She's Empowered Spotlight: Kanchan Koya, founder of Spice Spice Baby
My name is Kanchan Koya and I am motivated to help people feel better in their bodies (and minds!) and find joy in their lives. I have a PhD in Biomedicine from Harvard Medical School and a Health Coaching Certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I combine that knowledge with my love for delicious food and spices to help people elevate their health while also enjoying mouth watering food through my platform Spice Spice Baby.
What do you do for work? Tell us about your professional journey.
After completing my PhD in Molecular Cancer Biology at Harvard, I worked in the Biotechnology and Drug Development world for a few years. When my son was born and I was focused on giving him the best start possible healthwise, I realised there was an opportunity to share the power of food as medicine, particularly spices, that have been revered for their healing properties for centuries. I started Spice Spice Baby as a blog and didn't really expect it to take off as a full time business but fast forward to 7 years later and I am so grateful I get to call my passion project work.
How do you stay motivated?
Like everyone else, I have good days and challenging days. Juggling motherhood, work, self-care, my relationships and friendships, hobbies -- it's not easy and I am not going to claim I have found that elusive 'balance' or ever will. What motivates me is the desire to share what I know to help others and to allow that work to be a channel for my creativity. I struggle with imposter syndrome, procrastination, negative self talk and fear (like many others!) but I try to focus on how I can add value to others lives and that keeps me going. I"ve also given up on the idea of a 'perfect life' whatever that is and am learning to kindly and compassionately embrace the beautiful mess that real life often is.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in starting a business?
Let go of the idea that you are going to get it right on day 1. Embrace the power of iteration. Try something, get feedback, tweak it, try again. Stop taking things personally (it's hard I know). This is about building something long term and bigger than you. Also, lean on others! People are more willing to help than you realise. And focus on adding value to the world and ultimately you will find fulfilment.
What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community?
I like to remind people to take their health seriously but to also be kind to themselves and to one another. The health and wellness world can feel very all or nothing - you are either the perfect poster child of health and radiance or you're a failure. Life is grey and no one is perfect. I #spreadgood by reminding myself and others that we are all human, that we can try to improve without being so hard on ourselves and that there is no one size fits all solution to health and happiness.
Who is one person who inspires you and why?
My grandmother lived her life focused on others and her selflessness inspires me everyday.
How do you work to stay centered and practice self-care in your busy day-to-day reality?
I focus on a few non-negotiables like meditation (even if it's while I'm walking) and movement. Breaking a sweat for even 20 minutes centers and grounds me and elevates my mood and motivation. I also focus on kindness to myself. Some days I am scattered and all over the place and my job is to simply pause and recognise that I am human.
What do you like to do for fun, when you aren't working?
I'm a huge foodie so I love exploring new restaurants with friends and family. I also love taking long walks, yoga and enjoying a good glass of red wine with an engrossing book.
What are some of your favorite recipes with Ground Up?
Cardamom, cinnamon oats with a dollop of the Rose Chai butter, Oat Cacao Energy balls and a simple slice of sourdough toast with Ground up and smashed raspberries.