As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing on-camera nutritionist, model, and host Ashley Reinke. Ashley is Miss Arizona International 2018, Certified Nutritionist, on-camera nutrition expert and host living in Northern California. Using her pageant notoriety, she has parlayed her career into the health and wellness space specializing in plant based, farm-to-table cooking. During her reign, Ashley earned her sports nutrition science certification and is working on a master’s degree in nutritional science from San Jose State University. As a young working professional, Ashley knows how intimidating it can be to step into a kitchen. To show her peers how eating healthy can be easy, inexpensive and fun, Ashley created her “Five Ingredients Under Five Dollars” program where she demonstrates on live television various delicious recipes and gives healthy tips that don’t break busy schedules or tight budgets. Coupled with her pageant fame and 23K plus Instagram followers, Ashley is a favorite guest on countless live local daytime talk shows as a Nutrition Expert… FOX News in Sacramento, FOX’s Great Day Fresno, LasVegas Now, Good Day Sacramento, and Tucson Morning Blend. She’s also a go-to nutritionist and wellness expert in print and was featured in totalbeauty.com where she weighed in on How to Order Healthy at Starbucks. Some of her beautifully, well staged TV tabletop segments include CholesterolLowering Snacks, Plant Based BBQ Ideas, Fitness Fueling Foods, Heart Healthy Summer Recipes, Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol, Tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain, Bake Your Way to Better Heart Health and Healthy Desserts. A marathon runner and in top physical shape, Ashley’s been a runway, fitness and commercial model for ten years. She’s worked with such major companies as Mercedes Benz USA Luxury Cars, Marriott Hotels, the National Football League, Nordstrom’s and Macy’s. Passionate about philanthropy and giving back to her community, Ashley launched Chomp Out Cancer, a program that partners with food banks to promote nutrition education for disease prevention. She also works with various non-profit organizations including Teen Cancer America, The Susan G. Komen Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Ashley! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank YOU, I’m so happy to be here.
I grew up in Tucson Arizona playing in the desert and spending time with my horses. I always loved getting dressed up in princess costumes (which probably explains why I love pageantry), but I was also a huge tom-boy and loved to spend time outside.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started working in television production and development while still in undergraduate school. I took a break from working in television development to teach English at a school in Liberia Costa Rica. Every Saturday we taught children between the ages of 4–8. It was seeing the foods that the children were eating that made me realize the knowledge deficit of the parents. The parents wanted to feed their children nutritious foods, but they didn’t know what they should be feeding them. Witnessing this made me realize I wanted to take my skills in media and use them as a nutrition educator. Upon returning from this trip I started a five-year path to get my Master’s in Nutritional Science and become a Registered Dietician.