whatever the child asks for
- Not educating the children about the benefits and effects, not engaging them in understanding nutrition, and
- Not following healthy eating habits themselves. I always believe children learn from watching us
Any advice to parents of picky eaters?
Ranjani Raman: Each child has their own preferences, and we need to see how we can respect their choices and, at the same time, work on making them healthy. Some of the strategies that may work are
- Understanding the child’s preferences and making them happy by incorporating those choices
- Discussing with the child about some of the healthy foods and their benefits and making them choose at least 2-3 foods to be incorporated per week
- Incorporating foods in different forms and experimenting with various methods of cooking etc., which may get acceptable
If you could persuade people to change three things about their diet, what would they be?
Ranjani Raman: I guess it would be the basics because many people falter there.
- Consume 2-3 liters of water per day. Very simple, yet I counsel people a lot to do this. Not many drink more than 2-3 glasses per day
- Eat at least one fruit daily. Again, I have had people saying they eat fruits once a month. It’s shocking!!!
- Take time to eat and eat happily. Eat mindfully with as few distractions as possible with a happy mindset
One of the most common health concerns today is diabetes. What are your suggestions to avoid or manage it?
Ranjani Raman: At least 3 out of 10 clients I see are pre-diabetic or diagnosed with diabetes. We constantly educate people on a few strategies to prevent or manage diabetes.
- Understand the disorder/disease/condition. Honestly, most people are unaware of what happens in the body in this condition
- Regulate your meal, exercise, and sleep patterns
- Understand the right portions to be included to avoid unnecessary glucose load
What are some of the most common nutritional mistakes you observe in your clients in Bangalore?
Ranjani Raman: There is so much information around that people are usually misguided and confused. Some of the mistakes they make are
- Looking for extreme diet plans to see faster results
- Including foods that do not even go along with their body type, emotional happiness, lifestyle, culture, etc.
- Finding shortcuts by opting for fat-burning, weight-loss products, etc
What is your advice for someone who is considering entering your field?
It’s an absolutely empowering field because the contentment in making your clients feel healthy is mind-blowing. However, the intention should be to help people the right way. The foundation and integrity should be strong, not to mess up people’s lives with quick fixes or promote supplements, products, etc. If someone is truly passionate about providing the right guidance, with patience, and can inspire others.
About the Founder: Ranjani Raman
Dietitian (M. Sc (DFSM), PGCPDN, CDE)
Ranjani Raman is a Dietitian, Child Nutritionist, and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She is also certified by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for lectureship all over India. She holds a life membership with the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA), Nutrition Society of India (NSI) & Indian Association for Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition (IAPEN). Her great passion for the subject made her quit the corporate world and start her own Nutrition services company, “Nutrition Tattva,” called Nutrilife, initially in 2013.
She and her team of Dietitians work towards a mission of offering various services such as Nutrition counseling, personalized diet plans, corporate and school nutrition program, nutrition consulting & menu planning for health-based companies, concept development for food start-ups, nutrition testing, nutrition blogging, wellness workshops and more. Their academy educates people about various nutrition aspects through their tailor-made courses.
She has a broad experience in nutrition for weight management, diabetes management, therapeutic nutrition, fitness nutrition, pediatric nutrition, health menu planning, food nutrition value testing, and corporate nutrition for over 7+ years. This enables her to give her best quality service by going the extra mile with pure passion and involvement. She has been featured on various online health portals, travel magazines, health magazines, and frequently in the Deccan Herald health articles. She also believes in working closely with nutrition for the underprivileged by sharing easy and low-cost nutrition strategies that can be followed for their betterment.
Beyond work, she is an avid nature lover and can spend as much time with nature, connecting to her roots. She is also a movie buff, loves music, reading books, and trying various cuisines.