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Understanding Fertility with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Coach, Sujatha Gopalakrishnan


Understanding Fertility with Polycystic
Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Coach, Sujatha Gopalakrishnan

Felicity Cohen: Hello, I’m Felicity Cohen. I’m so excited to introduce you to my Wellness Warriors podcast. For over 20 years, I’ve been a passionate advocate for helping thousands of Australians find solutions to treating obesity and health-related complications through surgical intervention and holistic managed care.

My podcast is dedicated to all the people. Past, present and future who have helped shape my journey and continue to inspire me to work consistently to achieve a healthier Australia in both adults and future generations. I hope you enjoy it. Today I’d like to introduce you on my Wellness Warriors podcast,

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan. I hope I got that right for you Sujatha, but I feel like you’re more commonly known as Sue. Is that right?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: That’s right. Everybody calls me Sue.

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful, welcome. And thank you so much for joining me on the Wellness Warriors podcast today.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: So happy to be here.

Felicity Cohen: So you’re known as the PCOS coach and I was so intrigued by your profile because here at WeightLoss Solutions Australia, so many of our patients come to us because they have either,

polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis and other fertility rate fertility related issues. And we’re helping so many people. Many of them can’t even get on IVF programs before they can lose enough weight to then fall pregnant. And obviously what we’re looking for is to carry a healthy pregnancy to full term.

So for me, this patient population is really close to my heart and I’ve seen, so many of what I call our WLSA babies, and they’re so wonderful to see, you know, there’s some of our greatest success stories and really beautiful to see. And so what I was struck by when I saw your profile is that you’re helping people in this space and supporting them.

Tell me about what does it mean to be a PCOS coach? What do you actually do?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: It is a big responsibiliy when it comes to women who have PCOS, each person has different kind of symptoms. The problem starts starts when you start putting them in a box and saying, I will ask you to lose weight.

I know it’s difficult, but you have to lose weight, there’s no other goal. But without giving proper solutions to do that they are feeling, at sea, you know, lost and not knowing how to go about it because it’s difficult. The physiology is messed up in such a way where they can not lose weight with the right steps, which you know, in comparison to others who might do the same things because the hormones are against them.

So I went through this personally, I had PCOS myself and I was at, in a place where doctors said that your case is not as severe, where it warrants for us to give you medication like Metformin or any medication, all we can suggest is birth control for you to regulate your cycles. And you know, when you go off it you’d hopefully fall pregnant.

And that was for me a step backward. And I wanted to lose weight because they said that’s the solution. I wanted to try doing that. So I went through a whole lot of a journey. I should say a whole lot of solutions and it was a journey, you know, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, natural herbs and spices and teas and things like that, too.

Not lose weight specifically. I did have big dietary changes, but more importantly to set my hormonal balances right internally and also supplements because I was malnourished internally. I hear this term in some circles called type B malnourishment, which is internally your malnourished.

And that I wanted to set that right before I could actually fall pregnant. I knew my body needs to thrive, not just survive for it to make reproduction a priority. And that’s what I tried doing for myself and lo and behold I had to understand my tracking and my body and the first cycle that I felt comfortable trying after the transformation.

I did, conceive. And I still had a way to go because I miscarried that baby. Because of lack of information on certain things that happen, like lack of progesterone, I did not know, sort of things happen for a woman with PCOS which carries a higher risk of miscarriage. So then I went again, found out what happened.

So it’s a journey I should say. And then another six months later, I conceived again. Now I have a three-year-old.

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful, congratulations.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Thank you.

Felicity Cohen: So let’s just start with that discovery around learning that you, first of all, had PCOS. Let’s talk us through your journey. How did you first discover that you had PCOS?

What symptoms were you exposed to to start with?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: So I was having weight gain and mood swings, mental issues were the first, I should say I had terrible anxiety and depression and mood swings all over the place. Weight gain, and then we had delays in my cycle like a week, 10 days, very minor delays.

