I guess you could say my love for food really began from birth. Growing up in a large Italian family where food was love and rejecting grandma’s seconds was a sin. Growing up I played sports year-round and I started to be interested in fueling my body with the right nutrition. I had my fair share of battling what was and what wasn’t healthy nutrition during my adolescence. So, my biggest piece of advice is not to be discouraged and know you’re not alone!
After several mission’s trips to Bolivia and living in Africa for 5 months, I knew without a doubt I would spend my life helping others. Mix that passion with my love for food and it was inevitable that helping others with nutrition was the perfect career path. Fast forward to my junior year of college, I did a research project on celiac disease because my brother in law has it and I wanted to learn more. After doing my research I started to connect the dots in my own life. There I was, 21 years old battling chronic fatigue, weird skin rashes, and slew of other GI symptoms. After standing my ground and convincing a gastroenterologist (who basically thought I was a hypochondriac during the gluten free hype) to do a biopsy, I was in fact diagnosed with celiac disease. I never would have thought that a simple research project was going to change my life. This only fueled my nutrition passion, diving into more nutrition research across the board.
After completing my B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I began my journey as a Food Service Director & Nutritionist for one of the largest school districts in the state. There I got to work with kids from pre-k to 12th grade, from all walks of life. I have since worked with the Department of Health, Thomas Hospital, Mobile oncology, WIC, local gyms, and most recently Nemours Children’s Specialty as a Registered Dietitian.
You know your body better than anyone else so don’t be afraid to be your own advocate and ask questions. I promise you our team at Emerald Coast will listen. I am honored to be a part of Emerald Coast Diabetes and Nutrition Center where I can partner with you on your journey through motivation and guidance every step of the way.
My life outside of work just involves being outside as much as possible. From taking long runs with our puppy, hot yoga, paddle boarding through the panhandle, wakeboarding, to reading the newest nutrition research. I know its cliché but it’s absolutely true in my life that “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”