GoaChronicle.com: What is the objective and aim of Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems Pvt Ltd.?
Luke Coutinho: Our objective is simple – to give back people their health, which is not just in terms of physical, but overall – mental, emotional, and spiritual. We believe that the human body is designed to heal itself, provided it is given the right set of conditions, and a conducive inner and outer environment to heal and we do that through lifestyle, nutrition, sleep, exercise, the right mindset, etc. We have an integrative team where experts from various fields of health, wellness and medicine like nutritionists, clinical dieticians, allopathy doctors, homeopathy, yoga experts, psychology, lifestyle coaches, meditation experts, emotional counsellors have come together to build an ecosystem and fill a gap that exists in the world of health care.
Today, our health care system is failing. Despite having best hospitals, doctors, equipment’s, medicines, yoga studios and so much more, the statistics of disease are on a constant rise. Through our practice, we identified a huge gap here that is affecting people’s health and wellbeing and how there is chronic illness everywhere, which is only being supressed with pills and medicines for short term relief but pushing the root cause deeper and deeper.
We have realised how people are popping pill after pill to relieve their systems but fail to make changes in their way of living, which is eating better, sleeping well, being active and taking care of their emotional health.
Our objective is to fill that gap with lifestyle and integrative medicine, where all of us work together, keeping the patient in the centre and deciding the path of treatment that would best suit the patient.
Parallelly, our focus is also on building a sustainable food chain across the country, by identifying farmers and vendors who are doing ethical and honest work in this space and creating a community of holistic health where all of us could mutually benefit from each other, the people by getting access to clean and real food, and farmers by earning their livelihood.
GoaChronicle.com: As a Holistic Lifestyle Coach, what difference do you find in traditional lifestyle and current lifestyle?
Luke Coutinho: Stark difference, not just in the ways of eating, but everything about living. Our traditions have taught us the right way to eat, the wisdom of fasting to heal, honouring the circadian rhythm, the way we used to turn to nature when sick, and so much more.
The simple act of eating without distraction and as a family was so powerful, which today is replaced with eating on-the-go, working lunches, multi-tasking, etc. Today research shows how eating with distraction has such a huge impact on how food gets digested and absorbed within our body. No wonder, malnutrition today just does not exist in rural areas. It is prevalent in the elite and urban classes too, because of the way we choose to eat. It is no longer about how you eat; it is also about how you digest and absorb what you eat.
In traditional times, people did not fear rice or potatoes. In fact, it was a staple to so many peoples diet and in spite of them eating rice and potatoes, they were ripped, fit and seldom fell sick. Today we have labelled and disregarded rice as fattening and put them under prohibited foods for diabetics, whereas the food is never the culprit. It is our wrong lifestyle that makes us sick and diseased.
GoaChronicle.com: How are you different from other wellness/lifestyle coaches?
Luke Coutinho: Our approach is focused on Four pillars of lifestyle. Nutrition and diet plan alone do not work. When dealing with an individual’s health, there is so much more we need to focus on like gut health, immunity, sleep habits, environment, emotional wellness, activity, and movement. All of this needs to be tied together to see a true improvement in one’s health. And sometimes, the need of an individual may not be even nutrition. If through our diagnosis and interaction with our patients, we realise that his/her health condition is stemming from emotions, then our focus becomes dealing with emotions. So as lifestyle and wellness coaches, we have built a very holistic approach towards human health.
GoaChronicle.com: Why do people need a nutritionist?
Luke Coutinho: When it comes to health, especially being stuck in chronic diseases and in case an individual has tried everything but has not experienced the results they want, it is necessary to seek professional help from someone who understands nutrition better. Sometimes half knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and with the internet filled with mixed reviews on just about everything, it is important to have the expertise on a nutritionist who has true knowledge about foods. Furthermore, a nutritionist can help fill the gap between diseases and medicines. While medicines may be necessary, it is also necessary to focus on the ways to cope up with its side effects, and the right kind of nutrition can help there.
Having said that, only aiming at nutrition is going to be incomplete if there is no focus given to emotions, activity, sleep, gut health, etc. so just a nutritionist is not enough. The approach becomes effective only if its holistic in nature, and diseases are addressed right from its roots and not just at a symptomatic level.
GoaChronicle.com: With a fast-paced lifestyle, is it possible to maintain a healthy diet?
Luke Coutinho: It all comes down to self-discipline. Staying disciplined with your diet and lifestyle is more of a will issue. We have some of the busiest clients from across the globe, right from Bollywood to politics, business, etc. and as long as they are willing to make the lifestyle changes, they are able to stay on track.
