I am currently in pursuit of my Master's degree in Nutrition - a path that will lead me to become a Registered Dietitian (RD)! I received my undergrad degree from Chapman University in psychology and business. After I completed my undergraduate degree, I pursued a career in advertising, where I worked for ~6 years managing 7-8 clients (from Netflix to Under Armour) at any given time. The fast-paced world of advertising granted me experience in managing cross-functional teams (from engineers to strategists to designers), structured time-management skills, and efficient organizational strategies, however, I came to realize that food, sports, fitness and nutrition are really what fire me up!
In 2020, I opened my own LLC (KTLEO, LLC) selling healthy baked goods as a passion project. This endeavor not only allowed me to develop custom recipes based on clientele’s dietary restrictions, but it also taught me tenacity; I was required to work with both community markets and the government to obtain Food Handlers permits in California and Arizona, Cottage B Food & Public Health Licenses, Tax permits, etc. In addition to my baking business and the Nutrition Master's program, here are some of the other projects I'm working on:
I currently work as Fitness Professional & Trainer at Lifetime Fitness in Laguna Niguel, California.
Just wrapped up leading a Performance Nutrition internship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) working directly with the men's & women’s basketball teams where we prepare meals and guide them on fueling, hydration, and recovery. This food-prep-heavy internship is gearing me up for my rotationals, and has also provided hands-on experience and face time with collegiate athletes.
Just wrapped up leading a "Healthy Habits'' cooking classes for community youth ages 6-17 with the Semper Fund and Boys & Girls Club programs. These cooking classes require me to create and teach a curriculum on macronutrients, nutrition from all around the world, and how to prepare simple meals (i.e.: Greek salad, chicken tikka masala, etc.) on a budget.
I simultaneously lead online cheese-board classes with Alice's Table and Harry & David making workshops where I virtually instruct groups of 15-60 people about the cheese-making process, 'good fats' in cheese, and how to assemble an aesthetic board.
I am a huge advocate for intuitive living. Since January 2021 till now, I have made a conscious effort to reconnect my mind with my body.
I spent the past 3-4 years prior (2017-2020) creating a chasm between these two key components of my being in an effort to conform to diet culture, shed pounds, restrict food, and exercise until exhaustion 8+ times a week.
So, while this "intuitive living" is somewhat of a new lifestyle for me, I find I am happiest listening to what my body wants, eating all the carbs, and not forcing myself to exercise for 2+ hours every morning on the days where I instead feel like going on a pensive stroll.
According to the original intuitive eating experts Elyse & Evelyn, the 'intuitive eating' principles help you cultivate attunement to the physical sensations that arise from within your body to get both your biological and psychological needs met. The principles also encourage you to remove the obstacles and disruptors to attunement, which usually come from the mind in the form of rules, beliefs, and thoughts.
Our diet-culture mentality encourages separating our minds from our stomachs to lose weight. This launches us into a toxic cycle of feeling perpetually guilty for consuming "bad" foods, having "cheat days", and self-loathing for not being able to "stay on the wagon".
Intuitive eating instead approaches food from an 'all foods are OK' mindset in an effort to reconnect to our instinctual and inborn responses to consuming food. Intuitive eating is listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.
For a heap of reasons, the endorphin-release of breaking-a-sweat results in a plethora of benefits for the soul. However, what I did not know was that this physiological / mind-body reaction can become an addiction of sorts and actually lead to adverse effects. I have always played sports and love being active, but there was stint where my workout regimen consumed my every waking moment.
I am in the process of adopting intuitive movement, which is the practice of connecting with your body and its internal cues...then using that to determine what type of movement, how long, and the intensity you'd like to engage in because let's the be honest - you are the expert of your body!
Curating your environment is absolutely key to living intuitively because we are ultimately guided by what we see and experiment. This could include: unfollowing accounts that do not positively serve you, saying "no" to plans you're not hyped about, journalling to get all your thoughts (both positive & not-so-positive!) down on paper, appreciating your body / friends / roof-over-your-head / health, wearing comfy clothes - the list goes on!
.Understanding yourself and what makes you feel secure and warm is what will allow you to intuitively refuel. Your preferences will change throughout your life, but knowing how to create a sanctuary (both physically and mentally) with your favorite colors, people, hobbies, etc. will set you up for success!
from meal guides to order as much as your heart desires!