Monica Auslander Moreno advocates nutrition with heart.
Registered dietitian and Miami native Monica Auslander Moreno is often compared to Midge Maisel, the housewife-turned-comedienne on Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. To understand the similarities, one has to witness Moreno’s limitless energy and her spitfire delivery when the topic of conversation turns to dieting. “I don’t care anything about skinny,” she says. “Weight, abs, keto, diets, diets, diets... it’s very, very sad.” Looking for a way to help a population she says suffers from “diet culture,” she founded Essence Nutrition (essencenutritionmiami.com) in 2016 and hired a team of professionals who treat individuals as unique entities worthy of wellness. “Most people come for weight loss—I validate that need,” she says. “But what we do is try to reframe their approach through a broader lens of life enhancement. They’re not allowed to use the words ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ or bring in a scale. I don’t like extremes of any kind. I prefer a middle of the road philosophy. Everybody has the right to pursue health.” Generally, Moreno can be found hosting seminars about corporate wellness, consulting with food manufacturers, teaching kids and school faculty about nutrition, volunteering and serving as the Miami Marlins’ dietitian (which, she says, “is the coolest job in the world”). And, like Maisel, Moreno says she has the most impact with a large audience: “I’m a lot better onstage. I need to touch many people at once.”
Photography by: Nick Garcia