About the Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics (IND) Member Interest Group
Welcome to the Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics (IND) Member Interest Group (MIG) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! We are so glad you have joined this dynamic group of leaders. We sincerely appreciate your support and enthusiasm.
- A voice that advocates for cultural topics, serving as a direct resource to the Academy Diversity Committee and internal teams.
- Opportunity to connect Indian peers on niche topics.
- An IND website to help foster community and connect you with resources.
- A connected, collaborative community with opportunities for FNCE® networking events, year-round communication and a member directory which allows you to identify fellow members
- Access to education and professional development through CPEU webinar trainings, educational toolkits and scholarships for lifelong learning on topics such as clinical diets, cultural foods, holistic, integrative, and functional medicine/nutrition, outreach, impact on nutrition of cultural and ethnic food choices, traditional medicine, and more.
- Opportunities for leadership development within the IND Executive Committee, through leadership development programs and scholarships.
- Social media engagement to foster connections with peers and hear latest announcements.
Meet the 2020-2021 IND MIG Executive Committee & Leadership Team
Mudita Arora MSc, MS, RDN, LD
Mudita Arora MSc, MS, RDN, LD, is the Chair for the IND MIG and immediate past State Media Representative for Kentucky Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a native of New Delhi, India and currently lives in Los Gatos, California. She received a BSc. in Home Science, MSc. in Food Science and Nutrition from India, second MS Degree in Hospitality & Dietetics Administration from University of Kentucky as well as Culinary and Management internship at Penn State University. Mudita worked as a Neurology Dietitian in Augusta, Georgia; Clinical Nutrition Manager at University of Maryland Medical System and as the Consultant Dietitian for Patient Dining Project and as a Director of Food and Clinical Nutrition Services at the University of Kentucky HealthCare. Currently, she is working as a Clinical Nutrition Manager and subject matter expert (SME) for Healthcare Food Service Systems and Special Projects in San Jose, California. Interesting Fact: She has completed pro bono diabetes management and weight loss consultation for Kentucky guests on famous Dr. Phil’s line of production, TV show ‘Face the Truth’. Mudita can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aarti Batavia MS, RDN, CLT, CFSP, IFMCP
Aarti is one of the very few advanced functional medicine practitioners who is not only IFM Certified, but also trained by the research neurologist and author Dr. Dale Bredesen himself to implement the Bredesen Protocol. “The Bredesen Protocol” utilizing the systems biology approach taken by Functional Medicine. She is the owner of Nutrition and Wellness Consulting LLC. Aarti helps individuals create vibrant, nourishing lives combining the very best of modern science, nature, and ancient Indian wisdom. She has been awarded the Michigan Dietetic Association Institutional (MDAI) scholarship for her scholastic achievements and leadership in community activities. Aarti is a published author and has contributed a chapter “Developing Interventions to address Priorities: Food, Dietary Supplements, Lifestyle, and Referrals,” in the new functional medicine textbook entitled Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy. Aarti holds a master’s degree in Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics from Mumbai, India, and a Coordinated Program in Dietetics from Wayne State University, Michigan. Enjoys traveling, creating fusion recipes and is a life-long student. Aarti can be reached at email@example.com
Sangeeta Shrivastava PhD, RDN
Sangeeta is a Clinical Dietitian in a subacute setting and a faculty at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, CA. She is now putting her private practice into perspective by name of Dr Sangeeta Nutrition. She holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry. She practiced as a dietitian in a India for 7 years before moving to the United States. She went back to school to become RDN here in the United Stares. Nutrition and Dietetics are not only her profession but true passion where she visualizes to empower each person about a healthy lifestyle to reduce the burden of health disparities in the community. As a clinical dietitian, she strongly believes that if nutrition is at the forefront of the care, the cost of health care, length of hospital stay, and rate of readmission will significantly be reduced. Sangeeta is the winner of the Emerging Dietetic Leader Award in CA in 2018, she also earned AIND: MIG Star Award during FNCE® in Washington DC. Sangeeta was named Outstanding Faculty by CPP athletic department based on her student nomination in 2019. Sangeeta has co-authored a chapter on Ayurveda in a functional medicine textbook. She is Chair-Elect of IND MIG and CA coordinator for DIFM DPG. She is an immediate past member of the nominating committee of CA Academy. She also served as president of the California Academy- Orange District 2013-2016 She lives in Southern California with her husband and 2 sons. Sangeeta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Madhu Gadia, MS, RD, CDE
Treasurer and Secretary
