My name is Maria Dalzot and I am a Registered Dietitian and nationally-ranked trail and mountain runner living in Bellingham, Washington. I was born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I earned my Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science from West Virginia University. After completing my dietetic internship and passing the registration exam in 2012, I moved to beautiful Bellingham with my husband to build a life living our dream of running Pacific Northwest trails.
What do you do at Prime?
My role at Prime as a Registered Dietitian is to guide people who are confused about the “right” way of eating reject diet culture so that they can eat in a way that is in alignment with their unique body and values. I have a non-diet approach and weight-neutral message. My sessions will focus heavily on intuitive eating, behavior goals, mindset shifts, and increased support. I believe in understanding yourself and how your body works because you are the expert of your body.
When & How did you get into it?
Growing up in a big Italian family, food was always the cornerstone of every occasion – and still is! Because of the love and appreciate my family shared throughout my upbringing, I have always had a healthy relationship and passion for food. Another big passion in my life is running, which I have been doing since 11-years old. The two go hand-in-hand and it is a privilege to get to share my passion with others for a living.
What are your certifications, qualifications? Tell us about your Unique Experience...
I am a Registered Dietitian certified in the state of Washington with a Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science. I am Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified in nutrition and exercise. I have spent six years working as a dietitian throughout Washington state teaching people how to cook, shop, and better their relationship with food and the role that nutrition plays in their lives.
I am also a professional long-distance trail/mountain runner for the shoe company, La Sportiva. Some athletic career highlights include the 2011 North American Trail Champion, the 2014 Trail Half Marathon National Champion, and a member of multiple U.S. teams competing throughout North America and Europe.
What's your approach/philosophy? Why does it work?
As a non-diet dietitian with a focus on wellness, not weight loss, I take a weight-neutral, health at every size approach to nutrition education. My goal is to help my clients develop a healthy relationship with food and learn to eat in a way that inspires healthy habits through intuitive eating strategies. I am here to support, guide, and facilitate change.
My goal is to simplify healthy eating to help you understand that you have the power to create a sustainable healthy life for the long-term and that you are the expert of your own body. My goal is to help you redefine what food and “being healthy” means to you.
My approach works because itis real life. I set you up for success, not failure as diets do 90% of the time. I believe in consistency over perfection.
Why do you love doing what you do?/What do you love seeing in your clients?
I love getting to change people’s relationship to food and to help them believe that their self-worth doesn’t depend on the food that they eat or the number on the scale. I love making people excited about the food they are eating. I love challenging long-standing beliefs in diet culture and working to put an end to food shaming.
Why do you like being part of Prime? What makes Prime unique/different?
It is an honor to be on the Prime team! I think it is so important to surround yourself with people who build you up and make you a better human being, and I am fortunate to have found that community in Prime.
Prime is a unique institution filled with passionate, hard-working and authentic people who live and work under the values of integrity, excellence, growth and community.
What else do you like to do/interests/hobbies/family?
When I am not running or working, I love to read, take naps and spend time in the kitchen preparing food for adventures and races that my husband and I frequent on the weekends. Running has provided me the opportunity to travel quite a bit. I love traveling because not only do you get a taste of how other cultures live, but it also takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to grow as a person and open perspectives. As much as I love to go camping and spend many hours outdoors collecting layers of dirt, I really enjoy getting dressed up and going out to dinner to experience new cuisines with a glass of red wine.