Today's Dietitian Spring Symposium

Session Descriptions



Sunday, May 19

Diabetes Panel: A Unique Partnership Provides Diabetes Self-Management Education

Caroline Blanco, MS, RDN, LDN; Evelyn Crayton, EdD, RD, LDN, FAND; Bridgette Stasher-Booker, PhD, RHIA, CHTS-IM, MCCT; and Anthony D. Pinkston, MEd

In the United States, racial and ethnic minority groups have higher rates of diabetes with significantly higher risk of complications compared with non-Hispanic whites. Increased access to healthful foods and health education is pivotal in addressing health equity but unfortunately aren’t always readily available in health disparate communities.

In this panel session, learn more about how the unique partnerships created with the American Diabetes Association in collaboration with local organizations address food insecurity and diabetes in Alabama, and help to connect people with diabetes to local resources. The team will discuss the successful establishment of a 10-acre community garden that supports access to healthful foods and will counsel attendees on how to launch similar gardens in their communities. Finally, the presenters will review how they successfully implemented a diabetes support program that addresses social determinants of health as a part of diabetes care and created clinical and community connections that have been proven to have the greatest impact on health.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify potential partnerships and funding sources for diabetes self-management education programs and community garden initiatives.
  2. Educate clients and patients about the Diabetes Education and Empowerment Program to help improve diabetes literacy and self-management among ethnic and racial minorities.
  3. Describe the role a community garden can play in increasing fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity and improving diabetes self-management.
  4. Explain the farming techniques used in growing fruits and vegetables in a community garden.
About Our Presenters:

Caroline Blanco, MS, RDN, LDN, is an RD nutritionist and has over 15 years of experience working with organizations nationwide to promote health and wellness. She currently serves as the director of program development and collaborations for the American Diabetes Association where she oversees the development of various professional education activities focused on addressing health disparities and social determinants of health. Blanco has helped develop health education materials and continuing education opportunities for health care practitioners, community health workers, and community-based organizations.

Blanco previously facilitated various grants through the CDC, National Institutes of Health, USDA, and foundations that are focused on chronic disease prevention and management geared toward policy, systems, and environmental changes. She has received the US President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition’s Community Leadership Award, and has served on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Committee as president of the South Texas Dietetic Association, and on the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council. Blanco has a passion for working at the grassroots level and focuses her efforts on health equity.

Evelyn Crayton, EdD, RD, LDN, FAND, is the former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2015–2016). She also is the director and nutrition consultant at Living Well Associates and a professor emeritus at Auburn University, where she worked for more than 35 years. Previously, Crayton was a home economist at Tuskegee (Institute) University and a therapeutic dietitian at hospitals in St Louis.

Crayton was a House of Delegates director on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Board for two years, served on the House Leadership Team for two years, and was an at-large member of the Board for three years. A member of the Academy Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2013, she served as chair of the Nutrition Education for the Public Dietetic Practice Group and its membership committee, and is a past president of the Alabama Dietetic Association, holding offices at all levels of the district association. She’s a member of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and the National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics member interest group.

Crayton served for three years on Auburn University’s Diversity Leadership Council, and is a three-time recipient of the March of Dimes’ Hero Award. Crayton is a graduate of Grambling State University, earned a master’s degree from St Louis University, and earned a doctorate in vocational and adult education from Auburn University.

Bridgette Stasher-Booker, PhD, RHIA, CHTS-IM, MCCT, is a native of Mississippi and currently serves as an associate professor and chair of Alabama State University’s Health Information Management Program.

Stasher-Booker is a graduate of Mississippi College, with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. She received her master’s degree from Jackson State University in history and has a doctoral degree in public policy and administration with an emphasis in policy analysis also from Jackson State University. Stasher-Booker is a published author, and in 2021, Stasher-Booker served as coprincipal investigator on the Association of State Public Health Nutritionist project entitled Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment of HBCU in the Deep South Project and lead on the CDC Diabetes Prevention Program Initiative. In 2020, Booker was awarded the primary evaluator for the American Diabetes Association Pfizer Foundation Social Determinants of Health Grant Program and served as principal investigator on the Department of the Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer Program project entitled SIMI (Service Interoperability for Medical Information). In 2019, Stasher-Booker participated in the working group with the MGMWERX & HBCU Connection. In 2018, she became a Langston University Fellow. In 2016, Booker received the College of Health Science Faculty of the Year Award. Stasher-Booker served as chair of the Diabetes Coalition of Mississippi, and in 2010, she was selected and honored as one of Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women.

