Christie RD: What made you want to be a dietitian?
Cari: I grew up in Alabama where people have a lot of health issues related to the food they eat, although my parents were generally pretty health conscious. Also, my aunt is an acupuncturist and very knowledgeable about nutrition, so from a young age I had positive influences but I wasn’t always mindful of eating healthy. It wasn’t until the later part of my teens that I really decided to clean up my diet and I noticed a huge difference in how I felt. I began to understand that most of the health conditions we have are related to our lifestyle, with food being a big part of that. I realized that nutrition was the most important way to prevent or manage disease and decided it would be wonderful to help others understand the importance of nutrition too.
Christie RD: How long have you been a dietitian?
Cari: 6 years
Christie RD: Why do you think good nutrition should be a priority for people?
Cari: I believe nutrition is the single biggest contributor to our health. I am also a firm believer that food is medicine so for anyone suffering from any type of disease or ailment, food can be very healing.
Christie RD: What is one way you believe you can help people improve their diet?
Cari: I understand that for people to be motivated to change their diet, they have to understand how diet affects them, so ensuring they have a sound understanding of the connection between food and their health is a big priority when counseling clients.
Christie RD: Do you have a particular food philosophy?
Cari: Yes… “Quality over quantity” meaning not all calories are created equal and focusing on a high quality, whole foods diet is more important than meticulously counting calories, especially of processed foods.
Christie RD: What are your strengths as a dietitian?
Cari: I’m passionate about nutrition. I’m also very compassionate and feel I can relate to all people in one way or another. That allows me to really meet people where they are which is important in initiating change. I also think planning healthy meals comes naturally to me and I love cooking and trying new recipes so I can come up with recipes and ideas for any type of preference or lifestyles.
Christie RD: What is your favorite food?
Cari: Mediterranean food of any kind.
I cook a lot so I rarely eat out but if I could go to any restaurant in the area it would be Milner’s in Winston. You can’t beat the food quality and the service. I also like Traveled Farmer and Tessa Farm to Table but there are a lot of restaurants in Greensboro that I’m still waiting to try.
Christie RD: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Cari: Spending time with my husband, Elliott, my three year old, Leo, and three month old, Julius, is my favorite thing to do but I also love cooking, hiking, doing yoga and going to barre classes.