Keep your health and wellness goals on track this holiday season with the help of a local nutritionist.
For Danielle Paciera, a native New Orleanian and Integrative Nutrition Specialist, health and nutrition are at the forefront of her life. It was during her freshman year at the University of Arizona that Paciera started working out at the college’s state-of-the-art recreation center; she became a vegetarian; and she took her first nutrition course. “Within the second week, I liked the class and topics so much, I knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she says.
However, despite her initial passion for nutrition, she found herself disappointed in her training as a dietitian. “I felt that I was not truly making a difference in people’s lives,” Paciera says. “This is when I decided to … explore the vast field of nutrition that lies beyond dietetics. In embracing a more holistic and integrative approach, I found early on — and still find today — that I am able to truly help people in so many ways that improve the quality of their lives.”
Paciera has been in practice as a registered and licensed dietician/nutritionist since 2001, and she has specialized in Integrative Nutrition since 2004. In this capacity, she helps clients get to the root of any issues they may be experiencing. “I am not a doctor, so I do not intend to diagnose or treat a disease,” she says. “Rather I focus on functional states — how the body functions at a genetic, biochemical and cellular level. My work is patient-centered, not disease-centered.”
Her personal diet and fitness routine centers on what makes Paciera feel great on all levels so that she can function at her best. “One of my personal slogans is, ‘Yoga is my medicine,’” she says. “Given free days, my choice would be to wake; meditate; go for a run with the dog; do yoga; make a green smoothie; go about my day; make a lunch with fresh, seasonal vegetables, and fish or seafood; enjoy a snack when needed; and come together with loved ones to create a gourmet dinner using fresh, colorful plant foods my body craves.”
On Staying Motivated
“I pay attention to what makes me feel good and what doesn’t.” Paciera says. “Naturally, I want to feel good. I eat what gives me energy, not what drains energy. I eat what helps me stay focused and productive, not what leaves me scattered and unable to focus. I eat what satiates me and keeps me going rather than what leaves me hungry and craving sugar later in the day. It is not about doing any one thing. It isn’t self-control. It isn’t willpower. It is awareness.”
“My diet is different than most people’s, because of celiac disease and other food sensitivities, but pretty much consists of green-protein smoothies, wild fish and seafood, and lots of colorful veggies,” Paciera says. “Of course I have my treats too, and I do enjoy a glass of wine. However, I love vegetables and often feel that I just can’t get enough. I have learned how to delicately tease out the nuances each vegetable has to offer with simple preparations and minimal ingredients, relying upon good oils, sea salt, fresh herbs and spices.”
Client Success Story
“I receive emails from people all of the time about how much better they feel,” Paciera says. “It is most pronounced with people who are anxious, those with IBS and digestive upset, those with periods of compulsive eating and under eating, or those with inflammation and pain. I cannot speak directly about my patients though, since all of my work is very confidential.”
“Go to someone who looks for the root of the problem rather than giving you a standard protocol to address a symptom,” Paciera says. “Your quality of life is directly dependent upon your health. That being said, the mind and body are one entity — not two. A good nutrition program should be all encompassing (holistic) and address many factors beyond what you eat and when you eat it. We used to say, ‘You are what you eat.’ We now say, ‘You are what you eat, digest, absorb, assimilate and use.’ Finally, a good nutrition program is one that a person can stay on for the long haul, not just to attain a goal.”
Danielle Paciera, RD, CCN
Integrative Nutrition Specialist
5002 Prytania St.