Madhu’s passion is Indian Cuisine. Her goal is to demystify Indian cuisine and teach people how to cook Indian food, easily and effortlessly. She retired in 2019, as a Wellness Director with FLIK Independent. Madhu is an author of New Indian Home Cooking and The Indian Vegan Kitchen. For more information, please see http://cuisineofindia.com. Her expertise lies in home-style, healthy, and authentic Indian cooking. The cookbooks have been featured in magazines such as, The “O” Oprah Magazine, Prevention, and Bon Appétit. Madhu has also been a speaker at FNCE (2016, 1999), American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI 2000, 2003, and 2011), and State Dietetic Associations to name a few. She lives in Ames, Iowa with her husband. Madhu grew up in Pantnagar, India and Davis, CA. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Rita Batheja, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND, AFMCP
Policy Advocacy Leader/Reimbursement Representative and Nominating & Awards/Honors Committee Co-Chair
Rita is the founder, past chair, policy and advocacy leader, reimbursement representative, Nominating Committee, Awards and Honors committee Co-Chair of the Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics member Interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (Formerly Asian Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics – AIND MIG) Nationally and Internationally recognized Rita is Integrative and Functional Medicine Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist in private practice in Baldwin Harbor- Long Island- New York. She is also the fellow of the Academy and serving as house of delegate (HOD) of NY State Academy to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Passion for profession drives Rita to be a professional volunteer at the District, Affiliate, National organization and with many community organizations. Rita utilizes mind body principles and systems biology personalized approach to heal individuals for optimal health. She is the originator of AAPI’s Indian Physicians eBook I, II and III on “Optimal Health using principles of Functional Medicine and Nutritional Genomics". In 2000 planted the seeds of the book" Indian Foods: AAPI's guide to Nutrition, Health and Diabetes”. Rita is the recipient of many awards and honors to her credit including Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics prestigious Medallion award for her lifelong leadership, Visionary award by Indian American Dietetic Association - (currently known as the IND MIG,) and Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Practice Group, Excellence in Legislative activity award by Diabetes Practice Group and The NY State Academy, Service award by the Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group, AAPI President's Special recognition award by Indian Physicians Association in USA - (AAPI ), and awards from several Indian community orgs. Rita is featured in many magazines, Prints and Indian News media and Professional Journal like JAND, Food Service and many others, Rita is originally from Mandvi- Kutch- Gujarat State. Studied at the MS University in Baroda. Rita can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Conway, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE
Nominating & Awards/Honors Committee Co-Chair
Cathy works as Chief of Nutritional Services and Diabetes Program at YAI National Institute for people with Disabilities. I work with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Cathy is recipient of Award of Excellence in Service and Leadership, Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, American Dietetic Association, 2004, Award of Excellence in Service and Leadership, Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, American Dietetic Association, 2010, Award of Excellence in Practice for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Behavioral Health Dietetic Practice Group, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015 and Award of Excellence in Service, Asian Indian Member Interest Group, 2018. She is one of the authors for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for Registered Dietitians (Competent, Proficient, and Expert) in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Fall 2012 and also for the update soon to be published. She is the Policy and Advocacy Leader (PAL) for VN DPG and is on the Board of Directors for ANDPAC.. Cathy lives in New York City. Cathy says “I am not from India but love everything Indian”. Cathy can be reached at email@example.com.
Gita Patel, MS, RDN, CDE, LD, CLT
Nominating & Awards/Honors Committee Member
Gita partners with individuals and organizations that need the science of nutrition translated into a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. Gita retired as a certified diabetes educator 12/31/18 after 15 years of practice as diabetes educator. Gita is an author of “Blending Science with Spices: Tasty Recipes & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Living” and has presented at local, state and national conferences. Gita was one of 4 finalists in the Cooking Light (magazine) healthy cook of the year contest. Gita is recipient of Cyndi Reeser Outstanding State Coordinator of the Year 2009-2010 from VN DPG; Recognition of service VN DPG 2006-2007; Emerging Dietetic Leader 2005 for outstanding professional contribution Certificate of recognition NH AND; Certificate of Training in Leadership 1/13-16/2005 AND; Served on the Diversity Committee 2004-2006. Gita received Certificate of Appreciation from Asian Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2018. In 2020 Gita was recognized as the “Outstanding Dietitian of the year 2020” by the NH Academy of Nutrition and dietetics. Gita lives in NH where she has a private consulting practice. She came from Gujarat, India in 1972 as a graduate student at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Gita can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.feedinghealth.com.
