Featured Dietitian: Crystal

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nutrition?

My favorite subject in high school was chemistry and other sciences . . . including food science. I come from a long line of excellent cooks and enjoy good food. I was also an athlete (and of course wanted to be in the Olympics :-) – therefore I was very interested in understanding food’s role as fuel for movement and performance.

What is your overall philosophy toward nutrition and a healthy lifestyle?

Non-diet approach; Balanced eating patterns; assisting patients and clients to discontinue unhealthy lifestyle habits and adding new healthy habits and routines… when they decide they are ready. Motivational interviewing. I appreciate the work and research done by Ellyn Satter, Dan Buettner, Evelyn Tribole, and Brian Wansink.

What are your top 3 bits of health advice?

1) Ditch the diet mentality – diets don’t work long term.

2) Garden if you don’t already. There are countless benefits.

3) Learn to cook using foods you enjoy and the best ingredients that fit in your budget.

What is your favorite recipe or cookbook?

Too many to mention. I like to try new recipes. I am currently trying a lot of new recipes from America’s Test Kitchen Mediterranean Cookbook. With all recipes, in any cookbook or online resource, I evaluate the quality of the ingredients and don’t hesitate to “swap-in” ingredients that are more nutrient dense. I’m known to add extra beans, legumes, and vegetables when possible because I like them.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I love working with people to help them achieve better health. I enjoy building relationships with them and celebrating their wins and helping them pick themselves up when they get off track.

Also, check out the Diabetes Prevention Program that I help with!