Meet Coach Daniella: Nutritionist, Psychologist, and Plant-Based Living AdvocateNov 13, 2022
In this series, we are individually presenting each one of the coaches on the Live better, not perfect team. You can find the whole team on our About page. Today we’ll introduce coach Daniella, a Nutritionist, Psychologist, and Plant-Based Living Advocate.
What Does Daniella Bring to the Table?
As a trained psychologist, Daniella understands people. She enjoys the process of getting to know and understand why people are the way they are, and why they do what they do. After graduating with a degree in psychology, Daniella decided that she didn’t want to just help people as a therapist; but rather chose to combine her passion for health and wellness with this desire to serve and guide others.
Over the past 6 years, in her own life, she has explored and discovered the power of colourful, whole, plant-based foods. The changes she began to see in her performance, energy levels, and overall happiness and drive in life, led her to further investigate the possibilities and power of food that she was beginning to experience.
She went on to get certified as a Nutrition and Habit Coach, in hopes of scientifically supporting these changes that she was experiencing and further growing her knowledge about the human body and all of its complexities. She hoped to be able to help others find a way of nourishing their bodies that made them feel their best as well.
Daniella’s passion is now helping people understand the power of healthy lifestyle habits, and the importance of nourishing their bodies with whole, colourful foods. This is not just within the realm of plant-based eating, but rather helping people discover what works for THEM, as each of our bodies is unique.
Credentials And Achievements
Daniella has always been interested in health and wellness. Throughout her life, she has trained in various workout styles, enjoyed team sports, and always loved creating healthy and delicious recipes in the kitchen. After moving to Spain in 2017, she embarked on her own wellness journey, getting certified as a Nutrition and Habit Coach by Precision Nutrition. Having studied psychology in university, she finally found the intersection between her passion for understanding and helping people, and nutrition. Nutrition Coaching came into her life.
Throughout her life, she has always enjoyed sports. She started out playing soccer when she was little, and later settled on field hockey, just as her mother did, throughout her schooling career. She always enjoyed being part of a team. In university, she joined the rowing team during her freshman year. Junior year she had to leave the team due to an old elbow injury resurfacing, but she enjoyed every moment of being out on the river and working with her teammates.
Since living in Spain, she has explored other sports such as weight-lifting, boxing, and Muay Thai. These more individual sports have taught her to be able to trust in her own body and its ability to do amazing things on its own. This has contributed to her passion for leading others towards feeling empowered and making positive changes in their lives as well.
Daniella has always loved living a healthy lifestyle, staying active, and cooking and baking delicious recipes. However, this is not what she always thought she would end up doing with her life.
Her Life Story
Daniella is 28 years old, originally from the United States. She grew up moving all around the US, as her father was in the US Air Force. This brought her family all around the country throughout the years, getting to experience different people and ways of living. Finally, they settled down in Pennsylvania, where she finished out her schooling career, before making the move across the Atlantic to Europe.
Having family ties in Italy, and after a lifetime of travelling, both in the US and out, Daniella felt the pull to move to Spain and start something new. She arrived at the age of 22, and spent a year teaching English and nannying. She fell in love with Europe and decided she would stay. What started out as one year, turned into many, with many more to come.
When Covid 19 hit the world, the lockdown in Spain was very long and intense. Nobody was allowed to go out of their houses for months. This sparked some inspiration to finally take the leap and get that nutrition certification that she had been thinking about for such a long time. In 2020 she finished her program and began working with clients 1:1.
She marks this as singlehandedly the best decision she made in her time here, despite not being able to work full-time as a coach right away, she was able to reconnect with that side of her that loves working with and helping people on a deeper level. Bringing her back to why she decided to study Psychology those years ago, she started to feel fulfilled again in this career.
