Meet Our Team of Nutrition Professionals

Nice to Meet You!

Our team of Diet and Nutrition professionals have a combined decades worth of experience, and have served in settings ranging from clinical to corporate. 

Dara Sandler

MA, RD, CDN

Timea Nagy

RDN CDN

Jenna Brown

RDN

Jenifer Zakrzewski

RD

Kayla Perry

RDN

Lori D’Amato

MS, RD, CDN

Thomas Zachmann

RD, CDN

Samantha Farella

RD, CDN

Kim Manfried

RD, CDN

Danielle Johnson

RDN, CDN, CPT, RYT

Maria Biondi

RDN

Joelle Porush

RD, CDN​

Karthika Thirugnanam

RD, CDN​

Dara Sandler

MA, RD, CDN

Timea Nagy

RDN CDN

Jenna Brown

RDN

Jenifer Zakrzewski

RDN

Kayla Perry

RDN

Lori D’Amato

MS, RD, CDN

Thomas Zachmann

RD, CDN

Samantha Farella

RD, CDN​

Kim Manfried

RD, CDN​

Danielle Johnson

RDN CDN CPT RYT

Maria Biondi

RDN
Shana maleefF
Founder, MA, RD, CDN, ACE-GFI

Shana Maleeff, MA, RD, CDN, ACE-GFI, received a BS in Nutrition from Penn State University and an MA in Nutrition Education from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania.  She works on Long Island coaching clients on nutrition, fitness, weight management, disease prevention, and lifestyle modification to help them actualize their best selves.  She also uses a clinically proven weight loss program to help people see real results. In addition, she teaches group fitness classes like Cycling, Sculpting, Barre, and TRX at Equinox on Long Island. She was the expert nutrition columnist for military.com, expert nutritionist for Urban Extreme- a world-renowned fitness program, and has been quoted in magazines like SELF and Cosmopolitan. She also spent time as an adjunct professor of nutrition at Philadelphia Community College. 

Shana has a lifelong passion for health and wellness, and has countless success stories of health and weight transformation. She believes in moderation, enjoying life, and finding realistic and practical ways to achieve your goals.

Shana coaches in person, over the telephone, and via text and email in order to reach people all over the country as well as those with busy lives. Committed to forming relationships with clients looking to manage their weight, she is always there for guidance and to reinforce healthy lifestyle habits. 

Joelle Porush
RD, CDN​

A graduate from Syracuse University. She obtained her degree in nutrition and dietetics and then completed her Dietetic Internship at Long Island University, Post. At LIU, Post Joelle’s concentration was in health and wellness as she has a passion for promoting health through food and nutrition. During her internship, Joelle spent hours outside of school working and training at an outpatient eating disorder treatment center, as she is very passionate about this population and the connection between mental health and food. In off time, Joelle enjoys running, the beach, and spending time with family and friends.

Karthika Thirugnanam
RD, CDN​

Karthika Thirugnanam is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology & Nutrition from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (Australia) and a Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics from New York University (USA). She also completed her dietetic internship through Marywood University which has a Health Promotion and Wellness focus.

Karthika is experienced in supporting the management of conditions such as diabetes, prediabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, PCOS, metabolic syndrome, and disordered eating. She has practiced as an outpatient oncology dietitian at NYC Health and Hospitals/King’s County system’s Cancer center & Tucker Medical. She has extensive experience working with cancer patients, both during active treatment and in the prevention setting.

As a Singapore local, from an ethnically Indian background, with training and practice in the US & Singapore, she understands and applies the appropriate cultural, religious, and emotional landscape of nutrition to her practice.

During her free time, Karthika enjoys hiking, traveling, running, and exploring new restaurants. She is an ardent fan of the Arsenal Football Club and can be found watching almost all of their games

Dara Sandler
MA, RD, CDN

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and New York State-certified Dietitian/Nutritionist. Dara completed her Masters of Science and RD at New York University and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Greater New York Dietetic Association. Dara began her career in the corporate world, but soon discovered an untapped passion for working with people. She is constantly motivated by the opportunity to help others live healthier, longer lives. While pursuing her masters, she had the unique benefit of working with a variety of patients and clients, from very young premature infants to seniors with special needs.

With a focus on Private Nutrition Counseling in addition to Clinical and Corporate Nutrition, Dara is able to educate her clients on how to navigate healthy eating within the demands of a busy schedule. With over 14 years practicing nutrition, Dara has developed a range of experience, including working with young children, special needs patients, private clients, and has even returned to the corporate world to deliver wellness lectures. Dara believes in teaching her clients how to develop a realistic, well-balanced diet without having to feel deprived. No two people are the same, and with that philosophy, Dara works hard to tailor a customized program for each client.