Vandana Sheth, RD, CDCES, FAND
Vandana Sheth is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and owner of a successful private practice in the Los Angeles area. She has over two decades experience and specializes in intuitive eating, food allergies, vegetarian nutrition, diabetes and family nutrition. As a National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she has done hundreds of media interviews and is a sought after nutrition expert for global TV, print and digital outlets. In addition to her work with the news media, she has also written articles featured in the food and nutrition magazine, Live Well, Environmental Nutrition, and other print/electronic media. She is the author of a published cookbook My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes. Vandana graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Los Angeles, completed a certificate program in gerontology, certificate program in Food Allergy Management, a certified intuitive eating counselor and is board certified as a diabetes educator. She was honored to receive the 2016 Excellence in Private Practice, Business and Communications award by the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As a dynamic speaker she has presented at FNCE®, CAND-Annual meeting, FARE conference, local nutrition chapters, dietetic internship roundtables, corporate wellness clients and community events.She currently serves as the Diversity Liaison for Indians in Dietetics MIG, serves on the advisory board on Diversity in Dietetics, and AADE LNG - Long Beach chapter. She is originally from Chennai (Madras), India. She can be reached at www.vandanasheth.com and on social media.
Pushpa Soundararajan, RDN, LDN, AHE, AFNC, CYI
Professional Resources Committee Chair
Pushpa is currently serving as Professional Resources Committee Chair of Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics Member Interest Group (IND-MIG). She is in Private Practice as a Registered Dietitian, integrating Modern Medical Dietetics with ancient principles of Ayurveda in providing her clients a comprehensive individualized nutrition plan. Her specialties include but not limited to Renal nutrition,Diabetes, Digestive disorders, vegetarian nutrition, obesity and cardiac disease. In addition to her MBA and BS degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from University of Illinois at Chicago (1989), she also holds certifications as a Yoga instructor, Ayurvedic Health educator, Ayurvedic Food and Nutrition Consultant and Graphic Designer. Combining her passion for design and nutrition affords her the ability to create unique nutritional handouts which she plans to do as part of the IND-MIG. Her speaking engagements include talks on Ayurveda at the Global Ayurveda Conferences on integrating Ayurveda and Modern Nutrition on varied topics. She has presented webinars to dietitians to educate them about Ayurveda and its use in practice. As an author she has a co-authored a book, “A Primer on Ayurveda – A handbook for dietitians, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals”, available on Amazon. She has also co-authored a chapter on Ayurveda in an upcoming functional medicine textbook. She enjoys teaching and is a faculty member of Ananda Ayurveda Academy. Originally from Chennai in South India (1986), but now lives and practices in Willowbrook IL, a western suburb of Chicago. Her hobbies include painting, reading, writing, tennis and nature walks. Pushpa can be reached at email@example.com Website: www.vpknutrition.com
Regional Meetings Committee Co-Chair
Aishwarya Srinivasan currently lives in Oklahoma, and works as a Registered Dietitian in Mercy Hospitals. She came to US in the Fall of 2016, from Mumbai, India. After completing a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Food and Nutrition/Dietetics from India, Aishwarya came here in 2016 to pursue another coordinated Master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences with Dietetic Internship program. She graduated in the Fall of 2019 and became an RD in 2020! She feels it has been an interesting journey so far experiencing different lifestyles, culture and learning and adapting to a different work environment here. Far away from her homeland, she understands the value of being connected to a wonderful group of Indian Dietitians practicing in the US. Her search for inspiring and headstrong women, talented and compassionate Dietitians, found a meaning when she met such women in IND MIG. She is so humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to serve our IND MIG 2020-2021 Executive Committee Members and Leadership Team as a Regional Meetings/Network Committee Co-Chair. Aishwarya will use this opportunity to reach out to as many passionate dietitians out there who can be pioneers of change, to bring in good health and consistent healthy eating patterns in our society.
