Meet Alysa Lavy, MS, RD, CDN! Mom of one to her 20-month daughter, Emma, and founder of Alyssa Lavy Nutrition & Wellness, a nutrition counseling practice with a mission to repair gut health and food relationships. Alyssa is a registered dietitian who specializes in GI (gastrointestinal) nutrition and her practice helps individuals with digestive health disorders, disordered eating behaviors and eating disorders. She believes that food should be nourishing, satisfying and delicious and her practice offers a unique, multifaceted approach to care so you can manage your GI symptoms, liberalize your diet and enjoy life to the fullest.
Alyssa and her team at @alyssalavyrd are most excited about a new offering in conjunction with a local therapist – weekly small group counseling focused on body image for adolescent girls. This one-of-a-kind service provides the perspectives of both a therapist and a dietitian in a supportive community setting. Each practitioner leading the workshop grew up in Fairfield County and now resides here and all of these ladies are moms to young daughters themselves.
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
I’m no stranger to Fairfield County since I grew up in Westport, CT. I completed my master’s in New York City at Columbia. After living in New York City, my husband and I moved to New Jersey and then Florida while he completed his surgical training, but we always knew we wanted to be back in Connecticut. We moved to Fairfield in October of 2020 and I couldn’t imagine settling down and raising our family anywhere else!
Tell us about your Family!
My husband is a colorectal surgeon in the area (and actually grew up in Westport, too – but we didn’t know each other) and, while we moved around while he was in residency and
fellowship, we couldn’t wait to ultimately move back to Fairfield County – it just feels like home to us. Both of our families are still in the area and it’s so great to have so much support and love nearby. Our first baby was our fur baby, Eloise (Ellie), who we adopted when we first moved in together in New Jersey – 7 years ago! She is now a precious 8-year-old who loves people – especially kids.
In February 2021 we welcomed our daughter, Emma. Being her mom has been my favorite role and the greatest gift – and watching the interaction between Emma and our pup just
melts my heart!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Cupcakes are my favorite food – and totally dietitian approved!
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
So many things! I’m always learning. Although my motherhood journey is still in its infancy, one thing I wish someone would have told me is: Nobody is perfect or has it all figured out.
Comparing yourself to other moms is a waste of time!
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
For me, nothing compares to being able to be close to family. Both of our parents, as well as my sister, are all in the area and Dan’s sisters are in NYC. We experienced living a plane ride from family in the past and I really missed being able to spend time with our family more often. Now having our daughter, it means the world to be able to see her with her cousins, aunts, uncle and grandparents. Family is truly everything and we feel so grateful to be able to spend so much time with ours! Aside from being close to family, we love everything about Fairfield, including its beautiful beaches, the fun and delicious restaurants, the community and its many local events. We feel like our town offers everything we could ever want and we are so excited to watch Emma grow up and experience living here.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Keep one family calendar so everyone knows upcoming events and schedules! Also, never leave the house without snacks.
Tell us about your business, and when & why you decided to create this business!
I founded Alyssa Lavy Nutrition & Wellness in the spring of 2018 so that I could help individuals to repair gut health and food relationships. As a registered dietitian, I received specialized training in GI (gastrointestinal) nutrition and prior to opening my own practice, I worked as the only GI dietitian for a large gastroenterology group comprised of over 50
gastroenterologists and allied health providers. I always wanted to open my own private practice and I knew I wanted to use my specialized training and experience to help those with digestive health disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, gastroparesis and others.
During my early years working in this field, I started to notice the significant overlap between gastrointestinal symptoms and disordered eating and eating disorders. I began expanding my work to include a health-at-every-size, non-scale focused approach to health that helps to improve food relationships. About a year and a half ago, I expanded and welcomed another dietitian as a team member within my practice and she brought with her a special interest in digestive health and previous experience working with those undergoing eating disorder treatment. We now offer a comprehensive practice that can help those who are dealing with digestive health disorders, eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors.
We know that you are starting these weekly classes? Tell us more! Why you are starting?
We are so excited to partner with Erica Adler, LCSW and founder of North Star Wellness, to provide a unique opportunity in the area! Together, we are offering weekly small group
counseling focused on body image for adolescent girls. This is a topic that we all feel strongly about and we are excited to provide the expertise and perspectives of both a therapist and a dietitian.
All three of us are mothers to young daughters and we all grew up in the area, where we experienced the pressures of society on body image and food relationships. We hope to see a change in future generations and provide a safe space for girls working through these concerns now. We use these tools daily in our practices and, by offering a group counseling
option, we are hoping to be able to help more individuals and provide the benefit of additional support and connection while offering a lower cost option to work together, either
in lieu or in addition to 1:1 work
Where are you located? How do we get involved? Tell us about your background.
I used to have two office locations and provide telehealth services, but all services have been telehealth since March 2020. We offer complimentary discovery calls for all prospective clients so that we can learn more about your goals and your reason for seeking nutrition counseling, and we can then explain our approach. This way we can make sure we are a good fit to work together before moving forward. I also offer a ton of information in a fun way on my Instagram, @alyssalavyrd and my blog.
I have always been interested in nutrition and wellness. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from The George Washington University in 2012 and my Master of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Teachers College Columbia University in 2015. I also became an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer in 2012. I love being able to include my expertise, as well as my personal interest, in nutrition, exercise and wellness and it means so much to be able to be a part of my client’s health journey!
What is your most memorable moment in this industry?
Without a doubt, the most memorable moment in this industry was the day I opened my private practice. I feel that there is a lack of support for individuals coping with digestive health disorders and I was so excited to be able to provide this service for my community. Every day, I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to work with clients to manage their
GI symptoms, liberalize their diet and ultimately improve their quality of life. My practice has a unique, multifaceted approach, as we coordinate care alongside gastroenterologists,
therapists and other healthcare professionals. Seeing my practice grow and being able to provide this individualized level of care to our clients and watch them succeed over the years is truly an incredible feeling.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
This is something that I struggle with – and I’m sure many others do, too! That mom guilt can be so hard! I try to shift my mindset and consider how I am showing my daughter that she can do whatever she wants to do when she grows up, including run her own business. I hope to empower her and to show her that she can help others, engage in her interests and enjoy time for family and friends. While it is difficult to feel that I sometimes miss out on moments with her, I truly feel happiest with the balance of my career and motherhood and I think I am personally a better mom to Emma for it.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
My mom always put our family first and she is my ultimate role model when it comes to motherhood! She has always led by example and she continues to be my sounding board for
everything – including when I need support as a mom.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
Don’t wish away the stages! While there are, of course, difficult parts to pregnancy, the newborn phase, toddlerhood, etc. each phase is special in its own way and should be
individually appreciated. It always seems as if the next phase may be easier or more exciting, but the truth is, one day you will miss this present phase – even the difficult parts. And
truthfully, the time really goes fast with little ones! I try to stay present while acknowledging and validating my feelings when things feel hard – it is possible to recognize that something is hard and also so special.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Geronimo’s
Grab a Drink with Friends: Sinclair
Have a Date Night: Molto and Paci are some of our favorites W
Spend time together as a Family: We really love being in our house, but we also love
exploring the Fairfield farmer’s market on a Sunday morning and spending time together
walking around outside
Outside Activities: We love taking our daughter and fur baby to Lake Mohegan for walks and
enjoying the beaches
Grab coffee: I’m a big fan of Shearwater Coffee Bar and The Granola Bar. I also love Village
Bagel’s iced hazelnut coffee!