Functional Nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan is the CEO and Founder of iThrive, a nutrition and wellness platform that aims to help individuals achieve optimal health through personalized nutrition plans and coaching. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition, Mugdha has worked with clients from around the world, helping them improve their health and well-being through a holistic approach to nutrition.
In an exclusive interview with us, Mugdha shares her insights on the importance of functional nutrition, her approach to creating personalized nutrition plans, and the challenges she has faced while building iThrive. She also sheds light on her recently released book titled “Health, Inc.:10 Real Life Stories That Will Make You Question The Entire Healthcare System” which discusses some inspirational fitness transformation experiences, the impact of diet and exercise in the field of nutrition and wellness, and how she is working to help people maintain their health and well-being since times immemorial.
Provide us with a brief overview about your journey so far.
In 2017, I had hit rock bottom in my life. I was depressed, suicidal, obese, had very low energy levels, and suffered from multiple other health issues that severely impaired my ability to function. I was stuck in a bad marriage and financially broke too. I went to many doctors for my health issues, but no one could really help me. I discovered first-hand the failure of conventional medicine in addressing chronic health conditions.
This is when I decided to take matters into my own hands and started doing my own research and discovered functional nutrition. I also had a master’s degree in nutrition over a decade ago. I discovered how functional nutrition made use of advanced tests to uncover the root causes of chronic conditions and reverse them holistically for a permanent cure. I lost 37 kgs and reversed all my health issues! I then began helping out people around me and helped many people experience remarkable health improvements. This was the beginning of iThrive. It’s what eventually grew to become what is today India’s leading functional nutrition platform and it is expanding rapidly.
What encouraged you to take the plunge and move from Canada to India?
Like I said I had hit rock bottom. I was all set to break free and take the plunge whatever that meant and whatever it took. Ending my marriage automatically meant moving back to India. I took my daughter with me and moved to India and started a life from scratch, with almost nothing to build on.
Tell us about your initiative to lay the foundation stone of iThrive. What is your mission and vision for iThrive?
So, once I had healed myself, I also started helping out people around me with their health and many of them had remarkable health transformations. It was one such transformation that led my initial investor to approach me to expand my practice and do what I was doing on a larger scale-get together with a whole team and build a whole platform for functional nutrition in India.
Our vision is to “create healthier, happier, lifestyle-disease-free communities across the world every single day.”
What is your take on the sedentary lifestyle that Indians are following these days? What do you think is an appropriate solution for ensuring health and well-being for everyone alike?
Our urban lifestyles are highly detrimental to our health in multiple ways, one of which is a sedentary lifestyle – it’s like we’re living in a toxic chamber. As far as the sedentary part goes, it’s pretty much avoidable with our modern-day desk jobs. What is essential to do to counteract this is to include at least some form of intensive physical activity in our daily schedules, preferably in the morning. Even 15-20 minutes go a long way. Additionally, when you are at work, if you can try and take a break every hour to do some stretching, that is very helpful too.
What is your secret to good health?
Optimizing your diet and lifestyle of course is the crux- key points include avoiding processed inflammatory foods and excess sugar, ensuring adequate nutrient intake, getting sunlight, and maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm and sleep, avoiding toxins and pathogens, and getting exercise.
Additionally, testing and tracking your health markers regularly is a key part of preventive healthcare.
We had actually put out a small document for taking a health pledge on Republic Day this year that covered key tips to care for your health very comprehensively. You can find it on our Instagram!
Tell us about your new book. What are some key findings that the readers can find in your book?
The book “Health, Inc.:10 Real Life Stories That Will Make You Question The Entire Healthcare System” documents the case stories of ten individuals who had life-changing health transformations through functional nutrition after suffering for years. It begins with a chapter covering my own story and how all of this started.
Each story is unique and goes into detail about the client’s health and life story. These stories demonstrate the system-driven nature of functional medicine which we customized to suit each person’s needs. Each of them exemplifies the massive potential understanding root causes unlocks for your health. This book is for anyone who is interested in expanding their understanding of health, especially how they can master their own.
One final message for our readers.
Buy the book. You won’t regret it!