A wellness crisis drove Sherri Cuffe, MPH ’23, to look into the effects of nutrition and work out on excellent of daily life
May perhaps 19, 2023—Sherri Cuffe under no circumstances fearful considerably about her health and fitness until eventually about 10 many years back, when she out of the blue grew to become quite sick. She was bedridden and in soreness for months as physicians worked to figure out what was erroneous. When she was last but not least diagnosed with various autoimmune disorders which include celiac sickness, Cuffe set about discovering how she could make improvements to her quality of life by food items and exercise—and later made use of her information to launch two wellbeing-concentrated enterprises. Now, as a graduate of Harvard T.H. Chan University of Community Health and fitness, she’s focused on checking out ways that life style improvements can aid individuals decrease their hazards for age-connected disorders.
The seeds for her curiosity in wholesome aging had been planted early in her job. Cuffe was a health care technician at an assisted living house while she was an undergraduate at UCLA. There, she labored with numerous residents over the age of 80 and observed the favourable consequences that social conversation and fantastic nutritional options experienced on their wellness and cognitive talents.
When Cuffe commenced experiencing her have substantial health and fitness issues numerous many years later on, she took a deep dive into the healing possible of life style alterations. Her leading action merchandise: switching what she ate.
An entrepreneur is born
Cuffe grew up in Los Angeles, as aspect of a massive Persian household with abundant culinary roots. Cooking was an significant aspect of her life, but the classic food items she grew up with tended to be higher in significantly less-balanced foodstuff such as red meat. To strengthen her wellness, she centered on incorporating a lot more wholesome food items like greens and total grains, whilst eliminating processed elements and individuals that could exacerbate autoimmune issues. Not seeking to give up her appreciate of baking, she switched to gluten free recipes, which are recommended for people with celiac condition. These proved to be a hit with good friends and loved ones, who inspired her to start off a company.
It had been about a 12 months considering that her diagnoses, and Cuffe was eventually feeling like she was recovering and regaining her energy. The time was appropriate for a new challenge. “I was driven to find a way I could have an effects on the quality of lifestyle of many others,” she mentioned.
Cuffe released Cookie Collective in LA in 2015, and available products that have been free of the prime 8 food stuff allergens, including wheat, peanuts, and dairy. She managed just about every factor of the small business, which include acquiring her possess kitchen commercially qualified, acquiring the recipes, doing all the baking, and building deliveries. She also educated the shops she labored with around foodstuff allergy awareness and the importance of supplying healthier solutions. “It was challenging work,” she mentioned, “but the prospect to assistance folks who ended up suffering from allergic reactions and autoimmune disorders like me designed it truly worth it.”
Following three many years, she decided to shut the enterprise and launch a new organization centered on Pilates-centered bodily treatment, a apply she’d uncovered had assisted her handle her persistent ache. By way of this get the job done, she turned fascinated in not just alleviating symptoms through nourishment and exercising but blocking continual situations in the very first location. When the COVID-19 pandemic strike and Cuffe was forced to close this company, she made the decision to take the option to even further her research in nutrition.
A holistic check out of longevity
Cuffe chose Harvard Chan College for the prospect to achieve formal investigate instruction from completed college, and to examine with college students with diverse backgrounds and encounters from around the planet. She acquired her learn of community health (MPH) diploma in health and fitness sciences, with concentrations in maternal and little one wellbeing and international wellness.
For her MPH practicum, Cuffe labored as a investigate associate with the Oxford Institute of Inhabitants Ageing. There, she carried out an investigation of the aged person’s integrated care program in the Uk and recognized gaps in the research on aging and lifestyle aspects, like nourishment. Her challenge also explored the effect of intergenerational relationships on high-quality of everyday living.
Cuffe also labored as a exploration assistant and physical exercise trainer at Dana-Farber Most cancers Institute when earning her diploma. Alongside Christina Dieli-Conwright, affiliate professor in the Department of Nourishment, she examined how personalized training interventions strengthen most cancers results. “This remarkable encounter led me to a renewed target on longevity from a holistic place of watch,” Cuffe claimed.
“Sherri exemplifies 1 of the most inspiring attributes of MPH college students: she pulls together experiences and knowledge throughout lots of distinct domains, like her encounters in organization and in investigate, and then combines that with new thoughts to transfer interventions forward,” explained her advisor Erica Kenney, assistant professor of public well being diet. “I’ve realized a ton from her about nourishment and longevity and am energized to see what imaginative purposes she can make for her expertise in her career—I have no doubt she will have an effects to increase longevity and high quality of lifestyle for older grownups transferring ahead.”
Just after finishing her coursework this wintertime, Cuffe moved to Singapore. The country’s everyday living expectancy is among the the maximum in the earth, and the authorities has been using action to boost elder care. “It’s an interesting put to be to do longevity investigation,” Cuffe claimed. She’s presently discovering options at numerous biotech businesses doing work in the discipline.
“In the lengthy time period, I hope to develop into a leader in the longevity field,” she explained. “I want to assistance persons close to the environment strengthen their excellent of everyday living and extend it as a result of nutrition and way of life interventions.”
Photo: Courtesy of Sherri Cuffe