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Woman to Watch Amy Nadelen

Woman to Watch: Amy Nadelen

Arlene Hisiger  herRochester.com, January 28, 2014

Amy Nadelen
"I find people have the misconception that my family eats perfectly all the time," said Amy Nadelen, a family nutrition consultant. "While we certainly do our best, just like other families, we [sometimes] eat ice cream sundaes with whipped cream from a can, and you know what? That's OK!"

Nadelen is founder and owner of Tribe Wellness, a company dedicated to educating the public regarding the benefits of eating "real food." A Syracuse native, she came to Rochester for college and never left. After completing her bachelor of arts in neuropsychology at the University of Rochester, she realized she would need to do a lot of research and earn a Ph.D. and if she wanted to pursue a career in that field. Eager to have a more immediate impact, Nadelen chose to continue her studies at U of R in pursuit of a master of arts in health promotion and education.

"I always knew that I wanted to help people live a more healthful life," she said.

While studying for her masters, Nadelen was hired by MVP Healthcare as a wellness strategist. Her responsibilities were strategic development, implementation and evaluation of employee wellness programs for MVP's top clients.

Once her children were born, Nadelen switched from working full-time to part-time so that she could spend more time with her kids. Yet, she also had the desire to start her own business. "I was an only child and always very independent," she said. "I always knew that I wanted to create something that was all mine."

In February 2012, she created Tribe Wellness, which proved to be the perfect blend of her interest in psychology and nutrition.

At first, her approach was more broad-based. Her company's website was filled with text pertaining to wellness, fitness, and nutrition for all. She has since narrowed her focus to families with grade-school age children, and bases her company's programs on her own experience as a busy mom taking the steps necessary to transition her family to healthier eating habits.

Her Tribe Guide to Real Food offers guidance and assistance to those interested in shifting their eating habits away from processed foods toward more healthful foods. It is what Nadelen calls a "blended program" in that it offers personalized family nutrition guidance via phone consultation as well as through an eight module online course.

Local clients have the added option of choosing her Kitchen Makeover program, in which Nadelen counsels clients on the dos and don'ts of foods to include and foods to avoid, and provides a hands-on pantry assessment.

"People are always afraid that they won't have anything left [in their pantries], when I work with them," Nadelen said. Those empty spaces are soon filled because she also offers a guided shopping tour where she points out correct products to buy and where to shop for those must-have real foods pantry staples.