1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
My name is Briana Santoro. I am 31 years old. I am a Certified Nutritionist, the author of the #1 Best Selling cookbook Get Naked In The Kitchen, a leading health and wellness speaker, and the Founder and Chief Product Undresser at The Naked Label, a tell-it-like-it-is website that undresses the food we eat.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
There were two people who inspired me at a young child to eat healthy and stay fit. Those people are my parents.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
I must confess that I didn’t always feel “inspired” by my parents when it comes to learning the important lessons about eating healthy. As a kid, we didn’t have sugar as an ingredient in my house, I was fed vegetarian food like millet and tofu, my mom made my own ‘fruit leather’ from dehydrated blended fruit, and my brother and I were the kids in the class that no one wanted to be partnered with on “share your lunch day”. I used to argue with and scream at my mom constantly. I would tell her how bad a mother she was because I wasn’t allowed to have Joe-Louie’s and Flakies like all the other kids. I was angry that my peanut butter didn’t say skippy on the container, and that my bread was brown instead of white. However, lucky for me they ignored me on this issue and continued to feed me a diet filled with whole, natural foods. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I later came to realize is that as much as it annoyed me at the time, they gave me one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child (right up with there love), and that is the gift of health. They helped to ensure that I created a healthy body and along they way taught me about the importance and power of good healthy food.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Later when I left home and started cooking for myself I quickly realized how horrible my body felt when I wasn’t eating ‘mamma’s’ cooking! I realized that if I fed myself healthy foods I would be healthy and feel amazing. This is when my interest in food started to really develop. I started reading a lot about food and became extremely interested in where our food came from. At the time I was working in Business Strategy Consulting. I was the one in the lunchroom telling everyone how the food they were eating was hurting their body. I always saw food as a passion more than a career. However, one day I took it a step further. I decided to follow my passion and go back to school where I became a Certified Nutritionist. I will be forever grateful to my parents for the health they gave me as a child and for the inspiration they gave me to have the health I desire as an adult.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I am passionate about spreading information about health with everyone I meet. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than knowing I have been able to pay-it-forward and give the gift of health to someone else.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
My main message to children today would be to open their eyes to what is in the food they are eating and how those food choices impact their body. Warning kids about the risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes doesn’t often resinate with them. However, demonstrating how food can help them get better grades in school, clear up acne, give them more energy, and even improves their looks can be more effective.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?