When I first met Lisa I was thrilled to learn that we were of like-mind—neither of us subscribe to gimmicks or diet schemes. Lisa is a smart, real world, solid practitioner. My first thought upon meeting her was that if I needed a nutritionist, it would be Lisa.
A few months ago, I did. I wasn’t feeling well after a run in with an antibiotic I took for a simple bacterial infection. Finally after a few weeks of misery—wondering what the antidote to this toxicity could be, I asked myself what advice and help I would offer a client struggling with the same problem. The thing is, when you’re not feeling well it’s hard to think clearly and make good decisions. I thought about Lisa- knowing that I would be meeting with her within a few days provided me comfort…she would understand. She would have the answers that just weren’t available to me in my weakened state.
Plus, after publishing my book, The French Twist: Twelve Secrets of Decadent Dining and Weight Management I found my schedule filled with book signings and PR events, leaving a lot less time to actually see clients and practice nutrition. I’d been searching to find just the right person to refer to those seeking my help. Since Lisa is my go-to nutritionist, the answer was clear.
I want you to know what makes Lisa so special—we sat down for a few hours together over a cappuccino and talked, comparing notes and sharing ideas friend-to-friend, colleague-to-colleague. Here’s a little bit of what we talked about that day. I think you’ll agree with me- Lisa Corrado is someone you should know!
CC: You’re a chef, a career changer and a cancer survivor. How has your relationship with food and health contributed to the way you support those seeking your nutritional and lifestyle guidance?
LC: I did change careers. I wasn’t challenged in my former career in project management and I was frequently sick (from stress, I’m sure). I took the time to look around me—to notice the objects surrounding my life—the things I loved. And I saw a lot of books on nutrition and even more cookbooks. My first thought before even knowing that I would change the direction of my career was simply to devote more time to creating a healthy lifestyle for my family and me through food and nutrition.
I went about obtaining my masters degree in nutrition and still wasn’t quite sure where I was heading. Then I attended The Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan on the weekends before I actually gave up my job. It’s hard to walk away from a paycheck toward the unknown, but eventually I found my way!
Combining my nutritional training with culinary expertise was a natural fit—they go together. The culinary side of my practice is the edge I have to help my clients eat better and with pleasure. Rather than tell them what to eat and why, I can show them. If a client tells me they don’t like broccoli I can give them fourteen ways to prepare it- all simple and geared to their taste.
Certainly surviving cancer has shaped my practice. I am more empathetic to any diagnosis, whether life-threatening or not. I know what it’s like to feel scared and overwhelmed, not knowing what steps to take next. Many of my clients have no idea what their new diagnosis means for their daily eating. It’s easy for me, and absolutely a pleasure to help them out.
CC: As a nutritional consultant, I appreciate the diversity of your training. First as a clinical nutritionist, followed by your culinary education. Describe any of the benefits we haven’t discussed.
LC: People aren’t always ready to speak to a nutritionist. But once they hear I’m a chef, they open right up. People love to talk about food- so being a chef is more engaging and interesting to most than discussing the health benefits of a food. It’s my secret weapon!
CC: You’re celebrating ten years in business as a nutritionist—how have things changed around diet and health in that time?
LC: Doctors are more interested in nutrition than when I first started. They still don’t get nutritional training in school but they are better at giving basic advice than they were ten years ago. They also recognize the benefit of someone spending time with their patients to give very specific advice in the form of the personalized eating plans I create. I also see more food label reading- more informed consumers. Still, we have not recovered from the Atkins diet of low carbs and high protein—we need to make more progress in that area.
CC: What is the most difficult behavioral and/or dietary modification for your clients, and how do you help them to overcome the challenge?
LC: Like I said earlier, we have not adjusted from the high protein and low carb days of the Atkins diet so encouraging clients to eat more whole grains is a bit tricky. We start slowly by introducing a serving or two of grains into the day while cutting back the amount of protein at each meal.
It’s also difficult to instill the value of taking time to prepare and enjoy meals-so many of us are rushing around on limited time—eating with pleasure and mindfulness is not a priority. We strategize together on how best to plan and prepare for meals rather than just react to them.
It can also be tricky to work with clients who lack the motivation to make the necessary changes. Even with a diagnosis, some people feel fine or they don’t connect their current issues with future problems, so it’s not necessarily a priority for them.
On a more positive note, I am seeing younger people who are more proactive about their health- more concerned and connecting the dots between a healthy lifestyle and the prevention of disease.
CC: You are the author of, “The Top Ten Foods You Should Be Eating.” Can you name two or three foods we all should incorporate into our diet? How can we obtain the complete list?
LC: Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables are amazing cancer fighters while ginger and turmeric aid in reducing inflammation. Enter your email to receive a free copy of the top 10 foods you should be eating (but you’re probably not) on my website at: http://lisacorradonutrition.com
CC: The holidays and holiday eating are behind us and it’s the New Year. You have a session of Ready-Set-Go starting on January 12. How does it help people?
LC: Ready, Set, Go is a four-week online program for those frustrated with detox or cleanse fads and eager for a balanced, long-term approach. This program provides the structure, support, expertise and recipes needed for a fresh start. The idea came about after I finished chemotherapy and realized that I had enormous cravings for meat and sugar (and no desire to eat the healthy stuff).
- Good candidates for the program are people who say:
- I know I should be eating better, I just don’t know what to eat.
- I’m addicted to diet soda/sugar/caffeine.
- I need a kick-start to get things going.
- I’m tired. I ache. My skin itches.
- I haven’t slept through the night in years.
- I want to eat less junk food, but don’t know what to eat instead.
Everyone is different and has different results. These are the most common pieces of feedback I hear from participants:
Enhanced sleep, weight loss, fewer cravings for sugar and refined carbs (including giving up soft drinks), more energy and less joint pain.
If you’re ready to get started, learn more by clicking: http://lisacorradonutrition.com/RSG.html
CC: If you weren’t a nutritionist (or chef!) what would you be?
LC: A travel writer. I love to travel and I love to write!
CC: You always inspire me with your great quotes on Twitter. What is your favorite quote?
LC: “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
– Mark Twain