Sapna Punjabi-Gupta, MS, RDN, LD, AP
Regional Meetings Committee Co-Chair
Sapna Punjabi-Gupta is a Dallas-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, nationally–recognized culinary wellness expert and the founder of beSPICED, https://www.bespiced.com/. As a busy solopreneur she juggles multiple roles creating content for her vibrant YouTube channel, has a retail line of spiced and wellness products and conducts wellness workshops for public and private groups. Her articles have been publised in several national and international publications. Sapna teaches virtual cooking classes that are hugely popular with her followers and her audience are able to log in from all over the world. She is currently working on her cookbook to share her stories and recipes celebrating her joy of Indian food, life and all things spice. Sapna is the president of the Dallas Dietetic Alliance and actively involved in several practice groups of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Afsheen Syeda, MSc., MS
Communication Committee Co-Chair
Afsheen Syeda, MSc., MS, CN, is the Communication Co-Chair for IND-MIG. She's a university-qualified Certified Nutritionist holding a double master’s from the University of Kentucky with an MS in Nutrition and Food Systems, and MSc in Nutrition & Dietetics from Osmania University College for Women, Hyderabad, India. Afsheen has a love for teaching and research; she worked as a lecturer at OUCW, India, for a year before joining UK, where she worked extensively in community nutrition research. After graduating with her MS, she continued working at UK’s Nutrition Education Program as a Program Evaluation Support, and later worked at UK HealthCare as an Infant Nutrition Diet Tech to gain clinical exposure. She’s an aspiring RDN, and is passionate about research and education in nutrition science and community nutrition. Owing to her commitments, she was awarded the Community Service Award by the Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Outstanding Student Award by IND-MIG. Afsheen currently runs her nutrition-oriented Instagram @yours.nutritionally where she promotes food positivity, affordable healthy eating, and evidence-based nutrition information for her followers. Afsheen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shraddha Chaubey, MS, RDN, CD
Communication Committee Co-Chair
Shraddha is a registered dietitian/Nutritionist, founder and President of NutriPledge, LLC, www.nutripledge.com and an author with a love and passion for food and nutrition with a goal to improve human health. She believes in the healing power of food. She hopes to share some of her science-based food wisdom on a regular basis under her Food Can Heal blog https://www.nutripledge.com/blog/category/food-can-heal/ . She also enjoys cooking foods in a simple and healthy way and shares her recipes under her Therapeutic Recipes blog section. She has been a thought leader on how you define a healthy food since no one food has all the nutritional components to be called a healthy food. At the same time, one healthy food may not be healthy for everyone, since individual nutritional needs are different. She has created a Dot Rating System called Food Coach. She is working to pick a food in the market and rate the food with the Food Coach to see how many healthy qualities this food may contain. The purpose of food rating is not to stamp any food under super healthy or unhealthy category but to bring some awareness about the nutritional value of that food so that a consumer can decide what is healthy for them.
Priya Karkera, PhD, FCPN
Communication Committee Member
Priya Karkera PhD Scholar, FCPN, PCCN, Fodmap Dietitian, Pediatric Nutritionist is the new Committee member for IND - MIG. With over 2 decades of practice she specializes in Pediatric Nutrition and has developed digital Nutrition platforms with Indian food Database to assess nutritional status of Indian population. She is currently pursuing PhD in Management to enhance her managerial skills. Fun Quirk - A peoples person, and love to put ingredients together for the best innovative dishes from her kitchen. She loves exploring regional Indian Cuisines and finding fun facts about the ingredients used in India. She is the first Indian Dietitian to complete the International Students Program in pediatric Nutrition From Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and to complete the FODMAP certification from Monah Australia. Interesting Fact - She is working towards bringing the latest technology in nutrition practice to Indian Dietitians and raising the standards of practice in Nutrition in India.
Utpala Kinare, BS
Communication Committee Member
Utpala graduated from LIU Post with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is pursuing her Master’s degree in Nutrition and looks forward to soon start her Dietetic Internship from Stony Brook University. Prior to entering the nutrition field Utpala has her Bachelors in Economics, certification in Fashion designing and merchandising, and knowledge of Information Technology. Her wide exposure to these various fields empowers her with people skills and logistics of hospital settings. It helps her provide better service and solutions to patients and healthcare systems. As a Dietetic Technician at Huntington hospital, she been involved in the creation of various therapeutic house diets and their in-depth nutrient analysis. Collaboration, communication, and contribution are her motivating strategies in life. Providing diet education to the food service team is her expertise while she enjoys being a part of the hospital’s nutrient analysis sub-committee and the Team Lavender club. Her caring and giving nature has earned her a special place in the hospital and in the lives of all the people she has worked with. In her spare time, she loves to cook and spend time with her family and two dogs.
