A little about myself..
I’m an RD and alumni of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks! I’m married to a wonderful man who is the oldest of 10 kids (most of them live in Grand Forks) so we have lots of family time. I currently work at a nursing home as a Clinical Dietitian where I get to help residents who are at nutritional risk or help prevent them from being at risk. I have really enjoyed the transition from college to full time working, but it is definitely a change! My husband and I will be moving to Fargo, North Dakota in the fall for a new teaching position for him (he’s a high school English teacher!). I hope to expand my business to the Fargo area and reach a wider audience!
What was my journey to become a Registered Dietitian?
Well, I didn’t always care about nutrition. I remember I used to eat bags of candy when I could get my hands on them 😉 My dad is a pediatrician and he started eating healthy when I was in junior high. Our family started eating more vegetables, less refined grains and sugar, etc. I didn’t mind it and I started to enjoy cooking with my mom. In high school, I was involved in sports off and on, and soon found that what I ate really affected my body. I am a perfectionist and have a deep desire to learn so that’s exactly what I did. I tried to learn how to be perfect about health and nutrition. This led to obsession and perfectionism in food, which is not healthy. I then started learning about how restriction can hurt your body. Just like a car, depriving it of fuel doesn’t allow it to go faster. You have to feed it what it needs! You are meant to fuel your body with food to speed up your metabolism instead of restricting it of calories/nutrients to lose weight. I soon grabbed onto this approach and have loved it ever since. I teach others about eating macronutrients, instead of counting calories. A typical recommendation I give people is to eat a protein, fat, and carbohydrate at every meal and snack. This is because blood sugar stability plays a major part in weight loss!
How did I started The Simple Dietitian?
I started my blog in college. At first, I didn’t want anyone to see it. I just wanted a way to get my opinion out. After some time, one of our professors encouraged us to start a blog as this could help our future career in the health field. I started loving the idea of owning my own business and helping people in my own way. I am a very independent and driven person, I love being my own boss. So after this idea, I began developing my website with the intent of reaching a wider audience through a social networking presence. Helping people reach their true potential through nutrition brings me so much joy! My dream is to continue this nutrition consulting full time! For now, I am enjoying getting clinical experience!
What is my philosophy and mission statement?
My philosophy surrounds a non restricted, real food, sustainable lifestyle. I focus on quality over quantity. What is sustainable for the person is my primary goal. Most diets are calorie restricted and are effective for weight loss; but, people often gain the weight back (or more than what they lost!) When you get into somebody’s diet and lifestyle, it is more than just what they are eating and doing for exercise. Holistically, it involves where they are at mentally, spiritually and especially emotionally. I hope to help people in these areas by evaluating and encouraging them in their nutrition, exercise, sleep, social, and spiritual life. My mission statement encompasses a desire to help people find freedom in real food and use it to fuel and nourish their lifestyle. There truly is freedom in eating real food and eating enough healthy fats, protein and carbohydrate to have stable blood sugar levels to decrease cravings. Satisfaction in the food you eat has a huge impact on your life!
What did creating this blog/business mean to me?
I truly desire to help people. I know there are so many images of what we are supposed to look like or what healthy looks like, and it is overwhelming. I want others to see that healthy isn’t perfect and it is achievable. I want to help others be able to care for their bodies and be at the weight they want.
What does mindfulness mean to me?
Mindfulness is so important! With food, we like to call it intuitive eating. It is being mindful of what you are eating and how it is making you feel. I like to encourage that before you eat a meal, you should take 5 deep breaths to decrease your stress levels and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). This can help you focus on the food in front of you and not eat it mindlessly – and then not be satisfied/eat more than you need.
What is my relationship with God like?
I am so glad that I have a Savior that accepts me just as I am and desires to be in relationship with me! It is so amazing. I need Him everyday because I am so imperfect. But I am so glad that He took my place and died for my sins so that I could be in relationship with Him. I feel most at peace and filled with joy when I am trusting in Him and working to bring glory to Him!
What does grace mean to me?
Grace means an undeserved gift. Jesus is the ultimate gift to us, so undeserved. I don’t deserve him or this life He has given me. I have made so many mistakes, but He continually lavishes His love and grace on me. I have nothing to give Him in return, accept all that I am! Truly, I want my business to reflect His glory.
What is something you must do every morning /morning routine?
