Switching from accountant to chef two decades ago, it has been an epic ride across the UK hospitality industry as a culinary educator, food entrepreneur, social innovator and government advisor. Planet Nourish was born from Angela’s experience with her mum’s recovery from illness, finding no support from the NHS, she tailored her parents’ every day “khana peena” and within a year her mum had completely recovered her health. Her mission now is to share this with Nourisher families and cook for optimal health.
1. Why is health important for you? We know that improved long-term health is directly linked to what we do in the kitchen and diet related diseases such as diabetes are rampant in our families and communities. So, for me, to work with our Nourishers bettering cooking skills and demystifying ingredients in order to reduce the disease epidemic in our communities.
2. Biggest personal Health Challenge? As a woman approaching my half century the next health challenge is menopause. I am realising that what is coming is more than just physical, it’s also a mental and spiritual transformation. Let’s see what butterfly emerges next!
3. Favourite cuisine or food? That’s a hard question for a chef… like asking me to pick my favourite child… impossible to choose!
4. One thing you are experimenting with in the kitchen? I love mixing flavours and textures. My brother gave me a huge pumpkin from his garden last week, so right now I am experimenting with 101 things to do with pumpkin. So far done a miso pumpkin risotto, salted pumpkin caramel bars and pumpkin kimchi pickle. Open to other suggestions.
Pav is our resident dietitian and public health expert. She specialises in diabetes management and brings with her two decades of experience working in the NHS, private practice and charity sector. She takes a holistic approach to healthcare and is a firm believer that with the right education and support, people can be empowered to lead full, happy and healthy lives. As a busy, working mum of two young girls and the main cook in the house, she often scours social media for delicious, quick and healthy meal ideas that will keep the whole family happy.
1. Why is health important for you? I’ve seen first-hand the devastation many lifestyle-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes can have on individuals and their families. At the same time, I’ve seen people turn their health around and reap the benefits in all aspects of their life. For me ‘prevention is better than cure’ and so I have dedicated a big part of my working life to initiatives that raise awareness of and help prevent type 2 diabetes.
2. Biggest personal Health Challenge? I’ve worked in the area of diabetes for over 15 years, but nothing shocked me more as when I developed type 1 diabetes myself recently. Unlike type 2 diabetes which is often linked to genetic and lifestyle factors, it is an autoimmune condition and is managed with regular insulin injections. Even though I’ve advised many people with diabetes, being diagnosed has led to a whole new level of learning and understanding of the condition.
I would also love to sleep more – I’m a bit of a night owl and can often be found on the sofa binge-watching the latest boxsets!
3. Favourite cuisine or food? I genuinely enjoy all types of food and love eating out. If I had to pick one type though, it’d be Asian street food – anything from Indian chaat to Thai sweet and spicy papaya salad.
4. One thing you are experimenting with in the kitchen? I love baking and recently signed up to an online pastry course – whilst I’m no expert, I really enjoy getting lost in the process of it all and of course sharing the treats with my family. I try (very hard!) to get my kids involved in the kitchen and encourage them to experiment with different types of food.
Jitesh is the geek on the Planet Nourish team bringing three decades of tech experience. Oh he remembers the days of the floppy disk! His journey started in investment banking technology and moved to consulting with Avanade & Accenture. He is proud of the part he recently played building out Ecommerce platforms at Asos and Just Eat. He enjoys his Indian sweets “mithai” and culturally rich food with one eye on the hereditary illnesses of Diabetes and Cholesterol that this diet brings. He is keen to play a part in helping families eat their way to better health including his own!
1. Why is health important for you? “Health is wealth” and it is as simple as that. And health is massively impacted by what you eat. With a little help and education we can live a fuller and happier life with foods that we have enjoyed growing up with, foods that I would like my children to grow up with.
2. Biggest personal Health Challenge? A balanced day! Well it’s not that simple. Juggling kids, business and life in general can mean balance goes out of the window. I’d love to be able to have a day where I have exercised, ate well, spent time with family and off course done some work. Most days exercise and eating well don’t happen. Forever trying…
3. Favourite cuisine or food? A mean masala dhosa or a middle-eastern mezze or a potato & rosemary pizza (latest fad) or sometimes a simple home based sourdough … toasted with a nice jam.
4. One thing you are experimenting with in the kitchen? It’s all about Sourdough bread at the moment; white, brown, wholemeal, with fruit, masala bread, cheese, chili…
Aarti is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach at Planet Nourish. She’s passionate about teaching the Nourisher community about the four key pillars of optimum health – food, movement, mindfulness and sleep. She advocates for holistic healthcare and views the mind and body being deeply interconnected and acknowledges the root cause of health issues. Using her diet, lifestyle and nutrigenetics expertise she has helped 100’s of people to achieve their happy weight and improve their type 2 diabetes management. Aarti’s mission is to help Nourishers “live healthy and happy till 100!” As a full-time working mum she appreciates the importance of good planning and practical, time saving tips to make the goal of great health and more energy a reality.
1. Why is health important for you? Modern day living has resulted in many of us leading fast paced lives with a knock on detrimental impact on our health. Greater self-awareness and prioritising self care is the key to developing life long healthy habits – when you feel good in yourself you can perform at your best in all areas of your life – personally and professionally. Small step changes can make a huge difference – for example, if you don’t get much exercise, something as simple as a 15 minute daily walk outside can transform your physical health AND provide an emotional boost. Helping our Nourishers to develop consistent healthy habits is key to long-term behaviour change – fad diets or quick fixes are not the answer. I am excited to be part of the Planet Nourish mission to reverse the tide and trauma of type 2 diabetes – as a community we can champion this cause together.
2. Biggest personal Health Challenge? I have a sweet tooth and am a total chocoholic – Lindt mint chocolate is a personal favourite. I’m also very aware of type 2 diabetes in my extended family which puts me at higher risk of the condition. Therefore, I try to have a balanced approach to sweet foods and limit them as much as possible. Strategies such as eating more plants, fibre and protein help to reduce my sweet cravings and choosing healthier alternatives such as fruit have helped immensely. I also worry about my future health as my mother and father both passed away in their 50’s – this has lead me to make health and fitness a priority in my life and given me a desire to help others lead long healthy lives.
3. Favourite cuisine or food? I enjoy all cuisines as a Gujarati vegetarian and love nothing more than a traditional Gujarati thali with all the trimmings – puri, thepla, bhajia, dhokla, oro (roasted aubergine), dhal – however, I’m not a fan of Indian sweets – I would choose chocolate ice cream for dessert!
4. One thing you are experimenting with in the kitchen? I have tried all sorts – I once mixed kichri (lentil and rice dish) with cheese in a blender – no surprises, it was a disaster. Thankfully, my green chutney with apple, lime, mint and coriander in the same blender have been a hit. I enjoy eating chutneys alongside lots of dishes – salads, stir fry, vegetables, sweet potato, chilla, crackers – they add a wonderful flavour dimension to dishes that would otherwise be quite bland.