How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? My kids are 5 and 2. I actually grew up in Westport and lived here until I was 17 years old (Staples alum!) but I recently moved back with my husband and kids this past August.
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? It’s been a long road! I actually began my career in finance working in NYC after graduating from NYU. I was really unsatisfied and had always been passionate about nutrition and wellness – so I took a leap! I moved up to Boston and did a post-bac at BU followed by a Nutrition Communications masters degree at the Friedman School at Tufts and then a nutrition residency (called a Dietetic Internship) at MGH. FINALLY, 4 years later I sat for my boards and became a registered dietitian. I began my (2nd) career in corporate wellness, leading lunch and learns on a variety of wellness topics and providing 1:1 counseling for employees at their worksites. At the same time, I started my own family and was doing a lot of side counseling for families navigating picky eaters, looking for healthy school lunch options, and struggling with introducing first foods. As with most entrepreneurial businesses, things continued to evolve, and I eventually found my side counseling was a full-time business in itself. I now work with individuals and families to help them move away from traditional dieting culture and embrace healthier eating and lifestyle habits that can benefit everyone in the household, from age 6 months and up.
What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns? In the winter we love bowling at Uncle Buck’s in Fairfield and grabbing pizza at Brick + Wood or Brewport! In the summer you’ll always see us at the weekly Melissa & Doug concerts at the Levitt and the weekly farmers market. We are also huge fans of basically everything in the Sportsplex in Fairfield, from the Golf Lounge to the indoor rock climbing and Local restaurant.
What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids? I am a heavy podcaster – I love the Goal Digger series for entrepreneurs and the Wellness Business podcast with Libby Rothschild. I can keep my kids busy at restaurants with Peek a Boo Fridge which is also a great way for little ones to gain some food recognition!
What’s your can’t live without beauty product? That’s easy – Benefit “They’re Real” mascara. I am makeup inept but that product has me looking my best for every event or photoshoot I’ve done.
If you could pick one restaurant or store to come to Westport that isn’t here now, what would it be, and why? Daigo Handroll Bar from Dekalb Market Hall in downtown Brooklyn. The freshest Japanese handrolls handed directly to you, seconds after they’re made. Next time you’re in Brooklyn, grab a spot at their standing room only bar and get the Sweet Shrimp and Shiso handroll. You’re welcome.
What are you most excited about in life right now? Gah – everything! Mostly about the opportunity to work with individuals here in town. There is something special about coming back home, and I really want to continue building new connections in this community. I find the friendliness of Westport to be particularly unique, and that’s a big part of why I chose to raise my kids here. I hope to share my knowledge with as many individuals and families as possible to build even deeper community ties and help people reach their health and wellness goals.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I was the first spin instructor at Boston’s first spin studio…and I don’t actually know how to ride a bike.
If you weren’t doing what you are today, what do you think your career path might have been? Oh man – this was my 2nd career so I feel like I dodged that first bullet to find my true calling! But I would be really good in any role that requires a lot of logistics and detail – like an event or wedding planner.
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do? Fly to Paris and eat a crepe while walking through Montmartre.
What is your most marked characteristic? Being a planner (see question 9 😉 ). I organize everything obsessively because it makes me feel like even when things fall apart, I’m kind of on top of it. Most of the time.
What was your most memorable family vacation and why? We went on a ski trip this past February out west in Park City, Utah. It was the first time my 5-year-old was on skis and it felt so special to see him love an activity as much as my husband and I do. Although I’m a wellness professional, I’ve never been terribly athletic, and skiing is the one sport that I’m good at and enjoy! I can’t wait for more family ski trips though I’m slightly terrified of my fearless, daredevil two-year-old on the mountain. Thank god for helmets.
What is the best white lie you have told your kids? When we lived in Brooklyn it was that those electronic ride-on horses on the sidewalk were always broken. I finally caved once and dug around for a quarter when my son begged to ride one. I’ve never seen him more disappointed! So it really was a beneficial lie.
What is your proudest mommy moment? When my boys get a compliment from a teacher or another parent for being kind. It’s the one trait that I have tried to instill in them from day 1 but they still impress me with how they care for others and each other.
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty and a sense of humor. The ability to realize that we are all so busy at this stage of our lives so we don’t punish each other for forgetting a birthday – but at the same time we would drop everything to get on a plane if a friend was in need.
What is your greatest regret? Oh man. That’s hard to say! I’m trying to live without them. I’ve made so many sharp turns in my life and they have all worked out well (even when there were doubters in the wings!) I wish I had eaten more handrolls from the handroll bar when I still lived in Brooklyn. I really miss that place.