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Meet Anu Simh of A nu Way

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anu Simh.

Anu, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a former high school teacher who was always interested in health and nutrition. As a teacher, many of the projects I did with my students were centered around health and nutrition. A few years ago, my son who was at UC Merced came home sick. He went from a slim 160 lbs.to 250 lbs. The weight gain had made his liver very sluggish. He wanted to lose weight and start feeling like himself again and asked me for help. We started eliminating some of the usual triggers like gluten, dairy, and sugar. In a matter of a few weeks, he was feeling much better and started losing the extra lbs.

Around this same time, I was nursing my 85-year-old mother back to health, and I myself had been struggling with menopausal symptoms, so I decided it was much easier for the whole family to be on the same diet as my son. Sure enough, my mom’s HbA1c for the very first time had dropped to under seven (blood sugar average of three months). Just these few tweaks in our diet made a huge difference in all our lives! It reiterated our belief in the power of nutrition.

My son who was a mainstream pastry chef decided he would embrace more of a plant-based diet and started experimenting with alternatives to gluten, sugar, and dairy in the kitchen. It took us two years to come up with the perfect cookie recipe with no sugar, gluten or dairy. This was our very first product. Soon we expanded the line to nut butters, sweeteners and other products.

We received such positive feedback from our friends and relatives about our products that we decided to start our plant-based gluten-free company. I took an early retirement from teaching and started A nu Way with my son, and at the same time, I dove even deeper into my passion for wellness by becoming a certified Functional Health Coach.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road. Like any new business, we faltered along the way and made lots of mistakes. We continue to make mistakes, but as long as we are learning and growing from them it’s all fine! We hired a consultant to help us navigate FDA guidelines because we wanted to do everything by the book! We started making our products in a shared commercial kitchen. Today, we have our own kitchen. We hope to be Kosher certified soon. Our biggest challenge continues to be scaling and expansion while mandatorily maintaining the same quality product.

As a practitioner, I thought with my degree in Science and my Functional Health Coaching certification I would simply open my doors and have clients walk in. I had no idea how difficult it would be to get a private practice off the ground. No one warned me about the advertising and marketing aspects of a business. I hired a business and a marketing coach to help me with things outside my comfort zone. I think it’s ok to ask for help and any new entrepreneur should accept that there will be areas where they are naturally going to shine and areas where they are going to be challenged!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
A Nu Way is a plant-based, gluten-free, health food company. We understand the value of the old ways of preparing food and the importance of using only whole ingredients. Our products are always free of refined sugar.

We founded this company with one goal in mind: To supply health food products that are made purely for our customers. The food industry is over saturated with health food companies, but few are willing to give up on easy to use additives, cane sugar, and other junk that has no place in our diets. Our promise to our customers is we will never stock a product that doesn’t adhere to our three core company values: Whole Ingredient, Plant-Based, and Gluten-Free.

You can order our products @ anuway.net or find us at the Little Italy Mercato on Wednesdays and Saturdays and the Pacific Beach Market on Tuesdays.

As a Functional health coach, I guide women to feel healthy, sexy, strong and balanced as they transition through menopause and beyond. Typically, my clients struggle with issues like gut dysbiosis (constipation, gas, bloating) night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain, and low metabolism. I believe everything begins with a healthy digestive system. When a client comes to me the very first thing we work on is optimal digestion through whole foods and changes in lifestyle.

I do not believe in crash diets. In fact, I will usually tell a prospective client I am your coach if you are deeply interested in taking your health to the next level. My job is to form a therapeutic partnership with my client and explore what’s happening to the food my client is eating when it meets her unique physiology. You see it’s all about bio-individuality. Back when I was in school, I remember my teacher saying “One man’s food can be another man’s poison!”

I look at the entire body and see how one organ is affecting another. Let’s say a client comes to me with symptoms of feeling low, fatigue or weight gain. I will look at what else is happening in the body. For example: How is her digestion? Sleep? Stress level. In other words, the symptoms and the origin of the problem does not have to be from the same place. We will map out all of it and decide where to start.

What were you like growing up?
I was always a dreamer and a creative person. I grew up in a typical Indian family.

Although my parents encouraged my creativity and passion for languages ( I speak 6), they did not see how it would support me financially. Like a good Indian girl, I got my undergrad degree in Science!

My parents were right, and I did get jobs to sustain me financially because of my science background, but I was determined that it would not be the case with my children. Both my kids were encouraged to pursue their dreams.

My son who is the CEO and head of R&D of A nuway attributes his confidence and fearlessness to the unstifled way he was raised and encouraged to find his own path.

Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so – who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.
There are so many people who have helped us in the journey starting with our friends and family who believed in our idea. I believe strongly we cannot succeed without the help and guidance of people you trust. I think all our prior life experiences have helped us have faith in ourselves to start this business. Every step of the way we have turned to others who knew more than us about starting a new business. It’s amazing how many people have helped us, given us free advice and rooted for us. For example, all the wonderful people at the various farmer’s markets like Daniel Housenga from Empanada Kitchen who mentored my son, helped him take this to fruition. My son’s girlfriend Sunny has been a rock and has helped him by going to the kitchen with him at all odd hours and working at all the farmer’s markets.

In the coaching world all my teachers, former and current have helped me to have confidence in what I know. Tia Kelly helps me from the business coaching angle and is always encouraging me to challenge myself. Molly Winjum has been brilliantly creating the perfect logo for me and continues to work on my website. My best friend Fiona Affarano helps so much just by listening without judgment when I rant about my trials and tribulations around the business! My Spiritual teacher Sharada Ma keeps me calm and centered every day. I am able to practice non-attachment to results because of her! My lovely daughter Anjali is our silent cheerleader and also our unpaid copy editor and proof reader! Last but not the least, my husband who is so patient with me as we embark on this adventure. He is always supportive and encouraging of everything I set out to do.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tia Kelly

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