Who I Am

From a proud Greek family, I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois with a strong sense of Mediterranean identity. First and foremost, that means family. My family is the most important part of my life, and my husband Emanuele, daughter Anjolie, and I live close to my parents in Palos Heights. My parents ran multiple restaurants when I was growing up and my husband is in the food industry, as well as a  home chef, so I’ve been around good food all my life. In my family, no matter what your day job is, we’re all chefs. Eating is an important way we spend time together and cooking together makes the dining all that much more special while fostering a love of nutritious foods. Food preparation and eating should be celebrated each day as a way to make your body and mind reach their full potential. Too often busy lives and lack of resources make meals just chores that have to be endured, instead of nourishment and pleasure.

I was drawn to nutrition because of my Mediterranean background. Our food philosophy includes an abundance of fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil and nuts, whole grains, and a moderate amount of fish, some dairy (mostly yogurt and cheese) and meat on occasion. The Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based and the healthiest diet in the world. It not only optimally nourishes the body, but also the mind and heart, and for this I am a major proponent of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

I hold university degrees in human nutrition, biology, and medical dietetics, and I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. Throughout my career at Palos Health, I have been involved in direct outpatient care, education, and community events. The topics I cover include heart health, diabetes, kids’ nutrition, preconception and pregnancy care, mindful eating, skin care from the inside out, weight management, and cancer prevention.