My Story and Healthy Living Philosophy

Life is a journey, and I’ve had one heck of a ride. I started my career in fitness and nutrition at Gold’s Gym back in 1996. My very first job out of college was helping fitness guru’s reach their personal body composition goals. I was thrilled to be using my nutrition degree to do good. I worked as a fitness instructor and nutritionist, but I also loved working out myself.

Back then, I had endless hours to get creative in the kitchen, workout, workout again if I wanted, study, travel, and all of the other wonderful things that come without the full-time job of parenting. I lived in the gym and in my kitchen, and I love it. I refer to this time as my before kids life.

Fast-forward to today. A lot’s happened between those years and now. I got married and delivery critically ill premature twins. I stopped working out of necessity and learned more than I ever wanted to know about NICU, intensive care, lung disease, and eating issues. I went on to deliver my full-term, healthy daughter, went back to work, got divorced, started a private practice and here I am. I have incredible memories of that time – some total highs, and lots of lows. Through it all, I kept some very important fundamentals of healthy living going – I chose to eat nourishing foods, I got some sort-of activity daily, I drank loads of water, and I tried as hard as I could to keep a positive attitude. It wasn’t easy. 

I have a bachelor of science in nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University, a master of science in wellness and performance from The University of Pittsburgh, my board certification in sports nutrition from the Commission on Dietetic registration and I have 21+ years of continuing education. But, it’s not my education alone that make me a food and nutrition expert. It’s my experience – my life – that’s helped me master living healthy on the go.

For years, I’ve devoted my time to helping young athletes and their families fuel for proper growth, development and sports performance. That lead to the publication of my first book, Fueling Young Athletes (Human Kinetics, 2017.) Today, I specialize in sports nutrition and disordered eating in sports and work as a counselor, consultant and communicator.

Today, it’s easier than ever to access food and nutrition information. Just google search what you want to know, and you’ll be fed an answer. Unfortunately, that answer isn’t always accurate. It can be extremely hard to differentiate solid, science-based food and nutrition information from all of the fads, myths and misinformation. 

I served as a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics for 8 years, doing my part to separate the facts from fiction. My education, experience and honest work ethic led to my rock-solid reputation as a trusted source of food, fitness and nutrition information. Today, I use my expertise as a counselor, consultant and communicator. 

When I’m not working one-on-one with a client, creating a new recipes in my kitchen or helping a company bring awareness to their product, I’m working behind the scenes as a food and nutrition consultant. I work with schools, organizations, companies and commodity groups to help them deliver evidence-based nutrition practices to their business. You can also find me running my kids around from one activity to the next, hiking, or traveling to a place I’ve never been.

My philosophy on healthy living is simple. You only get one life – it should be fun and you should feel good living it. It’s very simple, actually. Healthy living isn’t one thing, or even two – it’s a collection of healthy habits that promote your health, bring you joy and make you feel good. These habits and choices are who you are. It’s your lifestyle.

I teach and promote Six Pillars of Healthy Living

Have Fun – Do things that you enjoy and bring your joy.

Get Adequate Sleep – Allow your body to adequately rest and recovery so you wake up feeling energized and ready to tackle the day.

Eat Nourishing Foods – Include a wide variety of nourishing foods in your daily eating plan so that you get enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals to feel and perform your best. Be sure to include your favorite treats, too!

Stay Active – Move your body each day by doing activities that you love.

Drink Water – Maintain healthy hydrations habits by drinking water from morning to night.

Be Positive – Focus your energy on positive thoughts that support your mental health and drive you toward a healthy lifestyle.

These six pillars are the same for everyone, but the specific foods and activities within them are not. That’s because, what brings one person joy, might be torture for another. You may choose yoga as your activity of choice, while someone else might prefer running. You might follow a plant-based diet, while someone else prefers animal products. It’s important to look at each pillar and figure out what each one means to you.

A fun life, a fit, hydrated body and flavorful food can co-exist – as long as you have a positive mind and get enough sleep.

Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN is a nationally recognized expert in Nutrition, Wellness & Human Performance, a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist (RDN), a board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and the author of Fueling Young Athletes (Human Kinetics, 2017.)  She has over 21 years of professional experience in Wellness, Sports Nutrition/Adolescent Sports Nutrition and Disordered Eating. Her company, Heather Mangieri Nutrition, provides food and nutrition counseling, consulting and communication services.  

Heather is passionate about translating nutrition science into practical, easy-to-understand messages that resonate with consumers. She served as a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics for 8 years and built a solid reputation as a trusted source of food, fitness and nutrition information. She’s been quoted in hundreds of national and local publications, including TV, radio, print and electronic. She uses her expertise to share science-based messages for the media, industry and brands that align with her likes and values.

Formerly, Heather served as the Director of Communications for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition dietetic practice group and lectured in the department of Exercise Science at Chatham University and in the University of Pittsburgh’s department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition. Heather is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Keystone Award for demonstrating outstanding professional standards in the field of nutrition and dietetics and was previously named Pennsylvania’s Young Dietitian of the Year. She received her bachelor of science degree in nutrition from the Pennsylvania State University and earned her master’s degree in wellness and human performance from the University of Pittsburgh.


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My Book on Fueling Young Athletes

Learn how to put a healthy nutrition plan into practice for your high school athlete.

In Fueling Young Athletes, Heather Mangieri — a sports dietitian and mother of three active adolescents — breaks down the nutrition needs of young athletes and explains what the latest research suggests. You’ll analyze current eating habits and preferences and how and where these can be improved. You’ll learn how healthier meals and snacks can equate to improved performance while still being convenient and appetizing.

Fueling Young Athletes addresses the issues that families and athletes most often face, such as late-night practices, inconvenient school lunchtimes, demanding tournament schedules and travel leagues, and lack of sleep. And, you’ll find a collection of easy recipes for smoothies and sports drinks!