Job Title: Owner, New Mama and IronMama
Why She’s A Top 40: She is an entrepreneur who channelled her struggles as a new mom into a fitness and lifestyle program for others who are adjusting to the frantic world of motherhood.
Key To Her Success: Even when she’s functioning on four hours of sleep, she maintains a passion for health and fitness and sharing her knowledge of healthy living.
In so many ways, Christine Kasturi’s day-to-day life is a triathlon. From the moment she wakes up in the morning, she is engaged in three races – parenting her toddler, Braylon, running two businesses and training as an athlete.
Since 2008, Kasturi, a long-time triathlete and nutritionist, has operated two pre- and post-natal wellness programs out of local studios, each with more than 50 members. The first, New Mama, offers courses on how to create at-home fitness plans and how to make healthy meals on a budget. The second, IronMama, offers triathlon training to moms serious about having an athletic lifestyle. This spring, IronMama began hosting race events to raise money for charities such as Action Against Hunger, which fights malnutrition in 40 developing countries.
These businesses didn’t immediately sprout from motherhood. Like so many new moms, the baby blues sapped Kasturi’s motivation and left her lethargic. She found post-natal fitness classes too expensive and timely, so exercise fell by the wayside. “You’re going on four hours of sleep, so you can either exercise, eat, shower or clean the house. But you can’t do everything while your baby is sleeping,” she says.
After the snow melted and the blues lifted, Kasturi forced herself to sneak in a daily workout with the baby. She began running outside with the stroller and doing calisthenics in the living room.
She realized these simple steps made a difference in her physical and emotional health and would work for other moms, too. With a career background in food science and nutritional programming, she has helped other mothers find cheap and speedy ways to eat healthfully.
It wasn’t the first time Kasturi turned a personal challenge into a triumph that also helped others. In 2003, just months after completing her B.Sc. in nutrition and food science at the University of Alberta, Kasturi became too exhausted to get off the couch. At 24, she was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It took her a year to recover, but when she was healthy, she founded the local KnowDVT Foundation to host educational events for others with the condition.
Though it took pain to discover her pleasures, she hopes that her personal experiences will make fitness-loving moms the benefactors. “My goal is just to help moms remember what they love to do,” she says.