My Story

Hi, I’m Mukta Gadkari.

A California-based food lover, certified holistic nutritionist and wellness advocate, I started Mukta’s Nutrition Kitchen as a resource for you to get healthy and feel good everyday.

This goes beyond weight-loss or disease prevention (although those are feasible side-effects!).

My “feel-good nutrition” approach is designed to help you:

    • create a healthy, lasting balance that honors your uniqueness;
    • cultivate a peaceful, playful relationship with food;
    • tune-in to your body, mind & free-spirit so you can enjoy that cupcake (or samosa) when you want – no guilt, no fear;
    • be in control, and use your off-switch, now and then;
    • recognize how your choices impact your health and the planet;
    • show up nourished, kick butt, and do it again tomorrow.

I start where you are, celebrate your successes, cheer you through challenges and hold you accountable to knock out your health goals, one by one.  It takes work, patience and grit but the reward is a lifetime of confidence, and knowing exactly what it takes to nourish yourself.


I found my own balance by accident. 

Food was a big part of my life, growing up. My parents taught themselves how to cook everything, on a budget, from scratch (no matter the cuisine). You wanted Thai food? They had the ingredients. A roast-chicken dinner – complete with homemade gravy and stuffing? No problem. A Korean feast with bulgogi, kalbi and 4 types of kimchi? Coming right up! As we moved across continents during my childhood, they made the most of local ingredients, and I was surrounded by mouthwatering smells and flavors until I left for boarding school as a 12-year old.

But it was only then that food became enticing.

Homesick, and ill-equipped to even think about nutrition, I ate my way through all the local restaurants that offered comfort food (pizzas, momos, cheese parathas, rhubarb pie and chocolate cake) along with midnight packets of ramen, cans of tuna and bottles of Miracle Whip. My favorite meal served in the school cafeteria was fried fish drenched in pink tartar sauce (don’t judge, I’d still eat it today!). And by the time I moved to a college dorm in the Midwest, I was on fire – and ready to devour anything that came my way.

As you’d expect, my new love of food came with baggage: extra weight, ill-fitted clothes, skin flare-ups and self-esteem issues, and I struggled to balance satisfying my taste-buds (and inner glutton) with feeling comfortable in my skin.

Then I found yoga.

My accidental turning point came in my early 20s when my mom introduced me to yoga – and something clicked. Like she had handed me a key to my body, and given me access. As I practiced yoga, I became more aware of my mind-body connection, and this only grew clearer over the years.

What did yoga have to do with food? Everything. Yoga helped me tune-in to how different foods made me feel. How they affected my energy, sleep, stress and mood. The more I listened, the more mindful I became – and it wasn’t long before I found myself craving and enjoying foods that I had never eaten before.

This discovery was a revelation, and it took another decade of self-inflicted food experiments, dealing with piles of corporate stress and going back to school to study nutrition, to unravel what worked and what didn’t.

And here’s what worked for me:

    • keeping it simple, with a real whole-foods, balanced diet – as a foundation;
    • cooking at home, at least 5 times/week;
    • educating myself on ingredients, their impact to my health, communities and environment.
    • listening to my body for internal cues before reaching for food;
    • recognizing that what feels good, sticks;
    • placing deprivation and guilt (firmly) out of the picture; and
    • staying true to my values while taking pleasure in food!

As I made changes to my diet, lifestyle, mindset and created my own balance, my skin cleared up. I felt stronger, lighter, more intentional (yet relaxed) with my food choices, and more comfortable in my body. Above all, I became confident that if I ever lost my balance again, I had my own secret sauce to get me back on track.


Let’s create a balance you love.

Are you ready to show up nourished, everyday and give the world everything you’ve got? Then ditch the short-term diets, cleanses and calorie-counting once and for all, and let’s get to work!

Contact me today for your first free consultation. I offer 1:1 personalized consulting packages as well as classes and workshops (pricing varies), and together we can decide what works best for you.


Education

Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate), Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board

Nutrition Consultant  Certification from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition & Culinary Arts

Approved Coaching Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) Certified, International Coaching Federation (ICF)

MA in Human Resources & Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota

BA in Psychology with a Minor in Promotional Communications from the College of St. Catherine


Here’s more…

I’m easily amused by silliness, and am a sucker for giant trees, big dogs and wildflowers. I’m big on avocados, kale and quinoa, partial to red wine and dark chocolate and make a mean kombucha.

I’ve been on the move all my life; growing up in the Philippines, India, Nigeria, the UK and US. My current home is Northern California, but am always dreaming of my next move (preferably to a tropical beach!). And when I’m not being a food nerd (i.e. researching, writing or teaching about food), you will find me wreaking havoc in my kitchen and gallivanting with my husband and favorite food critic, Todd.

And most likely, I’ll be thinking about food.

But enough about me. I want to hear about you!

Let’s connect! Contact me directly at realfood@muxcooks.com or via this contact form, or add me on Instagram or Facebook. I can’t wait to meet you!

-xo Mukta