If you’re not yet familiar with Dr Rupy Aujla and The Doctor’s Kitchen, then you soon will be. Rupy is one of an exciting new breed of UK medical doctors who is hoping to change the future of conventional medical education and practice, and ultimately how the medical system deals with chronic disease. All through nutrition and lifestyle modification. It’s a mission close to our hearts here at Nutri Advanced and for many of our customers, so we couldn’t be happier to have caught up with him this week to find out more about his hopes for the New Year ahead and what he’ll be cooking up in the Doctor’s Kitchen in 2017.
So Rupy how did you get into nutrition in the first place? It’s not that usual for a medical doctor...
So it was a multitude of things for me. Firstly, when I became a junior doctor, I got ill myself. I suffer with Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation where my heart beats exceptionally fast and irregularly for a long period of time. No triggers were found; I had every test you can think of and I was offered a procedure called an ablation by my cardiologists.
With the blessing of my physicians, I decided to try a more holistic approach by optimising every aspect of my life before I committed to the procedure. I focused on diet, I read the literature on any connections between nutrition and my condition, I eliminated stressors, I meditated etc all whilst working as a Junior doctor. My episodes which were occuring 3x a week (lasting over 12 hours) ceased altogether.
Retrospectively it's hard to pinpoint exactly what happened, but it re-enforced for me the power of nutrition and diet on health outcomes. Since then I've recognised patients really want this sort of information. I attend nutrition lectures globally, I read papers and converse with everyone I can about food and health …. oh yes, and I love cooking! haha. I truly believe food is the single biggest health intervention patients can make.
What 3 foods would you find it impossible to live without?
Probably cabbage because it's one of the most nutrient dense vegetables on the planet, it's cheap and I can use it in so many dishes! Also the variety is incredible, wombok, savoy, red, chinese etc. Cauliflower is another smashing ingredient and amazingly versatile. I use it in curries, I roast it and I've experimented dehydrating it into chips as a nutritious snack. Also garlic, the flavour base of multiple cuisines, it's very much a health ingredient with an amazing flavour profile.
What exciting foods will you be cooking with more in the new year?
Black garlic is a fantastic tarry, sweet and savoury ingredient, almost like a balsamic paste. It's beautiful. Black Rice is an unrefined rice from Asia and it delivers richness to any dish from brunch to dinner. Seaweed noodles are a great way of getting mineral rich algae onto the plate, they're fairly new to the market but I think they have great potential.
What food trends do you forecast will be big news in 2017?
Plant-based eating I think is going to be on trend next year and with good reason. People are beginning to realise the quality of meat is very important. Unfortunately that means expense! So clearly people are going to have to focus on plants, which is what I promote!
How would you like to see medicine in the UK change in the next 5 years?
I have a lot of aspirations for medical education in the future. I can see a nutrition course becoming a dedicated module in medicine alongside specialities like Respiratory and Gastroenterology. It really needs attention and with gut focused treatments, the potential to reverse diabetes using lifestyle medicine techniques etc, it's clear that this will have to happen.
Thank you so much to Dr Rupy for taking the time out to chat to us; what an enlightened man he is - and so charming & humble to boot - we can’t wait for him to shake up the medical world and get nutrition on the curriculum.