Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gals We Admire: Marni Wasserman

As a culinary nutritionist, Marni Wasserman loves imparting her knowledge and values of health, nutrition and wellness on others on a daily basis.

Name: Marni Wasserman
Profession: Culinary Nutritionist
Twitter handle: @marniwasserman

Describe your typical work day, from start to finish
My day always starts with a green juice. Then I work out, followed up with a green super smoothie and jump on the computer. I spend a couple of hours (if I don’t have an appointment or meeting) responding to emails, researching, blogging or writing an article for Chatelaine. I stumble into the kitchen somewhere between 12:30 and 1:30 to make something delicious for lunch. After lunch (if no appointments, consultations or meetings) I am usually at a grocery store or market in Toronto doing shopping for my evening Vegetarian Organic Cooking Class which begins at 6:30pm. So from about 4pm to 6pm I am setting up my kitchen. Then my day usually ends up with me back on the computer following up with more emails, drinking an herbal tea and if lucky, I am in bed by 11pm.

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
I don’t think I had a set plan of what I wanted to be when I was a kid. It changed yearly from a hairdresser, to a marine biologist, to a lawyer and then a dream psychologist. At some point, I realized that whatever I did needed to involve food. As I was passionate about eating and learning about the body. That is when nutrition and fitness came into the picture. Then I started to formulate my values as to where I actually saw myself. Now over the last 10 years, I have been working in the health field. I was a personal trainer for a few years, which bridged into me becoming a nutritional consultant and finally fell into my role in the culinary world as a chef. Now I proudly have my own title as a “culinary nutritionist” which embodies both the food and nutrition.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is that I get to inspire people. With something as simple and basic as food, people really get thrilled when they learn about how easy it is to nourish themselves with healthy food. I get to work with people and educate them; to me this is the ultimate reward. I get to express my passion and my love for health, nutrition and wellness and impart that on others on a daily basis. Whether it is through a hands-on cooking class, a workshop, demonstration, an article that I have written or a private consultation. My goal is to see people get excited about eating delicious food. I also get to experiment and explore the world of food and "play" with new ingredients, come up with recipes and I love every second of it!

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your profession?
One of the biggest challenges in this profession is keeping up with the latest trends and conflicting or confusing information that is perpetrated through the media or other resources. There is so much information floating around with false nutritional claims, the latest "super" food or fad diet. This often leaves people very confused and misinformed. Therefore it is my duty to not only stay on top of this information and be in the forefront, but be able to guide people in a direction that they feel is approachable. It is usually very rewarding in the end, but it can take a lot of work!

Do you believe you had a "calling" for your profession?
I absolutely believe I had a "calling" for this profession. Members of my family, friends and clients have told me that I just exude my passion in everything that I do. I light up every time I speak about food, health and nutrition. I am never bothered by too many questions, I enjoy it and it excites me. Because my profession isn’t just my profession but my lifestyle—I get the chance to really live it. There is no other path that I ever wished I followedeverything just feels right and I know this is what I am meant to be doing!

What are the three most important pieces of career advice you would give to other Canadian Career Gals?
Be passionate about what you do everyday. If you are not, it will show.

Stay committed to your values and stay true to yourself in every decision that you make.

Always know what you are talking about in your profession, from the heart – no one likes to hear a sales pitch that isn’t sincere.


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