OMTImes is thrilled to share this interview with Shawne Duperon and Dr. Nandi.
Exclusive Interview with Dr. Nandi
Interviewed by: Shawne Duperon
Shawne Duperon: One thing I’ve noticed about you is your level of authenticity as a doctor. No wonder you attract more than 85 million to your show. You talk about the real deal, the things people really want to talk about. Is that one of your missions?
Dr. Nandi: It is. Here is the reason why. I feel a lot of medicine and a lot of medical care is dependent on those factors. For example, we did a show on happiness. People say what the heck does happiness have to do with medicine? It has everything to do with it because you will notice there are certain people, like yourself, that are upbeat and they have a positive outlook. It doesn’t mean you never have any downtime. Absolutely not. But what you do is you are always in a mind that’s uplifting. So I said what is it about that?
Because people that are not in those moods, the people that we call Debbie Downers, when something is always wrong, they tend to be sicker. They tend to not be compliant with their medications. They tend not to believe that whatever we are doing for them is helpful. So that’s why we talk about happiness. It is topics like that, like forgiveness, which are unconventional, yet to me is the key to being able to solve a lot of medical problems. Yeah, we have great medicine. I will never discount that. We have great advances in technology, but what we are missing is the link between the medical care and good outcomes. That is all of the stuff that needs to be better defined. Like forgiveness, happiness, intuition, those things are really the critical key that’s missing today.
Shawne Duperon: It makes sense to me why your show is reaching millions. Your show is so popular. People are just attracted to it.
Dr. Nandi: Thank you. I really appreciate you saying that. The success of our show is because of what you said. It is the truth. One thing that you can’t fake is that if you tell the truth and you have a mission and you are consistent by it, it shows. When my dad was sick, he had a stroke, and I was on the other side of the equation. I was no longer the person giving the care, but receiving it. It took me all of 30 seconds to figure out when somebody really cares and somebody doesn’t. And you know this, too. I am hopeful that that truthfulness and that veracity, that real honest, openness comes out, and I think that’s a huge part of it. The rest of it is what I call our tribe. By that, I mean one of the biggest keys to any success in anything you do is to have a group of people that really, really understand your mission and believe in it and are all involved in such a way that they want to make that happen. Whether you are trying to lose weight, whether you are trying to get a job, whether you are trying to do the best you can in a basketball team, if you have a tribe of people, which really are behind you and support you in a realistic way, you succeed. They give you positive and constructive criticism but they share your belief and your dream. And they believe that you can do this. I think that’s also a huge part of what’s going on. The topics we are discussing is as important in Troy, Michigan as it is in Tanzania. We get comments from all over the world and questions all over the world because of that. Because what we are talking about is pertinent. It is important and it really hits the bull’s eye for lots of people.
Shawne Duperon: Your passion in your voice is so strong. The passion is palpable.
Dr. Nandi: Thank you for saying that. It is because of one of the things I realized as time goes on that one of the keys to living a fulfilled life is having purpose, having a purpose. A purpose beyond I think just yourself and your immediate family. My entire life I always wanted to make a difference, and that’s why I become a physician. I absolutely love what I do in my practice and I love the impact that we have. And I will always continue to practice medicine, but I realized that there are so many people who don’t have any information at all. They operate on so little knowledge about their body, about their health, about their well-being, and so I wanted to make some changes. I thought about going into politics, but I just could not handle some of the realities of politics. So I said, you know what, how can we make differences in people’s lives? So when this television show came about, we jumped on it.
And that’s what drives me every day. Over the weekend, I had a dozen questions, one from Portugal, one from Africa, one from South Carolina, one from the Philippines, one from India, and the questions vary from, “I have thyroid disease,” to as basic as, “I had an abortion, and now a year later I want to have children. Can I do that?” The questions are so powerful, and they are so needed to be answered. That’s what’s keep us going. Because each one of those lives, if we can impact them in any way, it just makes your entire life worthwhile.