Prabhdeep Sandha, BS, PhD
Student Committee Co-Coordinator
In her role as an Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Dr. Sandha will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Nutrition, College of Professional Studies, Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) in Denver, CO. She is passionate about community nutrition, maternal-child nutrition, nutrition policy, and research & statistics. She completed her Ph.D. in Nutrition Policy with Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor in Applied Statistics at the University of Mississippi. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Punjab Agricultural University, India. In addition to her degrees, Dr. Sandha has held several professional positions related to her field since 2016. These positions include Graduate Instructor at the University of Mississippi; Doctoral Graduate Assistant, Institute of Child Nutrition; Graduate Research Assistant, Office of Food and Nutrition Security; Clinical Dietitian and Nutrition consultant at 1) Satyam Hospital and Shivam IVF center, 2) Apex Hospital, and 3) Twat’cha Skin center and aesthetic clinic, India; Product fortification and developer, Industrial consultants and Laboratories, India.
Fun quirk: She loves to go out for a run, loves to cook, dance, paint, and enjoys listening to Punjabi music!
Student Committee Co-Coordinator
Mariana Leon, is a recent Dietetics graduate of California Polytechnic University, Pomona. During her time at Cal Poly, she also received a certification for completing Estudiante de Dietetica, a Spanish emphasis 6-course program, and finally she graduated with Cum Laude honors. Mariana is currently working at a hospital as a nutrition assistant to gain clinical experience for the internship and hopes to apply for the 2021 Spring Match. She joined IND MIG in order to gain cultural awareness and experience in leadership roles. Mariana's goal is to become a RDN and target her work towards preventative care and public health to help low-income persons in need of nutritional care and guidance. Mariana can be reached at Email:email@example.com
Chandni Sen Sinha, MS, RD
Networking Committee Chair
Chandni is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutritional science, graduated from San Jose State University in 2016. Her professional experience spans across multiple domains, including: food regulations, corporate, acute care, senior care, private practice and school food service. She has held dietitian certifications in countries, such as Australia (2010) and India (2005). She is also an active member of nutrition organizations, namely the California Dietetic Association (CDA), San Jose Peninsula District (SJPD) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She completed a well received master’s thesis in oncology nutrition wherein a screening tool was developed and was also awarded a scholarship. Currently, she works as a Regulatory Affairs Lead at the Albertsons Companies. Her role involves using evidence-based literature and research to support the business, industry and product development. She evaluates product characteristics, ingredients and claims to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulatory requirements established by the federal and state agencies- FDA, USDA, CDFA and others. She works collaboratively with the cross-functional team members to review and evaluate science and evidenced based literature to validate claims, educate the project team on nutrition claims using current science and evidence-based literature in developing evidence-based scientific information that is clear and customer focused. Previously, she has worked as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at a skilled nursing facility where she oversaw food service operations in planning, directing, controlling, and supervising the functions and personnel to ensure the provision of quality food service and nutritional care. She also provided nutritional screening, assessment of patients for appropriate nutrition interventions in accordance with physicians orders personalized to cultural background, preferences, and religious practices. She also worked at Bon Appetit at Google, overseeing quality control, reviewing and approving recipes and assessing compliance with the core program expectations of the Google Food Program. She is also a gastronomic enthusiast and likes to culturally engage in food tourism activities, such as cooking classes, guided tours to markets and gastronomic centers, food festivals, farm to table activities and visits to local producers.
Rupal Shah, MSc, CDE, UGC NET Qualified
Rupal graduated and completed her Master's in Foods, Nutrition & Dietetics from Mumbai, India. Rupal is passionate towards providing the most advanced & scientifically proven medical nutrition therapy for weight & disease Management. She is also trained on the use of a low FODMAP diet for IBS by Monash University.
Rupal is a winner of Wimpfheimer Guggenheim International Exchange in Nutrition Dietetics & Management Award, FNCE 2018, Washington DC. She also serves as a Country Representative chair elect for International Affiliate of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In her free time, Rupal is an avid food, fitness & nature enthusiast. Most often, she can be found at one of her favorite fitness studios, cycling/ trekking unexplored destinations, cooking up a storm in her kitchen or geeking out about the latest nutrition research.
CLICK TO View a bit of our history...