Nutritionist to stars like DeepikaPadukone, SonamKapoor, RanbirKapoor and SushmitaSen, 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 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 and Zespri Kiwifruit. 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. Other brand associations include L’Oreal and Vogue and she has also been invited to give nutritional talks by Bajaj Allianz, Kotak, Citibank and HP as well as inaugurated a one-of-a-kind diet clinic in Kolkata.
Her bestselling book released in 2012, Eat Delete is in its third reprint and has already been translated into Hindi, Bengali and Gujarati with a Marathi edition in the works. She is working on two more books – Eat Delete Junior (Title TBC), a book on child nutrition as well as N for Nourish (Title TBC), a children’s book aimed at teaching kids about nutrition – and hopes to release them in the coming year. She also had her own TV show – the Pooja Makhija show – on the Food Food channel and has a regular column in the Bombay Times.
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.