Our SmartEater Team

 
Registered Dietitians
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Hazel Ng, RD, CDCES

CEO, Founder, Registered Dietitian

Hazel Ng is an internationally acclaimed Registered Dietitian with over 20 years of Medical Nutrition Therapy experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their health and nutritional goals.

She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Clinical Dietetics from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and her certification in Adult Weight Management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Certified Lactation Educator.  

Upon graduating, Hazel worked as a Site Manager for the Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) Program and as a Clinical Dietitian at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). In 2001, she returned to her native home, Hong Kong, to launch Diet Asia, the nation’s first multimedia weight loss consultation center. While in Hong Kong she also co-authored Weight Management Kit –a weight management book that has helped thousands of clients achieve and maintain their weight goal. After a successful 5 years in the industry, she returned to California to start her own nutrition practice.  

She is currently the owner of SmartEaters and HRD Consulting Corp, practices with proven records in adult weight management, diabetes and other chronic disease management and bariatric surgery preparation. Aside from leading her team of nutritionist and administrative staff, Hazel works as the RD for Cerritos College and mentors dietetic student interns and college students. 

Additionally, Hazel is an experienced public speaker fluent in English, Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese. Having been invited to participate in nutrition seminars in local churches, schools, health fair and private events, media interviews, she is an advocate of targeting behavioral changes within the community. She also maintains a bilingual blog that is featured in Jiaotong University SJTU-Bor S. Luh Food Safety Research Center’s website in Shanghai, China.

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Catherine Ko, MS, RD, CDE

Registered Dietitian

Catherine earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and her Master’s of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science from California Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). The thesis of her graduate degree explored the effects that calcium supplements have on premenstrual syndrome. Her primary interests in nutrition lie in the fields of diabetes management, vegetarianism, and evidence-based research of nutritional science. She has been a member of SmartEater since 2015, and also became a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) in 2017. She strives to help clients manage or improve their own health through diet, using tools like motivational interviewing, and establishing realistic goals for each person’s current lifestyle.

In addition to clinical work, Catherine has been involved in seminars and presentations in various community settings, including Allied Pacific Wellness Center (Alhambra, City of Industry, Arcadia); Herald Cancer Association (Rowland Heights, Alhambra); Evangelical Formosan Church of Los Angeles (El Monte); Child Development Center (Cerritos); and various local health fairs.

Catherine speaks fluent English and Chinese. In her personal time, she enjoys being with her daughters, reading, gardening, and traveling.

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Edna Catalina Portillo, RDN

Registered Dietitian

Edna is a Registered Dietitian with over 27 years of experience in Healthcare. She is dedicated to bridging the components of food, cooking and nutrition in order to provide an exceptional patient experience.

 

Edna successfully pursued professional culinary training with a degree from Le Cordon Bleu Program, culminating with a Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. Her professional culinary experiences as a Chef and as a culinary instructor combined with her nutrition education led her to a dietetic internship through University of California, San Diego. In 2011, she became a registered dietitian and in 2012 she joined Smarteater.

 

Edna brings to Smarteater clinical expertise honed at local community hospitals such as Good Samaritan, Keck Hospital of USC and CHLA. She currently manages a team of RDs across Los Angeles for Fresenius Kidney Care. She continues to support our community by providing respectful medical nutrition therapy in Spanish that reflects the patient’s cultural understanding of weight. She specializes in weight inclusive management helping families optimize their well-being independent of weight and teaches her clients how to maintain a healthy body.

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Lisa Li, RDN

Registered Dietitian

Lisa obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Cal Poly Pomona and completed her dietetic internship with Nutrition Ink. Through her internship, Lisa acquired valuable experience in community nutrition via her local WIC program and clinical experience in renal nutrition from DaVita. She has experience providing Medical Nutrition Therapy for an array of health issues throughout the lifespan. Lisa is passionate about teaching and counseling individuals through client centered learning and individualized goal setting. She enjoys utilizing other counseling techniques to supplement the learning/change process. She is in constant pursuit of knowledge and enjoys finding creative ways to facilitate personal growth/development and guide her clients toward their health goal. She recently obtained a Certificate of Training in Obesity in Pediatrics and Adults. Lisa also appreciates any opportunity to learn from her peers, other health care professionals and fellow dietitians via research articles, podcasts, and seminars.

