Prioritize Self-Care:Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Prioritize self-care practices, including healthy diet, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and moments of relaxation.Looking well and feeling well are interrelated. Take care of your overall health and people around you will be able to see the glow.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Pushpinder Dhillon, MD, MS, FACOG, DABOM.

Pushpinder Dhillon is a triple board certified physician who has been treating patients at different phases of life from pregnancy to menopause and beyond for almost two decades. She is the founder and medical director of Merak skincare and wellness center where she educates her patients about aging and wellness and treats complex medical conditions like pelvic floor disorders and obesity. She uses data driven cutting edge anti aging technology so her patients can live their lives to the fullest.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

Thank you for having me! My journey in healthcare began while growing up in India and attending Military school and dream of becoming a doctor. As a little girl, my toyhouse had a patient doll, ‘a doctor’s box’ where pebbles were my pills and a toy stethoscope :). This aspiration propelled me to graduate with honors from medical school, and it was during this time that I felt a strong calling towards women’s health.

The complexities of pregnancies affected by medical problems and those involving older mothers became a particular area of interest during my obstetrics and gynecology residency. This fascination led me to pursue subspecialty training in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi, a region where issues like obesity, poverty, and limited resources are prevalent. Witnessing these challenges firsthand ignited a passion for patient education as a means to address and prevent health issues.

Eleven years ago, I initiated a diabetes management program in our practice, aiming to achieve optimal outcomes for patients through a focus on diet and exercise. This experience further fueled my commitment to addressing the root causes of health problems, particularly obesity and aging.

My journey in healthcare has been deeply influenced by a realization that many women’s health issues are often overlooked or dismissed as “normal” aspects of aging or post-childbirth. It’s disheartening to see that these concerns are sometimes pushed under the rug, leading women to hesitate in discussing them openly.

During my career, I’ve encountered numerous instances where women felt reluctant to address their health issues, believing that what they were experiencing was just a natural part of life. This prevailing notion can be a significant barrier to timely intervention and proper care.I firmly believe that breaking the silence surrounding women’s health is crucial. By fostering an environment where women feel empowered to speak openly about their health concerns, we can work towards dismantling the misconception that certain issues are an inevitable consequence of aging or childbirth.

Through my anti aging practice, initiatives like the diabetes management program and Merak Skincare and Wellness Center, I aim not only to provide medical care but also to create a space where women feel heard, understood, and encouraged to prioritize their well-being. It’s my hope that by addressing these issues head-on, we can contribute to a paradigm shift in how women perceive and approach their health.

I look forward to sharing more about my experiences and insights to help raise awareness about the importance of open dialogue in women’s healthcare.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

One of the most impactful experiences in my practice involved a patient who, for years, endured symptoms of urinary leakage and pelvic pain following the birth of her twins. Remarkably, she had come to accept these issues as normal, until a colleague referred her to me. By the time she reached my care, the symptoms had exacerbated, particularly after entering menopause.

This patient’s ordeal extended beyond the physical realm; it permeated into her daily life, hindering her ability to exercise, socialize, and even be intimate with her husband. The toll on her mental well-being was evident, and her blood pressure had become elevated as a result of the accumulated stress, self neglect and inability to be physically active.

As we initiated treatment to address her pelvic health, the outcomes were transformative, extending far beyond the expected improvements. Not only did her pelvic health significantly improve, but her blood pressure normalized. She approached me with a newfound desire to also focus on appearance. It was a poignant moment when she expressed her aspiration to reclaim not only her health but also to rejuvenate her sense of confidence and self-image.

This transition highlighted the profound impact that holistic healthcare can have on a person’s life. Beyond addressing specific health issues, it opened the door for my patient to rediscover her self-worth and take proactive steps towards looking and feeling good. Her request underscored the importance of recognizing the interplay between physical health and self-esteem, emphasizing that true wellness encompasses both the internal and external facets of an individual.

As a healthcare provider, it reinforced the significance of acknowledging and supporting patients in their holistic journey to well-being. By addressing not only the symptoms but also the broader aspects of a patient’s life, we can contribute to a comprehensive and transformative healthcare experience.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am profoundly grateful for the unwavering support and companionship of my husband, who has been by my side since we met at the age of 21. The demanding nature of medical training and then practice, especially in surgical specialties, can be incredibly intense and challenging, often taking a toll on personal and family life. Throughout the journey, my husband has been a pillar of strength, demonstrating remarkable resilience and dedication.

