Today I am welcoming nutrition and dietetics student Ann Lokuta to the Nutritioulicious family. I had the pleasure of meeting Ann at a recent event in Manhattan and am excited to have her share some of what she has learned about nutrition, diet, and overall health. Read on for an introduction from Ann and stay tuned for her future posts!
I fell in love with food at an early age (possibly birth) and really haven’t looked back since. It’s been a wild ride of escargot, Twinkies, guacamole, and beyond – taste without discrimination. For about 22 years I ate anything I wanted, not putting two and two together when I would crash after gorging on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, but feel thoroughly energized after eating every last bite of grilled zucchini with broiled salmon. I was lucky in the sense that for a long time weight wasn’t an issue; but I was cursed at the same time, because it meant I could eat whatever my heart desired without any immediate consequence that would motivate me to change my ways.
It wasn’t until my final year of college that the combination of a careless diet and the ease of skipping workouts caught up to me. My clothes started fitting tighter, exercising became a serious (and painful) drag, and I felt tired regardless of how much sleep I clocked in the night before. The weight gain triggered my decision to change my dietary ways, and I stuck with it because I genuinely felt better. Getting myself out the door to run was less of a sluggish chore and more of an exhilarating rush. I didn’t need 10 cups of coffee to make it to 5 pm, and all of the sudden I became a breakfast-loving morning person who gave myself time to prepare for the day before aimlessly jetting out the door. It wasn’t easy, but as I started to feel these differences in the quality of my life, I knew it was worth it.
I decided to pursue a graduate education in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Michigan so I could help people improve their lives through nutrition and healthy habits. I’ve spent the past year attending classes, assisting in research, interning at various nutrition-related businesses, experimenting in the kitchen, and doing everything possible to expand my knowledge base in the field.
I was lucky to meet Jessica at a conference in New York City during my internship at Good Housekeeping Magazine and am thrilled to have the opportunity to spread the word about good health with all of her Nutritioulicious readers!
– Ann Lokuta