lover of food, nutrition and pumpkins, of course
I’m a registered dietitian and recipe developer specializing in millennial nutrition. My love of food and nutrition is showcased on this blog, as well as my desire to communicate health messages in a simple way that any one can utilize in their everyday lives. I often contribute to many wellness outlets including Women’s Health, Shape, mindbodygreen and well + good. I’m a frequent guest on The Jam, WGN News, and FOX TV here in Chicago.
When I’m not cooking something with pumpkin, I’m doing different workout classes around Chicago and going out to eat with my boyfriend, Rob. Oh, and my dog’s name is Pumpkin too! Here’s a cavalier king charles spaniel and the best intern, sous chef and pawject manager a girl could ask for!
food that makes me feel good and makes me happy
The food you will find on Once Upon a Pumpkin and on Instagram is the food I eat! I used to have a restricted view on what I could and could not eat, constantly picking apart the things I didn’t like about my body, feeling self conscious to the max day after day.
Now I approach food and nutrition differently. I eat food that makes me feel good and makes me happy. I honor my body by resting when I need to and finding workouts that I truly love to do. I don’t stress if I go a meal without vegetables or a day without a workout because I know the next day is a new opportunity to move my body and fuel it in ways that make me feel good not according to the latest trend or fad diet.
how I became a
Having struggled with body image and self-perceived food rules during some of my teenage years, I knew I wanted to go into a field where I could communicate to others that it is possible to have a positive relationship with food, love your body and live your life free from constantly dieting and stressing about food. It took me a lot of personal growth to get to a place where food rules no longer exist, a place where I celebrate my body for what it can do for me instead of picking it apart.
I studied dietetics at Michigan State University. That’s where I also fell in love with the fall. It was a magical time on campus when a year full of possibilities was just starting, the leaves were changing colors and pumpkin pancakes were always a weekend staple.
After studying International Food Laws in Europe through MSU’s study abroad program, and completing degree in dietetics, I was accepted into the Aramark Dietetic Internship program. I rotated to different hospitals in the Chicago suburbs and did my community nutrition rotation with Kitchfix.
Right out my dietetic internship, I landed my dream job at a PR Firm in New York City. I’d never been to New York before but I made up my mind faster than you could say hired! Living and working in Manhattan was a great experience. One not without it’s hard times, tough lessons, and setbacks, but one that led to extreme personal and professional growth.
After a little over a year I decided that Chicago is where my home and my heart always were and moved back, continuing to work in PR. After all Illinois grows the most pumpkins!
When fall 2017 came I felt I had two choices to make, go all in with this blog, my passion, my “side hustle” or always wonder what if. I ended up leaving corporate America to take Once Upon a Pumpkin to the next level and to gain experience helping people one-on-one on their nutrition journey to healthier life.
what I do as a
As a dietitian and blogger, no two days are the same for me. I coach clients, contribute to magazine articles with nutrition information, collaborate with brands to showcase their products, take pictures, make messes in my kitchen and so much more. My clients are millennial woman who want to love their body and make sustainable nutrition choices that are simple and make them feel great.
I also appear on a few of the morning shows here in Chicago and have given nutrition talks to Nike athletes. I’m currently working on an exciting app that will revolutionize the way people order take out!
I knew that clinical nutrition was not for me and believe dietitians have the opportunity to truly make an impact across many different industries. My advice for someone just starting out who is considering a non-traditional path in dietetics is to find a mentor who has gone down a similar path. Learn a little bit about what they did, hone in on a specific niche where there many not have been a dietitian before. For me it was a love of all things pumpkin that set me apart and opened the door to a lot of opportunities, for you my friend, the possibilities are endless!