Shawne Duperon: There is something very precious and vulnerable about you as you share.
Dr. Nandi: I think it is because of my parents. That’s how they raised me. At the end of the day, no matter how hard you try, you become your parents, right? In the beginning, you think you know so much more than them and then eventually you figure out what happens. So my parents always taught me to treat people with dignity, and I have always followed that because I believe in medicine or as a reporter or the television show, we are there to be able to help others. We are there to service their needs. If I am not empathetic, if I am not kind, then I take away from that mission. I learned that from a very young age. My mom never let me get away with being unkind. My dad never, ever hesitated to correct me if I didn’t treat people with the empathy that I did. I do that with my kids. I have a 12 year old daughter. I told her. I said as every year goes by, you will like me less and less until you reach age 25, and then you will love me again. And so I realized the truth that you instill in them is the truth that they will instill in their children. I think it has a lot to do with who I was when I was a child and as an adolescent and what was taught to me. I have become a lot like my parents who are extremely kind, empathetic, and really honor the world and everybody around them. My mom never treated anybody differently in any walk of life, and I really try to do that as much as I can because at the end of the day we are all souls. We all have spirits that are fierce and strong. It just happens to be that I was born in the bed that was really lucky. If I was born in the bed next to me, I may be cleaning gutters the rest of my life. I know how lucky I am, and I know that I could have been the guy who is not in the same position that I am at least looking at superficial qualities. I was taught that at a very young age, and I continue to try to endeavor to do that.
Shawne Duperon: It sounds like your parents instilled mind, body and spirit with you, which are the focal points of your show?
Dr. Nandi: Our show is a medical lifestyle show. We talk about traditional medical topics. We talk about topics that affect your health in any way. We strongly believe, and I believe that what’s in your spirit, what’s in your mind affect your physical health every single day. We see that with, for example, the gastrointestinal system has a more complex nervous system than the central nervous system in your brain. And so, clearly, some of the diseases that we have are expressed when your spirit and your mind are not in harmony.
We talk about some traditional medical topics. For example, we will talk about testicular cancer. We will talk about lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, but we also will talk about mindfulness meditation, and how do we take mindfulness meditation and apply it so that you can live a healthier life?
Shawne Duperon: You’ve also been able to bridge cross culturally. Why?
Dr. Nandi: Why do we have such a diverse following? It is because we talk about topics that really affect human beings. I am somebody who does colonoscopies and also I do upper endoscopies. What happens is that no matter what the person’s color of their skin, what they believe, and their religion and where their background is, when I get into the body, guess what? They look exactly the same. The reason for telling that story is that we talk about human beings as a race and we don’t try to differentiate or try to say this person is such and so on and so forth. We pick topics that are universal. Like I said, whether you are in the Philippines, Zambia or Bloomfield Hills, you are interested. It is important to you. One of those topics, for example, how do you talk to your kids so that they don’t get in trouble? How do you stop a teenager from smoking? How do you talk to your kids so that after you get divorced, you want to go date somebody? How do you do that? How do you figure out to find the best chiropractor? Those topics transcend your race, your background, and your culture. It doesn’t mean that we are not sensitive to it. We want to address it, but we don’t want to exclude people. I think people understand. The last thing is that I think we are non-judgmental and we speak the truth. When you do that, I think you attract people from all different walks of life and cultures. I think that’s where we are blessed. We want to be called a universal, global brand and global movement. I think that we are on our way. We still want to learn from people what really is important to them.
Shawne Duperon: Nutrition is a big one for you…
Dr. Nandi: Let’s talk about the consciousness the world has about food. I believe in the concept of food as medicine. If somebody gives you a bag of pills and says here, take it, nobody that I would know would just take the pills and just put them in their mouths without even asking what is it, yet we do that with food every single day. They put something in a bag, make it colorful, and no matter what is inside of it, we put it in our mouths. And that has to change, and people are understanding more and more that the diseases that we have and some of the problems that we are having that we never saw before. I have a woman that saw me two days ago. Her 25 year old daughter has breast cancer, and it is not like breast cancer is new. But the 25 year old, the 30 year old, the 28 year old, the 39 year old, this is what’s alarming.
