Today we’re taking a visit to Nourish Kitchen + Table in New York City’s West Village to get the skinny on heathy eating from one of our favorite nutritionists and all around cool gal, Marissa Lippert of Nourish NYC. Named “Best Nutritionist” by New York Citysearch for the past five years running, our worlds first collided on set of this memorable Rue shoot with delectable food and drink created by Ms. Marissa. We’ve had a girl crush on her ever since. Plus, a nutritionist who actually encourages moderate amounts of wine, carbs, and dark chocolate? What’s not to love!

Because I know everyone’s dying to know, how do you recommend people get back on track this month after an indulgent December?
Clean up the basics- lots more water, fruits and vegetables, and curb portions a little.  If you booze-hounded all December, cut back (I’m by no means someone to suggest cutting alcohol or wine out completely).  Lay low on processed foods, added sugars, too much refined white flour, like gluten, breads, pasta, and check yourself when it comes to too much cheese or dairy.  And if you’re an artificial sweetener devotee, kiss ’em goodbye. Perfect 2014 resolution.

You recently opened Nourish Kitchen + Table- tell us a little about your mission.
My goal with NKT is to bridge the gap between healthy eating and really amazingly delicious fresh food – keeping seasonality and local purveyors in mind.  I like to think of us as your kitchen away from home.

Taking on a cafe + retail space is a big commitment. From a business stand point, how did you know you were ready?
It’s definitely a big commitment, on all levels- I don’t remember the last time I had a lazy afternoon on my sofa or more than 7 hours of sleep a night. I’d been crafting and envisioning the café + retail concept, down to even the smallest décor detail, for so long, that I knew I was ready and beyond excited when we opened in July.  I think being a bit fearful, but in an “attack the day” sort of way, is a good thing when it comes to being an entrepreneur. It keeps you on your toes and motivated, a little scared and excited by carrying out your vision everyday.

We agree with that! How did you know it was your calling to be a nutritionist?
I don’t think I necessarily “knew” it was my calling, but I’ve been interested in the intersection of food, health and culture for as long as I can remember.

From a booming nutrition business, to a book, to a cafe, what do you attribute your success to?
Persistence, passion and probably a wee bit of insanity.  Kidding.  I think it’s simply aspiring to accomplish a vision or idea and making sure I’m really loving what I do.

We’re so inspired by your passion. What drives you personally and professionally?
Meeting incredible, caring and inspiring people all the time.  Finding the story and meaning behind a new dish, an ingredient, a farmer, etc.

Let’s talk nutrition tips. Three foods a nutritionist would never eat?
Artificial sweeteners, energy drinks (aside from fresh-pressed green juices!), weird, scary versions of fake “health” foods (that aren’t really healthy).

Three foods we shouldn’t live without?
Avocado for awesome skin and hair, fresh fruit and veggies (the best kept secret to keeping your weight where you want it), wine (ok, not a food, but necessary for obvious reasons and it’s antioxidant rich).  Oh, and I’ll throw dark chocolate in there too, and I’m currently loving hemp seeds.

If you could recommend just one thing to someone looking to improve their diet, what would it be?
Don’t skip meals and eat every few hours.  You’ll rev your metabolism in no time.

Best meal planning tips for busy women who want to cook healthy for themselves and their families?
Get comfortable in the kitchen and don’t be afraid to experiment (and screw up sometimes).  Grow confidence to cook based on what’s in your fridge or pantry, not necessarily having to follow a recipe.  I think it’s almost more stressful that way.  Cook simple, fresh food with what’s on hand.  BUT make sure that the fridge is always stocked with healthy basics- fruits and vegetables, eggs and yogurt if you eat them, nuts and nut butters, herbs, a few different grains and beans.

Everyone wants more energy. What foods or habits help increase energy levels?
Water is a good start to augmenting energy levels.  Foods jammed with healthy omega-3 fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts) and with slow-burning energy like complex carbs (sweet potatoes, quinoa, farro, brown rice, etc).

And last but not least, what’s the biggest dieting misconception out there?
That cutting calories and carbs will help you drop pounds.  That may be the case in the immediate present, but that type of promise is unkept and not long-lasting.  Guaranteed crash and burn after a few days.  Carbs, and the right amount of calories, help keep your blood sugar/metabolism/energy stable which keeps you from eating everything in sight at 4pm.

Thanks so much for the tips, Marissa! Here’s to a healthy 2014!