I have to eat breakfast! I always start my morning with eggs + plenty of vegetables cooked in coconut oil, and a cup of black coffee (I bring tea with me to work). I also love to have quiet time with God – reading His Word and spending time in prayer. This fills me up and sets my mind on Who’s most important in the beginning of my day!
What is something I am trying to manifest in my life?
I am trying to manifest peace. I am a go-go-go kind of person, and I need to incorporate more rest in my life. Some ways I do this are baths a few times a week, yoga, walks with my husband, reading books about nutrition and baking!
What rituals do I practice every day?
Coffee in the morning, tea or Natural calm with dark chocolate at night and something fun with my husband – a walk outside, trip to Target, baking, Netflix, etc.
What are five things that are always in my fridge?
Almond butter, eggs, spinach, sparking water (aka bubbles) and berries.
What has been bringing me joy lately?
Family. My husband and I as we are our own little family. Then his siblings and my siblings. It’s amazing all the relationships that you get to develop when you have 2 families!
How do you I set myself up for success?
Good question. I am the kind of person that has to be succeeding. If I’m not succeeding, I feel like a failure. This also impacts my go-go-go mentality. I have to remind myself everyday that my identity is found in Christ. Success is not measured by the world’s standards but by doing what God has called me to do, regardless of the impact I make (or the number of Insta followers!) Regardless of how other people around me view success, I have to focus on how God views success.
What does self-care look like to me?
Self care means including activities that bring you joy and taking time for yourself. I do this by working out, taking time to make and eat healthy meals (and sitting down to eat meals with my husband – or outside if it’s nice and I’m at work!), looking at your heart and assessing where it’s at and why it is there. Recognizing and acknowledging your emotions. This is hard for me as I struggle to be vulnerable. But what you think about affects your body! There is a connection between gut health and the brain. Often, when I am stressed out, I can feel it in my digestion. This is another reason it’s so important to manage your stress!
Any favorite recipes?
Tons! One of my favorite’s recently is a real food pizza crust that I make (on my blog – “Whole Food Pizza Crust”). My husband and I have a pizza night every Friday night! We crank out the tunes, open up a bottle of wine and make and eat pizza together. We love it! I also have a great paleo chocolate cake recipe 🙂
Favorite way to workout?
Variety! I think it’s important to incorporate strength, cardio and yoga/stretching/mobility throughout the week. I don’t focus working out everyday. I try to be active every day (going on walks, doing activities outside, etc.), but “chronic cardio” (busting your butt at the gym on the elliptical/track/bike for 45 minutes everyday) can cause chronic inflammation where your body is continuously in the “fight or flight” mode. This can really inhibit your weight goals. I listen to my body and what it wants that day.
What is more impactful is short bursts of high intensity exercise. I enjoy interval training (like HIIT/crossfit). I have done Daily Burn in the past, if you’ve heard of it. It is a great way to get good work outs without a gym membership and they often have promotional discounts. I love to wake up early morning Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday (depending on my week) and go on a short run followed by a 15-20 minute HIIT workout! I often incorporate a run + yoga on Friday as well. Saturday my husband and I enjoy a slow morning together eating breakfast and then head to the gym where we lift weights, do short sessions of HIIT or do cardio like running or swimming. Since incorporating more weights, I can now do a chin up and am working towards a pull up! My husband and I love to take walks or short runs together throughout the week as well.
Any books I recommend?
I love Robb Wolf’s, “Wired to Eat”. I love his straight paleo approach. I also recently read “Body Love” by Kelley Leveque – it was a simple way to understand blood sugar balance and examples of healthy meals and smoothies! For anyone looking to get pregnant or are pregnant, “Real Food for Pregnancy” by Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE is also a great read.
Introvert or extrovert?
Total introvert. My husband is too but can definitely be extroverted at times!
Last bit of info..
I eat a bedtime snack every night! It’s definitely a myth that anything you eat after 8 PM, you will store! (It’s the total amount of calories in your day that matters most :)) I eat about ¼ – ½ cup carbohydrate and 1 serving of healthy fat (like some berries and 2 T. almond butter) Bedtime snacks are important because your blood sugar levels start to fall after your last meal (like dinner). You want to bring them back up a little bit before you sleep so they will remain stable through the night – the carbohydrate does this job by being digested into sugar. The healthy fat keeps your blood sugar sustained through the night – by slowing down the digestion and assimilation of the carbohydrate. This way, your hormone glucagon can be released to help you burn fat through the night!
Picture credit: Tim and Stacey Rygh (top) Kelsey James Photography (bottom)