I thought it was just a one-off. And then I went to the doctor. I’m a, I’m one of the few lucky women, I’ve been to a doctor who was actually a GP trying to understand women’s health and the issues around women’s health. And she was actually studying that on screen when I was there and I went and she said, I think you are,

I’m 99.9% sure you are suffering or you might have PCOS. So she gave me a host of tests, hormones, and very thorough tests. Like, you know, it was all the hormones necessary. Like you don’t get that thorough diagnosis now. Even now with many countries, I’m working with women in UK and all of that, they’re all suffering with lack of diagnosis.

They don’t know what tests they need to ask for, but they know they have cysts and they have other symptoms. They don’t get diagnosed. So I was one of the few lucky ones. I got diagnosed, I went to her for a shoulder pain and a back pain because I was in a sedentary sitting job doing tax returns. Compared to before, when I was in advertising and marketing and even it’s running around all the time.

So it was a different kind of career sitting for long hours. And then I started getting this, you know, keeping my hand, arm like this all the time, kind of got to, I don’t know what it was. And I went to the doctor to fix that. And this is what I got. And she said, this is, you should fix this and you need to lose weight.

And she had no other solutions for me. She said, start eating less, you know, start eating less, reduce what you eat. And don’t eat so much rice because we, as Indians, we cannot live without rice. You know, every culture has their know dietary achilles heel and this rice is my achilles heel.

I cannot go without it. That’s what I thought anyway, fast forward. I, and that’s the diagnosis and I had no idea what to do about it. And I went in and researched. It took me two years before I actually started seeing results in what I was doing, because I was initially in denial that there’s anything I can do about it.

Doctors have to fix it. Because we all go to doctors when something is wrong with us, us, right. And if, because it’s, the condition is such a complex one, doctors cannot fix it. They can give you ways to temper your symptoms and you have to make lifestyle changes, which is the first thing that they recommend to you.

And if you don’t do the right lifestyle changes, it becomes a big issue. It can actually make things worse. If you go for birth control, you could put on more weight, you could have depending on side effects it could have issues. So I didn’t accept birth control and it was offered to me because I wanted to try for a family.

And then I went ahead with dietary changes and all of those things I mentioned earlier. So that was my diagnosis.

Felicity Cohen: So it’s all about the lifestyle intervention, most importantly, in terms of how you absorb nutrition, how your body functions and to resolve the concerns that you had regarding PCOS. Did you actually reverse the condition or how did that look once you actually did make those significant changes?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: So from having 35 to 40 day cycle, when I started out with PCOS. And the diagnosis, it went, it became worse because I was in denial and I wasn’t doing any everything I could. So, and I was finding out other things as well. So it took some time and in the meantime, things worsened and then I went up to 90 days before I could have a period.

And after I started the changes and I got to find, I found out what worked for me, I, and I fell into a rhythm of practicing it effortlessly that took about six months. After I started diligently doing things. I had a cycle every 35 days, every 35 days, dot, I get my period, and I knew exactly when I was ovulating.

That is a big, big thing. And I didn’t even have to test, I didn’t need a strip to test on because, of course I used temperature tracking. Initially I used strips, but slowly I started understanding the signs my body put out when I was ovulating, there were a lot of signs out there. So, you know, people can track their ovulation if they do it consistently over a period of time and understand how their body works, because there is a system, it looks like madness, but there is a method to it’s madness.

You know, everybody’s body has that. And I was lucky enough to understand and be on the right path and figure out how my body works. And now after my baby was, has been one, it’s been three years, I still have the same cycle. So, and of course I’m practicing what I was practicing religiously. If I make some if I fall off the wagon, I’m human, I do have my moments and I indulge

sometimes I can see the effect of it. But then I, the most important part is to pick yourself up from that and go back to what worked for you.

