I could give you the regular blah blah about how smart I am and how knowledgeable and how clued on into the world of health and wellbeing, my certificates and degrees… or I could tell you about the authentic me. The latter is far more interesting, don’t you think?
How did I get here?
I had no relationship with my body. In fact, let me confess that I avoided even looking at it from the neck down. It was as if I was a giant head full of thoughts floating around in the world, with no body.
I lived the typical jet set life of a corporate executive… I had my share of unhealthy habits. I travelled for work every week and was primarily fed by airlines, hotels and restaurants. Although I enjoyed cooking, I got hardly any chance to do it with my hectic lifestyle.
And, although I enjoyed walking, I had very little inclination or time for regular exercise and was constantly fighting (and losing) the “battle of the bulge.”
A personal health crisis, (which I talk about more in my story below) set me on a quest for answers to good health. Various teachers guided me on my journey.
They appeared in person, in books, films, videos and even in the words of strangers and signs in Nature.
I am eternally grateful to each one of them as they provided the pieces of a giant puzzle that I am still enjoying working on. Their guidance helped me vastly to improve my health and lifestyle.
On the request of my friends who saw my transformation, I began helping them in their health journeys.
In 2011, I launched group coaching programmes for weight loss, which were very well received and had many success stories.
Early next year, I learnt about a health and lifestyle coaches’ programme in Auroville run by Dr. Nandita Shah of SHARAN (www.sharan-india.org). It was an eye-opening session.
Here, for the first time I tasted dairy-free ice-cream and curd and felt reassured that I could continue my journey of plant-based eating and living. I began teaching healthy cooking and coaching clients one-to-one also.
Dr. Shah invited me to present with her, an annual 21 day programme to help people to reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many other diseases by applying the principles of whole, plant-based nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
I have been co-facilitating these retreats every year and sometimes twice a year with Dr. Shah since 2012.
“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest,
strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”~ Herophilus
My Life Purpose
I am a learner at heart and I love that about me. I love learning from other
people’s experiences and my journeys and travels. I also love creating now andoffering the best of my knowledge and what I have learnt in service of the planet – humans, animals, environment.
A few of my favourite things…
• Crunch dried leaves under my feet as I take a walk in the forest
• Chat up with farmers at the local organic market
• Listen to inspiring podcasts and interviews in my morning walks
• Spend time in wildlife parks and sanctuaries
• Curl up with a good book and a cup of herbal tea
If I had all the resources in the world
Honestly, what I REALLY want to do, is take up huge expanses of land, like islands and forests and just…. LET THEM BE….
So that Nature can get a break from humanity and just take time to resurrect itself and wild-life can thrive as it once did before human population grew out of control.
My really very big, BIG vision
I would like to support the people working towards protecting forests and wild-life, conserving natural resources, permaculture farming practices, animal rights and welfare, and sustainable technologies.
I dream of being an angel investor some day, with a multi-trillion dollar charity to support all such organisations. No harm in dreaming. Right??
I grew up as an army kid in India, from being born in the eastern state of Nagaland to living in Pachmarhi, Amritsar, Udhampur, Bhutan, Pune and of course Delhi. Changing schools, adapting to new places and making new friends every couple of years is part of army life.
I thought I wanted to be a doctor as the only other option in those times was an engineer. Period. Take your pick. Yes, I am THAT old!! Ha ha! And now, ironically, I am helping people avoid doctors and hospitals as much as possible by taking the best care they can of their nutrition and lifestyle.
But, I ended up studying English literature, which after 3 years proved to be too much time spent, living in the world of dead poets and writers, so I wanted some action and practical knowledge and got an MBA in marketing.
Jobs and Career
First job, ad agency, second, marketing for Coca-Cola. There… I said it!
Back in those days with middle class incomes from parents working their whole life for the government and a measly pension, it was a BIG deal for young girl of 26 to get such a break in the corporate world.
And this was the mother of all American companies! What can I say? I didn’t know any better…
Had a fantastic ride with Coke living and working in Mumbai (I love this city), Atlanta (dubious distinction of first Indian export in the Company to America), Hong Kong (the less said, the better; hint – Lan Kwai Fong), and London (oh I miss you so)… and back to motherland after 12 jet-setting, globe-trotting years.
One thing I am grateful for is travelling to 40+ countries during this time and seeing this wonderful world of ours and meeting incredible people from so many cultures and regions.
Now, rocking along on the dusty, bumpy roads of Gurgaon and standing in line to get my driving license and Aadhar card or whatever new scheme, the government wants me to enroll in. Sigh!!
So, you want to know what made me give it all up? The straight answer is… my father died and it was the rudest wake up call ever!!! Literally, 43 missed calls from home in India that Sunday night and my heart was mercilessly ripped out from inside my chest!
I have no nice words to describe that experience. Forgive me. But all I can say is, it was ironically the most precious gift my father could give me. Those of you who lost loved ones may know what I mean, in hindsight.
Two years later, I said “No” to my dream offer in Coke and packed my bags to be with the family in India. It was a walk towards personal freedom.
More rude shocks were in store but I shall leave them for another time.
Further Studies / Learning
Before I left London in 2005, I got a diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy and studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with Dr. Richard Bandler. I also did a course in Past life regression therapy with Dr. Brian Weiss as I was interested in psychotherapy at the time.
One of my biggest sources of learning in the area of health and nutrition has been from SHARAN’s Dr. Nandita Shah. In 2012, I attended a “Lifestyle Advisors Training Program”.
Since then, I have been co-facilitating SHARAN’s 21 day health retreats with Dr. Shah. Learning while working with her has given me an in-depth understanding of the science of nutrition.
I don’t consider myself as a “guru” but a “shuru” – a beginner. I love learning and I ensure that I attend at least 2-3 courses each year, read all the latest books and web articles and continuously improve my skills and knowledge base.
Quest for Health
In the ensuing years, weighing 90+ kilos, expectedly, I had health issues.
I was put on daily pills for hypertension (my mother has it), declared pre-diabetic (my father had uncontrolled diabetes) and if that was not enough, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (maternal grand mother). Battered, broken and in excruciating pain…
I was looking for answers for my health and could not find them from medical doctors or even practitioners in alternative fields.
I kept searching and learnt to get in touch with my inner resonance to practice what “felt” right. I came across many teachers, films and books which I list in the Resources section.
This led me to my present path of helping (myself and) others to adopt healthy habits to prevent and reverse lifestyle diseases.
The Present (is a gift)
Now, I love my work. I love that I am doing my bit to be part of the solution on the planet rather than contributing to its problems. I love learning about the science and psychology of changing habits. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting together this website and it’s offerings which I continuously work to improve.
And I am so grateful to you for taking the time to read my story till the end. You can click here to sign up for my regular newsletters. I share information, inspiration, recipes and stories to inspire you to your greatest health potential.
Be light. Be well. Be happy and healthy!