Be early. I believe showing up 5 minutes early is the easiest way to show respect and competency. It’s essentially the free-bee points that people often throw away. Show up early, it’s that simple and it shows how you prioritize each opportunity.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing on-camera nutritionist, model, and host Ashley Reinke. Ashley is Miss Arizona International 2018, Certified Nutritionist, on-camera nutrition expert and host living in Northern California. Using her pageant notoriety, she has parlayed her career into the health and wellness space specializing in plant based, farm-to-table cooking. During her reign, Ashley earned her sports nutrition science certification and is working on a master’s degree in nutritional science from San Jose State University. As a young working professional, Ashley knows how intimidating it can be to step into a kitchen. To show her peers how eating healthy can be easy, inexpensive and fun, Ashley created her “Five Ingredients Under Five Dollars” program where she demonstrates on live television various delicious recipes and gives healthy tips that don’t break busy schedules or tight budgets. Coupled with her pageant fame and 23K plus Instagram followers, Ashley is a favorite guest on countless live local daytime talk shows as a Nutrition Expert… FOX News in Sacramento, FOX’s Great Day Fresno, LasVegas Now, Good Day Sacramento, and Tucson Morning Blend. She’s also a go-to nutritionist and wellness expert in print and was featured in totalbeauty.com where she weighed in on How to Order Healthy at Starbucks. Some of her beautifully, well staged TV tabletop segments include CholesterolLowering Snacks, Plant Based BBQ Ideas, Fitness Fueling Foods, Heart Healthy Summer Recipes, Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol, Tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain, Bake Your Way to Better Heart Health and Healthy Desserts. A marathon runner and in top physical shape, Ashley’s been a runway, fitness and commercial model for ten years. She’s worked with such major companies as Mercedes Benz USA Luxury Cars, Marriott Hotels, the National Football League, Nordstrom’s and Macy’s. Passionate about philanthropy and giving back to her community, Ashley launched Chomp Out Cancer, a program that partners with food banks to promote nutrition education for disease prevention. She also works with various non-profit organizations including Teen Cancer America, The Susan G. Komen Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Ashley! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank YOU, I’m so happy to be here.
I grew up in Tucson Arizona playing in the desert and spending time with my horses. I always loved getting dressed up in princess costumes (which probably explains why I love pageantry), but I was also a huge tom-boy and loved to spend time outside.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started working in television production and development while still in undergraduate school. I took a break from working in television development to teach English at a school in Liberia Costa Rica. Every Saturday we taught children between the ages of 4–8. It was seeing the foods that the children were eating that made me realize the knowledge deficit of the parents. The parents wanted to feed their children nutritious foods, but they didn’t know what they should be feeding them. Witnessing this made me realize I wanted to take my skills in media and use them as a nutrition educator. Upon returning from this trip I started a five-year path to get my Master’s in Nutritional Science and become a Registered Dietician.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Getting the opportunity to attend graduate school for nutritional science while simultaneously winning Miss Arizona has probably been the most interesting thing that has happened. I had been competing in pageantry for five years and achieving this goal really helped jump start a lot of momentum.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first started hosting my live 5 Ingredients for 5 Dollar TV segments I had no idea what I was doing, literally trial by fire. My first multi-segment spot I went to make mini-donuts with an instant donut iron and on live TV I realized I never plugged the darn thing in! Luckily, I was able to talk my way around it and laugh it off with the hosts. I guess that is what I learnt from it, to never take yourself or your mistakes too seriously and to always be able to laugh at yourself.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
In the next couple of months you can find me expanding my on-camera work to hosting regular health and wellness segments! I am also expanding my 5 Ingredients for 5 Dollar segments to new and more television stations which is very exciting!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
- You lose the authenticity of story-telling without diversity. Many of us became passionate about working in broadcasting, acting, or media so we could tell stories. I wanted to the chance to extend a voice to those who couldn’t get their voice to be heard. Diversity is the only way to guarantee that we are maintaining that authenticity behind story telling.
