Saturday, August 10, 2013

What do you bring to the table?

In the space of the last few months, I have met two 'nutrionists' (spellcheck has put a red squiggly under this for some reason). And my main purpose was to know what diet changes I can make in order to achieve my health goals.

Now, a caveat. Most people take pride in their 'interior decoration' skills or 'aesthetic' 'taste' or prize their own 'skills' or 'talent' in something or the other. For me diet and nutrition happens to be one of those things.

I read practically everything on 'diet' and it is wont be an understatement to say that I am upto speed into the most of the current 'theories' of nutrition. Like for example: have small meals through the day. Avoid junk food. Have more fibre in your food. Dinner atleast 2 hours before bedtime. Among other things...

And this is the basic stuff. At an intermediate level, I am aware of the benefits of flax seed oil, coconut oil (yes, those old theories claiming it to be a bad oil are gone). I have read (multiple times) Michael Pollans seminal article (and the book which followed). The importance of mixing cooking oils rather than sticking to one.

And at an advanced level, the importance of fermented food in diets. Miso. Kombucha.Quinoa. (these three I have not yet figured out how to get in India). And I can keep going on and on on this topic. Upto the intermediate level I have been able to put stuff into practice and I keep experimenting to see how to reach the advanced level and keep pace with emerging thoughts in this field.

Now the nutritionist had nothing to tell me beyond the basic level. And that too not much - because I told her most of it.

The point being, the internet has democratized most basic information available in most fields. And if one is passionate about it you can get all the information (and a fair bit of knowledge as well) you want. On anything. Nutrition. Fitness. Accounting. Customer Service. Income Tax.

So, what happens when you as a 'qualified' expert meet someone who has come there with 'passion' and 'interest'. So, this is what happened when I met the qualified nutritionist. Complete disaster. If this was an engagement where I had to pay, then the nutritionist would surely not get a second appointment.

As a practitioner, one needs to go beyond the obvious. This is easy if what you are working on is your passion as well. If not, beware, passion will always triumph qualifications. And when you as a 'certificate holding nutritionist' meets the 'passionate health freak' thats it.

Ask yourself, which of the two you are? Can you add 'passion to your qualification' or 'qualification to your passion'?

And therefore, what value do you bring to the table? Certificate or Passion?

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