Nahyeli always wanted to help others regain their health and as such, she decided to go to medical school. It was during her journey to become a physician when she found her passion for nutrition. She understood that she not only wanted to help people become healthier, but she also wanted to have a lasting impact and help them achieve their long-term goals. Additionally, during her nutrition training she became aware of the lack of culturally sensitive resources available in healthcare, which motivated her to develop tailored nutrition strategies that honor diverse food cultures and traditions. Along with joining the team at Culina Health, Nahyeli serves as an inpatient dietitian at the Veterans Affairs Health System combining clinical expertise with roles in cooking demos and public speaking on various nutrition-related topics.
Favorite cultural dish or comfort food: Spanish seafood paella
Go-to morning beverage: Cafe con leche (Coffee with milk)
Favorite thing to purchase at the farmer’s market or grocery store: Freshly baked bread
Sleep ritual I never forget: Applying lavender-scented cream to my hands and feet before a 15-minute guided meditation
What I listen to for inspiration: Podcasts: Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
Favorite recipe: Tiramisu
Favorite nutrient-packed snack: Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a handful of mixed berries is a tasty and nutrient-packed snack that balances protein, probiotics and antioxidants.
Favorite book/TV show/movie: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/ Homeland/While You Were Sleeping
Grocery shopping tip: Try picking one new or exotic ingredient each time you shop — it’s a simple way to add variety to your meals and spark some culinary creativity!
What’s one small thing someone can do today to work toward a balanced eating pattern/lifestyle? Adding one extra serving of vegetables to each meal — it’s a simple step toward a more balanced and nutritious eating pattern.
A mindful eating moment you had recently: Every afternoon after work I enjoy a cup of coffee. I hold the cup, feel its warmth and inhale the aroma. As I take each sip, I focus on the taste and how the coffee makes me feel. This mindful coffee drinking moment allows me to step back from the rush of the day and appreciate a simple act with full awareness, creating a brief pause for tranquility.
A habit you swear by: Consistently updating my to-do list and prioritizing tasks. It brings structure to my day, helping me stay organized and focused on what truly matters. Also, crossing out things from my to-do list is oddly satisfying.
What’s your nutrition superpower? I am the “nutritional detective,” delving deep into the individual stories and preferences of my clients. My superpower involves unpacking the “whys” behind their dietary choices, creating personalized and meaningful nutritional strategies that align not only with their goals and well-being but also with achievable milestones. This approach ensures that clients embark on a journey toward sustainable and attainable nutritional success.
Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition, New York University
James J. Peters VA Medical Center
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist; Board Certified Nutrition Support Clinician