Interview with Stefanie Sacks, MS, CNS, CDN

by Cameron St. Germain

Stefanie Sacks, MS, CNS, CDN

Stefanie Sacks, MS, CNS, CDN is a Culinary Nutritionist, Author, consultant and founder of REBOOT FOOD™. For over two decades, Sacks has helped transform the way people eat by using hands on culinary experiences to inspire, educate and offer practical tools for food lifestyle change. She has her Masters of Science in Nutrition from Teachers College, Columbia University, is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist and is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health + Culinary Arts. Stefanie, together with the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College developed Education At the Table™, a culinary program that builds knowledge, skills and confidence to integrate food activities + cooking into nutrition education.

From chefs including Jean Georges Vongerichten to food and nutrition initiatives with Canyon Ranch, Wellness Foundation of East Hampton, Integrative Functional Nutrition Academy, Food As Medicine, Kripalu Center for Yoga + Health and Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Center, Stefanie’s knowledge and skills have impacted many.

Her book, What The Fork Are You Eating? An Action Plan for Your Pantry and Plate (Tarcher | Penguin Random House) provides an aisle-by-aisle rundown on how to shop and cook healthier. She is a firm believer that small changes in food choice can make big differences as noted in her 2015 TEDx Talk. As a sought after media guest expert on the topic of healthy choices, Stefanie’s has frequent appearances on the Dr. Oz Show, PBS, Fox Media, and multiple radio programs. For three years, she hosted her own radio show, Stirring the Pot, on Hamptons NPR, WPPB 88.3FM. Her extensive online and print contributions include, Bloomberg, The Huffington Post, Alternet,, and, Family Circle, Prevention, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and Allure.

Sacks lives on the East End of Long Island with her husband, two very active young boys and Blossom, the family dog.

Where you grew up: Armonk , New York

Where you live now: Montauk, New York

Background and education:

MS in Nutrition Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Culinary School, Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, NYC

Undergraduate, Hamilton College

Food policy/food as medicine heroes: Annemarie Colbin, Andrew Weil, Joan Dye Gussow, Walter Willett and Marion Nestle

One word to describe our food system: Broken

One word to describe our healthcare system: Dis-eased

Your favorite food: Avocado

Your breakfast this morning: 2 pan-fried eggs in ghee

Your last meal on earth: Sautéed garlic spinach, French fries and Cajun spiced salmon

Must-have healing food/ingredient: Ginger

Food policy, health, food as medicine book, website(s) social media/blog must-follow/read: 

  • Food Politics by Marion Nestle
  • Food and Healing by Annemarie Colbin
  • Eat Drink and Be Healthy by Walter Willett
  • The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Joseph Pizzorno
  • Nutrition Action, Center for Science in the Public Interest (
  • Tufts Health and Nutrition Newsletter
  • Environmental Nutrition Newsletter
  • Dr. Weil (
  • Mayo Clinic (
  • Environmental Working Group (
  • Food and Water Watch (
  • A Greener World (

Your elevator pitch for food as medicine?

Q: If you owned a Ferrari, what kind of gas would you put in it?

A: Super of course!

Q: Do you know that your health is more important than any car?

A: Yeah, of course!

Q: What kind of fuel do you put in your body? Never forget that you are what you eat and you are what they ate and how they were treated…

A: Now that you say it that way…I guess I could eat healthier…

Which widespread nutritional misconceptions worry you the most?

  • Dietary fat makes a person fat
  • “No sugar”, “zero sugar” and “sugar-free” means that the food product is healthier than its real sugar counterpart
  • Eating healthfully costs more
  • Food labeling (aka Big Food marketing) buy-in by consumers. Most consumers are misguided as a result

What do you see as the next step for food as medicine? Ensure that all RDNs and advance degreed nutrition professionals DO NOT graduate their schooling without a hands-on food and cooking intensive that educates them on how to integrate food and culinary education into their scope of practice to facilitate behavior change and positive health outcome.

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