On Fire for Healthy Eating: From Passion to Mission – Dina Del Rosario Josue – Philippines
As a girl whose name was taken from the scientific name of a fire tree “delonix regia,” I know I am unique; of course, who would else be named after a fire tree? I am the only known Chef Dietitian in our city, Puerto Princesa, in the Philippines.
Actually, there’s really not a “worst moment” in my life story. My parents brought me up to be God-fearing, carefree and I am loved by everybody since I am the youngest. Loved by everybody may mean I am more dependent on my parents than any of my
siblings. I can say that I had trouble deciding on my own. That is why in college, my mom suggested or should I say decided for me to take up BS Nutrition. I have always wanted to be a chef but growing up in a family of academically inclined individuals,
I guess I should finish a university degree first before pursuing my passion. There was no regrets, really. I believed that for one to grow maturely, he has to decide on his own. Four and a half years in college plus a licensure exam in dietetics is not a walk in the park. I remember those days when I just wanted to quit school and be a cook. That’s what I really wanted to do in the first place. Good thing I followed mom’s advice. That road I took was actually a good investment in my career. Being the only chef dietitian in my town was an advantage. I am only seeing now the product of my hard work throughout the years.
Flashback in 2009, I made my own decision to study culinary arts. That was the most exciting year because finally, I can live my passion. My family behind me to support is really important and encouraging. However, to graduate from a culinary school doesn’t make you a chef. You have to take the lowest role in the kitchen brigade when you start working in a real kitchen setting. I had an opportunity to train in the US and work in Dubai. Those times when reality strikes, I was having a hard time because I felt like I didn’t belong. I remember asking myself, “What am I doing? I am here hiding in pots and pans when I know I can do more to life!” I really thought I was going to be stuck. Doing a 12-hr shift everyday even took a toll on my health. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and I felt devastated. This kind of lifestyle is slowly killing me! I should really start being healthy! Then I realized, every decision you make in life molds you into better version of you. I decided to pick myself up and use what I learned about health and proper nutrition & culinary arts. One secret to what I have right now is staying focused on my goals and strive to be better but also grounded everyday; then, everything follows.
In 2014, my husband, Chef Michael Custodio, invited me to go home to the Philippines from Dubai and suggested to start a Thai Food Restaurant “Inthai”. It was an old brand which I started back in culinary days but then halted for a while because of
my training in the US. It was actually a re-branding. Inthai is a modern Thai food restaurant here in Palawan, Philippines. It was featured in local TV as a healthy food restaurant. Having the right staff, kitchen and experience, we decided to put up
a healthy food delivery as well in which personalized and calculated diets are delivered at the client’s doorstep. It is the first in the city so we have the edge. We help people lose weight in a healthy way and some clients with medical condition, and all of them have benefitted from our program. We are counseling them on healthy lifestyle and making healthy food choices. I wouldn’t ask for more since I’m doing the things I love the most: cooking and proper nutrition. Next year, we will start a deal to provide post workout meals to clients of a famous crossfit gym in our city and we are all excited for this new opportunity that is also another way of fulfilling my passion! I can finally see the fruits of my labor. Everything was like planned out for me to get here and in God’s perfect time!
Currently, my husband and I am all occupied with our businesses and with our handful 15- month old son, Matthew, who I still exclusively breastfeed up until now. I guess, turning into healthy living at the same time living my passion will not only
benefit me but also the people around me. As my name implies, this woman right here is “on fire” to be an advocate of good health and proper nutrition. Juggling the business, being a wife and a full time mom is not easy but I am grateful to God because I am blessed!
Chef Dina Regia del Rosario Josue, RND
About the Author
Chef Dina Josue is a Certified Chef and a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian. She always has the eye for details. She has an exceptional background in food management and service. A graduate of BS Nutrition in the University of the Philippines with professional license in Nutrition-Dietetics, Chef Dina is well versed when it comes to food research and development and culinary arts. She had training alongside with Chef MC at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, USA and worked with international chefs at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai.
Chef Dina also chases after her 15-month old son, Matthew Dylan and takes care of her husband Chef Michael when she isn’t preparing amazing food and calculating diets. An advocate of healthy eating and breastfeeding, Chef Dina always makes sure she walks her talk!
To contact Chef Dina:
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