This is the first in a series of Women of Colour (WOC) in Wellness – an audio blog dedicated to diving into diversity in the industry through candid conversation.
Each blog will feature a WOC in the wellness industry, where we chat about their career and how we can bring more diverse voices into the spotlight. You’ll be able to pick and choose which parts of our conversation call out to you, but of course – I urge you to listen to every soundbite! Each one is under a digestible five minutes.
My first feature is Parm Manhas, a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Therapeutic Natural Chef based in London, UK.
We first met at a writing retreat in Cinque Terre a couple years ago, and have worked together since on her web copy and course launch.
I’m thrilled to share her story and our powerful conversation.
The Big Why
So, why this topic – and why now? As a wellness copywriter, who am I to start this conversation?
Here’s why I was inspired to start this series, and what Parm has to say:
Parm’s career has so many layers, and I wanted to know how she ended up where she was today – she’s sat front row at Chanel, and holed herself up at home for months when she realized burnout was more serious than she thought.
So, how did she end up being a high-end nutritionist in London?
My favorite quote?
“I’m my own mentor.”
Steal this quote for your office, Instagram post or inspo when you need it!
I believe our relationships to how we meld wellness into our everyday lives starts as children – and that’s where I wanted to go next in this conversation.
We chat about weight gain in Parm’s teenage years, the moment she realized she had chronic illness – and how fitness became part of her routine, “like brushing her teeth.”
the spaces we navigate
From sweaty spin classes for Parm in Toronto to kirtan yoga sessions in London, we discuss how the lenses of diversity can shift…
… Depending on your environment.
Here’s the thing: for Parm and I – the umbrella term of “WOC” never felt like it applied to us, growing up.
In a world that is increasingly more aware and at the same time, filled with more labels than before – we chat about how that mindset shifted for us, and what we can do now to support other WOC in our communities.
And, you’ll hear me describe how yoga class for me was a little different in Kenya…
the cultural tension
How does a nutritionist start helping loved ones, without stepping on traditions?
This came up in our conversation, and is an important piece of how modern wellness and ancestral diets can struggle to meet in the middle.
the current awareness level
When I first set out on this project, I put it out there to my community – who comes to mind, when they think of a woman of colour as a thought leader or influencer in the wellness industry?
With the exception of two or three women making the circuit at wellness events here in Vancouver, Parm’s answer echoes just about everyone I spoke to – and it might surprise you.
Do you have a different answer? Let me know in the comments below!
Why are we lacking diversity in the wellness space, and how can that shift take place for the next generation of WOC?
the way forward
From Lily Singh to Rupi Kaur: we chat about how they broke onto the entertainment scene, and what they have in common with Parm that we can all use to build our platforms and set an example.
the call to action
Simple, actionable advice from Parm – in under 46 seconds. Learn, rinse and repeat.
Since we’re here – I had to ask Parm for some wellness pointers! If there’s two things she would recommend everyone start doing, like, yesterday – here they are.
Now, over to you!
What did you take away from this conversation? What did you wish would have been raised? Are there WOC in the wellness industry that inspire you?
Let me know in the comments below!