Thanks for taking the time to get to know me! My name is Donna Castellano MS, RDN creator and voice behind The Hanging Spoon.
I’ve always had an appreciation for good food and a belief that if you take care of your body, it will take care of you. It’s what led me to a career as a registered dietitian. In 2005, I received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University) and went on to earn top honors and the Excellence in Academic Performance Award. There, I was mentored by some of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s top research and academic fellows.
Throughout my years in the clinical setting, it became clear that the food we eat certainly affected one’s health and ultimately their quality of life. It wasn’t until after the births of my son and daughter that I became increasingly aware of how difficult it was to teach my children how to eat healthy in a very unhealthy world of processed, sugar-laden and artificially colored foods. It was also challenging to find enough time to prepare healthy meals and snacks with our busy family schedule. I found there was very little on supermarket shelves that hadn’t been processed or chemically altered. I soon realized the only way to avoid processed foods was to get in the kitchen and cook what I wanted from scratch…myself.
Then one evening, I came across a TED talk by world-renowned chef and real food activist Jamie Oliver.
As the video ended, I knew I found my calling. Combining my knowledge of nutrition with my passion and love of cooking, my hope is to inspire and teach people how to improve their health simply by eating fresh, real food. I wanted to teach people what I had learned and how they too could bring healthy meals to the table without any fuss or stress.
Enter: THE HANGING SPOON!
Traveling and experiencing the passion that other cultures have for food, as well as my hands-on experience as a mother and dietitian, have had a tremendous influence on the way I nourish myself and those I care about. It is also why I find the state of food culture and the statistics of obesity and poor health in America so alarming, and one of the reasons I felt so passionate about starting this blog.
Cooking —which leads inexorably to sitting down and eating meals as a family—is one of the simplest yet most powerful steps you can take to improving your family’s health and well-being, as well as the health of the entire food system.” -Michael Pollan
I’ve also become an advocate for wellness and food education in schools by building gardens and working with hundreds of children throughout the years (click to learn more).
I’d love to continue this journey along with you. So, it is with great pleasure that I WELCOME YOU TO MY TABLE!
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