How it all Began

I’ve heard it before. We’re all guilty of it. The 'I’m so busy,' 'I have no time,' 'I wish there was more time in the day!' (my personal favorite). It’s true that many of us are seated knee deep in assignments, projects, exams..and then there’s work and internships..family and social life…and what windows remain, we fit in that little thing called sleep. I can’t even count with my fingers the amount of times I’ve said to myself, 'I wish I had learned how to play the piano,' or 'I wish I had time to read, to bake, to go to a museum, to sit in a park or to visit a new coffee shop and just write.' But what I can tell you is the amount of times I’ve stepped into the same coffee shop this week, ordered the same chai latte, how many textbooks I’ve read and reread and the delusional amount of time I’ve invested in the hospital. When did we start setting aside our daily wishes to fulfill what is already a part of our daily routine?

Time works in funny ways. It can be our best friend or our worst enemy, but one thing holds true: Time stops for nobody. Every moment that we keep wishing for more time to do the things we want to do or spend time with those we wish to spend time with, is more time which we will never be able to get back.

It’s only until we start doing what we—i & u—love, 
do we stop simply wishing and start living.

To facilitate all the things I've wanted to do, from documenting my kitchen mishaps to sharing my foodie discoveries, DO WHAT IU LOVE was born. What started off as a simple Instagram account has quickly grown into a community where like-minded health enthusiasts reach common ground. Be it a simple recipe, fitness tip, or random story, I hope to inspire you, to do what "u" love.


My Story

The truth is that aside from food posts and sharing nutrition tips, I'm pretty private about my life. But I've realized that in order for you to understand my intentions and food philosophy, I must first share a part of myself.

While cooking has grown into a passion of mine, the nutrition aspect is where I find meaning in what I do everyday. You see, I come from a small town in Philadelphia; it was a low-income neighborhood but my family and I, we made do. I grew up with three older sisters who all raised me at various points in my life–our parents, they passed away when I was nine. While my mom was very sick and my father always away, our house had very few food restrictions. I could have bagel bites for breakfast, takeout for lunch, soda and juice with every meal, chips and cookies at my disposal. 

So how did I become a health enthusiast and get to where I am today? Perseverance, luck, but mostly a lot of help from others. My oldest sister took me in, introduced me to her vegetarian ways. She worked late nights and would direct me over the phone on how to prepare dinner. Cooking soon became less of a chore and more of a creative outlet; in no time, I graduated from making garden salads to sautéd tofu, and boxed breads to homemade cookies. 

 
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And although it wasn't until I started taking nutrition classes in college that I truly understood the relationship between diet and disease, at a young age I had already experienced first hand how diet and lifestyle can lead to a heart attack, how misinformation can worsen symptoms of cancer, how depression can affect appetite, how alcoholism can impair cognitive and social skills, how the pressures of the media can distort body image, and how challenging it can be to make healthy choices on a limited budget. But most of all, I learned that health is the greatest gift; the simplest of things that we have are too often taken for granted. Even when it seems like the odds are against us, we always have a choice. Lead a healthy life not only for yourself, but for the ones you love. 


My Food Philosophy

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What I really want you to know is that the time I spend in creating pretty photos is not just to inspire you visually but to inspire you mentally, to challenge yourself to take on healthier habits, to feel more energetic, to be happier, to love yourself in its entirety, to be better than the person you were yesterday. I really want to reiterate that being healthy doesn't always mean expensive-- it doesn't have to be about buying $10 juices (though they are yummy), only organic foods (do the best you can, when you can) or paying for a fitness class. I know at times food trends can make us feel like healthy foods translate into expensive foods but I can tell you from my personal experience that it's not true. If you want to know how I do it I'll tell you this: It's about doing what "iu" can, with what you have, where you..are NOW! That being said, my mission is to continuously inspire you with practical tips on how we can all live a healthy & active life together (without putting a hole in our wallets!)


About Me

I'm a Dietitian and culinary Nutritionist in NYC, self proclaimed smoothie connoisseur, a yoga and kickboxing junkie whose fluent in sarcasm by day and a compulsive organizer by night.. I also spend way more time in the kitchen than in my own bed!  

I received my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University. To become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I completed my dietetic internship at Weill Cornell & Columbia Medical Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. I continued my journey at Mount Sinai St. Luke's where I went on to obtain an additional certification in critical care nutrition. I currently split my time at NYU Lutheran Hospital, while running my private practice here in New York City.

In the nutrition world my experience ranges far and wide.  I've worked from the back kitchens of Chelsea Market to an amazing private practice in NYC, Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services, where I taught private cooking lessons and contributed articles published in Fitness Magazine, Everyday Health, The Daily Meal, contributed evidence-based research for the writing of The Diabetes Comfort Foods Diet Cookbook and recipe development for The Women's Health Body Clock Diet.  Other media includes Brides Magazine, cooking and food-styling healthy dishes seen on CBS, FOX, and Livestrong. With a passion for community education, I've volunteered with God's Love We Deliver and worked in Housingwork's clinic providing 1:1 nutrition coaching for underserved populations.

When I'm not in the kitchen, you can find me perusing the grocery aisles (If you follow me on IG, you know how much I love just looking for new products!) You'll also find me strolling the city for my next foodie adventure, rocking out at my favorite yoga studio, or traveling!

Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, New York University
  • RD/RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • CDN - Certified Dietitian Nutritionist, New York State
  • CNSC - Certified Nutrition Support Specialist, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

Professional Memberships:

  • The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals  (immediate past-present Membership chair)    
  • The Greater New York Dietetic Association
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group

Things I Love..

FAVORITE MEAL OF THE DAY:  Brunch

FAVORITE FRUIT: Mango

FAVORITE VEGGIE:  Kale

FAVORITE SPLURGE:  Dare I say it... potato chips!

WHAT'S IN MY COFFEE:  Almond milk & good ol' regular sugar

I'LL NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT:  My "female survival kit" packed with chap stick, floss, hair ties, tea bags, almonds, water bottle & hand sanitizer--you name it and it's probably in there!

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