1. Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hello fellow food-lovers! I’m a private practice dietitian & certified health coach in Chicago. My philosophy involves mindful & intuitive eating, learning to love plants on your plate, getting comfortable in your kitchen and having fun! Raised in a family that cooks and eats with reverence, I’ve been exploring what we put on the table – the flavors, the tradition, the comfort, the joy and the health benefits – since I can remember. Looking back, I realize that becoming a dietitian was natural. My coaching approach is holistic and focuses on:
- Nourishing Food
- Restorative Sleep
- Energizing Exercise
- Manageable Stress
Wellness is like a table with 4 legs. The top of the table is the foundation from which we serve ourselves and others. If one of the legs is weak, we fall. When each is strong, we can crush whatever we set out to do.
2. What’s your favorite part about being a dietitian?
What’s not to love? There’s honestly nothing I’d rather be doing. Food, cooking, people, guiding and learning even more than I teach everyday – I consider myself fortunate to be a part of this world. It’s a really exciting time to be in the field of nutrition. In 17 years I’ve witnessed a king’s ransom of nutrition nonsense, so it’s thrilling to see RDNs coming together and advocating a deprivation-free, personalized approach to wellness that can last a lifetime. It’s simple, but revolutionary. I’m proud of us and our profession.
If I had to choose one aspect of what I do, it would be those breakthrough moments when a client starts to develop a healthier relationship with their body and what they eat. And nothing thrills me more than watching someone feel the pride and embrace the joy of cooking.
3. Describe what your typical week looks like:
I spend my days coaching clients, researching what’s new, writing, developing and presenting workshops, creating recipes and riding the wave of growing my practice. Each day is different and brings new challenges and victories. I’ve learned (the hard way) to schedule a specific time for each aspect of what I want to accomplish and have the patience to monotask. “Each thing at its given time with my full attention” is my mantra and keeps me sane.
4. How do you find balance between work & personal?
I’m not gonna lie, as the mother of two amazing boys (14 and 10) and a small business owner, I don’t. But here’s how I try to not totally suck at it: ROUTINE. I’ve created a morning ritual that begins at 5:30am and includes a short prayer of gratitude, a 5-minute meditation that sets intention for the day, COFFEE and an hour at CorePower Yoga to literally and figuratively sweat out the small stuff – then a shower and I get to work. I also leave email, calls, texts and news until after 8. I’ve realized I need to get with myself before I can get with anyone else – setting that boundary was a game-changer. For me, it’s all about how the day begins. If I do that well, I’m balanced and good things happen
5. What are 3 foods you can’t live without?
I have to choose? That’s tough; I really love food. Top of the list is avocados (goes with everything and tastes decadent but is super-healthy), eggs (versatile and nourishing) and olive oil (I may or may not go through a bottle a week – don’t judge).
Barbie, thank you so much for contributing to the spotlight! Hop over to Barbie’s website to learn more about her work, and make sure you follow her on the gram for inspo!