Plant Sumo Interviews

Varsha Khatri

Illuminated Health

I grew up in sunny San Diego, lived in Iowa for my undergraduate studies, and then in Bay Area, CA where I studied for my Master’s degree in Health Education and Nutrition. I moved to London when I got married in 2011. Shortly after moving, I started my own business, Illuminated Health and I love working for myself. Professionally, I wear multiple hats in addition to being a business owner. I am a qualified nutritionist, senior yoga teacher, Ayurvedic health specialist, and a holistic health educator. I have a passion for all things about healthy living in a simple way. I am also a working mum and have two wonderful young children, so I know all about finding the work/life balance. I spent last autumn writing my book, which is currently with my publisher. So keep an eye out this spring for my book 🙂

Checkout Varsha’s: LinkedIn

Company Profiles

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

The Autobiography of a Yogi is one that I have read multiple times and I have also gifted many times. Its a great book about the journey of Paramhansa Yoganada and every time I read it, I learn something new and have new takeaways from it. For anyone who considers themselves on the spiritual path or wants to learn more about themselves and the workings of the universe, this book has so much to offer.

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

I meditate. I practice Transcendental Meditation and even if its right before bed, even if its just for ten minutes, I like to meditate to help me calm down and find my inner peace. My second go-to is reading. I will read Autobiography of a Yogi or sometimes I read “The Science of Being and Art of Living” by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Since I’ve read both books, I sometimes just open a random page and just read for a bit. Another thing I like to do is just walk away and take a break. I will do some yoga, go for a walk, or crochet. It depends on what’s going on I have multiple outlets for helping myself to cope.

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

“Destiny begins with choices made today” - my geometry teacher in high school, Kenneth Hurst

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

When I first started my business, I started yoga classes in which no one would attend and nutrition workshops with no attendees. I had no way to get new nutrition clients either. However, I persevered, invested into my business and in myself, started networking and all that changed. I went from empty classes and workshops to full classes, workshops, and constant stream of new and recurring nutrition clients.

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

There is always a reason to be happy - I only truly learned that from my kids.

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

I am a qualified nutritionist, Ayurvedic consultant, and a yoga teacher. In addition, I am also a wellness coach and health educator. I help people make healthier dietary and lifestyle choices by educating, coaching and consulting through nutrition, Ayurveda, and yoga. I also work with those who have digestive problems, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and food allergies to regain control over their health and wellbeing by working with a natural approach to their healing. I combine the best of Ayurveda with the science of modern nutrition for a truly personalised approach to healthy living and eating.

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

Leading western medical doctors on how to truly prevent disease and help people through the power of healing foods.

What is a 'hack' you have for success that most people don't know about?

I journal. I have a planner that I use for journaling as well as planning.

How has Covid-19 changed your industry?

More people are conscious of the food that they eat. More people are also becoming aware of how food makes them feel. More people are also becoming aware of how food influences their immune system.

What's your favourite colour?

Purple

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

I eat everything, but all in moderation. I love plant based foods though and I probably only eat meat a couple times a week.

What's your star sign?

Aquarius

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

Dieting, eat less calories to lose weight, eating low-fat foods is healthier for you, or how apple cider vinegar is the cure all for digestion. Being a nutritionist is all about weight loss - this one probably bothers me the most as I help with so many health conditions through nutrition and Ayurveda. There are so many more misconceptions. When it comes to yoga, people think they have to be flexible or look good in a bikini to be able to start yoga - this is far from the truth. Yoga is for all looks and abilities.

What's your favourite vegan meal?

Lettuce wraps! So refreshing.

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

The best and worthwhile investments are the ones that I have made for self-development like learning to meditate, investing into coaching, and courses that help me become more aligned with my higher Self.

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

Follow your heart and pick a path that you are passionate about. Be prepared to work hard and do not be afraid to deviate from the trend. You do not have to do what everyone else is doing. Be who you are and stay true to yourself.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Midwifery - been fascinated since having my kids. I loved my midwives.

What is a useful skill someone could learn in one minute?

Breathing. Most people do not know how to engage in the power of the breath to reduce stress levels and help themselves feel better and more focused in general.

How has Covid-19 changed your company?

Overnight I had to turn my business to being only online. This has actually helped me grow and have more offerings. For example, In addition to seeing clients on a 1-to-1 basis, I now run more workshops and courses for nutrition, Ayurveda, and yoga that are open to the public.

What's your favourite holiday destination?

California - its where I grew up 🙂

What's your favourite vegetable?

I love my veggies but asparagus is one of my favourites.

What's your favourite type of exercise?

Yoga and walking

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

Yoga

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Define growing up? I still love to play like a kid with my kids, so does this make me a kid? And when do we ever really grow up? There is constantly learning and growing that is always happening.

What are you NOT Very Good at?

Acting and Singing - can’t do either so you will never see me do either 🙂

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Vegan bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast

About the Author

Heather-PS

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).