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Michelle Tam

Profession/Title:
CEO and co-creator of Nom Nom Paleo
Cookbook Author
App Developer
Former Nightshift Hospital Pharmacist

Where You’re From:
Menlo Park, CA

Social Links/Website:
nomnompaleo.com
@nomnompaleo

1). How did you figure out that this ‘work’ was your calling?”

It took a while! I’ve always loved eating food and being a gastrotourist, but I never thought I would quit my stable job as a night shift hospital pharmacist to become a content creator. My blog started out as a hobby and I just wrote about how I fueled myself while juggling shift work and motherhood. After four years of growing Nom Nom Paleo while working night shifts at the hospital, I finally realized that creating healthy recipes and sharing them with the world lit me up like nothing else. That’s when I decided to turn my side hustle into my main hustle!

2). What/who empowered you to chase this dream for yourself?

My parents. Even though I was afraid to disappoint them by quitting my reliable pharmacy job, I realized that my immigrant parents didn’t work so hard and risk so much so that my sister and I could live without actually experiencing life. They wanted the best for me, and sometimes, the best is to be a risk-taker like them—to sacrifice everything so you can write cookbooks, create recipes, and post cooking tutorials on Instagram.

3). Was there ever a time you were ready to give up on your dream? What made you keep going?

Not really. There have definitely been setbacks, but I just take everything day by day. No one is going to care about my business as much as I do so I work relentlessly on making Nom Nom Paleo better. I want to set a good example for my kids and show them that it’s important to take risks and pursue purpose-driven work.

4). What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? (or the worst, and why?)

The best advice I ever received was to be curious, open, and accepting when engaging with others. People are more willing to share and connect with you if they actually feel seen and heard.

5). What impact would you like your work to leave on the world?

Hopefully, a positive and delicious one! I want to inspire people to take control of their health and wellness by being aware of how certain foods affect them. Once you know, you can do something about it!

6.) What is one word that describes you?

Wai sik. It’s technically two words, but this Cantonese slang phrase—which loosely translates to “live to eat”— is me in a nutshell.

7). You are happiest when ______

I am happiest when I’m home with my family and I’m wearing sweats, watching Netflix, and eating a delicious meal that someone else will clean up.

8). Favorite quote?

“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

9). If you had a song playing over you as your personal theme song, what would it be?

Hmmmm…how about the song that gets me pumped up? Rage Against The Machine’s Bulls on Parade always gets me in the zone if I have to do something I don’t want to do (e.g. exercise).

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The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well

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