1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Sheenie Ambardar, M.D., psychiatrist, writer, and mental health advocate. I maintain a private practice in West Hollywood, CA called ‘The Happiness Psychiatrist’, which combines Eastern and Western philosophies in the treatment of mental disorders.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My wonderful parents, Om and Veena Ambardar, inspired me to eat healthy and stay fit. Both my father and mother would make delicious, home-cooked Indian meals every day. Dinner was always tasty and healthy- the perfect combination! They also encouraged me to be physically active as a child by enrolling me in ballet lessons at the age of 5, classical Indian dance lessons at the age of 10, and tennis lessons starting in elementary school. And I’m still a pretty good dancer and tennis player because of that!
3. What did they do to inspire you?
My parents were incredibly hard-working, forward-thinking professionals who placed great importance on both work and family. They were always loving, caring, and devoted to their children’s well-being. They taught both me and my younger sister to dream big and to reach for the stars. I was always encouraged to do well in school, to believe in myself, and to care about the world.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Because of their support and belief in me, I was able to get a great education and to become a doctor. I hope to give back to others the same way my parents loved and gave to me.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
Well, I wouldn’t consider my younger sister a kid anymore, but growing up, I was like her 2nd mom (I’m 5 years older). I tried to encourage her to follow her heart, have confidence, dream big, and to be authentic. As a big sister, I’m proud that she’s grown into an intelligent, accomplished, witty, and beautiful young woman.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
As a psychiatrist, my main message to children and teens today would be to stay far away from drugs and alcohol. Sounds a bit cliche I know, but in my line of work, I see the effects of drug use every day, even supposedly “harmless” drugs like marijuana. The fact of the matter is that even sporadic, recreational drug use can have a long-lasting impact on brain function and can lead to worsening anxiety, panic, depression, paranoia, and mood swings many years down the road. Please don’t do it, you will regret it!
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?