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Hey there! I’m Wendy, a lover of food, cooking, and nutrition, among other fun things. I was raised in the Bronx with family roots in the Dominican Republic. Growing up, chronic illness was so very common among family and community members. I never really knew what things like diabetes and hypertension meant, but I did know that these conditions were negatively impacting my loved ones.

When I went away for college, years of poor nutrition started to catch up with me. I would constantly find myself in chronic pain. My mama bear became very worried, and began to incorporate more whole foods into the meals she prepared for me. Within a matter of weeks, I was already feeling significantly better and many of my physical symptoms had resolved.

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I was so amazed with the power of food and nutrition that I decided to pursue it as a career. I had majored in psychology as an undergrad, and so did all the necessary academic prep work for a career change. I completed my graduate degree at Hunter College with a Masters in Nutrition in 2013, and then moved on to finish my dietetic internship at Brooklyn College in 2014.

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I am currently the clinical outpatient dietitian at Open Door Family Medical Center in Port Chester, NY, where I provide services for the the Pediatric, Women’s Health, & General Medicine clinics. Throughout this journey, I have developed a great love for wholesome cooking. Food Heaven has served as a platform to share some of my recipes, geeky nutrition information, and other random tidbits. I hope this site inspires you to incorporate positive changes in your life as well! xo

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  • Favorite thing to do: Eat a yummy meal prepared by someone else while watching netflix (and DIY home projects!)
  • Favorite book: Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho- but there are so many!
  • Favorite item of clothing: Crop tops
  • Favorite food: Mac n cheese
  • Favorite season: Summer

 

13 Comments on Meet Wendy

  1. Danielle C
    October 20, 2015 at 9:17 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi Wendy (and Jess),

    I love your site, it honestly does inspire me to want to cook healthier meals and has great advice on nutrition. I was wondering if you have any advice for me as I am interested in changing careers to Nutrition/ Dietics. I have a bachelors degree from St. Joseph’s University in Finance and Spanish and I currently work in the commercial insurance industry. I recently discovered I don’t need a second bachelors in Nutrition if I complete the 7 or so prerequisites (Bios, Chemistry, etc). So I am considering doing a Masters after I finish the undergrad level prerequisites. Any further feedback on your journey and/or advice is helpful!
    Danielle

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      October 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Danielle! Have you watched our How to Become an RD video? It’s on our youtube channel- I think it will be helpful for you! The way you are considering doing things is actually how I did it as well- doing the pre-reqs and then going for the masters. Just make sure you do your research into all the requirements needed for the programs you’re interested in, and start gaining experience so your application looks good (volunteer, part-time jobs, etc). Hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. Mélida
    February 19, 2016 at 4:09 am (1 year ago)

    Hi Wendy!

    I’m actually listening to you on Another Round right now. As I was listening to you, your accent reminded me so much of my cousins. It all made sense when I read you’re from the Bx AND Dominican like me 🙂 My parents just found out their cholesterol was a bit high. For someone who I’m assuming knows Dominican food, what are some diet changes you recommend for reducing cholesterol while still maintaining their Dominican food? My mom would be pretty upset if I suggest she eats things like kale. I wasn’t to help them work on this as soon as possible.

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      February 21, 2016 at 5:34 pm (1 year ago)

      Hey! I do indeed know about Dominican food. Here are some suggestions that can help:
      1. Avoid all fried foods. Instead of frying eggs, have them boiled or scrambled with vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, etc (whatever they like). Up to 2 eggs, 3x week is fine. Instead of tostones, have 1 boiled/mashed plantain or boiled yucca/yautia
      2. Up fiber intake- oatmeal, lots of non-starchy vegetables with meals (doesn’t have to be kale- whatever they like- carrots, veggies mentioned above, spinach, eggplant, okra)
      3. Stick to drinking water- try to cut out all sweet beverages. If that’s too challenging, aim for 8oz/day max
      4. Exercise is great for lowering cholesterol- try having them try some videos at home, or if they can do a daily walk while running errands- that works great too
      5. Limit cheeses. It’s best to not have them until cholesterol normalizes- especially because Dominicans do a lot of fried cheese.
      6. Aim for protein sources with less saturated fat- instead of salami, red meat, pork- aim more for poultry, fish, bacalao (soak it well to reduce sodium)

      Ok hope this helps hermana!

