Welcome to Project Fabulous Femme! Once or twice a month, I'll introduce you to a Fabulous Femme who's inspired me. I invite them to share their perspectives on being a modern woman and other vital corps topics. Please be kind, curious, and open-minded.
Jas is a health conscious entrepreneur here in Western MA. So, it’s not surprising that a mutual friend eventually introduced us. Considering healthy home cooking is a big challenge for many of my frazzled clients, especially the working moms, I was stoked to sit down with Jas. She’s the founder of AuthenFOOD, a service that delivers personalized, healthy meals to your doorstep (or ones in Western MA, Northern CT and growing!). That means if you want a week’s worth of gluten-free, vegetarian dinners, you got it. That could be really handy when you’re having an outrageously busy week. Being busy is something Jas, a vegetarian, knows well coming from the world of finance before turning entrepreneur. Without any further adieu, meet Jas.
Q + A
How would you define being a modern woman in 2016? You need to be confident in this new age. Stand with your head held high and embrace your weaknesses. Embracing your weakness doesn’t mean you underestimate yourself. Embracing weaknesses means you realize where you lack something. You can learn to overcome weaknesses or adjust your tasks and team according to them. Having confidence also means you need to trust yourself. Often times I feel women don’t trust themselves or that they are capable of doing something. This goes for me, too. Whenever I feel doubtful of my own ability, I remind myself to trust my capabilities. When I trust myself, it emanates across to others; and they also place their trust in me.
What would you like to see modern women give more of a shit about? Invest in yourself! Whether it’s in your health, career, education or hobbies. Don’t feel guilty in doing something for yourself. A common thing that resonates with all females is that we feel guilty if we are doing something just for ourselves. We feel we are being selfish. However, it’s a very important part of being happy! You need to be selfish for self-growth and to understand yourself eventually. When you invest in yourself in some area, you improve yourself and that in turn makes you feel accomplished and happy. When you are happy, then you can make other people around you happy!
Conversely, what would you like see modern women give less of a shit about? Don’t care about what others think of you. You can’t make everyone happy; and you can’t even do everything that others’ want - be it family or friends. Do what you gut says and always trust your instincts. One bit of career advice for women – stop playing it safe! Take risks! You can change things and bring a revolution in your own way!
What is your superpower? In other words, what can you do on a rockstar-level without even thinking about it? People tell me that professional networking is tough and lot of work. Funny enough, I like to do things that put me out of my comfort zone, so I can network like crazy. I have been told that I am good at it, but I have also seen people who are amazing at it! My key to networking effectively is to relax and talk normally - how I would talk when I meet someone new socially. Use a few icebreaker questions and then ask them how can I help them. Remember, the other person is also a human; they are also networking at an event for a purpose. Always offer to help the other person whichever way you can. Most people end up helping you tremendously. I have gotten all of my previous jobs through networking, so I know networking definitely helps.
What way of eating nourishes you the best or makes you feel your healthiest? Why do you think it works so well? I feel healthiest when I am having lots of veggies and fruits. I am a vegetarian and follow that diet. The common misconception is a vegetarian diet is healthy, but bland, I find it very tasty. The best thing about my vegetarian diet is that it doesn’t make me feel sluggish. I keep very active. I take in limited carbohydrates and fat in my diet and focus more on veggies. The fiber in veggies keeps my digestive system healthy. The limited intake of carbohydrates keeps me active. A high content of carbohydrates ends up slowing me down, so I regulate my intake daily.
Is stress necessary on the path to success? Why or why not? Think of stress as your friend. Some stress in life is absolutely necessary because it keeps you going and in check. When I am stressed about something, first thing I think is, “OK, now what am I going to do about it?.” If there is something I can do to relieve my stress, I act on it. If there is nothing I can do, then I exercise. Running or doing yoga helps me cope with my stress and understanding why am I really stressed. Understanding the core reason is the key to dissolving my stress. Stress actually helps me stay cognizant of my goals and keeps me going. Stress generally has a very negative connotation, but it really helps us understand what we really want. [Kara note: Jas is totally right. On one side of the stress coin, we have eustress, the good kind that Jas is talking about. On the other side, we have distress, the yucky kind. Our perception factors into how it affects our physiology.]
Who’s a fabulous femme inspiring you? What makes her so fab? My mom inspires me. She has broken stereotypes as a successful business woman - the first among her family to be a business owner. She is highly independent and has an amazing “I can do it” attitude. Watching her while growing up gave me the confidence and ability to take charge of everything in my life.
If another woman wants to connect with you, how would you prefer that happens? Email or a phone call both work well: email@example.com or 617.646.9139.
Note: If you’re in AuthenFOOD’s growing service area and want to give it a try, enter promo code “vital discount” at checkout to save $5. (Thanks to Jas for that.)
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