Holly is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who works with Persona customers daily to help them get the most from their programs. She earned her degree from Michigan State University before completing a supervised practice program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Holly uses her expertise to teach others about nutrition—with a special emphasis on gut health. Her mission: to help others understand that a healthy lifestyle really can be easy and enjoyable.
I sat down with Holly and got to know her a little better.
How did you get into nutrition?
Everyone who knows me knows I’m all about gut health! I think it stems from my own struggles and all the time I spent researching this topic for myself! There was a period when I was experiencing a lot of GI issues—severe pain, bloating and weight loss—so I was in and out of doctors’ offices a lot, until I finally connected with a clinical dietitian. That experience really opened my eyes to the impact food can have on our health and how complex our bodies are! From there my interest grew and I knew nutrition was the path for me.
What’s your biggest nutrition pet peeve?
One of my biggest pet peeves is the idea you shouldn’t eat after 7 or 8 pm! So many people promote this and follow this mindset, thinking that if you eat late, you’ll instantly gain weight. It isn’t true!
The time you eat doesn’t matter; it’s what you eat and how much. At night, it’s common to reach for snacks that are processed or high in sugar out of boredom or habit. Rather than cut that evening snack, change it: Instead of candy or chips, try more nutrient-dense foods like nuts or fruit.
What advice would you give to someone who’s struggling to make healthy changes?
My advice is to keep it simple and easy! Don’t be so strict about following a specific diet or counting every calorie. These aren’t healthy or sustainable habits. Instead, focus on nutrient-dense whole foods (like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and lean meats) for about 80% of your diet. This way you’re not restricting yourself from the treats you crave. When you mindfully choose nutritious foods for most of your meals—and consciously allow yourself to enjoy fun foods occasionally—you’re setting yourself up for long-term success.
What’s your favorite supplement?
My favorite supplement is definitely ashwagandha! I’ve had it in my daily pack for about 3-4 months now, and let me just say it has been a game changer when it comes to supporting my mood and attention! Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that has so many benefits, but has really helped bring an overall sense of calm and clarity to my life*.
What’s your favorite snack and why?
Ever since high school, my go-to snack since has been hummus, crackers and veggies! I love the combination of the creamy, crunchy and saltiness, especially mid-afternoon when I hit that slump. Hummus—usually made from chickpeas—provides a great source of protein. Paired with complex carbs from whole grain crackers and veggies, it helps keep me energized and satisfied until dinner.
What does your average weekend look like?
I usually start Fridays by finishing any errands, working out, grocery shopping and meal prepping. On Saturdays, I love being active, so I’ll go outdoors if the weather is nice! I like climbing, hiking, kayaking, biking or hanging out with friends. I also really enjoy baking or reading in my hammock—lately, I’ve been loving all the Colleen Hoover books!
Tell us something surprising about yourself.
One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that before I learned the importance of gut health and nutrition, I actually started college with the intention of studying engineering! Another fun fact: I’ve been to 46 states so far and my goal is to visit all 50 before I turn 30!
Holly is just one of the many experts at Persona who are here to accelerate your wellness journey. If you have questions about nutrition or your personalized program, reach out to Holly or one of our other nutritionists, or book a free appointment at a time that works for you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.