During the grueling years of residency and fellowship, when 24-hour on-call shifts were the norm, my husband stepped in seamlessly. From bringing our newborns to the hospital for nursing sessions to attending school volunteering. Despite having a demanding career of his own, he always found time to support our children when I was occupied with patient care.

Whether I am speaking about women’s health and empowerment or facing challenging situations in life, he is my go-to person, providing a steady source of encouragement and understanding. On a lighter note, my kids would wholeheartedly agree that he is a far superior cook than I am. Our favorite moments at home often revolve around a meal prepared by him. It’s these simple yet cherished times that highlight the importance of family support and the joy found in shared moments of love and care. I am blessed to have him by my side, not just as a life partner but as a pillar of strength and a source of joy in our everyday lives.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Passion for the Profession:

I firmly believe that choosing a profession one loves is crucial for a fulfilling and successful career. Medicine is not just a job for me; it’s a calling and a passion. I often draw parallels between my love for the beach and my commitment to medicine. While I enjoy the beach, the prospect of a daily routine solely focused on relaxation would leave me unfulfilled. Conversely, returning to my clinic each day brings me immense joy. Engaging with my patients, hearing their stories, and working towards improving their lives is what makes me fulfilled.

Time Management:

Growing up in a disciplined environment as the daughter of a military man instilled in me the importance of planning and organization. Without a well-structured schedule, the demands of my roles as a physician and a mother of three could easily lead to chaos. I recall a particularly challenging week where my duties at the clinic were compounded by numerous family commitments. Through meticulous time management and adhering to a planned schedule, I not only fulfilled my professional responsibilities but also ensured quality time with my family.


The third character trait that has played a pivotal role in my success is a commitment to self-care. To give my best to others, I recognize the importance of prioritizing my own health and well-being. I adhere to a balanced, high-protein diet, a practice I recommend to my patients as well. Despite the demands of long and tiring days, I allocate 15 minutes daily for exercise and follow a strict skincare regimen. This commitment to self-care is not just about personal well-being; it directly correlates with my ability to be present and provide the best care for my patients and support for my family.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Thank you for the opportunity to delve into the realm of health, wellness, and longevity. My authority in these fields is rooted in two decades of dedicated practice as a healthcare professional, specifically in the specialized areas of women’s health and weight management. Through my extensive medical journey, I have acquired a profound understanding of the intricate connections between physical health, mental well-being, and the pursuit of longevity.

My unique contribution to the world of wellness stems from a holistic approach that extends beyond conventional medical practices. While my primary focus lies in women’s health, I recognize the profound impact that genetics, lifestyle, nutrition, and self-care have on overall well-being.

In my practice, I go beyond treating isolated symptoms; I emphasize comprehensive healthcare that addresses the root causes of health issues. Childbirth, hormonal changes, and the general stresses of life can impact women’s health in various ways. By fostering an environment where women feel comfortable discussing these matters, we break down the stigma associated with pelvic health issues. Open communication allows for a more comprehensive understanding of a woman’s health, enabling healthcare providers to tailor treatments and interventions effectively.

By integrating these facets, I aim to empower individuals not only to overcome health challenges but to thrive and achieve longevity through informed choices and a balanced lifestyle.

Whether it’s advocating for women’s health issues, promoting holistic well-being, or encouraging preventative measures, my goal is to inspire and guide individuals on their journey to optimal health and longevity.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

While I may not have embarked on mythical quests, the quest for knowledge and holistic well-being has been a transformative adventure. One significant aspect of my journey involves delving into systemic and complementary approaches to health and longevity.

I had the privilege of learning from communities where individuals commonly live long and healthy lives. Studying their dietary habits, lifestyle choices, and cultural attitudes toward well-being provided valuable insights that I have incorporated into my approach to patient care.

The field of longevity science is evolving rapidly, and my commitment to providing the best possible care has led me to explore emerging research and interventions aimed at promoting healthy aging. My journey as a researcher in physiology and genetics has been a continuous exploration of the intricate dance between our genetic predispositions and the inflammatory processes that shape disease processes and aging.