- Diversity gives everyone an equal chance to pursue their dreams. Living in an amazing country it is a shame that the entertainment industry still seems years behind on having our population equally represented. I believe it is improving with the help of journalists like Authority Magazine and I am hopeful for the years ahead.
- Diversity enriches everyone. Diversity sparks creativity and it creates opportunity for people of every gender, race, and age. When we limit diversity, we limit creativity and that is a shame for everyone involved.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Be over prepared. t’s true what they say, nothing worth having comes easy. Preparing for a new job, exam in school, or a photoshoot. It takes the ability to leave your friends early on a night out because you have an appearance the next morning. It takes knowing that you still need to take care of your body in order for it to take care of you mentally and physically. Many people pursuing a career in media or modeling work one or two jobs to help pay for rent. Being prepared also includes knowing how to find a healthy time to rest and to rejuvenate your mind. Proper rest and hydration are by far the most important. Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.
- Progress is valuable than perfection. Mark Twain said, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” My advice to any person starting out in the entertainment industry (or heck any profession!) is to make this your mantra. Anything worth having is not meant to be easy, it is meant to be character-building. It’s meant to help push you and focus you on what your dream is to chase.
- Embrace your setbacks. One undeniable fact is that when someone decides to take on their dream job they know that setbacks are inevitable. Nevertheless, you committed to you goal and vision. If you want something you have to work towards it. You have to put the effort in to making it happen. No one says it will be easy, but with determination and self-worth, the journey itself becomes the lesson — the strife instills meaning.
- Be early. I believe showing up 5 minutes early is the easiest way to show respect and competency. It’s essentially the free-bee points that people often throw away. Show up early, it’s that simple and it shows how you prioritize each opportunity.
- Never give up! It’s truly the only way to succeed.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take time to unplug and exercise! I truly believe that a good workout can turn around the worst days.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The 5K A Day for Child Nutrition is a campaign I have been working on for a few months. It is a social project that encourages people to run or walk 3.1 miles a day aka 5 kilometers to raise awareness and money for childhood obesity and malnutrition… stay tuned!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My former boss John Stevens. John treated me with respect, loyalty, and granted me a level of autonomy that allowed me to rise to the occasion. It can be hard to find employers like that. He let me take the reins on projects I was passionate about and never micromanaged. He knew I would put in twelve-hour days if I needed too, but he also respected when I needed to take time for modeling shoots or when preparing for a pageant.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Success is no accident”
I worked 60-hour work weeks at 22, and it was the best and worst of times.
5:30am alarm goes off, think about hitting snooze/ check social media, find inspiration, get out of bed and run at least 3 miles. 7:00am shower and make green juice. 8:00am out the door on the way to Santa Monica to my production company. Work until 6pm or maybe 7pm then change clothes in the car and head to an even or work drinks. This was the routine week after week, and of course taking any modeling or pageant related work on my free evenings or weekends.
As Taylor Swift put it best, I didn’t know about “you” (or have any clue) but I was feeling twenty-two. Eight years later I look back and realized that I still sometimes work 60 hours a week but the cliché is true that when you find your passion it never feels like work. Since taking a hiatus from the TV production and development world I became Miss Arizona Intl. 2018 and to pursue my love of medical nutrition. I have appeared on over 20 live TV segments and consulted for companies including Parade Magazine and How Stuff Works.
I currently juggle pursuing my Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science with my television appearances, work as a nutritionist, and modeling jobs, however thanks to the conditioning put in during those years of “feeling 22” what I once thought of as “work” has now turned into getting out of bed to do what I love.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I applaud the work Christie Turlington has done with her foundation Every Mother Counts and how gracefully she made the transition from model to activist. When I was growing up people often told me that I look like her (and I take that as a HUGE complement) so she has been my role model for over 15 years.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!