Today we will be introducing Dorothy Dawn, a registered dietitian nutritionist from Irvine, California.
What made you interested in living a healthy lifestyle?
“My dad was always fit and he did aerobics every morning when I was a little girl…and then I used to take his little video tapes and put them in the VCR and pretend I was the lady teaching aerobics…and then when my mom taught me how to cook, I’d like to pretend that I was in a cooking show and we’d have dessert, I grew up in the Midwest so we had dessert everyday, and ice-cream even in the cold and I’d like to let it melt and pretend it was like a mixture, I’d be making some cookies and I’d put some m&m’s in, and chocolate chips, and stir it up, and I’d pretend I was on a cooking show so it was just like a natural progression. I think you can tell what a child wants to be when they become an adult by watching what they do at play time.”
Do you have a favorite type of food?
“I would say probably Mediterranean food is my favorite…I love hummus, baba ghanoush, kababs, and it’s very healthy too. I cook it with a lot of olive oils and vegetables so I would say that’s my favorite.”
What are some tips you have for healthy eating?
“Being that we live in California, and knowing what is available in the mid-west in the winter compared to here, we have so much produce available to us. It’s like practically almost always in season out here. Trying to find good apple in January is gross. They’re like grainy and mushy inside…So we have a cornucopia of produce available year-round with our weather…I’d say that the number one thing is to realize the beauty of living out here and taking advantage of all the rainbows of the color wheel with all the fruit and vegetables. Every color kind of represents a different nutrient…..And then number two, the weather….the weather is a heck of a lot better than Michigan in January, and being from Michigan, nothing would stop me. I would still run three miles a day in January. My roommate who was a dietician student as well in college, she would get up at four in the morning in January and run….and so out here, if it’s hot, if it’s raining, if it’s a little chilly, it doesn’t stop me…our weather is very temperate so taking advantage of that as well…. What California has to offer…We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world probably weather wise…It should not be an excuse that it’s too chilly and it’s kind of fun to run outside or walk in the rain, it’s different…you notice the smells of the grass when it’s wet and sometimes the shower feels good when it’s hot so I’d say those are the two main things that I wish people that were from here probably take for granted and should be appreciated…notice it and take advantage of it.”
What do you think is the first step in pursuing a healthier lifestyle?
“Getting in touch with a professional such as a registered dietician. They know what they’re talking about, studied it for at least four years, and then we have a plan to go through, an internship with thousands of hours and take the exam, passing with a C or above…and all of our studies are done on legit unbiased studies that are proven to be true…It’s not that they’re not true so we’re not just pulling stuff out of thin air. It’s real. It’s evidence based…so going to a professional and not just reading stuff on social media…be careful where you take your information from.”
What would you say is the definition of eating healthy?
“All food is good. There is no food that is bad, at all, and it’s a matter of quantity and how often you have a food…so it’s good to have a lot of fruits and vegetables with fish and olive oil and nuts, and then some chicken, and a little red meat….and it’s good to have a treat day once a week where you just turn off what you’re supposed to do and listen to your body and have that French fry if you want, have that big mac, whatever you want…There’s nothing bad. It’s bad to call food bad. All foods are good. It’s just how much, how often. You deprive yourself, you’re going to want it more.”
Do you have a favorite recipe?
“Yes I do, It’s my childhood favorite recipe. It’s still my favorite recipe until this day, and little did I know I was ahead of the times because it’s a very keto-ish recipe…It’s called a Happy Face Burger. It’s essentially a hamburger patty but more meat-loaf-ish with a little bit of bread crumbs in it so just a moderate amount….Happy Face Hamburgers has no bun so you just serve it as a meat-loaf hamburger patty and it’s decorated with tomato sauce to make the cheese stick, so orange cheese for the face or white cheese for the face and use two olives for the eyes an pimento for the mouth.”
Dorothy is also the author of the book “The Best Darn Book About Nutrition and Health”
Reach out to Dorothy Dawn at: