Meet Shira Hochstadter! She is a weight-inclusive, Health at Every Size, anti-diet dietitian. Shira is passionate about helping others break free of diet culture and disordered eating and ultimately heal their relationship with food and their bodies. Read on to learn more about her favorite things to bake, where she’s from, and how she became interested in nutrition!
Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about that place?
I grew up in Montreal, Canada and lived there until about 5 years ago when I moved to Maryland. Winter gets very cold in Montreal but I took advantage of the beautiful mountains we are surrounded by and spent a lot of time skiing growing up. Summers in Montreal are beautiful as well. There are so many nice parks around and lots of opportunities to enjoy nature!
What is your favorite food today? What was your favorite food as a child?
I have several favorite foods, but if I had to choose one, I would say that my favorite food today is fresh chocolate chip cookies. I’ve always been a cookie person! When I was young, candy was definitely a favorite, specifically, huge never ending jawbreakers are very memorable!
How did you become interested in nutrition?
As a child, nutrition was not at the forefront of my mind. As I progressed into my teenage years, I started to become more aware of what I was eating and began experimenting with different eating patterns and diets. I did a lot of research through this process and found myself confused by all the different nutrition messages out there. That’s when I decided I wanted to pursue nutrition and became a dietitian, so I could find the answer that spoke to me and felt right.
Toward the end of my schooling, I discovered Health at Every Size and the non-diet approach to nutrition. These concepts of balance, inclusivity and a peaceful relationship with food really resonated with me. I wanted to use this approach to help others overcome their eating disorders and break free from the dieting cycle.
You mention that you enjoy cooking and baking in your bio, what are your favorite things to make?
Ever since I was young, I’ve enjoyed baking with my mother. Over the years I’ve gotten more comfortable in the kitchen and have experimented with different recipes. I don’t do anything super fancy and decorative, but whenever a delicious looking cake or cookie recipe catches my eye, I have to try it. I recently made an oreo crust cheesecake with caramel sauce topping, that was definitely a hit.
For the sake of time, I mostly cook simple things but for a special occasion I will set aside time to be more creative and experiment with new recipes.
What is your favorite part of working at Courage to Nourish so far?
There are two things I really like about working here. One is the atmosphere and supportive environment. The other dietitians are all so nice, helpful and ready to give advice and ideas whenever I have a question. I also really appreciate the focus on rapport building and creating long standing relationships with clients.
What is your favorite season of the year and why?
Fall is definitely my favorite, it isn’t too cold yet and I also know that I don’t have to deal with the heat for a long time!
What would a perfect day look like for you?
The perfect day in my book starts with my husband watching our kids so I can sleep in. We would take a family trip to a beautiful nature reserve with nice walking paths and pick up a large iced coffee on the way. After a long walk, we would find the perfect picnic spot and stop for lunch. Then we would head to the mall and have a successful shopping spree.
Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
I do a lot of baking! Prior to having kids, I used to go out with friends more, go shopping, take walks, go to the mall, and go to the gym. I also always liked reading. I don’t have much time to read now, but I like fiction and interesting stories. I’m in the middle of a Jodi Picoult book right now called The Pact.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee coffee coffee! I don’t ever drink tea. I love blended iced coffee. I love Dunkin Donuts Iced Macchiato.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I have always been a night owl but I still get up early for my kids. I love sleeping in but I don’t get to do that very often. As a teenager, when I didn’t have school I would easily sleep until 11am. I never had a hard time staying up late.
For more information, contact us at Courage to Nourish today. Our eating disorder dietitian nutritionists are located in College Park, Maryland. and Columbia, Maryland. As well as Alexandria, Virginia. Colorado. and Pennsylvania. Read more about the Courage to Nourish team. We’d love to support you in eating disorder recovery.
Jordan is a Courage to Nourish Intern. She received her BS in Nutrition Science from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing her MS in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Rhode Island. Jordan hopes to become a dietitian and is excited to learn more about eating disorder treatment as well as weight inclusive, anti-diet approaches to dietetics.