Hello! My name is Alexa and I grew up in Staten Island, NY. I enjoy cooking (who would of guessed!), hiking, being around animals, and constantly repotting all my houseplants. I went back to college a little later in life and am finally about to graduate with a degree in Health and Nutrition Science. I will soon be entering a dietetic internship then be eligible to take the RD exam. It has been a long journey to get to where I am now but I wouldn’t have changed a thing because all of the obstacles and hardships have made my goals even bigger. I want to have a private practice specializing in plant-based nutrition with a focus on cardiovascular disease prevention. I also want to create similar programs within the community to combat chronic diseases that many communities face and which contribute to clear health disparities. Interning for The Sylvia Center has solidified my goal of wanting to always have a hand in community nutrition. There is nothing more rewarding than bringing nutrition and cooking knowledge to those that need it most and are eager to learn.
How did you become interested in the field of dietetics? Why do you want to be a dietitian?
I became interested in dietetics after struggling most of my childhood and teenage years with food. I never really understood how much power it had over me until I made the life-changing decision to really start putting effort into my health and well-being. I fell in love with food in a different way, understanding how we can choose how to nourish ourselves and thus feel better overall. I soon became a certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach but was left yearning for more knowledge. At 24, I decided to go back to school and enrolled in the Nutrition program at Brooklyn College. I want to be a dietitian because I am passionate about reducing the amount of suffering people experience in relation to food, whether that be someone’s confusion about nutrition or as a tool to prevent or control chronic disease. By combining holistic methods of healing with a strong scientific background, I want to give people a chance to find themself feeling good all the time!
What do you want to learn at The Sylvia Center?
At the Sylvia Center, I want to learn the best ways to show up within the community. I want to learn what people are needing help with the most and how, as a community dietitian, I can possibly bring that knowledge in. I have already learned how various groups require various teaching methods and how special those moments are when someone starts feeling confident in the kitchen!
What does being healthy mean to you?
Being healthy means feeling good. It means making conscious decisions that will lead to you feeling strong and vibrant in your body and within your environment. Finding balance in your life, practicing self-love, and understanding how food affects our body are all ways that we can achieve a healthy and happy life.
What message do you want to tell young people about healthy eating?
By learning about healthy eating now, at a young age, you will be on top of your game as you become older adults. Nobody really wants to get old but it’s way more fun if you feel young inside! Cooking your own food is one of the greatest life skills to have but just know if you get really good at it… everyone will want you to be making them dinner!
What is your favorite recipe to make?
Recently, my favorite recipe to make is vegan stuffed peppers. I have been vegan for almost 5 years and for the longest time, pretty much avoided traditional Italian recipes. Over the past couple of years, however, I started really appreciating cultural foods and started yearning to make my old favorite Italian recipes vegan. It is something I enjoy doing now more often and it makes me feel very fulfilled.