We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Monica, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I absolutely loved working as a clinical dietitian in a major academic hospital – but I felt a little caged. I wanted to have the independence, autonomy, and creativity that came with being an entrepreneur. I wanted to revolutionize the private practice nutrition world with a compassionate, health-enhancing philosophy and provide a nest for like-minded dietitians to cultivate their own private practice under my brand, infrastructure, and dogma.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are anti-diet dietitians. We reject the demonic diet culture in which we’ve all been steeped and support the individual’s right to pursue health-enhancing behaviors and choices that are meaningful, feasible, and joyous to him/her. We help clients with healthy self-care, finding joy as well as nourishment in foods, banishing joyless patterns of eating, and working with where you are right now and helping them on a path to a better mind/body well-being. They receive customized nutrition education, but more saliently, they learn how to get to know their own body in a loving and thoughtful way, how to eat intuitively, and cultivate a healthy relationship with food. We believe food and our bodies command immense respect. We see clients in our offices that span from South Miami to Hollywood, virtually, and we also give private/group grocery store tours/do home pantry makeovers/home visits. We dedicate time to each other — we are constant conferring and collaborating for our clients’ best care outcomes. We dedicate ourselves to philanthropy as well. I sit on the board of Jewish Community Services of South Florida’s Young Alliance and have been active in the Junior League of Miami since 2011. I’m also a member of United Way’s Small Businesses United and Women United. I’m most proud of the exquisite way we change lives, and in some ways, save lives. I’m also pretty proud of my work with the Miami Marlins. Entrepreneurship wasn’t easy. It’s never easy. It’s still not easy! I overworked myself and almost burnt out. I am intensely task-oriented and neurotic when it comes to working. I almost lost myself in the process. Luckily my family and friends reeled me in and now I consciously maintain a work-life balance. I want the world to know that we don’t just see private clients. I actually don’t see private clients, usually. My associate dietitians are my “minions” — they’ve all been thoroughly trained in our base philosophies and I oversee all of their work. We confer on all of our clients together to optimize care outcomes. My passion lies in corporate wellness programming, school menu consulting, school wellness programming, nutrition consulting for restaurants/meal delivery programs/food products, public speaking engagements, nutrition content writing (my Instagram [@eatlikemonica] conveys my signature snark and rejection of foolish diets and fads), and developing menus for research protocols. All of our work, including corporate wellness, can also all be delivered virtually. I pride myself on my relatability, realism, clinical prowess, and how I deliver it with a speck (er, a ladle) of sass.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would dine at Zuma, Makoto, Zak the Baker, Madruga, True Loaf, Cecconi’s, Mandolin, Morgan’s for brunch, Lucali, and Milo’s, and Dasher and Crank. And of course — in my own kitchen. We’d window shop in the Design District, veg out at Soho House, stalk cute dogs in Coconut Grove, take Pilates at Breathe Pilates, get facials at LeeLou salon, enjoy beach time in Sunny Isles, and deposit my infant into his ErgoBaby papoose and take him to Jungle Island.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Even though we are woman-owned and operated — I have to rest our laurels on the two best men in my life — my father and my husband. They support me personally and professionally every day. My father was instrumental in the businesses’s birth — and my husband serves as my informal CFO/COO. And each indirectly contributed to my greatest gift of all — my little six month-old son.

Website: http://www.essencenutritionmiami.com
Instagram: instagram.com/eatlikemonica
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/monica-auslander-moreno-ms-rdn-07050b60/
Twitter: @feedyouressence
Facebook: facebook.com/essencenutritionmiami
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/essence-nutrition-miami

Image Credits
Christine Michelle Photography Jordan Braun Photography