1. Tell us a bit about yourself? Hey there! I am the founder of Hispanic Food Communications, a nutrition communications and culinary consulting company. I’m a Hispanic native who is a leading expert in cross-cultural Hispanic nutrition and health issues. I enjoy using in-depth culinary and cultural expertise to introduce new strategies for wellness to an increasingly health-conscious population. For years, I have served as a consultant for global food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations.
I co-authored a recent award-winning publication, the Hispanic Family Nutrition Counseling Kit, which was published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in December 2015. Other publications include “The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast”, published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in December 2014, and “A Systematic Review of the Relationship between Acculturation and Diet among Latinos in the United States: Implications for Future Research”, published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in August 2008. I also co-authored “The Alli Cookbook: More than 200 ALL-NEW Recipes and Meal Plans” (Meredith Books) in 2007.
I serve on several boards, including the Grain Foods Foundation Advisory Board and the FAMA Center for Family Caregivers Board. I’m also a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Tirgu Mures in Romania, teaching clinical nutrition therapy.
2. What’s your favorite part about being a dietitian? No words can describe the joy I feel when I am sharing my nutrition knowledge with the public. Seeing their face expressions as something clicks with them is priceless. I could be helping people with their health and nutrition journey 24/7. Nutrition is my passion and even after practicing nutrition for over 30 years, I still feel the same passion and commitment I felt right as I started my career in nutrition. It is truly and honor and privilege to share my knowledge with my people.
3. Describe what your typical week looks like? My days are so different – I start by waking up early to allow some me time – to read or review something I started the day before. Then it’s on to making breakfast, exercise and some household chores. Then back to my projects, which could be writing stories, radio interviews or preparing for a presentation. Then I may run some errands, deliver a presentation, a cooking class, a TV segment or I’m off to catch a flight to work an event, presenting at a conference or teaching overseas. The versatility of my consulting work is what makes my job so interesting!
4. How do you find balance between work & personal? Balancing work and family is no picnic, but is also not impossible. As a mom, I feel like I should be spending every minute tending to my family, but at the same time I feel that my contribution to the dietetics profession allows me share my passion with so many people that otherwise would not have an opportunity to learn about nutrition and speak to a dietitian. My contribution to a healthier world fills my heart with joy, which ultimately results in a happier mom who is ready to embrace the family with renewed energy.
On the other hand, getting up really early does help to get ahead of my work (as I am doing right now) while getting breakfast ready and even lunch. Then multitasking is a skill most working moms master quite well. I can be on a conference call while doing laundry or dishes at the same time. Or catching up on the phone with friends while packing for a trip. You would be surprised by how much friends and family can help you pick up outfits or provide the final touches to a presentation!
5. What are 3 foods you can’t live without?