In her spare time, Dara loves to spend time with her two kids, entertain through cooking, and get up before the sun rises to exercise.

Timea Nagy
RDN CDN

Timea Nagy is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and New York State Certified Dietitian Nutritionist with 16 years of successful experiences spanning across multiple settings, including clinical dietetics, food service, long term care, acute care, and private practice.  She holds dual master’s degrees in nutrition and exercise science.  She has a passion for helping others, and she specializes in weight management, diabetes, disease prevention and wellness, cardiovascular health, and so much more.  She also trained with Ravi Singh, an internationally recognized Kundalini yoga teacher and completed a 200-hour Kundalini teacher training in 2020.  

Her hobbies include walking/hiking outside in nature, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She believes in a holistic approach to health, moderation, enjoying life, and finding realistic and practical ways to achieve attainable goals.

Jenna Brown
RDN

Jenna Brown is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from LIU Post. She also completed her dietetic internship through LIU Post with a Health and Wellness emphasis. After 4 years in a retail setting, she found that her passion was one-on-one individualized nutrition counseling as she witnessed first-hand how overwhelming grocery shopping can be to people trying to choose a healthy lifestyle. With her extensive experience working with the developmentally disabled population, she has the empathy and gentle approach to help you create a great relationship with food fused with her culinary experience as she is currently working on her advanced Medical Culinary Nutrition Certification. She loves to brainstorm different ways to prepare, serve, and eat food. In her spare time (when she isn’t in the hustle and bustle of being a mom), Jenna loves doing yoga, hiking, watching UFC, taking her dogs to the dog park and cooking.

Jenifer Zakrzewski
RDN
Jenifer received her BS in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has been a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist since 2016.  She enjoys helping clients with weight management, digestive disorders, diabetes, and heart disease work towards achieving their health and wellness goals using mindfulness and stress management techniques on top of nutrition education and behavior change strategies. 
 
Jenifer is passionate about personalizing nutrition for each of her clients to create a plan that caters to individual needs and lifestyles so they can be successful. She is an active registered yoga instructor. Yoga teacher training helped transform her life, something that she believes is possible for everyone no matter what path they choose. She looks forward to meeting and guiding you on your health and wellness journey.
Kayla Perry
RDN
Kayla Perry is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist from Georgia, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Life University. Over the course of her career as a dietitian, she has worked within a major healthcare system to develop nutrition and wellness
programs, has conducted individual nutrition counseling
at a medically based fitness center, and has counseled the Kennesaw State University students at their clinic on campus.

Kayla is experienced in providing nutrition counseling for a vast variety of conditions, including: weight management, diabetes, heart health, sports nutrition, vegan/vegetarian nutrition, GI disorders, eating disorders, and nutrition for children/teens and families. She was a vegetarian for 10 years and has immense experience and love for plant-based eating. She also has experience in sports nutrition for athletes of all ages.

She is trained in Eating Disorders, Intuitive Eating and the Health at Every Size approach, as well as the Strong4Life children’s health program by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and a certified lifestyle coach by the CDC.

Kayla has a passion for cooking education and loves to share that with her clients. She loves making nutrition fun and approachable. She believes it is important for us to find the love in nourishing
ourselves, find the joy in movement, and find the freedom in living a lifestyle that lasts. In addition to her passion for nutrition, Kayla also performs in musicals, participates in costuming events and loves to hike, weight lift, dance, and do yoga.
 
Lori D’Amato
MS, RD, CDN

Lori D’Amato MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian with over 14 years of experience in many settings including private counseling, pediatric nutrition, weight management, corporate wellness, and medical nutrition therapy. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition with a concentration in nutrition and exercise science from Long Island University (LIU) in Brookville, and is currently teaching as an Adjunct Professor of nutrition at this institution.

Lori is a mother of two (and one fur baby). She quickly learned after having children how important it is to provide a healthy nutrition environment throughout all life cycles. With her own children being faced with food allergies, food intolerances, autoimmunity, and celiac disease, Lori understands how the need to make healthy dietary choices impacts daily life for you and your family.

She has made it her mission to help others facing these issues and more to learn how to search for the root cause of disease, work towards health through nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Lori specializes in GI disorders and gut health, optimizing immunity, reduction of anxiety/depression, allergies, cardiovascular health, and more.