The quest for health, vitality, and longevity is not a destination but a lifelong exploration, and I am grateful for the enriching experiences it has brought into my life.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)

Stress Management:

Chronic stress has profound implications for both physical and mental health. Individuals who can’t manage stress are shown to have high cortisol levels which leads to diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and weight gain.

I encountered a patient, let’s call her Sarah, who was managing a demanding job, family responsibilities, and various life challenges. Her stress levels were consistently high, and it was taking a toll on her overall well-being. Her blood pressure was high, she gained over 20 lbs in 6 months and her primary care doctor informed her she has pre diabetic .

We worked together to implement stress management techniques into her daily routine. This included mindfulness practices, regular breaks during work, and setting realistic expectations for herself. Over time, Sarah reported feeling more in control, her blood pressure stabilized, she started to lose weight with noticeable improvements in her mood and energy levels.

Sarah’s journey highlighted the connection between stress, aging, and overall health and the transformative power of stress management in promoting longevity and well-being.

Weight-Bearing Exercises:

The significance of weight-bearing exercises, especially as we age, cannot be overstated. I recall a patient, let’s call her Maria, who was diligent about her cardiovascular exercises but neglected weight-bearing activities. Concerned about her bone health, we introduced weight-bearing exercises into her routine, such as resistance training and bodyweight exercises. Over time, not only did Maria experience improvements in bone density, reducing her risk of fractures, but she also noticed enhanced balance and stability. This example underscores the vital role of weight-bearing exercises in promoting bone health, particularly crucial for women post-menopause.

Get Adequate Sleep:

Sleep is a cornerstone of health, influencing various physiological processes. Consider a case where a patient struggled with sleep deprivation due to a demanding job. As we worked on improving sleep hygiene and prioritizing rest, his cortisol levels normalized, reducing the risk of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. The transformative impact on his skin health was also evident, emphasizing the role of adequate sleep in preventing premature aging.

Maintain a Healthy Weight in Pregnancy:

A healthy weight during pregnancy is paramount for both maternal and fetal well-being. I had a patient with a pre-pregnancy BMI over 30 who, with personalized guidance, adhered to a controlled weight gain plan during pregnancy. Following delivery, she prioritized postpartum exercises, including Kegels, and gradually returned to her pre-pregnancy weight. This not only reduced her risk of chronic diseases but also highlighted the importance of postpartum care in ensuring long-term health for both mother and child.

Diet and Supplements:

A high-protein diet and proper supplementation are essential for longevity. I had a patient whose aging process impacted vitamin absorption. Through dietary adjustments and targeted supplementation, we addressed potential deficiencies, positively influencing her overall health. Additionally, incorporating probiotics into her diet proved beneficial, showcasing the evolving understanding of gut health’s impact on bone health, especially in postmenopausal women.

In conclusion, these lifestyle factors, including weight-bearing exercises, healthy weight management in pregnancy, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet with proper supplementation, collectively contribute to a comprehensive approach to health and longevity.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

Prioritize Self-Care:Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Prioritize self-care practices, including healthy diet, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and moments of relaxation.Looking well and feeling well are interrelated. Take care of your overall health and people around you will be able to see the glow.

Cultivate Meaningful Relationships: Foster deep and meaningful connections with friends, family, and loved ones. Not every day is a perfect day. When you need support, reach out for help. Meaningful connections contribute significantly to overall well-being and happiness.

If you are a woman, remember, prioritizing your pelvic health is a fundamental aspect of self-care. By breaking the silence and seeking help when needed, you contribute to the broader conversation about women’s health, helping to dispel stigmas and promote a culture of openness and support. Your well-being matters, and addressing pelvic health issues is an important part of maintaining a healthy and fulfilling life.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

The nature vs. nurture debate regarding longevity is a complex and intriguing topic. My perspective aligns with the understanding that both genetic factors and lifestyle choices play significant roles in determining the length and quality of one’s life. However, the emphasis on the importance of lifestyle choices is particularly noteworthy.

