Monica Auslander, MS, RD, LD/N is a registered dietitian and the founder of Essence Nutrition, a concierge private nutrition practice in Midtown. which she founded when she was 25. Essence honors the individual in the nutrition care process - not the DIET. In fact, "diet" is a dirty word, and not allowed in her office! (Neither are scales - She doesn't believe they are helpful in the nutrition process - they only make you sad). She crafts honest and accommodating meal and lifestyle programs for her clients and is available for them 24/7 for support and provides customized and compassionate nutrition care for both children and adults, specializing in weight management, gastrointestinal issues, women's nutrition, and wellness. She has her own line of vegan, gluten-free energy bars, published e-books, a published video series, a blog, a newsletter, social media engagement, and has been quoted in various local and national publications like Cosmopolitan, Elle, Self, O Magazine, Reader's Digest, and Eat This, Not That! An Essence iPhone app to launch next year which will be subscriber-based.
What do you do best?
I think I’m really good at making people feel comfortable and relaxed. I find it hard to take hardly anything seriously, so by making light of situations, I think that bonds me with people, especially clients, who can be fearful or anxious about talking about their personal nutrition struggles. A comfortable client is an open, honest, candid, and motivated client.
What makes you the best?
People marvel at how I’ve built a bit of a nutrition empire in such a short time and how I “knew” how to build a business as well as practice a scientific craft, especially at age 25. I think my identity as an influencer, a connector, and ferocious work ethic have worked in my favor. My dad told me I would be successful in ANY business, because I’m hungry, competitive, and pleasant to be around (so he says!) I think the exquisite combination of my nutrition knowledge and charming way of imparting that information renders me the best.
What are your aspirations?
Personal: raise kind and passionate children, rescue dogs, and spend 80% of my time involved in philanthropic pursuits like charity boards ,hands-on projects in the community, and education
Professional: Hire more dietitians, train them in my brand and philosophy, and eventually franchise the practice from an individual counseling end. I would like to solely do corporate nutrition programs, media nutrition segments on TV and in print, and publish nutrition writing materials
Cannonballing straight from college to graduate school to my career with only days in between each, then starting a modern, service-driven business with zero business prowess, yet still managing to stay engaged in my community pursuit.
Most Challenging Moment?
I’ve suffered from Crohn’s disease since I was 16, and it can be a daily suffering. I’ll feel invincible one day, and the next, have to cancel everything and be miserable. I absolutely hate disrupted schedules, so more than the physical pain and fear of an incurable disease, I hate letting myself (and others) down. It has been a challenge to distinguish “justice” in this sense for me, as in, why me?
You’re going to be okay. It will all sort itself out.
Favorite People/Role Models?
Personal: my dad and my fiancé. True definitions of gentlemen. Generous, compassionate, gentle, wise, chivalrous, and unconditionally loving.
Business: I really regret not having a mentor – if anyone is interested, let me know! I do feel very lost and alone at times in business. Irrespective of the nutrition of business, I have always thought it was immensely cool how Bill and Melinda Gates funnel most of their money into charity, and that their kids had to do chores to earn a weekly allowance.
Switzerland. The country is immaculate, everything runs smoothly and on-time, everyone looks so crisp and distinguished, and there is so much cheese that you could, feasibly, ski in it. France comes in a close second, and interestingly, I don’t prefer Paris. I love the medium-size cities that retain a whiff of cosmopolitan style but retain that quaint countryside realm more strongly. The food in France is impeccable. It’s fresh, indulgent, but never guilty. I take a lot of my nutrition philosophy from the French.
I am gaga over little squeeze packs of Justin’s almond butter. My whole life, I’ve been wreaking havoc on society with messy almond butter stuffed into a Ziploc and face-planting into it in awkward public places. Portable nut butter is everything.
Tea. Americans underdo tea. There are so many different flavors (and nutritional benefits). My most cherished is apple cinnamon spice by Harvey and Sons. It’s sinfully sweet.
I never knew I could work so hard or so many hours in a week, so now I REALLY treasure my quiet time at home with my fiancé, my dog and my entertainment. I used to feel compelled to go out and be social every single night. I now feel transported by TV these days; it alleviates my stress and worry and completely carries me off and forces me to think differently and expand my world view. I particularly enjoy historical fictions (Marco Polo, The Last Kingdom) and then I start to incessantly Wikipedia the historical events and go down the rabbit hole of learning. I never want to stop learning.