Let’s look at our food. Number one, can we pick foods that are basically not processed? Try not to eat something that’s in a bag, that’s put in a package. Try to find food that you prepare yourself or is prepared in a way that you know is something that you would approve of.
Number two is there is this whole notion about GMOs. GMO just stands for genetically modified organism. Simply put, they take a seed and basically the DNA of that seed is mixed in with the DNA of something else, whose only purpose is to grow. That seems like a good idea because there are places in the world where you can’t grow food. However, we don’t know what the consequences are. Can we until we have better information get away from foods that have GMOs in them and have non GMO, organic foods? I think that’s a really good idea, and I am hoping that will be able to solve some of the health problems.
Then, lastly, I don’t like the word diet at all. It is one of my least favorite words because, to me, it is a synonym of failure. The moment you say you are going on a diet, you have a 90 plus percent chance of failing. Why? It means you are going to do something that you are not going to do for a very long time because a diet implies that you are going to do something different. I would much rather say let’s accept the lifestyle that you can follow. A lifestyle that includes a healthy diet. Because if you have a lifestyle that is balanced, then you can then say you know what? I can follow this and be nutritionally sound. For example, the low carb/high protein diet.
Everybody says I am gaining weight. Let me cut down the carbs. When, in fact, your body needs 40% to 45% of the diet to be carbs. So it is what type of carbs. It is what type of protein. It is what type of fats that your body needs. And the portion size, one of the biggest things we talk about is that if you can eat until you are about 80% full, you will solve so many problems of weight loss, cholesterol and heart disease.
Shawne Duperon: You talk about being your own health hero. Is this what you mean?
Dr. Nandi: People ask me that all the time. Dr. Nandi, you talk about being your own health hero. What is that? To me, being your own health hero is defined as making your health the most important part of your life. Making yourself and your health the hero. Instead of saying it’s the film star, or the sports star is the hero, make your health, your wellbeing, your family’s wellbeing the most important part of your life, the hero in your life. And that, to me, is what being your own health hero is. Empowerment, advocacy and education.
Shawne Duperon: What about the spiritual aspects, of say the impact of forgiveness on your health?
Dr. Nandi: Forgiveness is an enormous part of your health both physically and emotionally because your spirit can be fulfilled and your mind can be whole when you don’t hold ideas that basically hold your body back and your mind back. How forgiveness plays a role in that is that instead of holding in feelings of guilt, of malcontent towards not only other people but to yourself. You know what? We have to learn how to forgive not only other people but yourself so that you can then be freer. If your mind is free and healthy, then it follows your body will as well. If you are shackled by feelings of resentment, feelings of guilt, feelings of malcontent, you can never progress forward because your mind can’t be free. If your mind can’t be free, can’t be healthy and you can’t progress as a human being either physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Shawne Duperon: What can our OM Times readers do right now to start improving their health?
Dr. Nandi: Three things. Number one is make your health the number one priority above anything else, above money, above materialistic goals, above getting a promotion. Number two, eat until you are 80% full. What I mean by that is that don’t wait until you feel like you are engorged. Wait until you are about 80% full, and when you do that, you can solve many of your weight problems, many of your health problems. The last one is please find purpose in your life. When you find purpose in your life, it has been shown to add six to seven years of longevity in your life and also improve the quality of your life. When you have purpose, you live a better life spiritually, physically and emotionally.
Shawne Duperon: A beautiful conversation. How would you like to close it?
Dr. Nandi: I always leave every show and everywhere I go with the word Namaste. Namaste, to me, really encompasses what the world should be about. It is defined as the spirit in me honors the spirit in you. So it just shows respect. It shows empathy and deference. I think if we had a lot more of that, then I think the world would be a better place.
Shawne Duperon: Namaste!
Dr. Nandi: Namaste!