Maria Pittarelli was born and raised in Bowie, Maryland, right outside Washington DC.  Her family is Italian-American. Spending summers with extended family in Italy contributed to her love of cooking from a young age.  Maria uses a realistic approach to nutrition counseling, including helping people change their habits, learn to shop, and learn to cook to empower them to achieve their best health.  She attended Cornell University and got a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. She worked doing nutrition research in the Food and Brand Lab with Brian Wansink by day, and she worked as a chef in a fine dining restaurant by night.  After graduation, Maria worked in nutrition research at Johns Hopkins Hospital on over 60 experimental protocols before going on to complete her medical training at University of Maryland and several area hospitals. She now works as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist giving personal health coaching, nutrition assessments, grocery store tours, and cooking classes to help people eat healthier in a realistic, delicious way.