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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Mar 1st, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Elena Ubeda 2024: “Eat Well, Feel Good”

Elena Ubeda is a Board Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant and private chef based in New York City. With a degree in holistic nutrition from Bauman College, she offers a natural and personalized approach to wellness, focusing on food and lifestyle. Elena is also a trained Intuitive Eating Instructor, helping clients overcome emotional eating. With a background in the French Culinary School and experience in Michelin Star restaurants, she specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, offering gourmet healthy alternatives. Prior to her career in nutrition, Elena worked in Investment Banking in NYC. Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, she now lives in Harlem with her husband and two kids. DeliveryRank has the pleasure of chatting with Elena.

Elena, can you tell us about your journey from a career in Investment Banking to becoming a nutrition consultant and private chef?

I reached a point in my career where I was questioning if this was the professional path I really wanted to be on. I continued to grow within the company, and at the same time I found less meaning in my job and was yearning for a deeper sense of purpose and connection to my work. My passion had always been within the world of food and traveling and back then I spent so much of my free time trying food and discovering chefs and restaurants everywhere I went.

To be frank, it was very difficult to give up on the financial security and the professional recognition I thought my work gave me, but my boyfriend (now husband) and closest friends encouraged me to take a leap of faith and I never looked back. I also have to say that New York is a city that inspires you to make these radical changes, you hear stories like this all the time and meet people with such unique backgrounds and journeys, which ultimately gave me the confidence I needed. 

A month after leaving my job I was in Ghana volunteering for a children's non-profit. Three months later I joined the French Culinary School in Manhattan, and 8 months later I was happily working in some of the top Michelin-star restaurants in Manhattan. I have to say that life in a restaurant was so much harder than my most intense years in investment banking, but I felt excited and fulfilled. 

Throughout those years, I kept taking breaks to travel solo. On one of my trips, I spent 3 months in Southeast Asia, where I temporarily started a vegetarian diet. My interest in plant-based diets led me to read a great deal of nutrition books and articles to ensure I was not compromising my health. By that time I was already cooking as a private chef in New York City and realized the indispensable value that a nutrition background would add to my work as well as to my personal life. I didn't want to just make beautiful meals, I wanted my food to help my clients feel good. 

After researching several nutrition schools and universities It was clear that a holistic and integrative approach made more sense and I immediately felt more aligned with it than with a conventional nutrition training. I graduated from Bauman College in Berkley (CA) and also got Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP). 

I never thought I would slowly leave my private chef business aside and become a full-time nutrition consultant, but seeing my clients transform and thrive was incredibly rewarding and motivating. I found myself studying and researching everything related to the latest nutrition science and wellness practices and I realized I found my new passion. Shortly after I started my own wellness practice, Eat Well, Feel Good LLC, until today. 

I occasionally do some catering and private events, especially for clients who have dietary restrictions. However, my cooking skills are now mainly focused on helping my nutrition clients get confident and efficient in the kitchen, and fall in love with natural flavors in real food. I have combined my love for food and flavor with my passion for wellness and being able to give my clients tangible tools to live their best life.

How do you incorporate your background in Law and Business Administration into your current work in holistic nutrition and culinary arts?

My law and business career influences my work today in many ways. The training I received back then has made me incredibly perseverant, detail-oriented, and a critical thinker. I am constantly researching new science-based findings and making sure I understand all points of view when a topic is hotly debated or contradicted. This is a very common problem in the wellness and nutrition fields nowadays. 

When working in investment banking I had to constantly learn about new industries and play different potential scenarios, and I believe that the need to deeply understand each project has made me a strong and thorough reader. I love learning and researching, and I am grateful for those years when I developed a strong brain muscle to continue to do so today. Coming from the corporate world has also allowed me to truly understand my clients who are high performing individuals undergoing a great deal of stress and burnout. Furthermore, I had to use a bunch of Excel and databases during those years, which are always handy in a business.

Could you share some insights into your approach to holistic nutrition and how it differs from conventional dietary advice?

As a holistic nutrition consultant, I focus on my clients as a whole. I have been trained to understand that all body systems are connected in complex ways. So I don't solely address their diet or send them home with a meal plan, but also deep dive into other lifestyle factors that can be playing a major role in their complaints or that could have been sabotaging their efforts in getting healthier in the past. I typically start with sleep quality, stress management, adequate exercise and help them identify unwanted ingredients in their food, personal-care and household products. But there are other important emotional and social factors that play a role too.

In our first session, I always tell them that they are not embarking on a new diet plan, but on an individualized lifestyle change that is aimed to create long-lasting and sustainable results. My goal is to help them understand how food and lifestyle impact their body and how to reconnect with it. This way, I believe they can finally turn into a self-care model where they are the advocates of their own well-being.

What inspired you to specialize in Mediterranean cuisine, and how do you integrate it into your private chef services and cooking classes?

I am a Spaniard. Born and raised in Madrid. Mediterranean cuisine runs through my veins and I thrive on that type of diet. I am cognizant that I need to adapt to my client's backgrounds, traditions, and their metabolism (not everyone can down +1 liter of olive oil in a week as my family does). I think my forte is to truly understand where my clients are coming from and to help them discover what works for them and makes them feel their best. It can be Mediterranean, but it might be a completely different cuisine too.

As you are Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® and an Intuitive Eating Instructor, how do you help your clients develop a healthier relationship with food and overcome emotional eating habits?

I help them reconnect with their body so they can recognize real hunger and satiety signals and how certain foods make them feel versus others. We sit together, brainstorm, and look for patterns that repeat themselves. We investigate deeper into what can be triggering the unbalanced relationship with food and find alternatives to those situations. The goal is to successfully overcome the need to cope with food or other unhealthy habits. Most often is a multifaceted approach, where self-care and relaxation practices are very effective. I have to say most of my clients find the answers themselves, I just guide them through the process. 

My work consists of helping them find food and lifestyle alternatives that are satisfying and make them feel nourished and energized. It is very liberating when they finally feel at peace with food and in control of their food choices. If I suspect that there is a more serious eating disorder or trauma I refer them to a licensed professional. For Nutrition Consultants, it is extremely important to always stay within our scope of practice. We do not diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, as this would be considered Medical Nutrition Therapy. I always draw a clear line with the medical and mental health fields and take that very seriously in my practice.

If you would like to find out more about Elena Ubeda, please visit https://www.elenaubeda.com/


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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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