Felicity Cohen: Absolutely. So your journey is amazing because you’ve been able to self-manage and implement lifestyle change to achieve the outcomes that you wanted to achieve in so many of the patients that we see here, sadly, because of the the status, you know, for many of them, they need to lose 50 kilos and that’s

actually impossible with diet and exercise alone. So the surgical intervention plus lifestyle modification has been the absolute lifesaver. And some of the things that we see with PCOS, endometriosis, infertility, that we really need to sort of make sure that people are aware of is the implications for other metabolic diseases as well, because it can lead to all of those other factors that can be quite detrimental to health.

And also eventually to falling pregnant such as, type two diabetes, for example. And we don’t want people to go down that pathway, especially if you know, falling pregnant is the goal, gestational diabetes, we know is also a risk factor, not just for the baby, but also for, for the person, you for the, know, for the woman that we don’t want to actually eventually have type two herself as well.

So do you speak to a lot of women in your role as the PCOS coach who have all of these multifactorial conditions associated?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Yes. So I,

I Started out as a fertility coach and I do help women with PCOS, but I on a broader spectrum, when I look at the whole thing, what fixed me was fixing my inflammation.

And that can be the cause. Chronic inflammation can be the cause of a lot of many of the disease or conditions that stop you from actually having a baby. And stop you from losing weight. And I have to mention that I did lose four kilos before I fell pregnant and I did not focus on it. Definitely not, but it was just because of those changes I made.

And if I had focused, I don’t think I would have been able to do that personally, by looking at a scale everyday morning, but different things work for different people. So but with the, the thing to note was with the lifestyle changes I made it did help me shed kilos and I fell pregnant and eventually, so losing weight is an important part of it, but that’s the, the lengths women go to do that either through drug intervention, like Metformin, that might actually not be the best thing for them with with mental issues and with side effect,.

So. I feel there should be a middle ground where they need to be, women need to be educated on the importance of weight loss the right way. And so when I doctor women with PCOS I do wonder about the conditions. Funny you should mention that as well, because this yesterday I was having a chat with someone from a circle in my, in my group.

They were saying, Oh, I’ve just been diagnosed with a fatty liver. How do I do it? I did not know how I got it. You know, do the steatosis have anything to do with it. And that just shows, you know, there are so many secondary conditions which poorly managed PCOS leads to like, you know, whether you talked about diabetes, there are people with endometriosis that are people with bipolar disorder.

That’s just a mental disorder. There are people with chronic vitamin D deficiency and. Yeah, they get shots of 5,000 units, international units of vitamin D. You just do directive that that’s, how badly they’re deprived of vitamin D. So there’s some absorption issue going on, which stops that vitamin D from happening being effective in a person’s body.

So that’s, that’s all related to PCOS.

Felicity Cohen: Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s often a common misconception when I’m talking to people about exploring a surgical intervention for weight loss. Often the primary goal of having children is they are concerned about absorbs and absorption of nutrients. And so people have this misconception that having, for example, a sleeve gastrectomy, how am I going to absorb my nutrition well, and what they don’t understand that

as an overweight person, you’re not absorbing well that once we change that whole situation around and that you’re, we help you become a normal weight person. All of a sudden, the body’s ability to absorb increases drastically and we’re changing the whole environment and opportunity to fall pregnant. So for us, we’re often often telling people you’ve got to slow down and wait because once they have the surgery and,

lose weight, they can fall pregnant quickly. So we have to actually say to them, slow down and wait for a while. You know, we want you to have a healthy baby at the end of it and not just fall pregnant. So fascinating journey that you’ve been working in the field of advertising and marketing, and also as an accountant to ending up becoming PCOS and fertility coach, what an incredible transition.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: I started out in hospitality.

Felicity Cohen: Wow. That’s fabulous. Tell us about your career journey. Obviously your personal story has led you to becoming the PCOS and infertility coach. But tell me a little bit more about that career pathway.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: I am from India and from a very Orthodox Brahmin family. And it was critical that I moved away from that at that point of time.

