Awards – what can I say about winning them

I write this piece from my heart that all of you who devour what I put out there take a moment to read. My friend Dilshad (one of the most renowned hairstylists in India at one time) always said, "It's all about the work". I truly believe that. The last 13 years have been more about putting in the work than a chase for awards. My SEO (Search Engine Optimization) team said I should write a blog about getting Awards. I found it silly, but it gives you an insight into my thoughts – so here I am.

I started my Macrobiotic Nutrition career in 2007, back in Mumbai, after completing my graduate program at Kushi Institute and having worked already for 13 years in the Marketing Research business. I knew I was driven by one thing and one thing alone – bringing the Macrobiotic approach to India somehow and marrying it back into our Indian traditions. Here I am 13 years later, having done just that—now completely entrenched Macrobiotics in the Indian tradition and also having integrated it with the Ayurvedic lifestyle. I would call that a feat (without any ego attached). It’s taken me 15 years of study, three books and a lot of hard work to land up here.

The attention I got after 4 years of starting my meal business from Random House (now Penguin Random House) was through my editor Milee, who gave me my first book ‘The Beauty Diet.’ At that time, she said she liked the 360-degree approach I had to my work (meals, workshops, nutrition consultations). I had started my Macrobiotic Vegan meal business, and the book started getting people to pay attention to my consulting skills as a Macrobiotic Nutritionist. Life has been challenging, fun, and, most of all, very rewarding. I can safely say I was meant to do just this in this life of mine, and when I asked the Universe for my ‘calling’ it gave me just that: ‘my true calling.’

My awareness towards being recognised in the Industry as one of the most famous nutritionists in India came to my consciousness only last year. The first award I ever won was the Times SheUnlimited 'Woman Entrepreneur in Health Food' in 2019. When I get approached for awards, I am very clear that I will not pay for any nominations. So when I got a call from Hasteeat, The Times of India's award office, saying Rashmi Uday Singh (whom I had met the year I started my work in Mumbai) had recommended my name for this award, I was very surprised that she had noticed my efforts.

The Times SheUnlimited last year 2019 ‘Woman Entrepreneur in Health Food.’

Let me tell you, this award (for any of you who are now applying) is a challenging award to get. We were selected out of 10,000 applicants, made it to 5000 and then to 20 applicants. A gruelling set of questions on everything—from our mission, vision, financials, and degrees were taken to arrive at a shortlist, and this was before we met 6 eminent jury members. The jury grilled us, and we had precisely 10 minutes to show what we had achieved (I did this via a PowerPoint presentation) and actual proof of work, i.e., carrying our products, etc. So, winning this award finally, with all the background checks done, and being selected by some of the biggest names in the business like Riyaaz Amlani, Sanjeev Kapoor, Rashmi Uday Singh – has been a feather in my cap (I again say this with no ego).

The Vogue 2020 ‘Best Nutritionist’

The Award I got this year, The Vogue 2020 ‘Best Nutritionist’, has been particularly special. What moved me especially were these words from their email- “We believe that your contribution to the industry is invaluable and your work has helped many in crazy times like these.” When I received the award, I realised that a lot of the leading players in the field are seeing what one is doing, and the efforts we make don’t go unnoticed. The pandemic has made it necessary for me to review my strategy and how I put out my services for everyone to avail of them. So I was putting out courses on health and programs at prices that would be affordable to all. Also, I was trying to get out on different formats to people, e.g., on an app called Plan My Food that has been supporting the work I do. Plus, all the information-sharing on my Instagram handle and website (via blogs) became more important to educate people on immunity and the true meaning of real, deep-rooted health from within. So the Vogue 2020 ‘Best in the Industry – Best Nutritionist’ was such a lovely validation.

However, after all of this, I can say just this – I am not attached to the ‘highs’ the awards bring or the ‘lows’ that the pandemic has brought upon us. I am here to ‘serve’ and bring to all of you the knowledge that I have been so fortunate to acquire and translate it to your lives to really change your health and turn it around for you.

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