We know that you're thinking - what is a "Nive Girl of the Month"? Each week, we will be interviewing a millennial woman that acts as a catalyst for deviating from the typical nine-to-five lifestyle. This week, our Nive Girl of the Month is Natasha Arora, Ph.D., scientist turned entrepreneur and founder of Eats Treats & Parsnips.
In a world where food allergies are becoming increasingly more common, Natasha has decided to use her background in Biology to strategically coach individuals who have multiple or complex dietary requirements. Along with coaching, Natasha has also crafted an expansive list of recipes on her website, as well as a delicious summer menu! (We recommend checking out the Nectarine Blueberry Crumble)
We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling hungry already. Grab a bite and check out Natasha’s interview with Nive Girl this month!
Tell us a little about your background
“I may live in Boston, but I’m a Hoosier at heart. Seeing the sunrise over cornfields makes me smile, and I shoot hoops in the rain. After studying interdisciplinary science at IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis), I moved to Boston to become a scientist. I earned a Ph.D. in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard Medical School and studied gut health as a post-doctoral fellow at MIT. The way of thinking that I developed as a scientist is key to my current venture. When I’m not working, I take my dog on adventures, cook, and garden.”
What is something that most people don't know about you?
“I don’t wear dresses or heels.”
As our Nive Girl of the Month, how do you think you would define your individual style?
“Laid back and comfortable. I’m not one to sacrifice comfort or function for style. My go to outfit is a nice pair of jeans, a plain T-shirt, and cowboy boots.”
Tell us about your morning routine!
“I adjust based on my goals for the day and my energy level. If I’m excited for the day and can’t wait to get started (which usually happens), I’ll be up fairly early and start working over breakfast. If I was working late the night before, I’ll let myself sleep in. Breakfast is always the first thing on my mind. Some people need coffee to get going; I need food. So, I always have quick breakfast foods around. Often, it’s something I made a batch of when I was meal prepping, usually oats or a smoothie or cereal with fruit. For a special treat, I make sweet potato pie for breakfast! (More recipes here) After breakfast, my dog and I go for a long walk, and then we get back to work. Or rather, I work and he naps.”
How have you chosen to deviate from the typical 40-hour workweek? What initially prompted you to start your own business?
“I aim for a 40 hour work week, but they aren’t all put in 9-5, Monday through Friday. Aiming for a 40 hour week stops me from being too excited and over committing. By planning around a 40 hour week, I set achievable goals and still have time for sleeping, exercising, and socializing. If I want/need to work more than 40 hours, there’s room for that too. Sometimes I’ll take the morning off to clear my mind, and then the afternoon will be incredibly productive. Other times I’ll work all day on a Saturday because I want to.
In a nutshell, I’ve found a way to simultaneously have structure and flexibility. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I’ve seen how both are required for success. I’ve kept that and many other valuable lessons in the back of my mind over the years. When I saw a business opportunity in the gut health space, I went for it! I knew I could make an impact helping people eat and feel better.”
Starting your own business can be a tough road. In the difficult moments, how do you stay focused on moving forward and making progress?
“When things get tough, I take two steps. First, I step back and reassess from a high level what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. If the original plan still fits, I keep at it. If it doesn’t, I make a new one, and the road usually gets easier. Second, I break the plan down into manageable pieces. That way, no matter how tough things seem, there is always a way to move forward.”
Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
“My parents. They are a terrific team. They’ve worked together on dozens of companies, including two Inc. 500 fastest growing companies. I couldn’t ask for better role models or advisers.”
What is one piece of advice that you'd like to share with our readers?
“Don’t be afraid to adjust your vision and your plan. Especially when starting out, plans change rapidly as you learn about the market and how your target customers are responding to your message. Seek input from as many different sources as you can because you never know who will inspire your next move!”
THE INTERVIEW DOESN'T STOP HERE...
Whether you have an allergy, or you know someone that does, check out Natasha’s website at eatstreatsandparsnips.com or follow the Eats Treats & Parsnips Instagram page here for your daily dose of food inspiration!
Don't be shy, we don't bite! If you know somebody that would like to be interviewed as the next Nive Girl of the Month, don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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