      Reply
      • Mélida
        March 12, 2016 at 12:18 am (12 months ago)

        Thank you so much! Let’s hope I don’t get the side eye!

        Reply
  3. Dyiamond G
    April 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm (11 months ago)

    Hey Wendy!

    I know this is a pretty unconventional way of reaching out to you but I see you and Jess are very active on your website and social media platforms. I’m currently a clinical nutrition student at NYU and am on a similar career path and to see 2 successful female RD’s working together is inspiring. I was wondering if you would be willing to chat (e-mail) with me as I find myself hitting a brick wall and often getting discouraged from my goal.

    Thank you! I appreciate all the hard work you ladies do.
    Dyiamond

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      April 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm (11 months ago)

      Hi Dyiamond! We got your email and will respond this week 🙂

      Reply
      • Angela Humphrey
        October 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm (4 months ago)

        So proud of you Dyiamond for networking with these dynamic ladies ! In the mid ’70’s at Howard U I became discouraged with the state of Nutrition careers ( part time positions @ hospitals where physicians ordered “diets” and did not respect consults with RD’s) and never completed my graduate internship or RD. Yesterday i reached out to a Holistic Health Coach/Nutritionist who forged ahead though discouraged as I was and she shared with me many resources and much encouragement to try again to get credentialed to practice nutrition in some capacity even now. Though I wish i had reached out to my instructors @ HU back in the day I am encouraged to believe finally have a mentor. I wish you success and be encouraged

        Reply
        • Wendy
          Wendy
          October 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm (4 months ago)

          So happy to have you on our page! Thank you for all this love <3

          Reply
  4. Biany
    April 18, 2016 at 8:06 pm (10 months ago)

    Hey Wendy!

    I have been watching your Youtube videos since 2013 when I discovered your sweet potato with black beans and veggies. I had transitioned to veganism and it was ya’ll videos that really got me through. I recently returned to eating lean protein (chicken, fish and turkey) but have not been feeling as healthy and rejuvenated as I felt when I was vegan. I am considering a vegetarian diet again but don’t know where to begin. What do you suggest?

    As a fellow Dominicana from the BX (now living in Philly), I am so glad you are sharing your knowledge with us. I love Dominican food and I am also wondering how you survive when you are around family.

    Con mucho amor y respeto,
    Biany

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      April 23, 2016 at 11:24 pm (10 months ago)

      Hi Biany! There’s so much to cover. Use this site as a resource for veg-friendly recipes. We also have our 14-day meal plan on our site, which will give you inspiration for preparing veg meals that are well-balanced and tasty. We also have a starter kit in the store, that’s more of an intro-to-vegetarianism, with articles, worksheets, and more. I wish I could answer this in a reply, but it’s just so much information with little background on what your needs are. So sorry we can’t be of more help, and thank you so much for reaching out!

      Reply
  5. Katherine Powell
    January 23, 2017 at 2:56 pm (1 month ago)

    Hi Wendy,
    My name is Katherine. I found your website while searching for food that would be tolerable for me to eat with both heartburn and gastroparesis.
    I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in 2008 at that time there wasn’t a lot of information on the nutrition side of dealing with this illness other than saying eat 6 small meals a day. And I had no ideal how to do that.
    I am 51 years old now and would like to eat healthier but if you know about “delayed stomach emptying” you know how I struggle. I also suffer with heartburn and not just a little bit. I sleep sitting up most of the time. In addition I’m also lactose intolerant.
    Is there any hope for me? I am so tired of being sick and I am not big on taking medication to solve my problems. I believe food can be healing I just don’t know where to start and was hoping that maybe you could offer some helpful advice?
    By the way, I love this website! I just don’t know how to incorporate any of this food into my diet. Please help…
    Sincerely,
    Katherine P.

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      January 26, 2017 at 4:58 pm (4 weeks ago)

      Hi Katherine! I’m so sorry to hear about all of this. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to deal with the physical discomfort of gastroparesis. To make any recommendations, I would have to properly assess you as a client, which I don’t have the capacity to do right now. I recommend you consult with a dietitian to get a proper assessment, and from there, they can develop an intervention plan with you. Jess wrote this great article on gastroparesis: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070114p16.shtml

      Take a read, and you can also check out her website, since she does private consulations: jessicajonesnutrition.com

      Wish you all the best!

      Reply

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