Naoko Nagaya enjoys eating all kinds of foods. She believes food is an art.
“I fell in love with nutrition when I took my first class, ‘Nutrition for Culinary Chefs,’ in college,” Naoko explains. She even considered a career in food science. “It is important that you smile while you’re eating food. Enjoy every texture and flavor of food.”
Now, as a Registered Dietitian at Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group, she translates her love for food and nutrition to a tool for helping those seeking her educated advice. She’s a remarkable resource in navigating the new findings in her ever-evolving field.
“If you ever wonder if your eating behavior is well-balanced or if you have a concern about your nutrition intake, it’s not a bad idea to stop at the dietitian’s office,” Naoko says.
Naoko wanted to become a Registered Dietitian after she spent time working as a Dietetic Technician at a small acute care hospital. Learning what a dietitian can do for the community and for people suffering with illness influenced her move.
Today, Naoko encourages people with concerns and questions about their dietary lifestyle to approach her without fear of judgment.
“People often stereotype dietitians as if we would judge people if they don’t eat healthy or fruits and vegetables,” Naoko says. “Many dietitians do eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but also enjoy other food including fried foods and dessert. I certainly enjoy eating all kinds of food, but I keep it in moderation.”
When you’re working with Naoko on your nutrition in an attempt to improve your life and feel better, she says you’ll always be treated like family.
“I always learn something new from patients,” she says. “By listening to each, I learn various problems they encountered. Sometimes I can relate the same problem to one from another.”
Naoko encourages a proper balance of good eating habits and regular exercise, which will almost always lead to a better way of living.
“My focus is to bring different teaching methods to share alternative nutrition therapy to members,” she says. “I want all of us to enjoy leaning nutrition and stay healthy.”
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