I wouldn’t, I wasn’t even a person who could actually look at somebody and talk confidently because of the environment I was brought up in, you know, women, they look down, they don’t look up. You know, those kinds of certain beliefs that are ingrained in the culture, you know, you need to dress a certain way that you talk a certain way.

You need to behave in a certain way. So that really was suffocating. And I said, I need to break out a it. And I had some struggles with my parents, but in the end they supported me and I joined hospitality industry at least to study it. And then I worked for a while in that industry. And, it wasn’t satisfying.

And I wanted something more and probably I was waiting for that opportunity. Like what hospitality training in hospitality could do to me, my personality was to what do you call that? Well, more organize organizational and, you know, I need to get things done, kind of person that’s standing behind a reception and saying you know, like some, some people.

Like can smile and greet people throughout the day. But I was, I needed a more hands-on task kind of a thing, you know? So I liked advertising for what it offered. And I joined the advertising industry. I moved out of India and joined the advertising industry in the Middle East. And I was there for six to seven years.

Felicity Cohen: Which part of the middle East were you in?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: I was in Oman.

Felicity Cohen: Oh, beautiful.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Yeah. It’s a beautiful country.

Felicity Cohen: Gorgeous.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Yeah, five hours from Dubai and very pristine beaches and beautiful. It doesn’t have any intervention. Man-made intervention. Like the Dubai does, Dubai is beautiful in its own way, but I prefer the more untouched beauty of Oman beaches.

Felicity Cohen: Great for fishing.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Yes, great fishing, great for Marine life. And if you anchor your boat in the middle, you can see through to the floor, the reefs and the corals, and it’s, it’s really beautiful.

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Yeah. And yeah. And then I met my husband online. It was an arranged marriage. And two years after I met him, I was in India working there in marketing as well.

And then I moved to Australia to join him. So he was already here and I joined him here.

Felicity Cohen: What a fascinating journey. So what part of India did you grow up in?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: It was In the South, it’s called Kerala, tropics, lush green. It’s got mountains and the coast as well. And backwaters, if somebody wants to start looking at traveling to India, I always say start with Kerala, not up in the North, but start from the South.

Similar to Sri Lanka. I would say if you’ve been to Sri Lanka.

Felicity Cohen: I have, I’ve been to Sri Lanka and I’ve been to India. So in India I had the most incredible experience in, Coimbatore which is a beautiful part of India and went to a wedding there.

That was just amazing. What a great cultural experience.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Wow. My home town is like one and a half hours from Coimbatore. And actually you cross the border from that state to the state I am from it’s one and a half hours journey. The greenery changes dramatically because you’re going from East to the West.

And I don’t know what it is about Kerala it’s called God’s own country in India. I don’t know if it’s called that anywhere else, but it’s called God’s own country in India. It’s you’ve got elephants. You got a lot of cultural things. Mangoes, jackfruit, tropical fruits.

Felicity Cohen: So was there pressure from your family to marry into the same cultural tradition and your husband is from that same background?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Same language, same religion, same cast.

They, there was a lot of things to look at. So there are these like Tinder, but more formal in moments, score, matrimonial sites websites, where they put my profile up. My parents did that and they asked me to go see people who I might be interested in initially I was resistant to the idea, of course.

But then I gave in and I just signed up to see who’s out there and I saw my husband and I said, it’s not that bad.

Felicity Cohen: Wow. What an incredible journey to end up here in Australia. So he had already moved here to Australia?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Yes, he was studying in Canberra for his masters and and his family was in, around the same place as my parents.

And they met and that all worked out, then it was safe for the kids to meet according to the parents. So we were still kids according to them. So we met and yeah, it was good. We took time to know each other. We were away for a long time after we got married. And then we met again in Australia and I joined a course in H&R Block for tax accounting.

And that’s how I became a tax


Felicity Cohen: So you’ve studied accounting as well.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Locationally, it’s not a formal qualification because H&R Block trains their own consultants. So they have a course in the, in, you know, if somebody’s trying to look at, you know, doing something in accounting, it’s a good place because they teach you well, and then you’ll get a lot of practical knowledge.

