Increase your energy, support your immune system, improve your digestion,
boost your mood, balance your hormones, and heal your relationship with food.
Mariana, the founder of Healthfoodness, is a Registered Dietitian with a strong background in clinical nutrition.
She has more than 20 years of diverse, well-rounded experience in nutrition, food formulation, research, and health education.
With a bachelor’s degree in Food Chemistry, a BS in Nutrition, a MS in Clinical Nutrition, and Functional Medicine (IFM) courses, Mariana has developed a strong scientific and analytical approach to human health and wellness.
La Salle University, Mexico.
I've always loved science and am curious about how everything works.
In this major, I learned to develop and improve food and beverages and to use the methods of thermal processing, fermentation, canning, freezing, and packaging to preserve the nutritional properties of food. I also learned about the chemical interactions of additives on the appearance, taste, aroma, and shelf life of foods.
I worked as a food chemist for three years in two companies: the largest bakery in the world and one of the largest snack companies.
My job was very stressful; I worked in a competitive environment, often traveling and working very hard to reach numbers to sell unhealthy products. As a result, my health was affected in various ways, and I struggled with poor mood and cognition, poor digestion, trouble sleeping, a compromised immune system, and of course, weight gain (20 pounds in 6 months).
The saddest thing about this situation was that I was unhappy and did not dare change my life.
Iberoamerican University, Mexico. While still working as a food chemist, I took a nutrition course that gave me the courage to change my life. I spoke with my husband (and biggest fan!!!), and he supported my decision to quit my job and study nutrition as my second major.
School of Dietetics and Nutrition of the ISSSTE, México.
I come from a family of doctors and a vast family history of Type 2 Diabetes. So I was thrilled to be a part of a profession focused on helping others to have healthier and, therefore, happier lives. At the end of the last semester, my first child was born, and, at the end of the dietetic internship, my daughter was born.
I started my private practice as a dietitian in Mexico City. I provided nutrition counseling for adults with chronic diseases and corporate wellness programs to increase employee health and reduce healthcare costs.
Mexican Diabetes Association. Due to my family history, I have always been very interested in the causes and complications of diabetes. As a diabetes educator, I had great satisfaction in helping my patients reduce or eliminate medications and avoid complications from this disease.
National Public Health Institute. Mexico. I have a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition earned in the most competitive Latin-American program with a full scholarship. My third child was born in the first semester of my Master's. My teachers were fantastic, allowing me to bring my newborn to the lectures. So I was learning nutrition while breastfeeding!
Mexican College of Dietitians. When I finished my Master's degree, I took my exam to become a registered dietitian in my country. A month later, we moved to Houston. I started looking for opportunities to work. It was tough to realize that I could work as a nutritionist but not as a registered dietitian. So I decided to study again to become a registered dietitian in the United States.
University of Houston. At the University of Houston, I coordinated five community research programs dedicated to reducing obesity-related diseases among Hispanic and African American youth and families by teaching them to adopt a healthy lifestyle combining nutrition, physical activity, and mindfulness interventions.
During this time I was very happy but tired!! It was challenging to have a full-time job, study nutrition, and still be a cool mom. I mastered my organization skills to have a clean home, prepare healthy meals, and accomplish my professional goals.
Sam Houston State University. Huntsville Texas. I was thrilled when I saw my verification statement signed. This document certifies successful completion of a baccalaureate degree and the requirements of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited program. Finally, I was ready to apply for a Dietetic Internship.
KADDI. Tulsa, Oklahoma. The dietetic internship is 1200 hours of supervised practice experiences in real-life work settings, like community, clinical, foodservice, and business. Dietetic internships are extremely competitive (and expensive)!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Passing the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam is the most crucial step to earning the RD credential. So I spent days studying for this exam.
After becoming a registered dietitian, I followed the steps to become a Licensed Dietitian in Texas. After that, I started the process to become a provider for health insurance companies, and now I'm in-network with BCBSTX, United Health Care, and Medicare.
The Institute for Functional Medicine. I've always been in love with science and evidence. Functional medicine is the best approach to identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual's illness. Working as a Functional Medicine Practitioner is like a health detective to find the little clues to help me solve a case and may take hours of deep research.
Everything is connected, and my commitment is to use functional medicine principles to assess sleep health, stress management, exercise, diet, and relationships to design a customized treatment to restore the healthy balance and reach the full potential of my patients.
My strong belief drives me that people can change and improve in every area of their life if they have access to a high-quality education.
I have been providing nutrition education, and I have seen how education changes health and lives. I provide evidence-based, achievable, and effective approaches to prevent and treat diseases, empowering my clients to positively take charge of their health.