Lori is also a registered yoga instructor (RYT) with 200-hour certification. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the Nutrition Entrepreneurs (NE) and Dietitians in Integrative & Functional Medicine (DIFM) dietetic practice groups, and is currently enrolled in the Institute of Functional Nutrition.

Thomas Zachmann
RD, CDN​

Thomas received his B.S. degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from LIU Post. He has worked with numerous clients with diverse needs to help them achieve their nutrition and fitness goals. Tom specializes in weight loss, general health & wellness, sports nutrition, prevention & management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, GI disorders, renal disease, liver disease & disorders, and so much more.

Tom is passionate about helping others with their nutrition and exercise goals as he is well aware of the many benefits of doing so. Throughout his adolescence, Tom struggled with his own weight and overall health and has experienced first-hand how food, a healthy lifestyle, and exercise can have a profound influence on both physical and mental health. Tom enjoys cooking and has conducted group lectures, food demos and nutrition workshops to promote and instill healthy eating habits and positive attitudes to individuals, families, and children. He has volunteered for Cooking Up Energy, a cooking and nutrition education research project that serves children, and has taught healthy eating workshops for Feeding America’s Kids Café Afterschool Program.

Samantha Farella
RD, CDN​

Samantha obtained her B.S. in nutrition & dietetics through Long Island University, Post. She then went on to complete her dietetic internship through LIU, which had an emphasis on health and wellness. With a background in personal training and group fitness instructing classes like kickboxing, total body and bootcamp classes, Samantha has a passion for helping you feel good in your skin and become your most confident self through movement and individualized nutrition. She specializes in weight loss, general health and wellness, helping to create a healthy relationship with food, cardiovascular health, sports nutrition, and so much more. When she is not working, Samantha loves to be outside in nature, cooking, and laughing with family and friends. 

Kim Manfried
RD, CDN​
Kim is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a New York State Certified Dietitian Nutritionist. She received her B.A. in Marketing from Hofstra University and while raising her 2 daughters, realized she wanted to pursue her passion for nutrition. Kim went back to college and received her B.S. in nutrition from Long Island
University, C.W. Post. She started her nutrition career in the clinical/hospital setting where she gained her knowledge of various medical conditions. Kim then brought this knowledge to an outpatient setting for over 8 years, where she counseled thousands of clients, both in the adult and pediatric
populations. Private practice is what Kim enjoys most and she has expertise in weight management, diabetes/pre-diabetes, GI and thyroid disorders, vitamin deficiencies, hypertension, and cholesterol issues. She has conducted many nutrition classes
centered around diabetes and diabetes prevention. Kim enjoys both teaching in groups and one-on-one counseling to provide her knowledge and support to clients. Kim’s nutrition philosophy focuses around mindfulness and total body wellness, which also includes managing stress and staying active. She loves
getting to know each client as an individual and what is most important to them, on their wellness journey.
Kim has been a practicing dietitian for over 10 years and in her spare time enjoys being with her family and friends and looking for new places to take scenic walks.
Danielle Johnson
RDN CDN CPT RYT

Danielle completed her dietetic studies and dietetic internship at LIU Post where she focused on campus and athletic nutrition counseling. She is completing her masters degree in integrative nutrition at Stonybrook University and planning to continue on to complete a doctorate in clinical nutrition. Danielle began her career at the Bariatric Center of Excellence at Mather Hospital where she continues to work as a clinical inpatient and outpatient dietitian. Outside of being a dietitian, she is also trained in yoga and meditation and utilizes these skills within her nutrition counseling to promote an overall healthy lifestyle. Danielle also works as a personal trainer with speciality certifications in corrective exercise and athletic performance. Danielle uses an individualized and holistic approach to health and recognizes that each patient is unique in achieving their goals. 

Maria Biondi
RDN

Maria obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics from Queens College and her Masters in Health Education and Promotion from Lehman College. She completed her training to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) at NewYork-Presbyterian, where she also works in corporate wellness. Maria previously taught at Queens College as an adjunct lecturer in food science and nutrition, where she helped students learn to cook healthy meals and understand the foundation of cooking. 

Maria has experience counseling healthy weight loss, pregnant women, children and adolescents, new moms and menopausal women, and several medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure,  cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, and more.  She incorporates stress management as well as intuitive eating in her approach to an overall healthy lifestyle. 

When Maria is not working, she enjoys cooking, baking, and running. She has a passion for trying foods from different cultures and finding harmony with food and lifestyle. She has been quoted in NYP Health Matters, The Queens Gazette, and the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.       

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