The Health Heroine
With health-awareness being on the rise in Egypt, Nada Taalab comes to promote the idea, creating a whole health-camp to take care of those needing to be constantly reminded of their health plans. The entrepreneur and health expert is here to tell you how she made this camp happen and how she lives life to the healthiest.
and what you do.
I have always thought of myself as an inventor first and foremost, and an Engineer. In that order. I never saw myself as a 9 to 5 slave. If everyone is seeking jobs, who will create them?! I decided to be the one who does. My purpose in life is to liberate myself from ordinary traditions and fear, and I chose to turn my passion into an income, while being an Engineer sets me up for professional success. As a business owner, I had the great opportunity to work with other owners and entrepreneurs. I learned resilience, having a “laser focus” on the very next step to get closer to my ultimate goal and patience, since success doesn’t come overnight. I became a great sales person, selling my ideas, products and services to customers, investors and employees. Now, I have become the co-founder and manager of Chefox, Fitness and Weight Loss Holiday Retreat Camp.
How was your passion for health and fitness sparked?
I was an athlete and a swimming champion and I had no problems with my body or weight-loss in general. However, after a shoulder injury, I gained more than 50 kilos and started having struggles in losing all the weight I gained. I’d always begin with huge enthusiasm in the beginning of the process and then quit. Therefore, I wanted to help myself and everyone struggling with the same issue. Hence began the idea of Chefox.
How did Chefox hapen?
I have always been juggling between all traditional and non-traditional solutions till I decided to join a weight loss camp. I couldn’t find any in the MENA region, so I decided to travel to the UK for that purpose. The UK became a turn-over in my whole life; I came back to Egypt with the intention to start such a camp in my country delivering a competitive service at affordable prices.
What is Chefox known for and whom does it target?
Chefox Camp is not your usual gym or aerobics facility. It is a living facility that provides the guests with a place for their workout, healthy meals and relaxed environment to practice a healthy lifestyle and to learn how to maintain it. Chefox is for those who lose their will to stay healthy, away from any temptations surrounding them. Chefox is here to help people who are seriously eager to lose weight, stay in-shape and change their
lifestyle through our five point philosophy of: fitness, nutrition, education, relaxation, and camaraderie. Finally if you are a fitness fanatic, our programs are tailored to suit all fitness levels and ages. The sure thing, you will be challenged whether you are beginners or athletes.
How can detoxing be beneficial for women?
Following a detox plan can do wonders to what’s left of your body and mind. Detoxifying cleanses the body, re-invigorates the system, provides an energy boost and gets us feeling healthy again. Even if you’re relatively health-conscious, detoxifying once in a while is still important to give your body a rest from chemicals that are caused by inorganic food and the environment. The idea of a detox is to modify the way we currently eat with the aim of clearing an overload of toxins from the digestive system, circulatory system and other organs or cells in the body. The only type of detox diet that is worthwhile is one that limits processed, high-fat, and sugary foods, and replaces them with more whole foods like fruits and vegetables. That clean-eating approach is your best bet to getting your body in tip-top shape.
You’re the founder and CEO of Chefox. How do you juggle between business life and personal life?
Honestly, in the beginning there really wasn’t much of a balance because my work became my life. Many entrepreneurs love what they do, but they struggle with achieving work-life balance; that idyllic, elusive goal of working manageable hours, having free time to spend with loved ones, and, on top of all that, getting enough sleep, healthy meals and exercise to maintain a well-rounded life. Once my business is off the ground, the best way to motivate myself to create and maintain work-life balance is to hire the best people I can, and remember why I hired them. Too often entrepreneurs are reluctant to let go. But I have learnt over the years that what you are hesitant to delegate out to others is probably what your team needs and craves in order to grow.
Do you think Egyptians are ‘health-aware’ enough?
Definitely not; we have 36M Egyptians overweight and obese. We are working hard to improve this by raising awareness of how important it is to get all the right basic and essential nutrients to go further in your fitness plan as well as to defeat the stress of everyday busy life.
What do you say to those who try to lose weight by crash dieting?
I will list what will happen to their body and they will have to decide! When you crash diet, your metabolism slows way down, so you suck at burning calories; instead, you start to burn off muscle and lean tissue. You’ll also be hungry all the time because you ate too little for the day or because your levels of the hormone ghrelin go up substantially when you’re in starvation mode. That’s not mentioning becoming kind of a monster due to the diet’s effect on your neural network, making you cranky and irritable. On top of all that, you will have no will to move, your sympathetic nervous system gets lazy, so you’ll be cold all the time, and most importantly; you’ll miss out on important nutrients! Sure, you’ll lose weight, but you’ll gain everything back immediately after you stop. Crash diets might be a quick fix, but they can also be awful, dangerous, and come with lasting negative health effects.
How do you recommend losing weight the healthy way?
Seventy percent of weight loss depends on what you eat. I recommend you eat three portion-controlled and calorie counted meals and two snacks each day; exercise more; sleep well; eliminate water weight buy cutting down on sodium; drink plenty of water by going on a short water detox diet, and stop using artificial sweeteners, as they contain sugar alcohols that can cause bloating.
What’s the best way to lose weight after pregnancy?
Don’t diet. It may sound strange, but going on an official “diet” could derail your post-pregnancy weight loss goals. Feeling deprived of your favorite foods while you’re already stressed out by your new role as mom could actually cause you to gain weight. If you go back to eating healthy and eating for your hunger, most women find that the weight comes off pretty naturally. You also need to move it! You need to incorporate aerobic and strength training exercises after pregnancy to burn calories and keep your muscles and bones strong, but before you start any exercise program, get your doctor’s approval, especially if you had a C-section. Getting needed sleep is also essential, which may seem impossible, but you can try to sleep when your baby sleeps.
Any advice for our health-obsessed readers?
Take care from the most common misconceptions about weight loss! Carbohydrates don’t make you fat, only excess calories do. Your calories should come primarily from fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, brown rice, quinoa and other whole food carbohydrates. Whole foods are nutrient dense, rather than calorie-dens. Eating the wrong kinds of fat may play a role in weight gain, but eating the right kind of fats will help you lose weight. Mono-unsaturated fats found in avocados, olives, olive and sunflower oil and poly-unsaturated fats, such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and walnuts support your health. Skipping meals is not good way to lose weight. When you skip a meal, your body goes into starvation mode and will store calories as fat. You also shouldn’t do strength training if you want to lose weight because it will make you