Cover Photo: Dr Menka Gupta

Through her holistic medical practice, Nutra Nourish founder Dr Menka Gupta helps patients with chronic diseases, anxiety, depression and more

How I’m Making It is a weekly series in which Tatler speaks to influential individuals about their unique journeys and what keeps them going.

10 years ago, Dr Menka Gupta’s mother was diagnosed with severe heart issues. When multiple doctor visits and medication did little to solve the problem, Dr Menka, then a gynaecologist, began her descent into the world of functional medicine to see if she could help her mother.

Eventually, this led to her quitting her job and using all her savings to start her own functional medicine practice which today, is thriving and helping people globally.

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“I was actually the first Institute for Functional Medicine (USA) certified practitioner in Asia,” Dr Menka said with a smile when asked what she studied in school. “I did my Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery in India and then went to the United Kingdom to get my Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG). I also got a Master’s degree in personalised nutrition there.”

In 2012, Dr Menka also enrolled herself in the Institute of Functional Medicine in Washington where she became a certified practitioner. However, despite specialising in it, functional medicine was not Dr Menka’s first choice when it came to choosing her specialisation. 

“My first job was as a resident in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at a number of NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom. It was an intense time and I learnt a lot,” Dr Menka said before adding that she spent six years there in hospitals such as Kings College Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital.

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In 2010, Dr Menka decided to move back to Singapore where she joined the National University Hospital in the Obstetrics & Gynaecology department. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Dr Menka’s work was interrupted by her mother’s heart condition. 

“My mother had been suffering from cardiometabolic disease and her condition was getting worse. She got diabetes in her fifties and also had high cholesterol, hypertension and heart disease by her early sixties,” Dr Menka said. “She had lost six of her siblings in their late thirties to early sixties to cardiac issues already so of course I wanted to do all I could to help her.”

Unfortunately, while traditional medicine was helping with some of her symptoms, it was not enough and that was when Dr Menka decided to try supporting her with her training in functional medicine. 

“Through the timeline of her illness progression and in-depth nutritional, DNA testing and microbiome testing, I was able to identify the root causes of her illness,” explained Dr Menka. “I created a health plan for her own specific needs. Over time, I fixed the root cause of her ailments and she started to feel significantly better.”

While she was already fascinated by the world of functional medicine, it was this experience that made Dr Menka realise how much she could help people like her mother through holistic approaches. 

“I had some savings from my previous jobs and with that, I decided to leave my job at the hospital and set up Nutra Nourish, my own functional medicine practice,” said Dr Menka.

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“I use the principles of functional medicine to find the root cause of diseases. I examine micronutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, food sensitivities, gut microbiome and genetic predisposition and leverage this information with my medical training and clinical experience to create personalised functional programs,” explained Dr Menka when asked to share what it was exactly that she did at Nutra Nourish.

With her knowledge, Dr Menka has, over the years, helped people with chronic diseases, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and more. At one point, she even saw a patient who came all the way from Shanghai to see her (today, Dr Menka does Zoom consultations with those who are overseas).

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Of course, getting her practice off the ground was no easy feat, especially considering how little people know about functional medicine. 

“It was challenging, in the beginning, to help people understand that functional medicine is not a quick fix but rather, a health transformation that takes time,” said Dr Menka. “However, over time, people started noticing differences in their health and that was when I started to see more people coming to me wanting to explore functional medicine.”

Today, Dr Menka has unfortunately lost her mother to chronic kidney disease but she continues to help many in her practice. From teaching people how to eat better to how they can practise mindfulness, her only goal is to help the people around her live better and healthier. 

Below, Dr Menka shares how she does it all in her own words.

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What is a typical morning like for you?

Menka Gupta (MG): I wake up at 6 am and start the day with my daily mindfulness practice. Then, I have a tall glass of water with my essential green powder. After sending my boys to school, I head to the gym. 

What do you usually have for breakfast?

MG: I like to have a variety of meals. Sometimes it’s a vegetable smoothie, a chia seed pudding with almond milk, or poached eggs with a bunch of greens. After breakfast, I take my multivitamin minerals.

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What does a standard work day look like for you?

MG: My morning is spent consulting clients globally over Zoom or in my clinic at Dempsey. My work involves helping people find the root causes behind their chronic diseases and creating personalised programs to help them resolve their issues.

So I see people with a variety of issues such as depression, gut problems, hormonal dysfunction, fatigue, migraines as well as thyroid, autoimmune and cardiometabolic diseases. I also work with people seeking optimal wellness.

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What time do you usually have lunch? What do you usually have for lunch?

MG: Lunch is usually at 1 pm. I always make sure I have vegetables, protein, and healthy fats for all my meals. For lunch, I will usually have a salad along with a good source of protein such as wild fish, organic chicken or organic tofu. I always use olive oil and lemon juice as a dressing.

How would you describe your working style?

MG: I believe in building a therapeutic partnership with my clients. I am very passionate about my work and solving complex health problems to help my clients feel better.

Free time: overrated or underrated?

MG: I am a big believer in free time. I really cherish my free time as this allows me to energise and recharge. I spend my free time taking care of myself, connecting with friends and family and reading about the latest developments in the functional medicine world.

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How do you achieve a work-life balance?

MG: I realised the importance of work-life balance while working at the busiest hospital in London and caring for a baby at home at the same time. I make sure that I take out time everyday for relaxation, exercise, family and friends despite running a very busy practice.

How do you chase your dreams?

MG: I have a vision of being able to create a healthy community and I chase this dream with passion. I strive to make a difference and create hope, happiness a better life for those around me.

Risks: should you take them? Why or why not?

MG: If you dare to do nothing, you gain nothing. I have taken several risks in my life and that’s how Nutra Nourish was born.

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How do you deal with your shortcomings?

MG: Being aware of them and taking positive action towards overcoming them.

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever gotten?

MG: My father always tells me that the past is gone and that the best way to move forward is by not looking back.

How do you unplug?

MG: I exercise, meditate, and spend time with my family and friends.

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How do you stay grounded?

MG: I focus on serving others, be it through my work, the community or charity. When they pay it forward, the roots continue to spread. Helping people around me helps me stay grounded.

How do you manage stress?

MG: I practice mindfulness-based stress reduction every day.

How do you stay motivated?

MG: Every day comes with new challenges and I see a variety of complex health issues daily. Getting to the root cause of these diseases and helping my clients feel better is the biggest source of motivation for me.

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What is one item that has changed your life for the better?

MG: My calendar. It helps me stay organised and manage my work and family life.

Do you have moments of doubt and how do you overcome them?

MG: I revisit my goals and focus on the big picture.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?

MG: I feel a sense of accomplishment in helping thousands of people with complex health issues and making them feel better.

What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?

MG: I practice gratitude by spending time remembering all the things that I have to be grateful for.


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