YPWD Trustee Dr Buchi Reddy takes the 'How Are You?' quiz

Buchi is one of YPWD’s trustees responsible for the governance of the charity and making sure that we continue to maintain our obligations to the Charity Commission. His day job is as the Senior Transformation Quality Improvement Lead on the Diabetes Transformation Programme. He is also a Healthcare Public Health Specialist and trained as a GP with special interest in diabetes.

In this interview he shares how he’s coped during lockdown, including learning new skills, along with his approach to healthy eating, and what exercise he enjoys.

What is your favourite healthy snack?

I start the day with whole wheat flakes and mixed nuts with milk as breakfast and eat mixed nuts and whole fruit as a snack through the day. I do like hazelnut milk, cheese and a small pot of yoghurt as a treat.

What is your favourite way to unwind?

Resistance climbing, hiking and cross-country walking; listening to BBC Radio 4 and any music; writing or poetry; Netflix box sets and of course watching movies!

What genre of music puts you in a good mood?

I tend to listen to BBC Radio 2 as well as any popular, new or exciting music, competing with my daughter who likes classical or alternate genres and in turn ridicules my wife for listening to Bollywood music! So no straight forward answers here!!

Do you exercise? If so, what is your favourite type of exercise?

I have always led by example by exercising every day and I like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Hill) workouts, resistance climbing, hiking and cross-country walking. However, I end up doing moderate intensity fast paced walks with intermittent jogs, rather than high intensity runs.

My advice would be to incorporate any form of activity, including walking, cycling, climbing stairs or jogging into your daily routine and not to see this as something special. Secondly, I would advise encouraging your family to join in which makes it more enjoyable. For example buy a drink or an occasional treat after a walk or run. 

Name one new skill you learnt during lockdown?

Being able to put on a smile (emotional labour!) all throughout the day, during MS Teams and Zoom meetings, exhausting but necessary!

Also encouraging and nudging my daughter to take on more responsibilities at home, including making occasional meals for us! (Skill to delegate!)

Name one thing you learnt about yourself during lockdown?

That I’m not alone facing a pandemic but the whole world is and also how thousands of years of modernisation, technology, aviation and medical innovations were made non relevant by a single virus.

How the West needs to learn from the East about their incredible and incremental public health pandemic response and strategy and we need to collectively respond as one world. There are no winners and losers but only learners and non learners.

Name one thing you do to practice self-care?

The best way I see self-care is having a self-awareness about when I need to stop doing a task, taking short breaks, going for a quick walk, listening to music, or meditation and mindfulness.

Name a couple of things you have been doing to improve your mental wellbeing?

The best thing which helps me is a moderate physical activity, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water.

I have done Dr Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge and some of our own Knowdiabetes challenges (from the North West London Diabetes Transformation Programme).

But what has helped me most is reconnecting with old school and college friends and distant family members. Also when I actually helped someone else facing a mental health crisis or going through a really difficult time. My advice is to go and help a colleague, friend, family member or total stranger when they need help, that satisfaction of a selfless act is much more than doing hundreds of hours of meditation and mindfulness sessions.

This interview has been reproduced by kind permission of the North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups