Interview with Nazima Qureshi Co-Author of E-Book: From Burnout To Bliss - A Muslim Mom’s Guide to Self Care
Nazima Qureshi is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Muslimah Nutrition Expert dedicated to helping Muslim women live healthier and happier lives. She provides services exclusively for Muslim women in order to create a haven where they can feel comfortable and confident as she goes on this journey with them to a healthier lifestyle. Her philosophy is to live a healthy lifestyle that includes enjoying all foods as well as enjoying being physically active. She uses a non-diet approach, which always includes dessert!
She received her Bachelors of Applied Science in Nutrition and Food from Ryerson University and her Masters of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Toronto. She also completed her Physical Activity: Assessment and Promotion Certificate from Ryerson University.
Nazima loves developing new recipes with her own South Asian flair, enjoying the outdoors with her husband and daughter, and using baking as a form of self-care therapy.
I know you used to be a PHEc, what made you decide to resign?
When I was doing my undergrad, I was heavily involved in OHEA but when I graduated I gave birth to my daughter at the same time, and it was too much to keep up with. I was a Registered Dietitian (RD), a Professional Home Economist and a personal trainer and it was difficult to keep up with everything. When I have designations behind my name I don’t just want them to be there, I really want to do justice to them, so I decided to drop both my PHEc and personal training designation so I could focus on being an RD and a mom. I guess you can say it was to manage my self care!
The Book is called From Burnout to Bliss – A Muslim Mom’s Guide to Self Care but does it apply to all moms?
I would say a lot of the things we talk about do apply to all moms. We decided to target Muslim moms because we noticed that there is a huge gap in services offered to this demographic. Making the content specific to Muslim moms helps them feel there is something specific for them. However, a lot of the challenges that Muslim moms face, other moms face as well. For instance, the never-ending mom guilt and trying to figure out how to balance all aspects of their life once they become moms. The book is not heavily focused on religion, but it does highlight some components that helps improve self-care of moms. About 90% of the content, most moms can relate to so it is really for anyone looking to improve their self care.
What made you decide to write this book in partnership with Nobera, a Counselor & Life Coach?
I think that when you look at health and how someone is feeling and their wellbeing, there are multiple components. I covered the healthy eating and fitness aspects of self care, and Nobera covered more of the emotional self-care component, and the many other struggles that moms face. We wanted it to be a complete guide rather than just focused on one thing. This way we were able to fully encompass all of the struggles that moms go through.
When you decided to write this ebook, what was the ultimate goal you wanted to achieve with?
Initially when I reached out to Nobera, I liked the work she did and I knew I wanted to work together. Most of Nobera’s clients were moms were going through a lot of life changes and she would be counselling them improve their self care. I was also counselling a lot of moms to improve their lifestyle, so we thought about what the best way to go about this would be and eventually decided on an ebook. This way we would keep it really simple and accessible, and reading the book itself is a way to do some self care for moms which is amazing.
If someone was only able to read one section of your book, which would it be and why?
From the healthy lifestyle perspective, I would say the my favourite part is “It’s time to start loving your body today”. It’s a huge thing that many women struggle with in general, and after you become a mom there are so many body changes from giving birth. There are a lot of societal and social media pressures to look a certain way, so a lot of women spend their lives trying to achieve what they are “supposed” to look like. We want women to learn to really appreciate their bodies. For example, the healthy eating section of the book isn’t a weight loss section, it’s a way to incorporate self love, and it resonates in the emotional part as well.
In Nobera’s sections, “Empathy towards yourself” would be the one I would suggest. It is all about being kind to yourself, I know a lot of moms are so tough on themselves, so self care and how you feel about yourself is so important.
You say “alhamdulilah” quite a bit throughout the book, and also Insha’Allah what do these mean?
Alhamdulilah is a way to praise god. When something good happens then you would say it, it’s like being thankful.
Insha’ Allah means god willing. If I’m going to do something, it’s kind of like putting your trust in god and saying if he wills, this will happen. It’s like saying “hopefully” or “I plan to do this”. Putting your trust in god, that god will make this happen
Link for more info on book: bitly.com/mommyguide
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.