As the entrepreneur behind Shani Cake Catering and Dessert Company, a proud graduate of the Westlake Culinary Institute, and a former hands-on culinary instructor at Sur La Table, only Shani brings her passion for food into her work as a dietitian.
Armed with a BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, and a graduate degree in Nutrition from California State University Northridge, Shani began her medical career in a coveted dietetic internship with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. As a result of her work, she was subsequently recruited by the world renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In addition to working in five departments at Cedars as a clinical dietitian and at the California Center for Healthy Living, Shani has been in private practice for the last 6 years.
At the California Center for Healthy Living, Shani collaborated with a healthcare team to create a comprehensive treatment program focused on healthy weight and body image for children, adolescents and families who desire prevention and/or treatment of weight, eating disorder and nutritional and metabolic concerns, with the goal of helping reduce tension around food and body image while optimizing self-esteem and physical health. She has an extensive clinical background that includes experience in acute care, cardiac rehabilitation, blood sugar management, outpatient counseling, weight management, gastrointestinal issues, and bariatric surgery. During her time in both the public and private sphere, she has guided hundreds of children, teens and families through nutrition support on weight related issues, elevated blood sugar concerns, digestive issues, disordered eating, elevated cholesterol, fatty liver, picky eating, ADHD and nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Consequently, Shani realized early on that the best way to improve the health of the younger generation was to start with the family. As the founder of Shani Mara, she has pioneered a unique set of family-oriented options to help the whole household improve its collective health and nutrition. Shani’s children and family programs are designed to gently guide parents, kids and teens to their nutritional goals, and are offered in addition to her individual services.
In all cases, Shani teaches mindful eating through a non-diet intuitive eating approach that addresses the psychological and habitual barriers to the healthy lifestyle, and pairs this education with a crash course in cooking meals that are both healthy and delicious. To this end, her programs are designed to demystify, streamline and systemize family nutrition, creating new, healthy habits and choices for her clients.
Accordingly, she has been widely referred by physicians who value her clinical background and appreciate her holistic approach to helping people achieve vibrant health. Whether through sharing knowledge, creating healthy mindsets, fostering new habits, teaching clients to listen to their bodies, eating quality life-giving food, or using exquisite quality supplementation, Shani uses nutrition and food to help her clients find a lifestyle that allows them to feel better and live better.