Anthony D. Pinkston, MEd, received his bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY Buffalo) in 1986. Pinkston and his family moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1990, where he worked for a short time with Alabama Department of Corrections and Alabama State University. He then became employed with Auburn University’s Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), which delivers research-based educational programs that enable people to improve their quality of life and economic well-being.

Pinkston began as a county agent assistant working with 4-H and the agriculture community, and then enrolled at Auburn University and received his MEd in 1993. He was promoted to county agent associate, where he supervised agent assistants and carried out programs in parenting, agriculture, and community resource development. Pinkston became the first 4-H activities and events coordinator and moved to the State Office of ACES in Auburn, Alabama, in 2001. In 2004, Pinkston accepted the position of county extension coordinator in Butler County, where he helped to improve the lives of citizens in agriculture, youth programs and development, parenting, community resources, diet health, and nutrition.

The Plant-Based Paradox: Can You Be an Omnivore With No Dilemma?

Keith T. Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, CDN, and Nicole Rodriguez, RD

The push for plant-based diets continues to grow in popularity, yet our consumption of some of the most nutritionally relevant plants, like produce, continues to decline. While some advocate for a food landscape void of animal products—whether for health, planetary, or ideological reasons—the reality is this: plants need animals, animals need plants, and many argue that a diverse diet that includes both can be the most balanced and most easily adopted by more consumers.

Regardless of eating style, how can we help consumers cut through the noise and regain confidence about eating a balanced diet? Can consuming some animal foods actually drive the consumption of more plants? Can a primarily plant-based, but omnivorous diet be even better for our health and/or the health of the planet? In this dynamic, evidence-based presentation, Keith T. Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, CDN, and Nicole Rodriguez, MS, RD, will examine the mutually dependent relationship between animal and plant agriculture from seed to plate, and unbundle the complexities of their respective roles in food systems.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe the environmental interdependence between animal and plant agriculture.
  2. Evaluate the roles of plant- and animal-sourced foods on planetary health.
  3. Identify the important role plant- and animal-sourced foods play in regenerative food systems.
  4. Counsel clients on simple ways to balance their diet and increase confidence in their ability to maintain a healthful eating pattern.
About Our Presenters:

Keith T. Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, CDN, is associate clinical professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, where he directed a nutrition clinic for 32 years for persons with special needs. In this work his specialty is in obesity and family dynamics, and motivational counseling.

In the private sector, Ayoob has advocated for positive strategic change. He coauthored a highly regarded global nutrition policy for the Walt Disney Corporation in 2006 and updated those landmark guidelines in 2012. These guidelines received wide acclaim, including endorsement by the White House and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Long an advocate against fad dieting, Ayoob gave invited testimony before Congress against the marketing of diet pills to children. He also coauthored the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ position paper on food and nutrition myths and misinformation.

Ayoob sits on several advisory boards, including the editorial board of the journal Childhood Obesity. As an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics media spokesperson, he has participated in over 1,000 television, print, and digital media interviews. He posts his EdibleRx column on his website,

Ayoob received his doctorate from Columbia University’s Teachers College and his master’s from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Nicole Rodriguez, RD, is an award-winning RD based in the New York Metro area. She serves a diverse clientele via her telehealth-based practice, Enjoy Food Enjoy Life. A self-described “agvocate,” Rodriguez is passionate about empowering individuals to feel good about the abundance of food choices at their fingertips and uses her cohosting duties on the Food Bullying podcast to do just that.

