Check out our interview for The Newsette below!
Today we’re introducing the girls behind Tovita Nutrition, a virtual nutrition counseling and concierge service. Leah Silberman and Molly Rieger are both registered dietitians and entrepreneurs who have brought a fresh perspective to the health and wellness industry.
They conduct sessions over videoconference in order to maximize convenience for clients and their mission is to help them reach their nutrition goals by creating a program that includes individualized meal plans, 24/7 support, and client accountability. And the best part? As young girls based in Manhattan, they understand that late night pizza and seamless Sundays happen. No judgement. So we sat down with these two nutrition experts to ask our biggest healthy living questions, and snatched a business tip or two.
1. We have a section at the top called "Thing to do today." What is one thing you advise your clients to do everyday?
Leah: It’s really important to drink enough water. We recommend filling a 32 oz water bottle up at least twice a day. It’s easy to get caught up at work and simply forget to hydrate. Even mild dehydration can make you feel exhausted, dizzy, and reduce your overall productivity.
Molly: Turn off all your screens at least 25 minutes before bed. Shutting down your phone, laptop, and TV before bed will help you wind down, take time to yourself without constant distractions, and get to sleep faster. Getting a good night sleep is absolutely crucial to staying on track with clean eating.
2. A lot of our readers are in their early twenties, what's the healthiest drink they can order at a bar?
Leah: Pick your liquor of choice and add a non-caloric mixer, like seltzer. Throw in some lemons or limes. I’d recommend a mixed drink versus, let’s say, a vodka on the rocks because it takes longer to drink and provides a bit more hydration.
Molly: If liquor isn’t your thing, go for a 5 oz glass of wine or a light beer. If you’re a red wine drinker, you’ll reap the benefits of resveratrol, an antioxidant naturally found in the skin of red grapes. Also try to have a glass of water between drinks and before going to sleep to avoid a nasty hangover that can sabotage your healthy eating.
3. What's your favorite healthy snack?
Leah: I love making popcorn either over the stove with a little olive oil or air-popping it. I add spices like rosemary, garlic powder, or turmeric. It’s SO good. Popcorn is a good source of fiber and adding spices gives it a little antioxidant boost.
Molly: My favorites are an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or cut up bell peppers with hummus. Both great combinations of protein and fiber with the crunch factor that I crave.
4. What inspired you two to start Tovita Nutrition and what was the most important lesson you learned while launching?
Leah: We were both working in hospital settings prior to launching Tovita. We are fortunate to have had those experiences because they exposed us firsthand to the relationship between health, nutrition, and disease. We saw how poor nutrition over time could ultimately lead to chronic health complications, like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. It is sometimes difficult for young people to think that far down the line, which got us thinking, “how can we help people from a prevention standpoint?”
Molly: Making dietary changes isn’t easy for anyone. It takes a combination of motivation, discipline, and willingness to be flexible. Our goal is to help clients reach their health goals by setting small, measurable objectives along the way while still enjoying whole, real, and natural foods. Leah and I share this health philosophy and knew we wanted to work together in a space where we could really instill lifestyle changes. We came to the conclusion that we would be able to reach the widest array of people, and of course, most conveniently, by conducting virtual sessions. So far our clients are VERY happy with this.
Leah: We’re still learning new lessons all of the time! So far, the most important lesson I have learned is to be flexible and stay open to new ideas. Whether it’s a new partnership, product, or recommendation for clients, I’ll never know the outcome unless I give it a chance. Of course it is important to exercise judgement and maintain a line of focus, so my passion and purpose never stray too far from one another. But generally speaking, tunnel vision can only get you so far.
Molly: As Leah said, we’re constantly learning and adjusting accordingly along the way. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to constantly try to see things from different perspectives and take advice from those who have been around longer than us. It’s easy to get really excited about new ideas and we are always eager to execute, but it’s equally important to use mentors as a soundboard. Additionally, brainstormingwith friends in the field has been important, but sometimes those outside the industry bring a fresh viewpoint.
5. What is one food/ingredient that our readers should stay away from? One they should always have in their pantry?
Leah: Stay away from foods that are neon. Your fingers just shouldn’t be bright orange after you eat something. On the flip side, keep a nut butter (ie. peanut butter, almond butter) on hand in your pantry. It’s always an easy go-to to top a fiber cracker or throw into a smoothie.
Molly: Protein bars. There are so many great, natural sources of protein so I see no need to have a processed, sugary protein bar. For my clients who are pressed for time, I suggest throwing together a ziplock of nuts or Justin’s individual packets of almond butter in their bags. Both are excellent sources of natural protein along with healthy fats for sustained energy. I always have blueberries in my refrigerator. I throw them in my yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or eat them plain for a boost of fiber and antioxidants.
Love them as much as we do?
Follow: @tovitanutrition for some healthy inspiration