You love her recipes and tips for healthy living, but who’s the woman behind the blog? Meet Bethanie Ruffo, VitaMe’s resident nutritionist. Read on to find out Bethanie’s philosophy on nutrition, what she’s reading, and what makes her tick.
Describe your background and qualifications.
I grew up in the mountains of northern California; as a youngster my mom taught me a great deal about health. She was/is a nurse, a health nut, and home-cooked almost 100% of what we ate. She went to school for nursing while I was young, I remember watching her self-recorded videos of brain surgeries and slideshows of human anatomy when I was in pre-school and kindergarten. Between her and my dad, a biologist, I began learning about life sciences real early on. As an adult I spent several years interning in hospitals all around the bay area which allowed me to see a wide spectrum of conditions. From oncology, to neonatal intensive care, to burn units and emergency rooms, I have had the opportunity to care for humans of all sorts. I studied nutrition and dietetics throughout college and most recently received my BSRN from Dominican University in Marin. I continue to study nutrition, fitness, and biotech while pursuing my niche in the healthcare world.
What motivates you?
Any potential for fun. The unknown, chocolate soft serve dip cones, dreams about my dreams coming true, perfect abs. Espresso.
How would your mom/grandma/favorite auntie describe you?
My mom would describe me as a multitalented undiscovered genius/ beauty queen/ daredevil adventurer with a heart of gold. I’d like to agree but for perspective you should also know that she still has my crayon scribblings of my childhood cat framed on the wall in the center of the living room.
I would say that I am an imaginative and resourceful female who has been generally stellar at enjoying life so far.
Why did you join VitaMe? What do you love about it?
While taking care of my own health needs I have spent a LOT of time and money in the supplement aisle of Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco over the years; though I personally enjoy doing the extensive and ongoing research, I think the average person would find the amount of effort it requires unappealing.
I love the idea of every individual receiving supplements perfectly formulated for their nutritional needs and goals and am super excited to be involved in that revolution. Customization is more beneficial for the body and less expensive for the person; I could apply that statement to most things in life and I am thrilled to see that model be more common in several industries these days.
Being involved in VitaMe is also awesome because it is a great excuse to nerd-out on the latest relevant medical studies. Technology is allowing us to make serious headway in discovering more about how our body operates; recently I’ve been loving researching nootropics (cognitive-enhancing supplements) and neurogastroenterology, which is the the study of the brain, the gut, and their interactions. Not long ago we discovered that 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels; really amplifies the meaning of mind-body connection and adds a enormous dimension to the already huge role nutrition has with mental and emotional well-being. Researchers are finding more and more evidence that nutritional habits directly affect our moods and thoughts.
If you were stranded on a desert island with only one food and one supplement, what would you take?
TACOS AND VITAMIN B12
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Thinking back, the risks I’ve taken seem like a zero on the bravery scale in comparison to friends that I have known who have lost a parent earlier than expected or have been forced to survive something equally challenging in their lives.
Lets see.. as far as exiting the comfort zone, I’ve embarked on almost all of my multi-country/ world travel adventures alone. The majority of them lasting for weeks or months at a time & involved next to no prior planning. I have had enough scary episodes to fill a novel but the amount of learning and excitement involved in self-reliance far exceeded anything non-positive that I encountered. I might have confused bravery with blissful stupidity in some cases, but I wouldn’t take it back and I can’t wait to do it again.
Oh and one time I grabbed a pretty large wild snake out of the path of a speeding car on my way back from a hike in the desert. It was more of a reaction, I didn’t fully realize what I had done until it was already in my hand and trying to chomp at my arm. We quickly said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Again the bravery vs. stupidity theme comes into question.
Cassandra Lord is a UK-based copywriter, editor and communications strategist. She helps tell the inside story of VitaMe, drawing on her decade of storytelling experience with brands ranging from Google to TransFair USA—and her degree in Folklore and Mythology from Harvard College.