Studies have demonstrated that genetics indeed contribute to longevity, but the influence of genetics becomes more prominent after the age of 90 and may vary between genders. Specifically, about 25% of longevity is attributed to genetic factors. This suggests that while genetic predispositions may set the stage, the majority of the aging process and its effects can be influenced and reduced by lifestyle choices.

The concept of successful aging, defined as being free from chronic disease while maintaining physical and cognitive function, underscores the impact of lifestyle on overall well-being. Lifestyle choices, including diet, exercise, stress management, and social engagement, have been shown to play a crucial role in promoting health and longevity.

In essence, while genetic factors provide a foundation, the choices we make in our daily lives significantly shape the trajectory of aging. Optimal lifestyle decisions can mitigate the effects of genetic predispositions and contribute to successful aging. It’s a harmonious interplay between nature and nurture, with the majority of control lying in the hands of individuals who actively engage in behaviors that promote health and longevity.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

Life’s journey often takes us through challenging terrains, and as a practitioner in high-risk obstetrics, I regularly encounter situations that demand resilience both professionally and personally. Being the bearer of difficult news to parents about potential birth defects is undoubtedly one of the most emotionally taxing aspects of my role. As a mother myself, the weight of delivering such news is not lost on me. It’s a heavy burden that doesn’t simply dissipate when I leave the ultrasound room. However, my journey to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health involves intentional practices that help me navigate and bounce back from these setbacks.

1. Reflection and Gratitude:

When I return home, I find solace and strength in the embrace of my own children. This poignant reminder of my own blessings helps me put the day’s challenges into perspective. Practicing gratitude allows me to shift my focus from the difficulties I’ve encountered to the positive aspects of my life.

2. Professional Dedication:

Organizing care teams and ensuring the best possible outcomes for my patients becomes a channel for my professional dedication. Despite the emotional toll, knowing that I can contribute to the well-being of both the mother and her unborn baby motivates me to persist in delivering the best care possible.

3. Nature Walks as Meditation:

The simple act of going for a walk in nature for 15–20 minutes serves as a form of meditation for me. The calming influence of nature provides a space to collect my thoughts, reflect on the day, and find moments of peace amid the emotional intensity of my work.

Through these intentional practices, I strive to maintain my own well-being while continuing to provide compassionate and effective care to those who depend on me during such trying times.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“The body is a lifelong investment; care for it wisely, and the dividends will echo through time”

In the midst of life’s bustling demands, I learned a profound lesson: taking time for oneself is not just a luxury but a vital investment in health. The story of my cervical spine challenges serves as a testament to the transformative power of prioritizing well-being. As a surgeon and sonographer, the overuse of my right arm led to the development of a cervical spine condition. At the age of 36, a neurosurgeon recommended spinal fusion — a daunting prospect for someone so young. Faced with the potential complications and the prospect of a life dependent on medications, I sought alternative therapies.

Choosing a path less traveled, I embarked on a holistic approach guided by dedicated physical therapists. Daily exercises became my ally, and a commitment to a healthy diet and supplements played a pivotal role. Today, I stand without the need for invasive interventions or reliance on pain medications. This journey, now spanning a decade, has been a testament to the resilience of the human body when nurtured with care. It underscores the significance of choices we make today in shaping our future well-being.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Let’s embrace small changes for a healthier lifestyle. Opt for a non-processed, high-protein diet to fuel your body. Remember, every bit of movement counts — even a 5-minute walk or exercise session can make a difference. Prioritize your skin’s health by using sunscreen daily, irrespective of your skin color; it’s a simple step to prevent sun damage and safeguard your well-being.

For women, if you’re dealing with issues like a leaky bladder or pelvic floor concerns, know that it’s not an inevitable part of motherhood or aging. Speak up and have an open conversation with your gynecologist. Your health matters, and addressing these concerns is a proactive step towards well-being

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

For those interested in staying updated on health tips, insights, and information, you can find some of my writings on our website’s blog section . Additionally, for a more interactive experience and regular updates, you can follow me on Instagram . Your health is important, and I strive to share valuable content to support you on your wellness journey. Feel free to explore our online platforms for ongoing health-related content and insights

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.

Thank you for your kind words, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and insights. It’s my passion to inspire positive changes in people’s lives, and I’m dedicated to continuing this journey. Here’s to continued success and the pursuit of a healthier, happier life for everyone !


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.