What inspired you to become a RDN/NDTR?
I am the oldest of a big family where not just one, but two of my siblings have had Diabetes since they were very young. I learned at an early age the importance of nutrition and wellness and the effects of food. I grew up knowing that I wanted to make a difference in peoples’ lives. While in college, I thought that I would eventually go to medical school, but ultimately changed my focus to be more on prevention rather than treatment. I love being a dietitian!
Where do you work now and where have you worked in the past?
Currently, I am the Dietitian Manager at Community Health Center, Inc. CHC is the largest non-profit primary care agency in CT. We have 14 primary sites all across the state, and over 200 mobile sites. I see patients in an out-patient setting at 3 of our Hartford County sites, and manage the entire nutrition team. In the past I worked directly with Ellie Krieger, MS, RD, host of Food Network’s show Healthy Appetite, and author of several best-selling cookbooks. Ellie helped me see food in a way I had never been introduced to before, and encouraged me to have a voice in the nutrition world via media and public outreach.
What is your favorite recipe/food?
I don’t really have a favorite food, but I love fresh-baked bread with butter, French fries, good wine, and black bean, corn, and cilantro salad. I love trying new foods and recipes!
General tip for improving diet?
Make your portions of protein and carbohydrates the size of your fist with meals, and eat unlimited fruits and vegetables. This means that you don’t need to be perfect – you can select what you want – but you’re still in control of the portions. Don’t feel guilty for choices that you mindfully make.
If stranded on island-what one food or beverage you would want an unlimited supply of?
I really hope I don’t ever find myself stranded on an island…
What is the best part of your job?
Seeing patients realize their potential and ability to accomplish their goals. And, encouraging my team to practice at the top of their license and be an integral part of primary care.
Where do you want to see the RDN/NDTR profession in 10 years?
I am passionate about helping the role of the dietitian change in changing healthcare paradigms. I’d love to see dietitians taking stands for themselves, working along-side providers rather than beneath them, educating patients based on their needs rather than supporting ‘diets’, and being seen as the prestigious go-to food and nutrition experts.