So if I want to do my tax returns, now I can do it.

Felicity Cohen: What a gift. That’s amazing. So what an incredible journey that you’ve taken through life to now become the fertility and PCOS coach. At what point in time did you decide that you wanted to be able to help other people and become a coach in this field?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: After I had my daughter, my husband actually suggested I record my journey when I was actually doing it. Let me fall pregnant first. As you know, I need to know that I have something workable here. And because honestly at that time, everything looked very scary and uncertain, you know, because you have a baby, will I be able to carry the baby to term a lot of questions.

So and then. Of course, my pregnancy was smooth except for gestational diabetes which wasn’t too troubling for me because of the lifestyle changes I did. I did, I needed the most, the least amount of insulin and I was set and I didn’t put on unhealthy amounts of weight, which I was worried about.

I have a history of obesity in my family and my mum is obese. And I always thought in my mind, I never want to be overweight. I never forget obese. I don’t want to be even overweight. But I was going in that direction before I decided to take charge of things and get things sorted for myself. After I had my baby.

I said, you know, everybody needs to have this kind of experience, motherhood, you know, it’s, it’s really if I wasn’t prepared to be a mom before I had got my PCOS diagnosis and never thought about motherhood, but when I got that diagnosis, it was like, bam. I need to think about having a kid I’m 28 years old.

And I have this diagnosis who knows if I’ll ever be able to be a mom. Should I actually rule out the experience because I never thought about it before. And, you know, when you can’t have something, that’s when you want it. Right. That’s human naturally. And that’s how I felt at that time. I’m like, no, that’s not right.

You know, something has to be done about it. I need to get my system in place so that, you know, even if at, at a later stage, if I know I can conceive, I can put it off, right. Forget putting it off. I just wanted to be a mom. By the, by the time I started setting everything right with my body, I was already in a place where I was ready for motherhood.

You know, I got a cat. I have a house, have a husband and I, all my maternal feelings are pouring out on the cat. He’s he’s wonderful, but I want more, I, I think he played a big role in me falling pregnant as well. I it’s, it, It’s very mental. It’s just all in your mind, how it affects you. And I always say this, your mind has to be prepared before your body prepares itself.

So, if you’re not pregnant in your mind, if you’re not a mother in your mind, your body will not accept that idea. And that’s how I lived as if I was already pregnant before I actually fell pregnant. And that’s also a law of attraction strategy. You live as if you’re already rich, you you’ll live as if you’re already pregnant and it will happen.

Felicity Cohen: What a beautiful philosophy is that something that you’ve learned through Indian culture?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: It’s the, the, the secret, you know, the law of attraction for love. It, it’s a such strategy of that. They, they talk about a lot of strategies to practice law of attraction as living as if it’s one of their strategies.

So, and I did not think about it then think about what I’m doing then, but if I have to put a name to it, then I, when I was trying to coach women I have to say it in a way where people understand what I did fight. And that’s when I was researching about my journey. And I was talking about all the people out there talking about mental, transformation, this came up and I’m like, Hey, this is what I was doing.

You know, this is how I felt at the time when I wasn’t even pregnant because you have your follicles, you have your utero, there are half the baby over there. You’re actually nurturing a baby. And it, and the more I searched about women, the more fascinating it is, because imagine if you look at my journey, like I was carrying my daughter, my daughter in utero is actually carrying the next generation of

human beings. So if you look at it, you’re already nurturing. There are three generations of life right there. Me, my daughter and the follicles 2 million follicles that they’re born with right? Two million eggs sorry they bond with already there. So that was so fascinating. So it is a scientifically, a lot of research is being done right now.

AMH. The levels of AMH, the hormone anti-mullerian hormone in the mother affects the baby’s predisposition to PCOS. That’s something that they have found out. And I think that’s really useful if they can leverage that, finding to see how they can regulate that level of AMH, because we need to stop the next generations from getting this if we can do that.

