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Medical doctor marries her career with her love for cooking

Dr Philile Mdletshe (39) creates healthy lunchbox meals to encourage nutritious lifestyles

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Philile Mdletshe is the first to admit that it is not easy balancing life as a medical doctor, wife, and a kickass mom that prepares lip-smacking meals for her family.

The 39-year-old foodie has, however, managed to marry her career as a practicing medical doctor with her love for cooking, and today she’s popularly known for her food blog, Dr Mom Cooks.

“I love to cook, cooking is my therapy. My blog encompasses the three pillars of my brand, which is me being a doctor, being a mom and my love of cooking. And it has a bit of lifestyle in it as well, ” says Mdletshe.

Born and raised in Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal, Mdletshe is a middle child and the only girl. Her fondest childhood memories are of playing with her cousins and spending time in the kitchen with her late father.

Mdletshe reminisces about the time spent with her father and brother while her dad worked as a school principal. “I got my love for cooking from my late dad. He loved cooking!” Naturally, being the only girl, when he was cooking she would join him. As a result, she started cooking family meals from the age of 7 or 8. “That love for cooking never left me,” says Mdletshe.

At the age of 12 she moved to KwaNongoma in KZN to attend a boarding school, Mlokothwa High School. Mdletshe remembers always looking forward to school holidays just so that she could cook what she wanted to eat and to try new and exciting recipes.

In 1996, after matriculating, Mdletshe started her studies in medicine. She enrolled at the University of Natal. After years of hard work and dedication she graduated as a medical doctor in 2003.

For the past 16 years Mdletshe has worked as a medical doctor in the private and public sectors. “I’ve worked in a mine hospital and at an HIV research non-profit organisation. I was even a medical advisor for a pharmaceutical company, until I decided to open my own practice in 2010,” says Mdletshe.

Today she lives in Johannesburg with her practice situated in Roodepoort. In November 2018 she started working on the idea of her blog. She got the idea after posting some of her dishes on social media. “I cook a lot and I posted a lot on my social media accounts, like Instagram, and every time people will always ask for recipes.”

Eventually, Dr Mom Cooks was established early in 2019. “The blog was just a natural progression, because it’s my portal and the people can go there to get the recipes for the food that I have made.”

Juggling her career and a family may seem tough, but all the support that she gets makes her life a little less stressful. During the day she runs her private practice and, with the help of her husband and two nannies, Mdletshe works on her blog after hours.

“I always say you always find time to do what you love. For me, my kids are a priority and when they are happy, I am happy. Their happiness is far more important than anything,” she says.

Apart from the meals she shares on her blog, Mdletshe also prepares healthy lunchboxes for her children. “I believe our eating habits starts from a young age. If I instil good and healthy eating habits in my kids’ life, they are most likely to grow up healthy eaters. And obviously what I pack is an extension of what they eat at home,” says Mdletshe.

This food blogger has big plans to take her brand to the next level. Mdletshe wants to keep on sharing her parenting, lifestyle and cooking experiences, while continuing to be the best doctor and confidant to her patients. As a mother she has set the goal to raise her kids to be the best versions of themselves.

Chantélle Hartebeest
Chantélle Hartebeest
CHANTÉLLE HARTEBEEST is a young journalist who has a fiery passion for storytelling. She is eager to be the voice of the voiceless and has worked in both radio and print media before joining Food For Mzansi.
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