Rupy Aujla is a Doctor on a mission to change the medical system for the better! He knows how important good nutrition is to health and works tirelessly to promote delicious and easy nutritional practices all backed by evidence based science. Rupy is passionate about sharing his message and supporting the future of Medical and General Practice toward a more holistic mindset by teaching just how important nutrition is to prevent and help alleviate ill-health. We love his no-dieting approach and his informative videos that show just how easy it is to cook good nourishing food.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are and what you do.
Hey! My name is Rupy, I’m a general practitioner in London. I do a bit of emergency medicine and I believe what you choose to put on your plate is the most important health intervention anyone can make.
About 2 years ago I started ‘The Doctor’s Kitchen”. A multi-platform resource where I create recipes and talk about the clinical research behind the ingredients I use. I’m trying to inspire everyone to look at their plates as positive health interventions and recognise the beauty of food and the medicinal effects of eating well.
2. What was the ‘uh ha’ moment that inspired you to get in to health and wellbeing?
When I had my own health problems as a Junior doctor I managed to help myself by diving into the research and figuring out how my lifestyle impacted my condition. By changing simple things in my nutrition and lifestyle I was able to overcome my medical issues. I realised that a lot of patients could benefit from a doctor explaining the evidence based benefits of healthy living, so I decided to essentially preach what I practice! By taking a holistic view of the body and mind, we are able to achieve great things.
3. Talk us through a typical day in your life…
As a locum doctor working in both General practice and A&E as well as health blogging, YouTubing, attending international conferences and advocating better nutrition in medical schools, every day is completely different for me! I’ve decided to give you an idea of a day when I’m working in clinic:
I’m an early riser. I think I got that from my time living in Sydney! I tend to wake up around 6am, I sit on the edge of my bed and I say a quick mantra to myself (something along the lines of being grateful for being alive and for this beautiful day .. regardless of the weather). I then move my body. I vary my exercises throughout the week, sometimes I do stretch and yoga, other times I’ll do strength or HIIT, but I always do something for about 30-40mins. I drink about 700mls of water and get on with my morning routine. Most days I eat breakfast, but other days I do a gentle fast until midday. I vary my breakfasts all the time. Sometimes oats with nuts and seeds, fresh berries and chai spices. Other days scrambled eggs with walnut pesto and dark greens. My work schedule is variable. On clinic days I start at 830am and will work until 1pm, I’ll catch up on paperwork for an hour and then I have about 30-45mins for lunch until afternoon clinic starts. I will have seen about 18 patients by this time.
My lunch is again very varied. Perhaps a Tupperware with sweet potato, homemade falafel, spinach leaves and baby tomatoes. It’s usually last night’s dinner!
I’ll have a snack of pecans, dark chocolate and berries about 4pm as well! Whilst I see patients until about 630-7pm
I’ll head home thinking about what I’m making at home! I could have roast artichokes, sundried tomato, pine nuts, cavolo nero and gnocchi. Or this week I made myself a Jerk butternut curry with coconut milk and plantain. It really depends on my mood! I may film that recipe for my youtube channel or make it into a Facebook Live that I often post on my Facebook account. I spend every other minute of my day working on the Doctor’s Kitchen. Writing articles, blog posts and trying to achieve my dream of making culinary medicine a reality in the UK. Where we teach doctors and medical students how to cook and the basics of nutrition.
I’ll tend to stop eating by 8pm and I don’t eat late at night. I try and put my electronics away at least 1 hour before bed (but it doesn’t always happen to be honest!) I’ll try and get to bed by 1030pm.
4. Coffee or tea
I would say coffee, but I only have 3-4 cups a week. I’m quite sensitive to caffeine so I hardly have a cup after 2pm and my brew is a ‘long black’.
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Look at the size of that camera! Just had an awesome evening filming with @metabolic_mike for his channel! Can't wait for you guys to watch this one when it's out. Sam is a genius behind the lens. I made a Malay Salad that I might make a version of @balance_festival next week! Super interesting listening to Mike about his new documentary too, look out for that one. Catch you again in LA buddy! #whatthedoctorordered #culinarymedicine #foodismedicine #cookbook #thedoctorskitchen #doctorskitchen
5. What is your indulgence of choice?
Dark chocolate. I don’t think I could live without single origin 80% ! With some frozen berries and hazelnuts I’m very happy.
6. Three foods you can’t live without?
Spices (in particular fennel and cumin). Sweet potato – I have this in so many things! Puy lentils, one of the most versatile ingredients and legumes are a core feature of the Mediterranean diet.
7. What’s your go-to snack for those days on the run?
Blackberries, Pecans and dark chocolate.
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Blackberry Smoothie bowl with Flax, Brazil nuts and Dark Chocolate! Starting my day with pastel colours to brighten up this day! This bowl is a huge collection of flavanols, a class of plant chemicals we find in dark chocolate, berries and even tofu. Fantastic components of your diet and one of the reasons why plenty of fruits and vegetables weekly is associated with a lower risk of chronic disease. I've added fibre with a couple of spoons of flax but you can also use whole grain Oats into the mix as well! Off to a conference @trumanbrewery today @millennial2020 should be exciting. Check out my snaps and insta stories to see how it goes! #whatthedoctorordered #foodismedicine #guthealth #mindfullondon #thedoctorskitchen #doctorskitchen #millennials #polyphenols #phytochemicals
8. And any last words of advice or tips for those starting out on their health journey?
It’s about creating a healthy lifestyle going forward, not a short defined period of time. Enjoy your food, enjoy the beauty of living and make food a part of it.
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Before my A&E shift today I managed to contribute to a hackathon held by @bigradicalstudio in London. The subject matter was how to help cancer patients sleep better, reduce anxiety and improve their overall experience of treatment. It was amazing to see what a few people in a room with post it notes and wifi can do in 48 hours. We need more of this innovative thinking coupled with a back to basics and empathic approach in medicine. Digital transformation can work either for or against us. All you need is a laptop and wifi to change the world! #whatthedoctorordered #hackathon #sleepmedicine #sleepforhealth #cancercare #lifestylemedicine #anxiety #mentalhealthawareness #collaboration