Condition of course through lifestyle training and all that, which I’m in inculcating in my daughter at a young age, but more than that, if they have a way to help the already existing population of women with PCOS from from passing it on to their daughter, they can stop that. That’s a big deal.

Felicity Cohen: Absolutely. And I love that you know, the whole belief system of your thoughts and how you manifest, manifest your own reality through your thoughts and your belief systems. It’s quite powerful isn’t it? So what a journey, tell me a little bit about what do you actually do as the PCOS and fertility coach?

How are you engaging in helping others?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: So I am mostly doing an online coaching program, a few programs out there. And I, I prefer to do it one-on-one and that’s more close to my heart. So I just want to touch upon what I do there. Five aspects, I focus on five aspects of a woman’s journey towards fertility and being a mom.

One is of course the food habits. That’s I think 70 to 80% of their success is dependent on. Food and how they treat, use food towards healing and getting to that thriving state of, of body right? So that’s food. And then the second aspect is activity and activity, I’m I love dancing and I’m a bit of not a traditional Indian classical dancer.

So it’s like ballet, something like ballet in India. So I do that and that helps me calm down. It helps me you know, it’s a good workout for me. So you do what you enjoy. And sometimes I say, don’t do whatever is restorative. So yoga, swimming, pilates, you know, these are the things I recommend because with PCOS, weight training and HIRT.

I’ve done a bit of research on that. If you have a stress-related PCOS. So there are different kinds of issues. If your PCOS is related to stress, then pumping up the cortisol level in your blood can be harmful. So when you’re working out, I’m not saying don’t do that, do that, but try to pace it, pace it out.

Your HIRTs need to be 20 minutes, not 30 minutes, you know, like make that shorter, the high intensity timeframe. So, that’s how I have the activity part of it covered. And then we have the third aspect, which is tracking very important because nobody talks about it. Women don’t know how they can track their cycles other than using the commercially available sticks, which don’t work if you have hormonal imbalances.

So that’s a big part of my as a coaching program. And then we have supplements, which, for natural land farmer, we really use both see what works. And the last part is something I call the 2D Put system, which is detox and destress. So these two parts, you apply makeup, you apply cosmetics, all of that things.

So you need to get those things out of your body and limit the amount of toxins around you. Honestly I think 90% of my household is on essential oils now. Whether it’s shampoo your, you know, all of them have harmful parabens, and so many other things, the self self-aid, something else, and it’s all carcinogenic and inflammatory.

So I’m cutting down on that. And then these dressing in terms of how you can mentally relax yourself, prepare yourself for motherhood. So those two are covered in the final aspect. So that’s my program. Holistically. And I do week on week and then I’ve had success. Most of the times in three cycles, two cycles, they do the, they learn to do everything.

Third cycle. I just support them. They’re doing everything they’re doing. They’re relaxed. I said, don’t even try to fall pregnant the cycle if you don’t feel like it relax, but they end up trying and they fall pregnant because they did relax. So, I don’t so far, I’ve had good amount of women giving a good feedback on how they felt with the program and the success of falling pregnant as well.

So that program is very close to my heart. Other than that, I just do some online small courses for women who just feel, Oh, I just need some guidance on nutrition, I just need some guidance on tracking. So, that the singular parts of it, as well as available for women to look at.

Fabulous, I love it.

Felicity Cohen: And it’s, you know, so interactive, I guess, with what we’re doing here and helping so many people to to actually get to the stage where they can start to think about starting a family. So one of my favorite groups of patients, a hundred percent and from different age brackets to I’m seeing women up until say age 37, you know, for example, I’ve had quite a few in that kind of age bracket, I say 37.

Because I’m just thinking of someone recently who had the most gorgeous baby and her goal was, you know, she came here to lose weight and then to obviously start a family and achieved her goal. And 37 years of age has a baby, which is just awesome. Love it. Yeah. So you’re now mum, you’ve got a three-year-old daughter.