While Rodriguez loves working one-on-one with clients to achieve their health goals, she also helps spread the good word about food via her brand partnerships, which have included American Dairy Northeast, the New York Beef Council, Bush Brothers and Company, General Mills, Wish Farms, California Leafy Greens, and Bayer Crop Science. She has been featured in numerous outlets and publications including Good Housekeeping, Livestrong, WTEN-ABC, and WAMC. When she’s not immersed in all things food and fitness (she’s forever perfecting her pancake recipe and deadlifting technique), you can find her digging through the crates of disco-funk vinyl and taking long walks on the beach (and yes, she knows that sounds so cliché).

Semaglutide for Weight Loss: The RD’s Role

Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND

Join Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND, for a presentation that will explore semaglutides, which belong to a class of medications known as glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (sold as Wegovy, Ozempic, and Rybelsus). In addition to a valuable overview of these important and widely popular medications, Escobar will discuss their mechanisms of action, nutrition recommendations for patients on these medications, and strategies to manage common side effects.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain the mechanism of action of semaglutides when used for weight loss.
  2. Distinguish between semaglutides and tirzepatides.
  3. Discuss the nutrition recommendations for people taking semaglutides.
  4. Examine the nutrition management of common side effects.
  5. Implement strategies to become a resource for patients taking semaglutides for weight loss.
About Our Presenter:

Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND, is an RD nutritionist with extensive and up-to-date knowledge of weight management. She obtained her doctoral degree in clinical nutrition from the University of North Florida, and works as an RD studying the evaluation of weight loss medications. She has served as a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and writes extensively about nutrition, particularly in relation to weight loss medications.

Monday, May 20

The Power of Traditional Foods: Using Heritage Diets to Engage Clients and Improve Health Outcomes

Adante Hart, MPH, RDN

For communities of color, the experience with dietitians and health care providers can involve suggestions to forego traditional foods and adopt new eating patterns to improve their health, with little to no regard for the cultural significance of traditional foods. This can often lead to feelings of disdain, disengagement, and low efficacy of nutritional interventions, despite the fact that many of these traditional foods are sources of important nutrients and eating them can help connect people to their heritage and culture. Ultimately, this connection can have a positive impact on the overall health of people of color.

Join Adante Hart, MPH, RD, for a session where attendees will learn how and why people of color overwhelmingly note that heritage is a positive motivator for improving their shopping and eating behaviors. Hart will help RDs better understand the significance of traditional diets and how focusing on these foods and the healthful traditions surrounding them can help change the narrative of health and nutrition in communities of color and lead to potential improvements in health outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain the differences and similarities between heritage diet and traditional food pyramids and MyPlate, and the role each plays in promoting a healthful diet.
  2. Discuss the evidence base for the inclusion of healthful, vibrant, food traditions from across the African Diaspora and American South for improved health outcomes.
  3. Counsel clients and care team members on the culinary techniques and recipes that can be prepared at home and use foods included in the African Heritage Diet.
About Our Presenter:

Adante Hart, MPH, RD, is an RD, nutrition educator, speaker, and enthusiast of all things food, culture, and health. He strives to advance food sovereignty and increase community and individual agency over well-being and quality of life. Drawing from a wealth of experience working in and around food, from academia to agriculture and farming, health care, restaurants, and nonprofits, Hart presents on topics that coalesce at the intersection of nutrition, accessibility, foodways, and health.

Hart currently serves as an outreach dietitian for Oldways Preservation Trust, and has served in various roles with Rouxbe Cooking School, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and the National Organization of Blacks in Nutrition and Dietetics. He also serves as a team member of Tall Grass Food Box, a community-supported agriculture business that enhances and encourages the sustainability of Black farmers in local food systems. Hart studied biology at Johns Hopkins University and earned his Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also completed his coordinated program in dietetics. Hart currently resides in Durham, North Carolina, and enjoys all things food, as well as technology, gaming, and media production. 

A Deep-Dive Into Gen Z: How Nutrition Myths in Media and Marketing Uniquely Affect This Consumer Demographic

Jaclyn London, MS, RDN, CDN

Nutrition myths, wellness trends, and the latest “health hacks” are just about everywhere these days, and noise about and around diet has reached a fever pitch for dietitians. As an RD, author, journalist, and former clinician-turned-content-creator, Jaclyn London, MS, RDN, CDN, cuts through the clutter of nutrition and wellness trends.

