Ask the Expert: Tarrytown Nutritionist Allison Reyna

In West Austin, nutritionist and health coach Allison Reyna is changing the world, one client at a time. Her company name, Food as Life, says it all. The concept that everyday decision-making regarding what we eat is more than a matter of pleasure, convenience, or a chance to jump on the bandwagon of the latest diet fad— that it affects both the quality and length of our life— can change our relationship to food entirely.

Read on to hear what Allison has to say to Austinites.

What led you to become a nutritionist?

“I always had an interest in nutrition but I faced a personal health crisis in 2001 when I was diagnosed with melanoma. Feeling worse and worse each day from the chemo, I started to take a closer look at WHAT I was putting in my body and how that had an impact on how I felt. I truly started to see how everything you put in your body effects how you feel. I decided to leave my desk job and pursue a degree in nutrition. I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2007 and have been practicing every since.”

What distinguishes your practice?

“I tend to work with busy, active people who have minor health ailments and/or want to be more proactive about their health. We are all busy and wish we had more time to focus on healthy foods. I dispel the myth that eating healthy has to take a lot of time and effort. I take them to a health food store early on and teach them how to shop the market. I also get my clients cooking, but that doesn’t mean cooking a lot more. I am a big fan of ‘cook once and eat thrice’. Stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with good, healthy, convenient foods and you won’t have an excuse to eat poorly!”

When it comes to nutritional research, can you tell us about any recent findings that are shaking things up in the field?

“One of the things I love most about nutrition is there is always new research challenging our long-held beliefs about health. For example, during the fat free craze 15 years ago we thought bagels, pretzels and pasta were the healthiest foods for us! Some of the more exciting research that I feel will shake up the field is about saturated fats. They have long been demonized and we’ve been advised to avoid them at all costs. However, not all saturated fats are turning out to be the same. And, most of the past research grouped trans fats (which we know are bad) with saturated fats. Some examples of good saturated fats are organic, grass-fed meat and coconut oil.”

What are three dietary changes we could make today to live a longer, healthier life?

1.) “Cook more! It is important to be in charge of your food and the ingredients that go into each meal. If you eat out for lunch every day, try and bring your lunch to work 2-3 times a week. Meet a friend for tea, coffee or a walk instead of dinner.”

2.) “Fill your plate at every meal with 2/3 vegetables and you will fill up on healthy nutrients and naturally crowd out the bad stuff.”

3.) “Familiarize yourself with the Dirty Dozen produce list to minimize chemical/pesticide exposure.”

Allison, a CHEK-certified Health and Lifestyle coach, works with clients all over Austin. She also serves as nutritional advisor to HappyBaby, a company that sells fresh frozen organic baby food nationally. “She came highly recommended, and I can see why. I’m living healthfully, I’ve lost 2 dress sizes and have never had this much energy!” boasts Susan Kim, a work-at-home mother of three in Lost Creek.

To speak with Tarrytown nutritionist Allison Reyna, call (512) 542-3354 or visit Food as Life on the web!

The Austin REALTORS® at Regent Property Group believe in good health and support local business owners like Allison Reyna. They also help home-buyers stay on top of the latest in Tarrytown trends. If you’re on the lookout for an Austin home for sale, check out Austin Home Search! The real estate agents at Regent stand ready to assist you.