My grandfather has always been one of my heroes. He enjoyed the outdoors, was active, had a good daily routine, and a quiet sense of humor. Even though he moved from Italy, as a teenager, to a country that didn’t speak or write his language, he was always able to figure things out. As a jack–of-all-trades mechanic for the Pennsylvania Railroad, he was a go-to, yet humble, guy.
BALANCE AND MODERATION
Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses®
Growing up, my mom kept a bowl filled with Hershey Kisses® on the side table in the living room. It was always there, just like the bowl I have in my home now, on the table in the entryway. Having a chocolate Kiss has always been satisfying to me. The bowl on the table sends a clear message: “Not forbidden! A perfectly portioned treat is here if you want me!” It’s so welcoming when friends and family stop in.
Perhaps my mother influenced my inner detective. She was always finding resources at the library about whatever health issue arose in our family. When I was in my early teens, I began getting hives. Then some irritable bowel symptoms kicked in. At the time, I was diagnosed with food intolerance to dairy, citrus, chocolate, tomatoes, and nuts. This was devastating for a kid who loved to eat! But my mother sought out her own information (dietitians weren’t available outside the hospital much then) and created dairy-free pies to treat me, and read food labels to be sure that I was avoiding the ingredients that may cause discomfort. My symptoms got worse in college, but my mother taught me to be in touch with my body and seek information.
TURN CONFUSION INTO CLARITY
Every day the public is bombarded with sound bites of nutrition information that mislead them and do not tell the whole story. These sound bites often lead to feelings of confusion, deprivation, and mistrust. Unacceptable!
TURN DEPRIVATION INTO HEALTHY INDULGENCE
After I remove those feelings of guilt, you can work on turning deprivation into healthy indulgence by freeing yourself from labeling some foods as “bad” and others purely as “good”. Healthy eating is not about being perfect for a day. It is something you commit to for the rest of your life. Relief comes from focusing on what you CAN do right now, and knowing that it is enough, and will always be a work in progress. “Better”, not “perfect”
TURN MISTRUST INTO CONFIDENCE
There’s so much confusing misinformation available in popular media these days. From television shows, to radio ads, to print and digital material, the conflicting stories you hear and read about lead to a mistrust of both the source, and the topic itself. I want my readers to feel confident in the fact that I’ve done my homework. I get fired up with the “food fear” and the “food rules” or misinformation that people glean from the media and use to alter their food choices, and I dig deep to ensure that the information I write about is well-supported by reputable sources.
I love what I do because I get to put the ‘joy’ back in eating.
I am a registered dietitian, licensed in Pennsylvania. I have a Master’s of Science degree in nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition/Dietetics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I did my internship at the Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh.