Plant Sumo Interviews - manju karkare

Manju Karkare

Nutritionally Yours

Originally from India, Manju is the owner of Nutritionally Yours LLC, a private practice offering personalized nutritional coaching focused on integrative and functional nutrition and weight management. She has a breadth of experience in acute care clinical nutrition, nutrition support, corporate wellness, public health education and community nutrition. Manju is an active member of the North Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; several dietetic practice groups and member interest groups including Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics member interest group, which she has led. Manju was selected in 2012 as one of the Academy’s four national Diversity Leaders. She served as treasurer of the Raleigh District, as reimbursement representative and Public Policy Coordinator of North Carolina affiliate and a member of the Academy’s Diversity Committee and Finance and Audit Committee; and most recently as the Past-Treasurer of the Academy’s Board of Directors. She continues to serve in a variety of roles for several dietetic practice groups. Manju is the recipient of Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award (NC) in 2018, and Cabot Community Celebrity Award for community service in 2019.

Checkout Manju’s: LinkedIn

Company Profiles

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why?

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss: A collection of stories/interviews of entrepreneurs and risk takers from all walks of life. You can pick up anywhere in the book or choose particular positive disruptors to read about.
Switch: How to Change when Change is Hasrd by Chip and Dan Heath: strategies for and stories of everyday people. All of us face change and deal with it in different ways. Some of us even help moderate the change as in my profession. This book reveals how our brain reacts to change based on how it is presented. Give and Take by Adam Grant: A must read for all. Why it is important to give before expecting anything?

When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Unfocused, Or Have Lost Your Focus Temporarily, What Do You Do?

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the opportunities available in the virtual world we live in today. I take "Two Minutes" every morning and use Neil Pasricha's Two MInute Mornings book to jot down my thoughts for the day. This helps maintain my focus on the prioprities I lay out for myself daily. Even then, there are times things can go off track. Deep breathing or taking a walk and sorting out my thoughts is very calming.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Meditation. I have been a yogi for a long time. I truly missed my weekly yoga class during the pandemic restrictions. Finding time to meditate regardless has been incredible. It is a commitment and making it a routine (setting time aside every morening and every evening) helps.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — what would it say and why?

"Everyone eats. Everyone should have a personal dietitian." As I mentioned above each one of us is unique and we eat for more than hunger. Food is art and nutrition is the science. Registered Dietitians are the most qualified and trained professionals to bring the art and science together and personlize it.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

Failure is one one of the greatest teachers. Failure is always an option. Many inventions came about thorugh mistakes or failures. I have failed many times and have counted on resiliency to get up and try again. Hard to pick one.

What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?

Patience and perseverence.

Tell us about your business. What does it do and what value do you add?

Helping achieve wellness thorugh mindful nutriion. For those willing to take charge of their health I guide the process with science and evidence-based, culturally competent, compassionate care.

Where do you see your industry in the next 5 years?

At the forefront of prevention and wellness.

What is the most surprising thing you've seen in your industry?

The many wyas dietitians can have an impact. I continue to learn more every day.

What's your favourite colour?


What popular celebrity do you admire the most and why?

Michelle Obama: courage, experience, dignity and using her voice to lift people

Are you vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or something else entirely?

Flexitarian, mostly a lacto-ovo vegetarian with occassional seafood intake.

What's your favourite type of exercise?

Walking/hiking and yoga/pilates

What's a myth about fitness that you most people believe to be true that's actually false

Tt has to be a particular type or for a certain length or at a certain time of the day.

What's the most underrated type of exercise in your opinion?

Stretching, yoga, meditation

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

I eat only two meals a day, so usually no breakfast. Brunch was Bean soup, corn bread and green beans.

What Purchase Of £/$100 Or Less Has Most Positively Impacted Your Life In The Last Six Months?

My Instant Pot Votex Plus air fryer. During the pandemic, working from home has brought joys of flexibility as wella s challenges of managing work-home boundaries. Having a small, counter-top appliance to make variety of quick meals has been great. Not only does it bake, broil and airfry, it is also great to reheat items that are best heated with dry heat instead of moist heat (microwave). Air fryers are availble in stores and online everywhere. I personally like the one that has trays instead of a basket for versatality of use.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

The field of nutrition is very personal and very challenging for the same reason. We eat for more than hunger. There are no "bad" foods. Many times there are generalized statements made that may not be suitable or appropriate for you as a person. Things like everyone should take a particular supplement or follow a fad diet or remove an entire food group are all red flags.

What's your favourite vegan meal?

Being an Asian Indian, there are many Vegan meals that are routine and favorite. Although I am not a vegan per say, many of my favorite meals are vegan. A basic chapathi and a vegetable curry will be very satisfying for me any day of the year.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

One of the best investments is in my professional memebr organization for personal and profesisonal growth as well as leadership development. In my personal life and professional practice, the best investment is in up to date technology and support from other professionals (legal, accounting, IT etc.). Anohter ongoing ivestment is in personal growth: listening to inspiring authors, mentoring others as well as takiong care of my own health (through good nutrition and exercise).

When did you first become a rebel?

Ha! When I was in 4th grade I remember standing up to a boy who wnated to cut in line (when all others in front of him were girls).

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

It's ok not to know exactly what you want to do? Don't focus on what you want to be?

What careers advice would you give to your 21-year old self?

Take more risks, think outside the box. No need to expect the perfect answer to "where will I be in 5-10 years?".

Tell us about someone you admire and why you admire them?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg for so many reasons. She broke all the gender based norms and thoughout her life (in public and private) remianded a bastion for euity in life.

How has Covid-19 changed your industry?

Many RDs are on the frontlines of patient care and those in outpatient settings have had to switch to telehealth.

How has Covid-19 changed your company?

Operating completely virtually. Investing in more technology and new skills.

What's your favourite holiday destination?

So many places I would love to visit. Galapagos is high on the list especially in light of the climate change impact.

What one thing in life do you consider to be overrated?

Physical appearnace

If you could only do ONE type of exercise for the all around fitness what would it be?


Who do you want to be when you grow up?

A global citizen

What are you NOT Very Good at?

Forgiving quickly

What's your star sign?


About the Author


Heather Wilkinson is a globe-trotting content creator and PR enthusiast who’s finally put down roots in her native UK. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her pretending to care about Minecraft for her son’s sake, while secretly reading the latest Ace Atkins novel (or sleeping – her second favourite past-time).