Faces of the NTA: Meet Dana Nardi
Get to know Dana Nardi
How long have you worked for the NTA? What is your role?
I first started with the NTA in the fall of 2016 as a contractor to help out the annual conference. I officially joined the NTA team on March 1, 2017, so I have been with the company roughly 2.5 years now! It’s kind of nice having the conference to mark my anniversary date each year as I can’t think of a better group of people to celebrate with! I have worked in a number of different roles at the company, but this current/new role is by far the one I’m most excited about. In May I started as the Chief Community Engagement Officer. You can find out more about this new job here.
What attracted you to work at the NTA?
I took the program in 2014 with every intention of opening a practice. However, as I sat in the classroom and went to the conference in 2015, I realized that I wanted to help this company. I’m a structure builder by nature, I love building teams, and organizing systems and processes (i.e. project management nerd). I thought perhaps the NTA would be a place where I could use those skill sets AND be a part of a healthier work environment. During my time here I have become more and more intrigued by the potential of the community and I’m looking forward to seeing what I might learn from you all, and what skills I might have to offer in return.
What do you love about working for the NTA?
The people I get to work with, from the staff to the community at large. It’s a creative, dedicated, passionate group of people with exponential potential. Also, the fact that I can talk about any sort of digestive distress imaginable and no one bats an eye.
What are you most proud about accomplishing in your time at the NTA to date?
I am most proud of the team building I have done. I had the great opportunity to build out several different departments in the company, hire some amazing people, and watch them take the beginnings I had started and run with them. I like helping people connect and then standing back and watching them work their magic. I am surrounded by gifted people, and it’s a privilege to watch their minds at work. I have learned so much from every team I have cultivated, and am a continual student in the company – learning from each employee in different ways. I am proud to call these folks colleagues.
Describe the NTA in three words:
Passionate. Community. Educators.
Describe yourself in three words:
Funny. Rebel. Cook.
What do you love the most about our community?
All the different ideas, and the passion to help people find their unique sense of what it means to be healthy using real food.
What is your favorite fat?
By far the hardest question here. Goodness. I am of Italian descent so I think I have at least two pints of olive oil flowing through my bloodstream at any time. But then again, butter is like frosting for…well….anything. I mean, we all baste our steaks with butter right? And I recently discovered goat butter! Creamy with a bit of tang…on any vegetable ever grown. Mmm. Duck fat. Can’t forget that one. Rosemary potatoes coated with duck fat and cooked until crispy on the outside and all soft on the inside? Yeah, that’s the stuff….And beef tallow! The hint of earthiness goes so well with some shiitake mushrooms and onions, a dash of balsamic vinegar and then pour that out onto a nice medium rare steak….Wait. What was the question again?
What is your least favorite food?
Canned tuna. I think it comes from childhood trauma. I always hated canned tuna, but the rule in my house was if someone was kind enough to cook for you, you ate what they made. I suffered through three helpings of my friend’s grandmothers tuna noodle casserole. You know the one, with the packaged egg noodles and the Velveeta cheese? Yeah, that stuff. And since then I have a near-violent reaction when confronted with it.
What’s your most used cook book or recipe blog and why?
I seriously do not have one favorite. I do a lot of recipe research for the conferences, and I try things out from all sources. I will say I am enjoying Micky Trescott’s new cook book “The Nutrient Dense Kitchen” and an old favorite is “Primal Cravings”. I pulled some fun recipes from Chris Cosentino’s “Offal Good” for the conference as well. I also have some family recipes from my Italian grandmother I bust out once a year when I am well stocked on supplements to handle the gluten onslaught. Her orange bread is the stuff of legends. It’s a beautiful sense memory I have of her when I bite into a piece of it. I can still see her 4’11” self-standing in the kitchen making the bread dough. She was a great lady. Looked exactly like Sophia Patrillo from Golden Girls. She was the best cook I have ever encountered.
What are you reading (or listening to) right now?
At any given point I have about 5 – 6 books going. Right now I am reading “Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon PhD, “The Tao of Bill Murry” by Gavin Edwards, “Whole Detox” by Dr Deanne Minich, “Macbeth” good old Shakespeare, and “My Absolute Darling” by Gabriel Tallent. Listening to – Jazz. Mostly some Thelonious Monk at the moment.
In your mind, what are the biggest challenges the holistic health community faces?
Politics and the state of the farming industry. I see us as the teachers of the importance of real food and what it can mean to an individual’s health. We are constantly battling with laws and regulations to be recognized as legitimate practitioners throughout this country. So many people’s health journeys have been improved because of the work that our community is doing, but we have to fight for the right to continue to practice. To me, this goes hand-in-hand with the battle between local farmers and regenerative farming practices, and the industrial farming machines pumping out chemically enhanced mass produced foods. To help nourish ourselves and our clients, we need REAL food, and it’s another battle we face to change the tide of farming practices in this country.
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Want to speak with an instructor?
Join us for a Live Info Session on May 29 at 11 AM PST. One of our Senior Lead Instructors will go in-depth, discussing the differences between our programs. This is a great opportunity for you to get your questions answered!