Uses She/Her pronouns
Maria is a Registered Dietitian (DI #60503413). She received her BS in Food & Nutrition from Cal Poly Pomona in 2012 then moved to Seattle and completed her dietetic internship with Sea Mar Community Health Centers in 2013. She has worked in a wide variety of the dietetics profession before finding her way to ED treatment. She has worked with adults & children who need tube feeding & IV nutrition as well as in corporate wellness & at WIC. She has 2+ years of experience helping clients renourish themselves as they navigate their ED recovery.
She came into the field of dietetics probably earlier than most; She knew that she wanted to help people improve their health & their relationship with food & as early as her sophomore year of high school. The scope of what she thought that meant has evolved drastically in the last 15+ years through personal & professional growth. Food & eating is central to her identity; She is a first generation immigrant from Guatemala and food has been one of the most important ways for her to connect with her culture throughout her life. As a Central American girl growing up in a mainly white & affluent community in Southern California, there were few bodies that resembled hers in her youth. Because of this, she struggled all throughout her teens & 20s with her body image & worth as a dietitian. She finally found some freedom & relief from diet culture when she was introduced to HAES through her work. It was life changing for her. She want to help others find that freedom as well & for her clients to know that she has walked similar paths & she is now able to enthusiastically denounce diet culture in all areas of her life.
She considers herself to be an optimistic realist & brings humor & silliness into her work when she can. She enjoys getting to know her clients as more than just their eating disorders & often finds connection via discussing music, enjoyment of tattoos & brightly colored hair, & love of food shaped squishies (many of which reside in her office). Outside of work she enjoys spending time cuddling her dog, Grizzly, cooking & experimenting with plant-based recipes, rock climbing, & camping/traveling with her partner as often as possible.