Tara Coleman, 32, is a clinical nutritionist. She received a bachelor's degree in integrated science and technology with a concentration in biotechnology from James Madison University. After graduation, she spent six years in the bio-pharmaceutical industry in Sorrento Valley, testing pharmaceutical grade therapies undergoing approval by the FDA.
She shifted her focus from disease treatment to disease prevention through nutrition, by completing a clinical nutritionist program in Encinitas. She owns her own consulting company and specializes in creating meal plans for a variety of dietary preferences. She was named the first consumer spokesperson for Salada Tea and spread the company's "Unbottle Your Tea" wellness message through blogging and interaction with tea lovers across the country.
She promotes the idea that small, consistent lifestyle changes add up to big results. She is involved in Women Evolution, Outdoor Outreach, Team in Training, and the La Jolla Historical Society.
What brought you to La Jolla?
It was actually an accident. I came home one day to find my entire house flooded and uninhabitable. Coincidentally, a friend had a house in Bird Rock open up that she offered me to live in temporarily while mine was being repaired. Well, my three-month temporary housing turned into seven years. La Jolla is a hard place to leave!
What makes this town special to you?
When most people think of La Jolla they think of the picturesque scenery and perfect weather. What I think they would be surprised to learn is that La Jolla is a tightly knit community. I love walking into my favorite restaurant and giving the owner a hug or running into friends on the bike path.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
This is an easy one! I would create a secret transportation system that brings local residents from the I-5 instantly into La Jolla. It is a little sci-fi, but seriously, it would be great!
Who or what inspires you?
Creativity. When I listen to music or look at piece of art, it honestly blows my mind that someone was able to create something so beautiful out of nothing; that using only their imagination, they invented something that previously never existed. To me this is true genius and it's inspiring just to be around.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
Thomas Edison (because there's nothing more creative than invention), Bono (because of his philanthropy and longevity), Norman Allen (because he's a yogi and a realist), Oprah (because I just want to feel what it's like to be around her), Jamie Oliver (because I'm not cooking), Mom and Dad (because they gave me everything), Dr. Rachelle Amini (because we'll need a great psychologist to help us all get along).
Tell us about what you are reading.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and I use the word "reading" loosely because I haven't actually started it, but it's the next book in my book club. Also, "Women, Food and God," which discusses how to find the true cause and break free from compulsive eating.
What is your most-prized possession?
When my great grandmother came to the United States from Ireland, her mother gave her, and each of her sisters, a gold coin. She promised them that although they would not be together again, as long as they had that coin she was with them. This was passed down from my great grandmother to my grandmother to my mother and finally to me. When I get scared and think that I can't do something, it reminds me of the strength it must have taken for my great grandmother to leave behind everything that she had ever known.
What do you do for fun?
I love going out to eat and trying new restaurants, and I absolutely love live music. Luckily, San Diego has plenty of both! During the winter, you'll most likely find me up at Mammoth playing in the snow. During the summer, you will most likely find me in the yoga studio or lathered up in sun block out for a run.
Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
I don't know if I've accomplished it yet! I've just been named Salada Tea's first-ever consumer spokesperson, so that is a great achievement in my book. Also, I think every little victory I have with my clients, whether weight-loss, better fitness or just overall improved health, each of these is a great accomplishment.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Source: Ralph Waldo Emerson