Jessi brings 20+ years of combined experience as a dietitian & chef. She earned her MS in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University Medical Center and she is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist in the State of Illinois. Coach Jessi is credentialed as an Early Intervention Provider - Nutrition Specialist. First and foremost, Jessi is chef and food artist, educated at the California Culinary Academy. Jessi has enjoyed her career working in top restaurants around country, hospital based clinical nutrition, community based nutrition outreach, non-profit administration and in nutrition coaching. She lives in Chicago, IL and has 3 children.
"I have always been in love with food, I began cooking and food shopping for my family when I was about 12. But, when I wasn't cooking I was watching TV and snacking on junk. By the time I was 13, I was obese. Then my father got heart disease and my family changed our whole food and health environment. We became vegetarians and my folks began a yoga and cycling practice. I took up dancing and slimmed down. When I entered chef school at 19, I was slender and strong.
Five years into my culinary career, I took a job cooking in a New Orleans' bistro. As part of my station, I made the yellow tomato pasta: fresh pasta, yellow tomatoes and herbs sautéed fresh and succulent. This was the only vegetarian option on the menu and it was pushed by the wait staff as our healthy dish. But they weren't aware that the plate had about 1/4 pound of butter in the sauce! My Dad was already a 11-year survivor of heart disease, working hard at eating healthy and exercising, and I was serving up the foods that would hurt his efforts! I knew in my heart that I was on the wrong career path.
I began exploring how food, culture, health and well being are all intricately connected. I took my first nutrition class at Arizona State University in 1994 and learned how a balanced lifestyle and eating plan helps more to achieve optimum health than anything else. After I completed a Master's in Clinical Nutrition at Rush University Health Center in Chicago, I jumped into providing healthy food eating messages far and wide through a position UIC providing nutrition education in schools, parks and other community locations throughout Chicagoland. For 9 years I help to build our program from its fledgling beginnings into a multi-million dollar streamlined operation that annually made 100k+ connections with Chicago's most nutritionally vulnerable individuals.
My goal is to help clients identify their health and nutrition related goals and achieve the best health. Knowing you want to make healthy food choices and knowing what those choices are is the beginning; the rest of the journey takes support, guidance and patience.
Jessica Coral Allender, MS, RD, LDN
MS - Clinical Nutrition, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago IL, 2004
RD - Registered Dietitian, 2100 hour supervised clinical intership, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago IL, 2003
LDN - Licenced Dietitian Nutritionist, Illinois 164.00416
EIC - Illinois Early Intervention Nurtition Specialist Credential JA00680714P
BS - Food and Nutriton Science, Drexel Universtiy, Philadelphia PA., 2001
Chef - Completed professional training at California Culinary Academy, San Francisco CA, 1991
I'm dedicated to helping you and your family identify and achieve a healthy and relaxed approach to food and eating that brings you to your goals!"
-- Coach Jessi