Get Your Glow Back – Episode 37 – With Dr Kanchan Koya

On today’s episode of Get Your Glow Back is a seriously inspiring and driven mama, Dr Kanchan Koya. Kanchan has a PhD in molecular biology from harvard, she is a contributor to Huffington post and buzzfeed tasty, she is also the founder of her own platform spice spice baby and a holistic health coach. She is on a mission to help people embrace and understand the wonders of spices. Here are the notes from todays wonderful episode.

Kanchan’s journey from PhD to holistic health coach

She always believed in the power of food to nourish us

Dabbled in pharmaceutical drug development but heart was always in prevention rather than pharmaceutical cures 

During studies, the lab she was in began studying curcumin and it was inspiring to see the ancient wisdom she was given growing up in india being validated at harvard

Creating Spice spice baby 

Growing up she thought giving spices during weaning was normal and was surprised when her friends in new york questioned it 

There is no basis behind the misconception that babies should be weaned on bland foods

Spice spice baby is a platform to educate parents about how they can make children’s food more exciting and full of health benefits of spices

Best place to begin is with milder spices, not necessarily ‘spicy’ spices but focusing on mild aromatic ones such as turmeric, sweet paprika, cinnamon ceylon cinnamon has lower levels of cumerin which is a liver toxin. 

How motherhood has changed the way she works

Digital age has given a new opportunity for so many mothers to work flexibly 

Seeking support is really important

Prioritise what are the most important moments to connect with your children and not being afraid to seek help for those moments which are less important

Kanchan’s health philosophy

Embrace plants 

Eating for your environment – there is some interesting research that has found our microbiome reacts to our ancestors diet best, for many of us our ancestry isn’t clear enough to stick to this but perhaps following a simple wholefood diet is best

Play around with spices 

Health is about abundance not deprivation

Listen to your body, be present within it and tune into our own intuition about what we need

What quantities should we be consuming spices

The dose matters, it depends on the spice and what you are trying to achieve

If you have a condition and you are using turmeric as an inflammatory studies show high doses are required for therapeutic effect and should take a turmeric supplement

Curcumin gets a lot of attention as it is the most studied but there are other bioactive compounds in turmeric that are less known about

Regular use of a spice in cooking is always good 

With ceylon cinnamon, ½ tsp a day has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in some studies

Kanchan’s favourite spices 

Sumac – crushed berry that has powerful anti inflammatory, antioxidant effects doesn’t need to be cooked in can just be sprinkled on salads

Anything red chilli family including paprika – have capseisin which are antinflammatory 

Turmeric – add black pepper and fat source to get maximum bioavailability of curcumin

cinnamon – helps with blood sugar 

Saffron – in small studies has been shown to boost mood, smash it with the back of a spoon into hot water 

Intermittent fasting 

Eating in sync with natural rhythms and that our digestion works in cycles too 

Take a break from food for at least 13 hours overnight 

Couple of times a week does a 16 hour fast to allow her body to be metabolically flexible, creating ketone bodies and it reflects a more ancestral eating pattern

Leptin – the satiety hormone does well when we give eating a break and aren’t eating constantly but of course it depends on your bio-individuality

Teaching children about healthy eating

Make it fun – have you eaten the rainbow, are you feeding the good guys?

Also leading by example is really important 

Eating as a family can be inspiring

Following an 80 – 20 rule

Being patient

Get sneaky with adding plants into smoothies

Silencing the inner critic and motivating yourself

The war of art stephen pressfield – no matter what you are trying to do or who you are you will meet resistance on a daily basis 

The way you overcome resistance is you expect, you realise it and you move through it

Every month Kanchan writes down her ultimate mission and every time resistance or fear comes up she checks back in with her mission and moves through it

Three key points

Remember you are light and can do whatever you want don’t let the fear stop you

Spice up your life – Embrace the magic of spices

Lets get back to basics – spend time in nature, eat natural foods our health will reward us

Where to find Kanchan:



Spice Spice Baby


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