Which ATS classes do you teach and for what ages?
I teach four ATS classes per week (soon to be five!) and they range from Kindergarteners all the way through to 8th graders.
What led to your interest in food?
My interest in food was sparked when I was about 13 years old and I watched a food documentary that exposed the scary side of animal agriculture. It was then that I started questioning where my food came from, its effects on my body and the earth, and how I could use food to better my health. However, my interest truly peaked during my study abroad experience traveling around Italy. I took an Italian Vegetarian Cooking class in Florence that counted toward my Nutrition + Food Science major in college at the time. Everything from the local sourcing of their fresh ingredients to their long, patient, enjoyable meal times inspired me to do better in and outside the kitchen.
How did you find Allergic to Salad?
I searched for a job like Allergic to Salad for a while! In addition to being an independent Nutritionist, I wanted to add another purposeful job and hoped to find one that included educating youth on food and concepts of nutrition. A job posting was listed on GoodFoodJobs.com and I immediately applied. Needless to say, I was beyond happy when I landed an interview and even more grateful when I was hired as an Educator.
Tough question! There are so many ingredients I love using, but I have to stick to my Italian roots here and go with garlic. Garlic on everything and in everything. Lately though, I’ve been loving turmeric (to help prevent winter colds!).
Besides all my favorite fruit + veggies, my favorite food will always be a simple dish of penne with homemade tomato sauce and fresh basil. Favorite recipe is tomato sauce that cooks for hours and hours on a Sunday made with just garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper + olive oil. Exactly the way I was taught in Italy. Time is the key ingredient for this recipe.
Describe a Memorable Moment from one your classes:
We were making black bean brownies in class. A student came from her previous club crying. While the counsellor tried to cheer her up, another student looked up from her ingredients and said “I just don’t understand how anyone could be crying when there’s chocolate chips around!” She made a really valid point.
How do you spend your time when you’re not teaching?
When not running around the city or teaching, I am working as an independent Nutritionist counseling individuals on how to create healthy lifestyle changes. I created the company Well Made (wellmadenutrition.com) which offers a holistic nutrition counseling program in Montclair and Hoboken, NJ. When not working you can find me boxing, taking exercise classes, snuggling with my bulldog Zucco and most definitely cooking in my kitchen.
If you could have a meal with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you eat?
My family! Too hard to pick just one – I love’em all 🙂
We’d enjoy a Sunday dinner together eating (in my dream world!) the healthy version of pasta fagioli that I love to make with ingredients like spaghetti squash, crushed red pepper, homemade sauce, cannellini beans and other goodness.
Anything else you want to add?
EAT MORE VEGETABLES! 🙂