As leader of Persona’s nutrition outreach program, Yaquelin lives her passion, by helping others to live healthier, happier lives. She developed her expertise at the University of Nevada Reno, where she earned her degree before moving to Seattle and completing an internship at Sea Mar Community Health Center. When she joined Persona, she found a new way to put that knowledge into action, teaching others about nutrition—with a special focus on using cultural foods to enrich a healthy diet.
I sat down with Yaquelin to get to know her a little better.
How did you get into nutrition?
If I’m being completely honest, I actually started out as a nursing major! I took a nutrition class as a requirement, and after my first day, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I changed my major that week and never looked back! 😊 I think it just made sense to me. Growing up, I was always active with martial arts and wrestling, and to support that, my dad really prioritized the importance of a healthy, nutritious diet.
What’s your biggest nutrition pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is the idea that lemon water will make you lose weight! Adding lemons to your water helps with flavor—and gives you some antioxidants—but it won’t make you lose weight if you don’t change anything else. Healthy diet and exercise are the real secret. Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds or maintain your weight, you should focus on eating nutrient-dense foods and adding regular exercise to your routine.
What advice would you give to someone who’s struggling to make healthy changes?
Rather than being restrictive and focusing on what to remove from your diet, think about what you can add to it. Can you add more fruits, veggies, fiber, protein or healthy fats? Choosing healthy options will get you a lot farther than dieting. And don’t compare yourself to other people! Everyone is different. Make changes that make sense for your lifestyle and you’re more likely to stick with it long-term.
What’s your favorite supplement?
I love Omega 3! It’s just so important and has so many incredible benefits: promoting heart health and a sharp mind*, just to name two. And it’s an essential nutrient, meaning you need to make sure you’re getting enough through your diet or supplements.
What’s your favorite snack and why?
Dates stuffed with peanut butter and dark chocolate! If you have a sweet tooth—and even if you don’t— you have to try it! It’s not just tasty; it also gives you antioxidants in the dark chocolate (make sure to choose at least 70% cacao), fiber in the dates and protein in the peanut butter. It’s the perfect combo of sweet and savory!
What does your average weekend look like?
Friday nights, I like to do something fun like watching a movie! I usually work out Saturday mornings—lately, I’ve been loving cycling/spin classes at my local studio. Then I’ll finish all my chores so I can enjoy the rest of the day with friends or my partner. Sundays are pretty chill; I mostly spend time with my two Goldendoodles and focus on recharging for the week. 😊
Tell us something surprising about yourself
I was born in GTO, Mexico and I have 4 sisters—no brothers. I’m also scared of birds…including chickens!
Check out Yaquelin’s Yaquelin’s blogs and follow her on IG @dietitianyaqui
Yaquelin 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 Yaquelin or one of our other nutritionists, or book a free appointment at a time that works for you.