Welcome to another installment of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask interesting people for brief answers to brief questions. Today’s participant is one of the world’s most accomplished researchers in food and addiction. Remember, please: No counting! “10 words” is about attitude, not addition, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name Nicole Avena, Ph.D.
Family status Lives in New Jersey, married, one child
Occupation Assistant Professor at University of Florida, Department of Psychiatry, and Visiting Research Associate at Princeton University, studying neuroscience, appetite, and addiction
Born when, where Point Pleasant, N.J., Oct 5, 1978
A formative event from your childhood “I was in a spelling competition in elementary school and that engendered a fondness for academic reward.”
Where’d you place? “I came in 2d.”
First paying job“Lifeguard at a yacht club.”
Something you took from that job “Aside from a nice tan each summer, I had the chance to teach several children to swim, and that taught me patience and how to negotiate.”
Someone outside your family who influenced you particularly “Bart Hoebel, who was a professor at Princeton and one of my mentors.”
Greetings and welcome to another episode of 10 Words or Less, in which I ask brief questions, and request brief answers, of interesting people. Today’s guest is a senior analyst for the Environmental Working Group who focuses on food and agriculture policy. Remember, the 10-words thing is a goal, not a rule, so please, no counting.
Name Kari Hamerschlag
Born when, where Washington D.C., Nov. 28, 1963
Anything unusual about the circumstances? “My mom’s doctor had just been attending to Jackie Kennedy.” [For you young kids out there, Kari was born 5 days after John F. Kennedy’s assassination.]
Residence now “Oakland, Calif.”
A formative event early on “Living in Switzerland from ages 11 to 15, among many different cultures and languages.”
Someone outside your family who influenced you “Gary Hart. I worked for him when I was a junior in high school, and later worked as a volunteer on his presidential campaign. He got me started in politics.”
Something that helps you be effective in your job “The understanding that it takes persistence and a long time to make the kind of change we’re working for.”
A habit you’re trying to change “Negative thinking.”
Welcome to another installment of "10 Words or Less," in which I ask brief questions, and request brief answers, of interesting people. Today’s contestant is a chef and food-justice activist who circulates an exhaustive compendium of food-related news. Remember: the 10-words thing is a goal, not a rule, so please, no counting. And besides, let’s see you do it.
Name Jenny Huston
Born when, where San Francisco, February 1959
Occupation Food services consultant
How long have you been doing your weekly news update? “Since 2003.”
How much time does it take you? “Only a couple hours. As I come across things, they just get stuck into the list.”
Welcome to another round of 10 Words or Less, in which I ask brief questions and seek brief answers from interesting people. Today’s participant is a nationally recognized nutritionist who started her practice, Renaissance Nutrition Center Inc., near Philadelphia 23 years ago; I’ve been a client for more than a decade. Remember, no counting. The 10-words thing is a goal, not a rule, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name H. Theresa Wright
Born when, where “Long ago in a little mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
Family situation “Married 44 years to the sweetest, kindest, most gentle man in the world.”
Formative event in your youth “They called my father to school and asked if I could go to college.”
Someone outside your family who has inspired you “You, Michael. Your courage, your persistence, your dedication to writing your book.”
First job “I was a quality control chemist in a licorice factory.”
How long have you been a nutritionist? “Thirty-two years.”
Why did you pick that? “I wanted to be an electrical engineer. Daddy said girls couldn’t be one. I picked the part of home economics that had the most science, and I fell in love.”
Welcome to another edition of 10 Words or Less, in which I ask brief questions and request brief answers from interesting people. Today’s participant is cofounder and executive director of NYSHEPA, which “advocates for policies and practices that improve the nutritional and physical activity environment in New York State.” Please, no counting! “10 words” is a goal, not a rule, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name Nancy Huehnergarth
Born when, where "Baltimore, when the Beatles were #1 on the charts."
Resides: Chappaqua, NY
Your family circumstance "Married, with two teenage daughters."
