#AspiringShe – Pooja Makhija – We are so glad to have interacted with her for our campaign #AspiringShe and having her as one of our Top 100 women achievers in India is a pleasure indeed !
About Pooja Makhija : Nutritionist to stars like Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Mira Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Tammana Bhatia, Ishaan Khattar and Sushmita Sen, celebrity dietician Pooja Makhija has, to date, transformed the bodies – and the lives – of thousands of people. Her clientele includes models, actors, socialites, CEOs, ace yoga instructors, personal trainers, producers, directors, singers, pilots, architects, builders, media professionals and housewives. She has further been the nutritionist for the Miss India and the I Am She beauty pageants, and was responsible for getting some of the country’s most glamorous girls into shape in their bid to represent India internationally.
But for Pooja, it’s not about weight loss as much as it is about nourishment. Ms Makhija believes that food is fuel and not calories and that food should be treated as your friend, not your enemy. An MSc in Food Science and Nutrition and a BSc in Dietetics from Mumbai, Ms Makhija also believes in the power of food to heal, which is why her nutrition programmes work well for diabetics, heart patients, PCOS patients and for those whom lifestyle changes will greatly benefit.
Formerly on the Board of Studies in Food Science and Nutrition of the SVT College of Home Science, she has further has been invited and been affiliated with colleges and educational institutions to include Symbiosis International University and JD Birla Institute, Kolkata.
Her belief in the power of food has been translated into being a brand ambassador for Tata Tetley Green Tea, Dabur Honey, Zespri Kiwifruit and Saffola Aura Oil. She has also been associated – through a breakfast recipe book – with the Kellogg’s campaign on the importance of eating breakfast, and has additionally been the face of World Yoga Day in Surat (2015) and in New Delhi with Baba Ramdev (2017). While additionally being associated with other brands like L’Oreal and Vogue, she has also been invited to give nutritional talks by Bajaj Allianz, Kotak, Citibank, KPMG, Lodha, ICICI, and HP as well as inaugurated a one-of-a-kind diet clinic in Kolkata. She also launched the Birla Sun Life Health Insurance App with the likes of Rahul Dravid and Graeme Smith.
Her bestselling book released in 2012, Eat Delete is in its ninth reprint with over 50000 copies sold and has already been translated into Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Marathi. Her brand new book Eat Delete Junior – a book on child nutrition – released in July 2017. She hopes to release her next book N for Nourish (Title TBC), a children’s book aimed at teaching kids about nutrition – in the coming year. She also had her own TV show – the Pooja Makhija show – on the Food Food channel and also has a regular column in the Times of India (Times Life) and in DNA. She, additionally, was also a fitness expert on Radio City 91.1 FM (on the fitness segment Ram Pam Poshan)
While she works from Mumbai, Pooja can actually work with clients from any corner of the globe. Her new weight loss and health portal www.nourishgenie.com means you actually never have to meet her, but can get your diets delivered straight to your inbox. However, at the core of Pooja’s activities – be it books, the health portal or her clinic – is her ongoing mission to educate people about the magic and wonder of food so that it becomes not something you’re afraid of but something that is an everlasting support to you in the time to come.
What or who has been your motivation behind your success?
My motivation drives my mission and my mission fuels my motivation – in the simplest sense I strive to help people rebuild their faith in food and that is my driving force. Today, people see food as calories – food is the reason they are fat or unhealthy – but food is our fuel – it is what gives us the energy, the efficiency and efficacy to live the way we want. Food is your medicine and if you learn to use food in its truest, purest form – you will never see disease or any health problem. To spread this faith is my mission – and that I regard to be my motivator to succeed.
How has been your journey so far? How easy or tough it’s been to achieve your goals?
God has been truly kind. HE helped me smooth out all the speed breakers and pitfalls with grace and ease. I believe that you if you truly love what you do – do automatically to it well and then your journey to get where you want is beautiful and peaceful.
Like I said my goal is to help rebuild the faith in food – that you can eat to lose weight and you can eat your way into health. Yes, the fads and different trends floating around do make it difficult for me to make my voice heard but I try and I try hard and will keep trying – till we all see the magic of eating and never again follow depravation diets to weight loss.
You have your own Brand Nourish, How easy its been for you to establish that in this competitive world.
Well, competition is not something to fear – competition helps you grow- stronger, bolder and work harder. And that always betters what you do. I have been practicing for over 15 years today and have four babies Nourish, Nourish Genie, Eat.Delete and Eat.Delete.Junior. – I must say I am a proud mother!
Who is your role model or who do you look up to in life?
As cliché as it may sound I would say my mother. She has been my vital force behind everything I do. I see her as my inspiration in life. She has taught me that only hard work pays. I learnt to live my dreams and making them come true only because she believed in me and gave me strength.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five year from now or until infinity – I shall be doing what I am doing today! I love my job – it completes me. I believe God gives us each a job to accomplish on earth – this is mine.
Your One Liner for All other Women Aspirants?
Do what you love, love what you do. Then you will never work a single day of your life.
To know more about Nutrition and Food Pl follow Pooja Makhija on http://www.poojamakhija.com/