Sixteen million My Food Bag meals, thousands of recipes, hundreds of TV shows, several cookbooks, a magazine franchise and a MasterChef NZ win later, and Nadia Lim is still going strong. And at seven months’ pregnant with her second child, she’s looking great!
Nadia was guest speaker at Unitec’s Women in Leadership recent meeting and shared with the group her thoughts on leading by example, celebrating the wins and the vital connection between cooking and health and happiness.
A long-time fan of Naked Chef Jamie Oliver and a trained clinical dietician, Nadia had known from an early age that she wanted to do something with food, and changing people’s perceptions to food.
Before the Masterchef NZ final in 2011, Nadia had written “Know Your Purpose” on her hand. Although she’d gone through a gruelling three months of fierce competition, she was non-plussed about taking the crown and felt satisfied that she’d done her best to get to that point. The rest, of course, is history.
Nadia has applied that same focus to her involvement with My Food Bag (she’s one of the founders), which is now delivering food and recipes to nearly 90% of the country and has single-handedly brought about a shift in farming practices in this country.
Nadia’s management style is all about empowering people. She much prefers to give guidance and inspiration so people can make decisions for themselves, rather than dictating how things should be done. She credits her parents with having had a seminal influence on her, often citing her father’s words, “Don’t think of how you can be successful, just focus on how you can help others”. Success for her is seeing how many people she’s convinced to cook at home — and to take pride in the food they’ve prepared. She’s also passionate about the journey behind the plate and sustainability, as well as food being the focal point of the family. She operates a no-TV policy at home and has even got her young son picking and eating Brussel sprouts from their home garden.
And to all future leaders, Nadia advocates making sure you enjoy the journey and not just the focusing on the destination - advice she wishes someone had given her when she was starting out. “Make sure you celebrate the wins”, she says, “that’s what will keep you going”.
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