A transformative event in your youth “Someone from my class drowned on Senior Cut Day.”
How did that affect you? “This was someone who was a bit disenfranchised, low income, and it made me realize that all people need to be treated with respect and that their lives should be cherished.”
Outside your family, someone’s example you follow “The person who inspired me to get involved in food reform: Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest."
Your greatest hope about the 2012 Food Bill “We stop subsidizing crops like corn and soy, and begin to subsidize produce.”
Your greatest fear about the 2012 Food Bill “The Big Food and Big Ag lobbying whirlwind will convince legislators to create a bill that benefits only Big Food and Big Ag.”
Welcome to another installment of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask interesting people for brief answers to brief questions. Today’s participant is a clinical psychologist and author who holds the nation’s first endowed professorship in eating disorders, at the University of North Carolina. Remember, please: No counting! “10 words” is about attitude, not addition, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name Cynthia Bulik
Born when, where 1960, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Residence Chapel Hill, NC
Family situation Married, three kids
A transformative event from your childhood “The death of my brother, Mark. I was 9. He was a premature baby who lived one day.”
When did you know you wanted to research ED? “My sophomore year in college. I was invited to do rounds with George Hsu, the attending physician for an eating disorders program in Pittsburgh.”
A surprising fact about you “I’m a [national-level] gold medalist ice dancer.”
Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask short questions of interesting people and request short answers in return. Today’s participant is a therapist who is the author of nine books, one of which ("Boundaries") is approaching a quarter million in sales. Remember, please: No counting. “10 words” is an attitude, not a rule, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name: Anne Katherine
Born when, where “In Indiana. I’m in my mid-60s.” [Befitting someone keen on boundaries, Katherine is careful about what specific personal information she allows online.]
A transformative event in your childhood “Girl Scout Camp. It taught me that women could be strong, gave me survival skills that I still rely on and lifelong friends who are a treasure.”
Where do you live now, and how long have you been there? “Washington State, surrounded by water. I’ve lived here since 1985.”
What did you want to be when you grew up “In my 20s, I wanted to go around the country singing songs that would inspire people to be more spiritual.”
Claim to fame “I think other people would say my books, but I'd say it's that I pay daily attention to developing my inner self.”
Can you say a little more about that? “I value a person developing their ability to observe themselves, so they’re catching on to their subtle patterns, especially those that affect the people they love.”
Are you an addict? "Yes."
What’s your drug of no choice? “Sugar.”
Welcome to another installment of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask questions, and for answers, of that length. Today’s participant just won the Blue Ribbon Award from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project for her work in the Boston Public Schools. Please remember: No counting! 10 words is a goal, not a rule, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name Kim Szeto
Born Waltham, Mass., Oct. 27, 1984
Title "Farm to School coordinator, Boston Public Schools"
What you wanted to be when you grew up “It changed a couple of times, but there was a period when I wanted to be a mailman.”
The best part of your job “Seeing kids getting excited about eating a new vegetable.”
Something you’re passionate about “Creating a better food system that nourishes all people, replenishes the land, and pays its workers fairly.”
Do you grow any of your own food? "Yes. My sister and I share a plot in a community garden."
What kind? "Lots of stuff. We had tons of Red Russian kale this year. But my favorite is Dinosaur kale and we only had one this year.”
Welcome to the latest round of “10 words or less,” in which I ask brief questions and request brief answers. Today’s subject is a NEDA Navigator, in which NEDA is the National Eating Disorder Association and navigators are laymen who’ve come through an eating disorder, either personally or familially, and now help others. Remember, please: No counting! 10 words is a goal, not a rule, and besides, let’s see you do it.
Name Vic Avon
Residence Brick Township, N.J.
Author “My Monster Within: My Story,” published in May 2010.
What your disorder was like “Very extreme, very deadly, a classic case of anorexia.”
When you were last active “I stepped into a hospital [University Medical Center, Princeton, N.J.] March 11, 2008.”
Can you recall a low point? “It was so bad that I prayed every night that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning.”