What’s your story? Tell us about yourself.
I am a budding journalist turned nutritional scientist from the San Francisco Bay Area. After studying nutritional science physiology and metabolism at the University of California Berkeley, I moved to New York City to pursue my master’s in human nutrition at Columbia University and then completed my clinical training at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. My career has allowed me to join my scientific background with my love for story telling. I run a private practice in Charleston, host a segment called Good Food Friday on ABC Charleston and share new recipes and nutrition tips daily on nutritionbymia.com and @nutritionbymia on social media.
How did you get into food?
While I was studying at UC Berkeley, I took a journalism course with Michael Pollan, a leading food journalist and New York Times Best Seller. For the first time, I started to see the way food, our universal commonality, intimately affects our health. As a budding journalist, I took my investigative knack and turned it toward nutritional science, which influenced me to become a dietitian. Today, I still use my journalistic tendencies by debunking nutrition myths and sharing evidence-based tips that my readers and viewers can readily understand and implement into their lives.
What’s one of your aspects of designing/creating a recipe?
As a blogger and nutrition expert on television, visuals are important to me. I first think about whether a recipe will photograph well and then I will create a recipe using ingredients in my nutritional arsenal. This may include using dates instead of refined sugar to sweeten a recipe or using whole grains in lieu of refined. I like taking classic comfort foods and making them RD-approved.
What ingredients are you into right now?
Seasonal produce is always on my ingredient radar. I like to develop my recipes accordingly to encourage readers and viewers to eat in season. Seasonal produce is not only most readily available, it is often the most nutritious, affordable and best tasting!
You are well-studied in nutrition. How do you translate all the mundane aspects to nutrition and turn them into beautiful recipes? Is that a natural skill?
When I develop recipes, I try to use the most nutrient-dense ingredients as possible meaning they provide a high level of nutrition relative to calories they contain (energy) Every recipe I share with my community is a chance to educate about the unique benefits of key ingredients. I have found that recipes are a visual way to depict this information so that it resonates.
Is there an area of food and recipe making that you’d like to spend more time exploring / researching (i.e. modified diets?)
It is my goal to share recipes that the majority of my readers and viewers can make and enjoy. Staying abreast with their changing needs and wants is my objective as a dietitian blogger. As a result, I embrace the need to constantly evolve in the kitchen.
What are some of the most common modified diets you’ve created recipes for?
Some of the most commonly sought-after recipes from my clients and readers include plant-based (vegan and vegetarian), gluten-free, low-sugar, dairy-free, grain-free and nut-free.
– Mia Syn, Certified Nutritionist and Springible Contributor