Interview with Kayleen St. John, Executive Director, Nutrition and Strategic Development, Euphebe

by Cameron St. Germain

Kayleen St. John, MS,RD, Executive Director, Nutrition and Strategic Development, Euphebe

Kayleen St. John is the COO at Euphebe. Euphebe is a health company whose prescription for restoring health and well-being is whole-food, plant-based meals alongside tech-enabled coaching. Prior to joining Euphebe, she was the Director of Nutrition at Natural Gourmet Institute where she instructed chefs in training on the topic of culinary nutrition. Kayleen is currently an adjunct professor of Nutrition in Food Studies at NYU. She has also worked in private practice consulting with clients on the topics of heart disease, gut health, and weight loss. Kayleen has a background in finance and accounting from working as a CPA at a Big 4 Accounting firm. She has a deep-rooted love for food and is passionate about demystifying nutrition science as a whole.

Where you grew up:  Bristol, CT

Where you live now:   Live in Hoboken, NJ; work in Manhattan/Brooklyn

Background and education: BS in Accounting from University of Connecticut; MS in Clinical Nutrition from NYU.  Started my career as a CPA at PwC, found I was reading nutrition textbooks ‘for fun’ after work and realized I wanted to make the switch. Went to NYU to obtain a Masters degree, completed a dietetic internship, took the certification exam (yada yada) and became an RD.  Worked at NGI (Natural Gourmet Institute) teaching culinary nutrition to chef’s in training. Also worked as an outpatient dietitian counseling clients on a range of topics including weight loss, diabetes, cardiac conditions, inflammatory conditions and GI health. Developed and instructed ‘Foundations of Plant based Nutrition’ course in conjunction with Vegetarian Times. Currently an Adjunct in the NYU Food Studies department teaching ‘Nutrition in Food Studies’ to MA students. Currently working as the COO of Euphebe (you-fee-bee); a modern day healthcare company providing whole food plant-based meals in conjunction with personalized, tech-enabled coaching.

Food policy/food as medicine hero: Marion Nestle—Food Politics was a game changer for me

One word to describe our food system: Broken

One word to describe our healthcare system: Backwards

Your favorite food: Spicy Red Lentil Dal

Your breakfast this morning: Overnight Oats w/ cinnamon, peanut butter, blueberries

Your last meal on earth: My Mom’s Mac & Cheese

Must-have healing food/ingredient:  Broccoli Rabe

Food policy, health, food as medicine book, website(s) social media/blog must-follow/read: Food Politics, At home in the Whole Food Kitchen, Rebecca Katz’s work, 101 cookbooks…I could go on and on!

Your elevator pitch for food as medicine? Delicious, preventative healthcare—what can be better?

Which widespread nutritional misconceptions worry you the most? The vilification of specific nutrients or foods and also the dietary tribalism that is rampant in the nutrition world.  I’m a firm believer that there isn’t one perfect diet for everyone and that all of us in the space likely have more in common that we think.  Even those in the “paleo” and “vegan” likely agree on many issues.  Instead of disparaging one another, I’d like to see us all working together to spread a more unified message.

What do you see as the next step for food as medicine? The banding together of many different professions- doctors, dietitians, health coaches, chef’s, advocates, etc.  We all have a role to play and should have a seat at the table.


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