What, what are some of your top parenting tips?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: I would say you have to give them your time. I find that challenging and I say that it’s, it’s been on top of my mind and that’s the first thing that came to my mind when you asked the question because. No matter what I’m doing. She wants me to engage with her and I can’t do that all the time.

I know I’m a human, I have other things to do as well, but I realize every time she comes to me, I have to take a break. Look at, look at her, look her in the eye and tell her look, I’m going to be with you, whatever, whatever. But the problem with what we are doing these days is, especially after COVID, everything is on screen, right?

You’re on the phone, you’re on the thing. You can’t help it. That’s what life is all about these days. So the least we can do is just give them the attention and explain it to them because they are very clever. They can understand. So my daughter takes, I wait and she’ll wait until I I’m done with whatever that immediate thing was.

And then I pay attention to her, spend some time with her and then she, so. It’s very important for them to develop that. It’s not just about the bond. The bond is already there, but develop that confidence that they are there, you’re there for them. And and the second thing is helped. If you get them to eat raw and if you train them to eat healthy food No, they, I mean, they might go fussy when they’re in their teens because I’m not yet a teens mother, so I can’t vouch for it, but I am trying my best to train them in train her in eating Hindi now itself.

And she has my smoothie. She has my salads. So yeah, so that’s the two top tips I would give for parents new expecting or. Having


Felicity Cohen: Yeah, great foundation is to develop those healthy habits early. And I think, you know, for what I see is one of the worst kind of situations that we’re facing right now for children is that the dominating impact of technology.

So trying to reduce that from an early age, is there you know, that addiction to gaming or whatever it is with technology, how do you make that kind of decision around what is. What what’s appropriate and mean even at age three, I’m assuming that there’s an interaction with technology. How

do you limit it?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: I wouldn’t survive without technology. When it comes to my daughter, she gets screen time, but she doesn’t touch any of those equipment. My phone, the laptop, they’re all off limits. So that’s a way I, it worked for me that she doesn’t have the liberty to go and unlock it because they learn quickly, right?

Yeah. So when I unlock it, she doesn’t see it. So, and even if she sees it, she knows she cannot touch the phone. So she goes in the naughty corner. So she doesn’t like that. So, so far it’s worked. So that’s my main thing that you put a limit on screen time and make sure that they don’t have access to those equipment.

You are the one who runs it and they watch it. That’s it. And even when I work, I play something for them. It’s mostly educational. Stop. And most parents, I know their rhymes and everything, and she, I think she’s outgrown rhymes now. So we’ve moved on to things like educational videos of, you know, people friendly, people explaining things that are many out there and on the internet having an added thing to show her, which is my language things in my language as well for her to pick up.

So, yeah, so she picks up all of those things and she talks to my folks back home. So that’s the level of screen time she gets. And I tried to put my culture in there.

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful. Absolutely love that. Thank you so much for joining me today. The final question that I’d like to ask you that I like to ask all of my guests on the Wellness Warriors podcast is what does wellness mean to you?

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Wellness means not being restricted by

any of my physical aspects to do what I want to do, whether it’s living my life to the fullest or jumping in the pool with my daughter, or if I want to go skydiving one day, I should be able to do that or whatever. Having that health means that you have the confidence to take on life. And what ever it throws at you.

And I think that wellness is that, that you have the confidence that you can face life.

Felicity Cohen: I love that. No limits, no boundaries and making sure that you live life to the fullest every day, no matter what. Beautiful. Thank you so much for joining me Sujatha. Please thank Sujatha for joining me on the Wellness Warrior podcast.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan: Thank you for having me Felicity. It’s been an absolute pleasure talking with you.

Felicity Cohen: Thank you for joining the Wellness Warriors podcast. It’s been a pleasure to have you online with us. If you enjoy the series, please leave your review, subscribe and follow, and we look forward to sharing many more stories with you in the future.

Nutritionist & Dietitian

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