I am SUPER excited to introduce you to the newest member of the TTP team! Kylie Mignone is currently a Senior dietetics major at Bradley University. Kylie cannot wait to share her favorite recipes, tips, experiences as a dietetic student, and SO much more.
Kylie’s experiences as both a dancer and a cheerleader, along with her obvious passion for nutrition, blend into the perfect fit for our team. Let’s welcome her to the TTP community. Here’s Kylie’s recent interview!
1) When did you start dancing?
I began dancing at four years old. I was that child who cried anytime her mom dropped her off whether it was dance or at school. To my mom’s confusion, she would see me miserable as she left but when at home, I begged to play the VHS tapes of my cousin’s performances and would follow along with every move. I continued to dance throughout high school, which is also when I started teaching the younger students at my studio.
2) Did you only dance?
Nope! I was also a competitive cheerleader in high school. It was a tough schedule, but the athleticism from cheerleading blended with artistry from dance. I always felt that this duo balanced out. It was fun going from the stage to the football field.
3) When/why did you become interested in nutrition (enough to pursue it as a career!)?
It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I decided to pursue nutrition as a career. Growing up, my mom always cooked and baked delicious meals for my family. I was by her side learning food prep skills at an early age. Similar to dancing, it was what I grew up doing – I was fortunate to eat tasty and freshly prepared items regularly.
However, when I moved away from home for my freshman year at college, I realized that proper nutrition wasn’t a priority of my peers. Even though I was studying Marketing/Public Relations at the time, my love for wellness and sharing that knowledge with others grew. This soon led me to the path of becoming a Registered Dietitian. I then switched my major and transferred to a University with an accredited dietetics program.
3) What topics interest you most in nutrition?
My favorite part about dietetics is how broad the field is, there are so many populations you can work with and various settings to work in as an RD. I am most passionate about working with clients (dancers and other college athletes) to overcome disordered eating patterns and build a positive relationship with food.
I also love health promotion (fitting as I started out studying PR). I picture myself working with food companies on marketing and development teams. As I mentioned before, I love to cook and share creative yet simple ways to incorporate more essential nutrients to meals and snacks – any job I could incorporate this into would make me happy!
4) The most difficult part of your college experience?
Even as a student studying to be a dietitian, I struggled with body image and healthy eating behaviors when transitioning out of daily dancing. I battled disordered eating and over-exercising throughout my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Eliminating food groups and creating restrictive food rules isolated me from friends. It wasn’t fun, and it surely wasn’t sustainable. You’d think that studying nutrition would bring a lot of clarity to my own behaviors regarding food, but it wasn’t until I became more mindful at mealtimes when I realized my food rules had to go. My new priority? Enjoying delicious food while creating memories with the people that I love.
5) What’s your go-to breakfast?
Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of day and oatmeal is my go-to. I love the flavor and texture that adding cinnamon, flax, and chia seeds give. Lately, I’ve been cutting up an apple to put on top with nut butter, but in the springtime peaches or berries are really yummy to add. When I have more time in the mornings I saute colorful bell peppers, zucchini, and tomato and cook them with eggs.
6) Favorite dessert?
Tiramisu! I drink coffee almost every morning because I love the taste, which explains why I enjoy this dessert so much. Classic tiramisu is by far my favorite.
7) For you, what does it mean to be The Healthy Dancer®?
To be a healthy dancer is to have a certain mindset, which controls how we perceive ourselves and others. A healthy dancer is one who expresses joy and gratitude with each body movement. The mentality encompasses a thankful recognition towards our bones, muscles, and ligaments, all of which allow us to move and experience this art form. Kathrine Barkman, a principal dancer with the Washington Ballet, says that “A dancer bows not to be thanked but to give thanks.” This is a wonderful quote that captures the importance of our mindset while dancing. When we think about what dance brings to others, we lessen the pressure of our self-criticism. Instead of focusing solely on our body image, we dance for the bliss and artistry brought to the audience.