 

She loves learning about new foods, recipes and traditions from different cultures/religions to help enrich her cultural competency. Lisa speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and is currently polishing her Spanish skills! In her down time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and sketching.

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Carolina Gomez

Registered Dietitian

Carolina earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Cal Poly Pomona. During her undergraduate, she was part of the “Estudiante de Dietética '' program. The program enhanced her cultural competency and helped refine her Spanish medical and nutrition terminology, while exposing her to a variety of Latin American traditions and cultural dishes. She also volunteered for two years at East Valley Community Health Center primarily serving the Hispanic population. She provided education and counseling for weight management and helped prevent and manage nutrition-related diseases. Additionally, she volunteered at WIC and the Boys & Girls Club teaching nutrition classes to children and teenagers while incorporating physical activity and health guidance.

Carolina completed her Dietetic Internship through Cal Poly Pomona, with a concentration in Medical Nutrition Therapy. Through her internship she gained invaluable clinical experience at San Antonio Regional Hospital and at the Children’s Hospital in Orange County (CHOC), as well as completing rotations at an Eating Disorder treatment program and a specialty Diabetes clinic. Her passion lies in counseling and teaching nutrition education to improve people’s wellbeing with the adaptation of positive health and lifestyle changes that are sustainable long term. Her hobbies include hiking, dancing, going to museums, traveling, and trying new foods.

 
Patient Care Team
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Erica Ueno, MPH

Clinic Manager, Health Educator 

Erica obtained her Bachelor Of Science from UC Riverside and her Master of Public Health from Loma Linda University. She also completed her internship program with Kaiser Fontana and Lewis-San Antonio Healthy Communities Institute where she provided health and nutrition education to patients and communities. She recently became a certified Diabetes Prevention Educator. Erica has participated in a number of events and health fairs throughout her program and internship, as well as with the Smarteater team. She believes that community and individual education and wellness is an important aspect in preventing chronic diseases and future ailment. Therefore, Erica aspires to continue her journey in assisting and supporting individuals and those throughout the community in achieving a wholesome and healthy lifestyle.

 

Erica became part of the Smarteater team in 2012 as a volunteer. After 6 months, she was hired to become the administrative assistant and has since been promoted as the clinic manager and health educator. Erica strives to improve her own skills to better support her team and provide the best experience for our patients. Erica is fluent in English and Mandarin.

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Stephanie Esquivel

Patient Care Coordinator

Stephanie is a Cal State LA 2022 graduate with a B.S. in Nutritional Science. She loves to cook and try new foods from different cultures, travel, and educate others about nutrition. She is a Spanish-speaking first generation Latina on my way to becoming a Registered Dietitian for the local people of Los Angeles.

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Anita Win

Patient Care Coordinator

Anita is currently attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, majoring in Nutrition with an emphasis on dietetics. She started as a volunteer in 2020 and now performs administrative duties and works at the front desk. Aside from her administrative tasks, she loves to volunteer near her community. She enjoys baking, cooking, and trying new foods in her spare time. She hopes to become a registered dietitian in the future.

 
Marketing Team
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Alexandria Kim

Marketing / Social Media Coordinator

Alex is a fourth year Nutrition-Dietetics major at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She began volunteering at SmartEater in 2020 and is now SmartEater's marketing coordinator, as well as a member of the admin team. Her goal is to earn her dietetics license. A few of her hobbies include baking, decorating cakes, painting, and reading.

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Natalie Ng

Social Media Intern

Natalie is a junior at a high school in Hong Kong. She is new to the SmartEater team and does translation as well as updates on the website. When she's not doing schoolwork, you can find her reading, crocheting, doing art, having good food, and enjoying quality time with her dog or her friends.