Growing up with a Type 1 diabetic father, Sam has been exposed to nutrition principles for as far back as she can remember. A dedication to helping others, coupled with an inherent interest in health and nutrition, lead her to naturally study Dietetics. (Fun fact: she strongly considered studying fashion as well! Now her favorite pair of shoes are Tevas). Sam completed her undergraduate education and dietetic internship with the University of Delaware from 2010-2016. In her gap year, she backpacked around Europe then did research with UD, focusing on community nutrition support in low-income areas of Delaware and Philadelphia.
Sam has worked in outpatient / telehealth settings the full 5 years of her career, other than a brief sabbatical working on organic farms in Europe and Israel for 4 months in 2019. She loves educating on nutrition basics, and has just as much fun diving into more abstract topics like gut health and sustainable wellness. As a newly certified health and wellness coach, Sam is passionate about taking a judgement-free approach in helping others find their strengths and motivators to be able to reach their peak well-being in all areas of life. Sam is also bilingual, speaking fluent Spanish.
Sam has wonderful memories living in NJ, DE, San Diego, Philadelphia, and for short stints around the world. She is happily (and finally!) settled into her "forever home" with her cat in Denver, Colorado. She can be found doing yoga, running, eating (always eating), spending time in the mountains or on a farm, and planning her next domestic or international adventure.
What do you enjoy most about being a nutritionist/dietitian?
I love helping people find a health-promoting way of eating that works for them. Nutrition is a one size fits one, and everyone deserves to figure out what way of eating is enjoyable, effective, and sustainable long-term. Plus, I love exchanging recipes!
What questions do clients most commonly ask you? What is your answer?
A lot of times I get questions about foods that clients feel like they have to eat all the time, or have to omit forever. For the foods that are healthy but may be unpleasant, we break down the nutritional properties of it to find an alternative that feels better for them, or maybe try another way of preparing it first (roasted broccoli vs. steamed is worlds different!). For the "have to omit" foods, we explore the benefits (taste, connection with tradition, convenience) and potential drawbacks (how far away from their goals the food may steer them). In balancing the perceptions of the food, the client can more easily make a choice of how important it is to them to keep, or if it's worth cutting back on (nothing has to be omitted 100%, as far as I'm concerned).
If you could give clients one piece of advice in improving their health/nutrition, what would it be?
When it comes to food, connect!!! Connect with the ingredients to develop a deeper appreciation for the meal, connect with others while eating to enhance your experience, and connect with yourself to understand your values, desires, and goals surrounding your health.