Nice to meet you!
Hi! My name is Emmy, and welcome to Real Good Nutrition! I’m so excited that you’re here. No matter what brought you, whether you’re looking for help with your digestive issues, support with finding a better sense of “health balance,” or are simply interested with nutrition, I want to make you feel welcome. I know that seeking the services of a dietitian can be intimidating (I get it, I was a patient before I became a dietitian), so my goal is to just take that away. I think the best way to do that is to tell you a little more about myself first!
How’d you get into nutrition?
When I was a sophomore in college for social work, I started getting sick every time I ate. Like run home from the restaurant sick. This was beyond frustrating as you can imagine, mostly because I had no idea what was happening and why. My dad, a physician with an extensive family history of gastrointestinal diseases, urged me to get tested for different food allergies and other conditions. Turned out I had Celiac disease and a dairy intolerance. Great, I thought, gotta get rid of milk and whatever the $#*% gluten is. No more cheese curds and Miller Light, I guess (future Emmy thanks younger Emmy for these huge sacrifices).
Because I wasn’t in school for nutrition at the time, I really didn’t know what I needed to do to manage my new condition. I threw out most of my pantry and decided it was safe to only eat a few foods (future Emmy update: this was not safe). I lost an inordinate amount of weight and developed some really serious micronutrient deficiencies. I had no idea what I was doing, so my doctor told me I needed to see a Registered Dietitian. I thought no way, this lady is going to judge my weight and how I eat and she’s a bad guy and isn’t here to help me.
I was so wrong. My dietitian explained my new condition to me and how I needed to manage it from a nutrition standpoint. She evaluated my diet without judgement, and together we developed a realistic plan to get my weight and health back on track. Above all, she was informative, non-judgmental, and supportive. When I left her office that day, I knew I found a new passion. I started researching everything I could about Celiac disease, nutritional health, and how I could one day be a dietitian. And here we are! At the end of the day, I want to be that source of support for you as my dietitian was for me, especially if you’re also going through a rough time health-wise.
So you probably eat really healthy all the time, right?
Ha. No. I really believe in balance, and I walk that talk. I am all about enjoying food and the life that surrounds it. I’m not lying when I say I don’t have any food rules. I eat tacos weekly, love my wine, take days off from the gym, and will never say no to fries. Never. My goal is to never take the joy out of eating and food, but rather help you find balance so you can enjoy it even more. I like to take an 80/20 perspective for myself: I’m interacting with food in the way that I feel healthiest 80% of the time, and finding more freedom 20% of the time… no guilt, no second thoughts. This looks differently for everyone, and I want to help you find the perspective that works best for you.
What is it like living with food restrictions?
I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy at first. Asking every restaurant if they have a GF menu and getting “Are you serious?” looks from servers was disheartening years ago, but things have since changed. Restaurants are so knowledgeable, grocery stores have so many more options, and the Internet is a more supportive space when it comes to restrictive diet recipes, etc. With that being said, I still need to be my biggest advocate. I remind my patients of this as well. You have to stay educated on all of the little ways your allergen can creep into ingredients and menus and be aware of this. There are great apps out there too that you can use when shopping or dining out. And don’t worry about how fellow diners or restaurant/store staff view your requests. At first I was self-conscious about acting a little “diva-ish,” but then I reminded myself that it sucks to get sick and I got over it. ;)
What do you do for fun?
I only read nutrition articles and study the newest research in my free time. Kidding! While staying up-to-date on everything nutrition and dietetics is something I love to do, I have a real life too! One of my favorite things to do is an at-home workout in the golden hour of the evening. It’s my time to feel balanced and centered, and I can do my own thing because no one’s watching!
Something I love that’s not on my day-to-day schedule is traveling. I recently took a trip to Italy to revisit some of my favorite spots from my study abroad. When I travel, I try to immerse myself in the culture: practice the language, learn the history, eat the food. I take a ton of pictures and reminisce for months after.
Above all, I spend time with my family and friends for fun. Hitting up the farmer’s market, watching a Badgers game, bingeing the latest true crime doc on Netflix, enjoying a dinner out, and just chilling outside are all things I can’t get enough of with my loved ones.
Three words to describe yourself… go!
Devoted, supportive, light-hearted.
What can I expect when we meet?
You can expect that I’ll listen. Too often in today’s healthcare environment, patients and their needs are wildly ignored. I promise to take the time to get to know you as a person instead of a patient, I’ll listen to what you need as an individual, and I’ll take the time to answer your questions. In other words, I want to make sure you are comfortable and that you are heard.
There! I hope that helps you to get to know me a little more and feel more at ease about introducing yourself to me. Please don’t be shy - I’d love to know if there’s anything else you’d like to know about me.
I can’t wait to meet you.