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Today we’d like to introduce you to Gauri Junnarkar.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
My journey began in Mumbai India. Growing up I was exposed to the most aromatic, nutritious, delicious food, full of spices. One day while I was helping mom cut onions, I got distracted and slightly scrapped my thumb. Blood started coming out, my mom inspected the cut and instructed me to wash my hand, and pat it dry with the towel. Next she asked me to take a pinch of turmeric and dab it on my cut. In few seconds the blood had stopped coming out. In next week days the cut had completely healed. I was amazed at the healing benefits of Turmeric. Something so simple had such profound effect. Later my mom explained the healing properties of turmeric and briefly talked about Ayurveda. The ancient holistic health science of India. The turmeric incident left a lasting impression on me and kindled my curiosity about Ayurveda even more. I read a few books on Ayurveda and that completely blew away. I decided to learn Ayurveda formally and get a Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda. I did my Bachelors degree in Ayurvedic Medicine/Ayurveda from University of Mumbai. I learnt the nitty grities of Ayurvedic principles, ayurvedic diet, Ayurvedic therapies and Panchakarma. I fell in love with the Ayurvedic approach to health and wellness. I worked as an Ayurveda Practitioner in an Ayurvedic clinic in India before coming to US.
What did you do after your undergraduation?
I followed my husband to the US. Coming here 15 years ago, there wasn’t much awareness about Ayurveda. I wanted to do something that came closest to Ayurveda in its wellness aspect. I researched and found about Nutrition Science. I had studied Ayurvedic Diet and Ayurvedic food principles. I choose to become a Dietitian. While competing my studies, my background in Ayurveda inspired me to do my master’s thesis research on “Dietary Curcumin (phytochemical in Turmeric) and its effect in Melanoma (skin cancer)”, which was selected at the National conference on Experimental Biology under “Diet and Cancer” and also at the Texas Dietetic Association conference. I finished my Masters in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University, finished my clinical internship, gave the national CDR Board Exam and become a Registered Dietitian. Later applied for a License for Dietitian and started working in hospitals. I worked in outpatient Diabetes for a long time and obtained advanced certification as certified Diabetes Educator.
How did your venture begin?
After working in the hospital setting for a long time, my mind would always tell me ‘ you need to go back to your roots, you need to bring in the knowledge of Ayurveda’ that is how ‘ Ayurnutrition’ was started in 2009. I wanted to add the Panchakarma and Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage to practice, that’s when I went back to Kekino Massage Institute and got trained in Massage Therapy and become a Licensed Massage Therapist. At Ayurnutrition we offer a unique approach to one’s health and wellness. We combine the age old wisdom of Ayurveda with Nutrition and Massage Therapy and provide an individualized wellness plan that fits one’s lifestyle and needs. Our motto is Balance Nourish Rejuvenate.
I am a highly trained and accomplished Ayurveda and Panchakarma Specialist. I have been practicing Ayurveda for the last 14 years. I am a dedicated Nutrition Professional with 9+years’ experience as Registered/Licensed Dietitian and 5+ years as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). My expertise includes Ayurveda, Panchakarma, Diet, Nutrition and Diabetes education. I integrate Ayurveda principles with Nutrition in my daily practice. I teach nutrition courses to undergraduate students at a local area County College. I am a faculty member at International University of Yoga and Ayurveda.
I am very passionate about teaching Ayurveda and Nutrition. I write articles and provide workshops on Ayurveda and Nutrition throughout the DFW metroplex. I help people achieve their health and wellness goals through an Integrative approach. This is my story in a nutshell.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Life is always full of struggles. We either can choose to accept the struggles and do nothing about it or look at how to overcome those struggles and move forward. I decided to overcome them and move forward. I remember being a student finances was the biggest struggle. I am grateful for the teaching and research assistant positions I got in the university that paid for the tuition and expenses. I am thankful for my husband who taught me financial sense. Both off us planned well and that helped. I remember when as students we didn’t have a car and would take a bus to the nearest Walmart to get groceries. We had to complete the groceries in that one hour and make in time to get back home. We relied on wonderful friends to celebrate our joys and times of stress. I am grateful for all these teaching moments in my life. I always remember those days and feel grateful.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ayurnutrition – what should we know?
Ayurnutrition is an integrative health and wellness company, which offers a variety of services such as Ayurveda, Nutrition, Panchkarma and Massage Therapy. Here at Ayurnutrition we offer a unique approach to one’s health and wellness. We combine the age old wisdom of Ayurveda with Nutrition and massage therapy to provide an individualized wellness plan that fits one’s lifestyle and needs.
We are known for our unique approach of Balance, Nourish and Rejuvenate. Balance stands for Ayurveda, Nourish stands for nutrition and Rejuvenate stands for Massage Therapy. ‘Ayurveda’ is a Sanskrit word and is made of two parts ‘Ayur’ meaning life and ‘Veda’ meaning science, hence Ayurveda essentially means ‘Science of life’. Ayurveda is a unique holistic health science which focuses on the mind body relation and the importance of balance between the various physiological components to ensure health. Nutrition looks at the effects of diet on the body. A healthy diet can provide essential nutrients required for proper functioning of the body. Massage rejuvenates mind and body. It is said to boost immunity, relax the mind, reduce stress, improve muscle tone, increase joint flexibility, and reduces lower back pain.
What sets us apart is our integrative approach to wellness and offering a personalized wellness plan, our professionalism, our knowledge and great customer service.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family, my mom, husband, my 8 yr. old son and our pet Olaf have been my rock. They have always supported and believed in me and our company. My husband Kaushik Chaudhuri has been my mentor and provided me the best support, emotionally, financially and has been there at every step to guide me. I can’t thank him enough for being patient and being there for us. We want to also thank all of our clients who have supported us both financially and helped us improve and move forward.