Meet Lisa

Lisa Samuel, MBA, RDN is a registered dietitian and nutritionist passionate about inspiring positive changes in the way people think about food and the way they nourish their life.  Her food philosophy—eat real food and share it with those you love—is informed by a lifetime of reveling in the richness of relationships developed in the kitchen and around the kitchen table.

Lisa, with her best friend and business partner, McKenzie Hall, launched NourishRDs, a nutrition communications company, to make wholesome, sustainable living accessible, achievable and affordable for everyone.  Ardent in their anti-diet viewpoint, Lisa and McKenzie inspire others to eat real food, love their bodies, and laugh a lot. 

A registered dietitian with over 15 years of experience in health communications and consulting and with a Masters in Business Administration, Lisa is uniquely qualified to write and speak about—and inspire—healthy lifestyles.  She has been called dynamic, smart and creative by her peers, someone who compassionately nurtures others to live their best lives.

Through her consulting and spokesperson practice, Lisa focuses on real foods nutrition and how to make eating real food accessible and affordable—and delicious!  Lisa offers customized informational, hands-on or teambuilding workshops for community or business groups, all focused on nutrition or real foods cooking.  Through her partnership with the Bellingham Community Co-Op Lisa provides cooking classes and nutrition workshops, store tours, in-store nutrition counseling and advice for members, newsletter articles and community outreach.  She writes a regular column for Bellingham Alive and other publications, including the NourishRDs blog.  Lisa, with her business partner, McKenzie, provides consulting and spokesperson work for like-minded organizations that support real food and a (non)diet approach to health.

Lisa’s passion for real foods education extends to her community service—she is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Common Threads Farm, a Bellingham-based non-profit connecting young people with healthy food through hands-on, seed-to-table educational experiences.  

Prior to becoming an RD, Lisa was a successful Lifestyle Consultant, where among her many accomplishments she taught cooking classes and designed and managed the opening of Vino 100 Wine Bar & Lounge.  Lisa appeared on television as a regular guest contributor to Your Morning Saturday on WTOL-TV in Toledo, OH, speaking on nutrition, cooking and entertaining.  Her cookbook, Lisa’s Kitchen, was published in 2008, filled with fresh and simple recipes to take the fear out of cooking for family and friends.  She has published numerous articles in local and national publications, including a recent article featured on Dr., The Sweet Taste of Local, describing the beauty of sustainable eating.

As a consultant in community heath, Lisa was instrumental in developing community resources and programs to support healthy youth and families. Lisa served on the management team that created Seeds of Compassion, a five-day event in Seattle which launched a grassroots movement to nurture a more compassionate world.  Lisa’s work in southwest Ohio made her a sought-after expert on the design of healthy communities, sharing her expertise at multiple conferences including the National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Community Campus Partnership for Health Conference, the Ohio Department of Health Public Health Summer Institute, the Ohio Prevention and Education Conference and others.  Lisa was the host of a local television talk show, Partnerships for Success, interviewing community leaders on community health resources.   

Lisa has also honed her nutrition and communications skills working with Good Morning America, St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Obesity Research Center, Columbia University School of Journalism, The Lewin Group and Fleishman-Hillard.  Lisa has been an adjunct professor at Wright State University and Bastyr University.  She has a degree in Biological Sciences from Columbia University and a Masters in Business Administration from Wright State University.  She completed her Dietetic Internship at Bastyr University.

Lisa currently resides in the lovely town of Bellingham, Washington, renowned for its commitment to sustainable lifestyles.  When not cooking up something delicious in the kitchen for a houseful of friends, Lisa can be found hiking, practicing yoga, or hopping a plane for another adventure in travel with her handsome husband, Elie.  You can read about your travels on her other blog, Simmstown.

an interview with Lisa

Why I chose to be an RD…
Food and cooking has always been my haven.  From the time I was little, I would relish at helping my Mom bake homemade crusty loaves of bread and apple pies with buttery golden crusts, or curling up beside my Dad to watch PBS episodes of The Great Chefs of New Orleans and then recreating those dishes.  If I close my eyes, I can still conjure up the smell of a freshly picked green bean, hot from the Kentucky sun, and the oily, lanolin smell of the sheep before they were sheered.  Conversation, laughter, debates, tears, discussions and revelations shared over home-cooked meals around the kitchen table have been some of the most satisfying, fortifying experiences of my life, both during my childhood and as an adult.  The kitchen is where I feel most at home, where I work through my problems, relieve life’s stresses, and feed the people I love.  Becoming an RD that reads about, writes about and speaks about these experiences means I can help other people create this connection to food too.   

Favorite food…
Italian food steals my heart.  I’m constantly on the search for the perfect slice of Neopolitan-style pizza, and pasta carbonara is my go-to comfort food.  But the Kentucky girl in me also craves saucy pulled pork sandwiches topped with tangy cole slaw, a plate of vinegar-laced greens or a sliced tomato with salt, hot off the vine.  All paired with a glass of red wine or Prosecco, of course.

Favorite place…
I’ve traveled through 49 of the 50 United States (only Wisconsin left to go!), lived in many of America’s great cities, including Boston, New York and Washington, DC, and in Europe.  Rome, with its food and wine culture, ancient history, exquisite art and architecture, and fashionable people, certainly tops my list.  Although any place warm and sunny will do.   

No one would guess this, but…
I have visited 49 of the 50 states.  Airports don't count.  Only Wisconsin left to go.  

If I wasn't a RD, I would want to be…
A travel writer.

Something I'm terrible at….
Saying no. Asking for help.  Hemming a pair of pants.  Playing the guitar.

Something I'm great at…
My friends would say cooking, but I actually think I’m more of a great hostess. I love having a house full of people eating good food, laughing and enjoying themselves.  And entertaining doesn’t stress me out.  Guests have way more fun if I’m having fun.

People would describe my cooking as…
Easier than it looks.  I love taking simple ingredients and making something delicious and beautiful.  And if you set a pretty table and light some candles, it makes up for a lot of flaws.

What I love about Nourish…

This is what I’ve always wanted to do with my life.  My life is immersed in food and nutrition and cooking and eating…reading about it, writing about it, speaking about it, inspiring others to care about it.  And I’m doing it all with my best friend.  I can’t imagine anything better.  

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