Once upon a time, I followed a carrot loving, white rabbit clad in a vest into a nook in a tree, and I fell into a wonderful land of food – Foodieland! My childhood dream was to be able to talk to animals, so I decided I’d bring you into my magical world and take a bit of creative license in sharing my Foodieland story. Although I may or may not have actually followed a white rabbit into Foodieland, I can say that my early life adventures, travels, and experiences influenced my passion for delicious food, nutrition, food studies, and health.
I was blessed to have a family that always delighted in home-cooked meals and family dinners. Having lived in Latin America as a child, I recall selecting fruits and vegetables at the local farmers’ market almost daily. A bicycle-riding baker delivered fresh, French baguette to our home every morning. As a kid, I hated eating cooked vegetables, but I loved fresh, crispy salads, beans, and homemade guacamole. My parents indulged my love for salad and made sure I always got lots of avocados and beans. No matter how hectic my parents’ schedules were, we always enjoyed breakfast and dinner together. These wonderful memories from my childhood planted the seeds for my interest in food.
It is also in Latin America that I found my passion for health advocacy. When I was a young girl, I vividly remember seeing children who, instead of eating warm meals at home and attending school, spent their days on the street selling candy or shining shoes. This was the first time I was awakened to the lack of food, education, clean water and love that many children face. In recent years, I’ve worked in various roles to bring health services and food security to under-served populations.
My family eventually moved back to my now-hometown of New Orleans. Ah, New Orleans – a magical place filled with contradictions. I love New Orleans! It’s delightful Café Au Lait & Beignets, lazy moss covered trees, the smell of grass always in the air. After Hurricane Katrina devastated my beloved New Orleans, I suffered from digestive health issues, irritable bowl syndrome, and gastritis exacerbated by anxiety and depression. I found that the best way for me to heal was to adopt a mindful lifestyle that includes a plant-centered, whole foods diet, meditation, and Yoga. As I healed myself, I began to re-focus my energy to bring healing and support to others. If you are seeking to uplift your mind, heal your relationship to food, and restore your health, I’m here for you!
My passion is to bring healing and support to anyone who is seeking to uplift their mind, heal their relationship to food, improve their quality of life, and restore their health Alice Figueroa
y nutrition counseling/coaching philosophy is one of mindful nutrition. I derived the concept of mindful nutrition from public health, positive psychology, and mindfulness science-based research, Yogic studies, and Buddhist teachings. Thich Naht Hanh, an inspiring Buddhist teacher who pioneered mindful nutrition alongside Harvard’s Dr.states, “Mindfulness frees us of forgetfulness and dispersion and makes it possible to live fully each minute of life. Mindfulness enables us to live.” Mindfulness is using your breath to bring awareness to your current moment by observing the fluctuations of the mind and the sensations of the body. It unites your body, your mind, your heart’s intention with your breath, bringing your attention into the present moment. I combine peer-reviewed science based nutrition/public health research with the holistic teachings of Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation to create nutrition programs that meet your unique medical, cultural, and emotional needs.
My nutrition counseling/coaching approach encourages mindful eating and lifestyle by:
Raising awareness regarding the food you purchase
Exploring the feelings, emotions, and attitudes you have about eating
Evaluating the supplements/medications you take
Revolutionizing the recipes and food you prepare
Revitalizing the health and lifestyle choices you make
I combine peer-reviewed science based nutrition/public health research with the holistic teachings of Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation to create nutrition programs that meet your unique medical, cultural, and emotional needs. Alice Figueroa
indful Nutrition Counseling and Coaching will empower you by:
My Professional Expertise
I conducted health assessments, evaluations and developed bilingual nutrition education programs for under-served communities in Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx. I had the privilege to work in South Africa, where I conducted pediatric nutrition counseling and breastfeeding consultations for mothers and children affected by HIV. While in South Africa, I conducted research on food insecurity post-apartheid as a mediating factor for HIV and other co-infections, and I developed strategies for overcoming challenges in delivering efficient health and nutrition services. I also completed a certification course facilitated by United Nation’s World Food Programme in system approaches to food access.
To nurture my love for food, I also participated in an NYU Food and Nutrition Studies Program in Italy, where I conducted research on the food, culture, and health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and Farm-to-Table eating. While in Italy, I visited local artisan vineyards, olive oil and balsamic vinegar producers, pasta artists, and delicious organic farms.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. Nelson Madela
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD, RDN)
James Beard Foundation National Scholar
Master of Public Health and Dietetics (MPH)Concentration: International and Community Health (MPH) and Nutrition and DieteticsNew York University, May 2013
Dietetic Internship/ResidencyConcentration: Medical Nutrition Therapy, Nutrition Counseling, Community Nutrition, HIV and Infectious Disease Nutrition Management, Diabetes Management, Chronic Disease Management, and Pediatric NutritionCity University of New York, May 2014
Honors Bachelor of Arts DegreeMajor: Political Science and International RelationsTulane University, May 2009
A Systems Approach to Food Access Certificate United Nations World Food Programme and NYU College of Global Public Health, November 2016
Certified Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle CoachCenter for Disease Control (CDC) Training, April 2015
300-hour Certified Yoga and Meditation Teacher,800-hour Certified Yoga Teacher ApprenticeJivamukti Yoga School, June 2013, September 2017
Natural Foods Chef Candidate
Natural Gourmet Institute, September 2018