Our nutrition magician shares her secrets.
How did nutrition become a passion and profession for you?
Ten years after completing my undergraduate degree in marketing, I knew I wanted to pursue something in the health field while remaining in the food world, so nutrition was an obvious choice. I went back to school to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, earning my masters in nutrition sciences at Hunter College in 2015. While working at FreshDirect throughout, I was able to pursue my passion for helping people eat healthier to feel their best by taking on the role of Corporate Nutritionist and Employee Wellness Program Manager. In addition to encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle, I also love to exercise, and aim to eat as wholesome and nutritiously as possibly at every meal and snack.
What do you love about working at FD?
The passion for food here is incredible. I don’t go a day without learning something new about food, and that is one of the many things I love about working here.
Speaking of food, what snack do you always have on hand in your desk?
I always have a jar of peanut butter and some fruit at my desk, and a bag of string cheese in the nearby fridge. For me, a perfect afternoon pick me up is a carb and a protein. I love a good apple and peanut butter crunch, or apple and cheddar treat.
You hand out a healthy snack to the entire FD office once a week. What’s the all-time favorite?
By far the most popular snack I handed out was an avocado. Practically everyone at FD has an avocado slicer at their desks—that gives you an idea of the culture here!
What’s your favorite better-for-you snack from FreshDirect?
I’m a big fan of our egg cups. There are four varieties to choose from, and they all come with two hard-boiled eggs and various toppings, ranging from everything bagel seasoning to hummus and roasted eggplant. It makes a great protein-packed and delicious snack or small meal.
Coffee gets a lot of us through the day, but we know too much of it is bad. Are there any better-for-you beverages that have the same effect?
Yes! Check out my better-for-you beverages list on the FreshDirect site! But honestly, I don’t have any issue with coffee. Two to three cups a day is fine, and then I recommend switching to a non-caffeinated tea or unsweetened iced tea, water or seltzer or a good refreshing kombucha for some added gut health benefit.
The food emoji you use the most is…
One-hundred percent the avocado! That was a great addition and change from my previously most-used emoji… wine!
If you had five minutes to take a break from sitting at your desk, how would you use it?
I am a huge proponent of taking a walk outside for fresh air. Even if it’s cold, getting some sunlight and air along with those extra steps can help you power through the rest of your day, feeling regenerated and re-energized.
What are some good ideas to ensure the team aren’t sitting at their desks all day long without ever getting up?
Fitness challenges can help keep everyone active throughout the day. We’ve done step challenges, burpee competitions, and plank challenges. All it takes is one leader to initiate the challenge, set the rules and get going. The winner gets improved health and maybe that $10 you all bet.
What is your top wellness tip for busy office workers?
Set a health goal and monitor your progress in the same way you would monitor progress on a work project. Whether that means having a calendar appointment as a reminder to complete the health task (drinking water or getting up every hour, for example), or a weekly meeting with yourself or your colleagues who share the goal can help you stay on track with a system that already works for you. Having a joint goal with your colleagues can help you stay on track as well—either sharing the same goals or checking in with each other on your respective goals can go a long way, since you spend most of your life with your coworkers.
When you’re not FreshDirecting, you’re…
Playing with my family, my husband, my 16 month-old daughter Fiona, and my two cats, Elvis and Fizzy. Or just watching them all play together. Running around the house with them keeps me thoroughly happy and exhausted.
Shop Alicia’s expert Nutritionist Picks here.