Yes, it may be difficult, but not impossible. Plus, maintaining a healthy diet is never about extremes, it is about finding the right balance for you and filling gaps wherever possible. This is exactly why rigid diet plan and fads fail because they are so limited with their choices that it gets difficult for someone to follow for the long term.
GoaChronicle.com: People prefer junk food over healthy food, what are your thoughts on it?
Luke Coutinho: Food companies invest a fortune in designing food taste, labels, and its advertisements to make their food look attractive and catchy. Junk food is laced with sugar, salt, and fats that trick your taste buds and make them addictive in nature. This is exactly why we can never stop at one bite of it.
It’s true that most commercials are featured during kids shows on TV to increase their visibility amongst that age group. Kids are naturally drawn towards flashy pictures either of a cartoon or their favourite superhero, graphics, colourful food, and pleasing sounds and that is what junk food companies make use of. It is important to be aware of this truth, so that we as parents and elders are able to help our kids make better decisions.
Another reason is that we have a wrong relationship with food. We associate emotions with food and celebrations. We do not look at it as a way to nourish our cells with energy and nutrition.
I always say that it is never about the food, it is about the person eating it. Junk food isn’t the one to be blamed. It’s us who make a choice to overeat it and live a poor lifestyle.
GoaChronicle.com: Being a co-author of four successful books, do people really implement the written ways in real life?
Luke Coutinho: I take my inspiration from our roots, our traditional wisdom and nature, and I find people connect to these very well. Right from “The Great Indian Diet”, to “The Magic Weight Loss Pill”, “The Dry Fasting Miracle” and “The Magic Immunity Pill”, are inspired by nature and our traditions. There is so much to learn from them and at one point our ancestors and parents did follow, but it got lost somewhere in this fast-paced lifestyle.
From our experience, the answer to even the most complex health conditions is simple lifestyle changes. Sometimes, as simple as fixing a nutrient deficiency can address a particular health condition or correcting one’s sleep pattern can answer to one’s ailment.
It is amazing and heart touching when people get back and share their life changing testimonials and feedback on how the knowledge shared in those books has transformed their health and life in so many ways.
GoaChronicle.com: How do you feel being honoured as the ‘Fit India Champion for Lifestyle and Wellness’?
Luke Coutinho: Lifestyle is very close to my heart and we have been using lifestyle as a medicine for patients from across the globe when it comes to obesity, cancers, metabolic syndromes, diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s, etc. It gives me immense happiness to be recognised as the Champion for lifestyle and wellness for the Fit India Movement and make use of this platform to take it to the next level. Lifestyle is inexpensive and often times, free. It only requires people to know what do to and at the right time.
As an Indian citizen, I am so proud to have a leader like the honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, who is so focused on lifestyle, fitness, and wellness of our nation. Too many people are suffering from lifestyle diseases today and there is a lot of money being spent on healthcare too. What if we save all of this by changing our lifestyle and the way we eat, move and live? Most diseases are caused by poor lifestyle, which means living the right lifestyle can reduce the chances of getting these diseases to a huge extent.
GoaChronicle.com: Tell us about your association and objective with Fit India Movement
Luke Coutinho: The beauty of using lifestyle to improve the health and wellness of our country is that it is apt for everyone, irrespective of their age. From a youth to a pregnant mother, a senior citizen, a baby, parents or teenagers and students, the power of lifestyle holds true for everyone. It’s about how you live your life and what you do on a day-to-day basis to maintain your health, prevent sickness and even recover from an existing illness. Our focus will be the entire country, even the busiest people who find it hard to live a balanced lifestyle and find time for their health because of their routine.
The association will involve educating people on simple lifestyle changes they can make in their routine, for prevention and wellness. Today, most people think that sickness is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right lifestyle, there is a huge scope for prevention of various lifestyle diseases. There are senior citizens in their 80s and 90s, who are healthy and disease free and that is because they have looked after their lifestyle.
The road ahead going to be about educating and sharing knowledge on prevention, as what we have built today is out of sharing, educating and being effective. Through this platform, we intend to educate people of our own traditional Indian wisdom and its intelligence and disseminate credible information around the lifestyle that is simple to follow and can help improve their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health through our social media platforms, webinars, and various other activities.
About the Author
Luke Coutinho is a globally renowned Holistic Lifestyle Coach in the field of Integrative Medicine and the Founder of Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems Pvt Ltd. (LCHHS). His programs work towards helping individuals with severe illnesses and lifestyle diseases. He has been honoured as the ‘Fit India Champion for Lifestyle and Wellness’ for the Fit India Movement. He has also authored a range of books on wellness and has three best sellers to his credit.