Alex Balbontin



Age Group(s):


Patient Populations:

Adults, LGBTQIA+, Men, Women

About Alex

In college, Alex had the opportunity to intern as a nutrition educator in Guatemala. She provided nutrition counseling to high-risk women and children in rural villages, focusing on nutrition for lactation and general healthy eating to prevent malnutrition. After seeing the impact of her teachings, Alex knew she wanted to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Before joining the Culina Health team, Alex was an in-patient dietitian at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, working in the neuroscience intensive care unit and with surgical oncology patients. 

Get to Know Alex

Favorite cultural dish or comfort food: Spaghetti

Go-to morning beverage: Coffee

Favorite thing to purchase at the farmer’s market or grocery store: Organic eggs, sweet potato and sourdough bread

Sleep ritual I never forget: Sound machine, fan and magnesium before bed

What I listen to for inspiration: Podcasts

Favorite recipe: I tend to make up recipes in my head! I love being creative.

Favorite nutrient-packed snack: Protein oat balls with chia seeds

Favorite book/TV show/movie: Book: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Grocery shopping tip: Pre-chopped onions can save you a lot of time in the kitchen.

What’s one small thing someone can do today to work toward a balanced eating pattern/lifestyle? Get into bed at least one hour before your desired sleep time and read, do a puzzle, meditate, or brain dump your thoughts onto paper. This will give your mind time to calm down from the day and not increase stimulation from screens. Furthermore, it will support falling asleep sooner, so you get more hours of sleep per night.

A mindful eating moment you had recently: Connecting to my cravings and deciding to have a farro egg scramble for breakfast vs. protein oatmeal. I was craving something savory!

A habit you swear by: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Plan out rough meal ideas for the week and plan out your exercise for the week. I write out what is going on each day after work. I write out when is it realistic to cook, when is it realistic to have leftovers, and where I have time slots to walk and exercise each day. I do this either on Saturdays or Sundays before the next week begins.

What’s your nutrition superpower? Having the skills to empower my patients with nutrition/lifestyle tools so they can live their healthiest, best lives!

How has your cultural culinary heritage shaped your approach to nutrition, and do you incorporate any traditional practices into your counseling? I recommend drinking coffee after meals.

Nutrition philosophy in a nutshell: Move your body everyday somehow! Whether that is walking or exercising. Eat lots of veggies, have protein at every meal and snack, and choose high-fiber carbohydrates. Prioritize sleep and incorporate stress management techniques daily. You do not have to be perfect at all these things, but start with one thing and build off of it slowly. Most of time you will realize how connected they are.

Nutrition myth or trend you find particularly annoying and would like to set the record straight: Carbs are not bad!


Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, James Madison University

Dietetic Internship:
VCU Health System in Richmond, Virginia


Counseling Style:

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