Q & A with Pam Cando
Pam was born and raised in the picturesque city of Quito, Ecuador. She came to the United States a long time ago and learned to love New York City. In this place, she learned to value opportunities. She loves walking through Central Park and visiting the penguins at the zoo. She also loves to attend live music shows and concerts. Pam enjoys trying different kinds of foods and cuisines. It makes her feel like she gets to know more about the culture or about that person. Pam’s favorite cuisine is Indian.
- How did you become interested in the field of dietetics? Why do you want to be a dietitian?
My passion for nutrition started when I observed my loved ones experience illness. When my mother was diagnosed with high blood pressure, doctors advised her to watch her diet to manage her condition; however, they never provided concrete steps to improve her eating habits. It was clear that food was one the culprits for people’s sickness, but I realized that it could be their salvation as well. It was then when I decided to contribute to the greater health of the community and to immerse myself in the field of dietetics.
2. What did you learn at The Sylvia Center?
My goal was to learn what it takes to develop a community nutrition program so I learned that an evidence-based plan to develop a program is essential to obtain a structure and an idea on what to do to make a program successful. I also learned how to make connections between the research and the activities that would be offered by the program. It does take a lot of research and passionate staff to make it happen.
3. What does food mean to you?
Food is an adventure. Food helps me feel energized during the day. Food makes me happy when sharing it with loved ones and friends. Cooking complex recipes make me feel like experienced chefs. Cooking simple foods relax me. Trying new foods just makes me happy because it feels that I am getting to know that culture or a person.
4. What message do you want to tell young people about healthy eating?
Healthy eating is not a diet. Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods. It means eating food that you have not tried before. The more vegetables you include in your foods the better.
5. What is your favorite recipe to make?
I like to prepare a vegetarian chili. It is a recipe I prepare during the winter. I use butternut squash and tofu instead of meat. My family and friends enjoy eating this vegetarian version of chili. I garnish it with greek yogurt, chopped scallions and tons of cilantro (of course).