She has worked many jobs since graduating from university, from being a nursing assistant in a psychiatric hospital to managing a coffee shop and teaching English as a foreign language. But throughout all of these jobs, what she has most enjoyed has been the ability to make connections with people, and help them achieve their goals. This is the root of her passion in life. Being able to truly connect with people, and help in the process of bringing them joy, health and happiness.
Mottos She Lives By
We present a couple of mottos that Daniella lives by. A motto can be a useful tool, helping to make the right decisions in difficult situations. They can almost serve as a compass to stay on track and true to one’s values.
“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working on it”
This quote is from Michael Jordan. Over the years, Daniella has realized that this is so crucial to getting to where you want to be. If there is something in your life that you are thinking about day and night, then you need to figure out what you can do to get there. If it’s a dream worth pursuing, it won’t leave your mind until you’ve at least put in the effort to try to achieve it.
This has been a good reminder for Daniella, as there were always thoughts and doubts in her mind about what it would be like to live abroad, work in the wellness space, and live on her own. These are all things that she has since pursued, and is grateful she didn’t just dismiss or give up on.
“You are one decision away from a totally different life”
This is a quote from author Mark Batterson’s book All In. This specific book focuses on this concept within the idea of Christianity, but can very easily be broadened to any life situation. This quote has also been important in Daniella’s life. Through navigating many changes in life, from small daily things to big, life-altering decisions, there really is a lot of power in a decision. We are in complete control of our own life, and if there is something that is weighing down on us, or something preventing us from being happy or healthy, we have the authority to change it. We often overcomplicate it, but we have to remember that we are 100% in control of the decisions we make in our own lives.
“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.”
This quote has been an inspiration to Daniella in the kitchen, as well as out. Although she has always loved cooking, she has never been much of a recipe follower. Daniella’s style of cooking is- to take everything she knows she loves, and throw it together. This has resulted in a lot of fun dishes that she loves, but more recently, she has also been inspired by using recipes as templates. This might mean using the base of a recipe and swapping out some ingredients she prefers, or taking it to the next level flavour-wise. As individuals, we bring our own twist to the things that we do. Whether that is making a new dinner recipe in the kitchen, or in our workplaces, we bring the soul to the templates of life that we are given.
Other Interesting Stuff About Daniella
In this section, we give some more details about areas that go beyond our typical health and well-being topics. We believe this helps to learn more about other interests of our coaches and the person they are.
As we described above, many years ago, through her own journey Daniella discovered the power of a plant-based diet. She has experienced many changes since making this change and really believes this is what brought her back to health and on track with her well-being. This was something that she previously had NEVER considered, being that her family is Italian and cheese and milk were daily staples in everything she ate growing up. But as you might know, living a plant-based lifestyle is more than just what we eat. She initially became interested in the concept after watching a documentary and speaking with some friends about the impact that consuming meat has on our planet. She was absolutely horrified at the statistics, and at that moment, decided she would cut all animal products out of her diet. Over the years, this motivation also shifted into a more health-focused and animal-focused motivation as well, but the initial change came from a desire to make just a little bit less of an impact on the planet we are living on. This was a small change she felt she could make that had the potential to make a big impact. She has since been able to share this knowledge with hundreds of others, and help them reduce their environmental impact as well, even through small changes. She doesn’t believe that everyone needs to go fully plant-based right away, and supports everyone she knows and works with to just explore what changes might be a good fit for their lifestyle.
Daniella also LOVES plants! Anyone who knows her personally knows that aside from the hobbies we’ve discussed so far, she just adores caring for other living things. Her house is filled with green house plants. She comes from a family of women who love plants- so if you visit her mother or grandmother’s houses, you will see where she got this love from, but this hobby really took off during her time living in Spain, as she had unlimited access to so many beautiful species of plants, and a climate that allowed them to flourish year-round. The process of learning how to care for each plant, its specific needs and ideal placement in a room, the whole process is fascinating to her.
Get In Touch
The best way to get in touch with Daniella is to find her on Instagram @danmariehealth. She’s always eager to have discussions about any of the topics covered in this article.
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