Wellbeing doesn’t come without effort, and Dr Dana Alhamwi is on hand to support and guide those through their journey to better health.
The leading clinical dietitian in Dubai shares her tips on maintaining your diet goals and what she still wants to achieve.
Describe your morning routine.
Well my morning starts very early every morning. I start with what I advise my patients and my followers to do, I start every morning with my olive oil, then the dry fig and then warm water. While doing that I browse my social media, I answer my messages, I check my emails and then after that, they day would start. I start with a hearty breakfast and a work out session most of the week days, getting ready for work. While I’m on my way to work my followers get used to see my healthy story every morning so I post something healthy, maybe it’s a quiz or advice. Then I reach the clinic and the day starts.
What are the common problems you see at your clinic?
People that come to me want to lose quickly in a very short period of time without losing the opportunity of attending every buffet invitation, so it’s a very big struggle. I can help them with this because I customise diets for each patient so it’s not the same diet for each person. Depending on your lifestyle, you’re eating habits, your work schedule, and taking into consideration that you are going to social events. This way I can manage, I can give them hints how to act if they have a buffet invitation. I help them always with healthy recipes for modern food, like the fast food. You can imagine coming to me that you have a diet with pizza and burger which is more attractive, it’s a lifestyle so you have to enjoy it, it’s not like something you do for a specific period of time.
What are the secrets to maintaining you diet goals?
The secret is first of all a food diary. So you write everything you eat and it helps you to control yourself. For example if you come to me and say ‘I don’t want to write, I’m too lazy’ then I make a mobile application so you can take a picture of whatever you eat and then I can see and follow you and maybe observe you. It’s not an easy mission, but if you get used to a healthy lifestyle, you eat everything, you are watching your portions, you are moving like regular physical activities and you’re sleeping well, it will help big time.
What do you consider your biggest career success to date?
My biggest success is that I’m hearing my name everywhere. Everywhere I go, social events, even my home country. Yesterday I met a patient, she came to me, she said that I went to Four Seasons hotel and the chef there lost with you 35kg. I have online patients. I’m so proud, I’m so happy and what makes me maybe like specific is that I’m a medical doctor so people come to me because I am into clinic mode.
What has been the biggest challenge?
There was a big challenge in my work. Once I started my clinic here in Dubai, one month after I had a big accident and I broke my leg so I had to stay in the wheelchair for three months and it was horrible, and at the same time I have to meet my patients in a wheelchair showing the positivity, showing that I’m smiling and overcome my paint, which was the biggest challenge. But nowadays when you have a goal and you believe in it, you can achieve it. I have so many challenges, every day there are so many challenges but when you are believing in whatever you are doing and you are honest in doing it then you can overcome any challenge. And you know, competition is very high in GCC if I don’t develop myself or study the market and see exactly the patients needs, I will not be successful.
What’s is the motto you live by professionally?
Honesty, hard work, in my opinion, are the only keys to be successful.
Who has influenced you the most?
My dad. He was number one who inspired me in his hardworking in his honesty, his risk taking, his ambitions. So I learnt from him many things.
What do you still want to achieve?
Everybody dream to achieve many things. Now my dream is that I see my clinic branch in every capital, I have the biggest wellness centre in the world that covers not only the diet, but stress management, meditation, exercise, all these together.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Think carefully and plan before taking any decision. And not to rely on the heart all the time, to be like logical sometimes and realistic.
What would you tell yourself 10 years from now?
Slow down, calm down, stop putting stress on yourself, relax, everything will happen for a reason. Keep going and don’t put stress on yourself.
Complete this sentence: I’m happy when…
My family, my team members are happy healthy. And whenever I see my patients happy and satisfied in what they achieved. I’m happy when I hear my name spreading in a positive way.
What do you say ‘no’ to?
Cheating, dishonesty are the worst things in my opinion, even at work or human life, relations.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I read the The Power of Positive Thinking. I like this kind of books because they give me a way to think in a positive way and when you read these things it gives you a power specifically at work, even in your relations with people and patients.
How do you want the world to remember you?
Look, I’m a honest person and I have a big passion to my work and to my career, I think it will make people remember. As well adding to it the huge number of success stories now that I had achieved over a long period of time, I think it will help.