Started out with a life on the road

I spent my first decade post-college working professionally in the performing arts as a singer, actor, dancer and model, based in New York. I traveled the country with national tours and appeared in regional theater and Off-Broadway shows, independent feature films and commercials.

Throughout, I definitely felt pressure from the industry to be slender, but I learned the hard way that denying the body nutrients to stay slim is not the way to go. There were unhealthy food phases — the frozen yogurt diet, Atkins, juice fasting, the rice cake diet; calorie deprivation. My hair, skin, mood and overall well-being suffered.

Thankfully, the energy required to perform in 8 shows a week plus whatever else I had going on meant that a healthy body was crucial. I knew I had to figure myself out or stop performing. I needed to eat the right foods in the right combinations on a regular basis. Through trial and error, research and experimentation, I taught myself how to live a healthy nutrition lifestyle even while on the road.

The moment of realization

Never would have believed that good nutrition could make such a difference. I felt great and found that I had energy enough to accomplish three days’ worth of work in one day.

I could think more clearly, my singing improved, I looked my best.

And I never looked back.

In fact, I was so astonished at the difference in my well-being, I first wanted to help my colleagues, friends and family do what I was doing; and then I wanted to help everyone else.

I went all in…

So after a decade of performing, I found myself in graduate school, completing my dietetic internship at the Bronx VA hospital. I became a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition.

In short, I studied the science behind what I had experienced viscerally in my own young body.

I became electrified by the subject of food and nutrition science – but I also learned more about the important connections between food, comfort, love and joy, the fellowship and history that surrounds meals, and the culture and richness within generations of food traditions. I realized that nutrition is a science, but improving the diet has to start with behavior.

The moment that everything changed

So I went to work as an outpatient weight loss and bariatric dietitian at the Bronx VA hospital. The hundreds of amazing Veterans I counseled on weight loss taught me the importance of translating the outcomes of science-based nutrition research into personalized, actionable, practical dietary guidance.

I learned that for healthy change to be sustainable, people need to connect with the “why” behind their motivation to change, and they need practical ways to make healthy new habits achievable and enjoyable.

Finding solutions and learning how to translate evidence-based science into relatable, practical advice quickly became some of the most satisfying parts of my work.

I learned that for healthy change to be sustainable, people need to connect with the “why” behind their motivation to change, and they need practical ways to make healthy new habits achievable and enjoyable.

Kids & Cancer…

Over the next 3 ½ years, I gave birth to three girls in quick succession and took some time away from the workforce to care for them. It was an intense time, learning to care for and feed young bodies healthy whole foods that they would actually eat (not easy!). While mingling with other moms, I found myself a part of countless conversations involving food-related confusion and frustration. Our environment as new parents was unhealthy and unhelpful, prioritizing processed snacks and sugary treats over healthy whole foods.

During this period, both of my parents were diagnosed with serious cancers and a beloved aunt died of lung cancer a few days after my third baby was born. Cancer seemed to be everywhere, both threatening and taking away my loved ones.

It was both bizarre and gratifying to spend those years both learning to feed my babies healthy foods while supporting my parents throughout their individual cancer treatments and guiding them to turn to the healing potential of a nutrient dense, plant-based, whole food lifestyle.

Once again, like in my own young body when I was performing, I witnessed the healing properties of nutrient-dense, whole foods as I watched my parents regain energy, fight the fatigue of treatment and feel better, despite their illnesses.

Nutrients play a central role in energy and longevity

Working through nutrition issues at both ends of the life cycle (early years and end of life) at the same time was enlightening, because it became even clearer that nutrient density is the key to good health no matter how old you are.

Whether you’re a baby, kid, teen, adult, parent, older adult or person struggling with disease or weight management issues, the truth is, when you eat mostly nutrient dense, minimally processed, plant-based foods, your body feels great and you have energy to deal with anything, even when life is tough. 

As I emerged from this time, as my daughters grew out of babyhood and became robust toddlers and little kids, as my mom went into full remission and my dad’s diagnosis stabilized (at least for the time being), I recognized the powerful ways that good nutrition had sustained us all throughout those difficult years. How easily we could have drowned in the stress of disease, fatigue, and multiple young children to care for.

Looking back on this difficult time made the next chapter in my life very obvious.

I created my nutrition lifestyle company to help modern families choose a nutrient-dense lifestyle that optimizes their current and future health, so that being healthy is not an option… it’s a way to live.

My goal is to help as many people as I can experience the positive, transformative power of nutrient-dense food, and in doing so, reshape the nutrition lifestyle and habits of the new generation.

The connection between what you eat and how you feel is real – in both the short and long term. Food has incredible power to heal and optimize the body at any stage of life, and it’s never too late to learn and benefit.

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