Michigan RD/RDNs in the News
Spotlight on the RD: Kelsey Lorencz, RDN (@graciously_nourished on IG!)
What has your career path looked like as a dietitian?
I started my career at a small community hospital in a clinical role. As one of two RDs in the hospital system, I was exposed to a lot of different areas: inpatient, oncology, outpatient weight management counseling, home health, long term care. I enjoyed working with the geriatric population there in the LTC unit, as it was much less about promoting diets and weight loss and more about quality of life. After a year, I went on from the hospital to a PACE center, where I learned a ton about accessibility and privilege when it comes to food and nutrition. My work there felt important, but my passion for nutrition and helping people develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies was stifled and I knew I needed to move on. I made the jump after having my second baby, quitting my full time job and pursuing my own online nutrition coaching business.
What would you say to someone thinking about diving into the world of entrepreneurship?
Just do it. Learn as much as you can about the business side of things, but know that you will always be learning. If you wait until you "know it all" (or even enough), you will never do it. In my opinion, you became a RDN for a reason- you have a purpose in this career. If the opportunities available to you are not fulfilling that purpose, make it happen on your own.
What is the most difficult, or most surprising, thing about owning your own business?
The rollercoaster of emotions that come with it. When I worked for someone else, I felt very consistent and stable with my mentality around my work. Now, if I am not careful, one no-show appointment can derail me for the day. Having a positive outlook and being able to keep your end goals in sight, regardless of the annoyances that happen day-to-day is SO important. Get a coach, get a therapist, or make weekly dates with another entrepreneur friend- whatever you need to do to make sure keep a positive mindset along the way.
What do you believe has made your private practice successful?
There is nothing comfortable about owning your own business. To go from a steady paycheck to having all of your income dependent on your own individual success is not comfortable. Pushing past that discomfort was the ONLY way I could get out of my own way and really start to see some traction in my business. It was a risk to spend money I hadn't made yet to hire a business coach. I got a loan and did it anyway. It is a risk to say what you really feel about certain controversial nutrition topics, I did it anyway and grew my online presence, increasing my client load. Taking risks and keeping faith that they are either the right risks, or will lead me to the right risks has been essential.
From your social media accounts you can clearly see how much your two children mean to you. Has being a mom influenced your views on nutrition?
Having children has changed how I feel about nutrition in EVERY way. Nutrition and food went from being THE way to be healthy in my eyes to ONE way to be healthy and to live a good life. I remember being pregnant with my first child and vowing to never pass on my negative body or food view to that child. It was the push I needed to get past my own biases around food and begin to show my own body compassion and kindness. As dietitians, a lot of us have our own biases around food, health, and body weight/size. This thought that I could unknowingly transfer my own problems with food and my body onto my kids has changed the way I view my work with clients as well. It was definitely the catalyst to me creating my business as a weight inclusive and non-diet practice, helping people recover from binge eating and overeating.
Now let’s have a little fun: If you were stranded on a dessert island and could only eat ONE food, what would it be and why?
Definitely peanut butter. I'm not sure I even have to explain that one. (I bet if I put enough of it on the things crawling around and growing on the island, they wouldn't taste too bad either).
In the News
- Check out Registered Dietitian and personal trainer, Tony Stephan, in his interviews on Fox 2 and in Women's Health Magazine
- See Michigan Registered Dietitian, Liz Weber in several segments:
- Check out Katie Francisco in Plant Based Diets: Part 2 of 4 Part Series and in her segments on National Peanut Day, National Taco Day
- See our very own, Bethany Thayer, Registered Dietitian, whip up some game day guacamole: Reducing your risk for prostate cancer
- If you are a Michigan Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has been featured in the news or on camera, please send the link and your contact information to Director for PR and Media Relations, email@example.com.
Michigan Academy Members: If you or a colleague have received an award, please use our Contact page to send us information so that we can post it here.
Michigan Academy Members Receive National Honors at FNCE 2017 in Chicago!
Barbara Jacobs Ivens, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND
Jointly bestowed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the Trailblazer Award recognizes exceptional leaders who have advanced the science at the nexus of nutrition/dietetics and food science for at least five years. This award is conferred upon a leader who has demonstrated innovative contributions to improve health among underserved populations through a least one aspect of food science and technology, and has exhibited intellectual courage in research, instruction and/or communication at this intersection.
Barbara Ivens is Principal, Nutrition Information Exchange, located in West Michigan. She has served as the Chair of the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the Fellow Panel Chair, Specialty Panel Chair, and as Chair of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. She’s been a member of the Academy Recognition Task Force, Honors Committee, and Certification Collaboration Task Force. She served as Chair of, and represented the Academy on, the Joint Food and Nutrition Science Solutions Task Force. Other roles have included Michigan Academy Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, Policies and Procedures and Publications Chair and Chair of the revision of the Pediatric dietetic practice group’s Pediatric Nutrition Manual.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Medallion Awards, given each year since 1976, honors Academy members who have shown dedication to the high standards of the nutrition and dietetics profession through active participation, leadership and devotion to serving others in dietetics and allied health fields. Several awards are given each year to those members whose dedication to the Academy and service to the profession serve as an example to all.
In recognition of:
- Her transformative ability to move the needle and push the dietetics profession towards excellence. She has used her passion for advocacy to educate countless government officials about the critical importance of nutrition and health, and used her insight to target organizational and policy gaps or opportunities to collaborate with existing Academy units to ensure stability and progress, anchored in documented strategic plans.
- Her outstanding leadership and service to the Academy, serving as a member of National Diabetes Partners, the Evidence Analysis Library Health Disparities work group, the Academy Foundation State Fundraising Task Force, and the liaison to the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). She served as Chair of the Dietetics Practice Based Research Network Oversight Committee, Michigan Affiliate President, State Legislative Network Coordinator, Chair of the Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group, and has been appointed to over 10 National Academy committees.
- Her volunteerism, which has spanned the landscape of health, lending her expertise and influence to multiple organizations, namely the National Diabetes Education Program, American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association.
- Her determination for the success of the practicing dietitian. As an invited speaker and adjunct assistant instructor, she has championed evidence-based medical nutrition therapy education in multiple local and regional forums. She proposed, developed and facilitated the first webinar for NDEP and the first joint NDEP/Academy webinar through the Food and Culinary dietetic practice group. Through her radio and local television interviews, she has shared information to promote nutritional health for youth and adults.
Excellence in Practice: Dietetics Education
Lorraine J. Weatherspoon, PhD, RDN
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Excellence in Practice Awards recognize outstanding registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, who have demonstrated innovation, creativity and leadership in a specific area of practice. The awards are given in several practice categories, including Clinical Nutrition; Community Dietetics; Consultation and Business Practice; Dietetics Education; Dietetic Research; Dietetic Technician, Registered; and Management Practice, to honor Academy members who have demonstrated exceptional performance, contributed to the advancement of practice, and been effective and inspiring leaders in nutrition-related organizations.
Mary Abbott Hess Award
Staci Gerken, RD
This award recognizes an innovative food/culinary effort. Staci is the Nutrition Contract Administrator at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan located in Grand Rapids and created the cooking class “Conquering the Kitchen”. The class is designed for male caregivers and provides both classroom and hands-on learning to help participants gain valuable skills that can decrease the stress related to food preparation and mealtime.