Marlyn Diaz started her career working as a salesperson in the food industry with big name, packaged brands. “The experience changed me,” she explains. “That stuff just isn’t real, whole food. It made me want to focus on nutrition.”
So, she headed back to school to become a certified nutritionist. Nowadays the Encino mom of two focuses on transforming lives with her holistic approach—eating well for the mind, body and soul.
How does being a dietician differ from being a nutritionist?
Marlyn Diaz: Being a dietician is more old school. It’s based on food group eating and can be more medical-minded. Nutritionists tend to have a more preventative approach.
When is it time to see a nutritionist?
MD: If you have high cholesterol or blood pressure. If you regularly have sugar cravings or mood swings. For men who are losing testosterone, are terribly stressed at work, aren’t sleeping well. Balancing blood/sugar levels is so important for middle-aged men.
I love coffee and don’t want to give it up. Suggestions?
MD: Coffee is highly sprayed with pesticides, sometimes from third-world countries. Choose organic coffee when possible and only have one cup.
I find taking vitamins unpleasant.
MD: Take vitamins with food. It helps prevent indigestion. Use a whole foods-based vitamin, which can be gentler. These are made from food rather than chemicals. Whole Foods Market carries some good ones, like Rainbow Light.
How can I eat to increase energy?
MD: Drink smoothies, which are broken down so the body does not have to work as hard digesting. Add protein powder. Or put some maca in–it’s a superfood, a powder made from ground mustard seed from Peru. Maca also helps the body heal and boosts libido, by the way.
Can you recommend a great cookbook?
MD: Superfood Cuisine by Julie Morris. It has fantastic recipes that include superfoods, all aimed at creating energy naturally.
Do you ever buy “diet” or “low-cal” products?
MD: No. They are loaded with chemicals and toxins.
What should we avoid at all costs?
MD: High fructose corn syrup, hydrated oils like margarine and food coloring—especially yellow, red and blue dyes found in drinks like in Gatorade.
What do you think of cleanses?
MD: I like them when they are monitored by a professional and custom-designed with a person’s health in mind. What is right for one person is not right for another. I would not order cleanse products online. Often the programs are too intense and long-term.