Inspiration: Toral Shah, Founder of Urban Kitchen

It’s been a while since we’ve written an inspirational post, so we knew our next one had to be a good one! We’ve featured so many awesome women on the blog but for the very first time we’ve had the privilege of meeting and interviewing one ourselves. Toral Shah is the founder of Urban Kitchen, a healthy meal delivery service.

Toral’s Startup Journey

Toral attended medical school but soon realised that a career in medicine was not the right choice for her. She graduated with a BSc in Cell Biology and also completed a course at Le Cordon Bleu while she was at university. While working towards all these qualifications, Toral was also looking after her mother who was fighting breast cancer.

After university, she took a job in the City. She was was working long hours, so she had to eat most of her meals at the office. Workweek dinners were all takeaway and she hated that there were no healthy options available to her. (I’ve only recently left the finance world and I can attest to the fact that the problem still exists! Long hours and a poor diet are what led me to a complete lifestyle and career change). That’s when Toral realised that there was scope for a healthy meal service. After she left her City job, Toral worked at both EAT and Pret a Manger to gain a better understanding of the food business. She also studied for a Masters in Nutrition. However, at the end of her course, when she was 29, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent aggressive treatment and despite having a large tumour, she recovered. The doctors attributed this to her healthy diet, which was full of immune-boosting superfoods.

Once she was back to her fighting self, Toral launched Urban Kitchen in 2012. The idea was simple – delicious, nutritious food with seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients.

Toral’s Health Tips

  1. Drink enough water. Being just 1-2% dehydrated can diminish brain capacity by 10%
  2. Never skip breakfast. Our metabolisms are steam engines that need to be fuelled
  3. Eat 5-9 portions of fruit and veg a day
  4. Get lots of sleep
  5. Be happy. Have fun. 

Even more awesomeness

Toral practices Aikido, a Japanese martial art, which focuses on the concept of purposeful practice and the bringing together of the body and the mind. She also completed the London Triathlon in between cancer treatments. Toral makes time for meditation everyday (using the Headspace app) and, in addition to all these achievements, is a Breast Cancer Ambassador. We couldn’t think of a more wonderful role model. Hello, Wonder Woman!

Keep working,

Shaleena and Roshni


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