In this session, London will deep-dive into the topic of food, diet, and nutrition myths by taking a closer look at how long-standing (and up-and-coming) misinformation affects Gen Z consumers specifically, and how it drives their food and health decisions. Learn about the top myths that drive consumer sentiment and purchasing decisions among this demographic; how Gen Z consumes information in 2024 (and what makes this different/uniquely challenging vs other demographics); how these myths are transformed into their everyday behaviors, including food choices and healthful habit formation; and what dietitians need to know to best serve the next generation of clients, patients, communities, and consumers. London will also cover the etiology of a food/nutrition myth and what makes some so “sticky” while others become fleeting trends among Gen Z consumers and their peers.        

Learning Objectives:
  1. Deliver evidence-based information in ways that meet the needs of Gen Z clients and patients.
  2. Effectively communicate nutrition myths in ways that are tangible, accessible, and relatable to Gen Z consumers.       
  3. Create and use a toolkit that will allow RDs to build authority, establish trust, and foster connections with Gen Z consumers regardless of RD specialty.
About Our Presenter:

Jaclyn (Jackie) London, MS, RDN, CDN, is an author, podcast host, consultant, and media spokesperson. She’s previously worked for consumer brands and has extensive experience in clinical nutrition and private practice. Her approach to healthier living is based on translating clinical and epidemiological research findings into digestible information and realistic, tangible strategies for anyone and everyone looking to live healthier, discover food freedom, and feel more like themselves.

London received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and earned her master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. Her book, Dressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked): 11 Science-Based Ways to Eat More, Stress Less, and Feel Great About Your Body, was released in January 2019 and has been reviewed by national publications, including The New York Times, Forbes, Prevention, Publisher’s Weekly, and

Culinary Nutrition Therapy: More Than a Cooking Demo

Melanya Kushla, MS, RD, LDN, CHES

Culinary nutrition therapy, via one-on-one or teaching kitchens, is more than simply demonstrating how to cook and prepare food. It’s a medium for translating abstract nutrition concepts into concrete, real-life practices and behaviors. Join Melanya Kushla, MS, RD, LDN, CHES, for a presentation that will cover the basic principles of the primary behavior change theories behind teaching kitchen programs; explore how to integrate elements of cooking in nutrition practice that not only teach culinary skills but also impart food strategies, habits, and decision making to clients; and discuss how to engage with clients and patients in alignment with their health priorities and lifestyle to ensure changes are more likely to be sustained.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain how and why integrating interactive nutrition education is effective for retention and behavior change.
  2. Identify constructs of behavior change theories that support culinary nutrition integration.
  3. Describe drivers of behavior change.
  4. Implement best practices for culinary nutrition education facilitation in a group setting.
About Our Presenter:

Melanya Kushla, MS, RD, LDN, CHES, is a creative, strategic, and visionary RD with a culinary background and degrees in health promotion and education. She received her bachelor’s in nutrition, food science, and health promotion, and her master’s in health promotion, from Mississippi State University. Kushla specializes in culinary nutrition education (grocery shopping, cooking, and meal planning), nutrition-related behavior change programming, and patient education/curriculum development. Her mission is to empower people to connect with their bodies, understand nutrition, and transform their relationship with food so they can fully experience the joy of eating along with the health benefits of balanced nutrition.

Kushla has 10 years’ experience facilitating and coordinating culinary nutrition education programs in the form of teaching kitchens and has helped over 100 teaching kitchen programs launch or transition into a virtual or hybrid platform. 

Nutritional Strength Training for Muscle Health and Sarcopenia Prevention

Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN, FAND, EBQ

Muscle is a guardian of the bones and a bedrock for healthy aging. Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of muscle mass, strength, and function, and can occur as early as 40 years of age and with conditions of disuse and malnutrition. It’s also associated with physical disability, poor quality of life, increased morbidity, and mortality. The pathophysiology of sarcopenia is complex and a better understanding of risk factors and root causes such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction is emerging.

Nutrition is a critical component in muscle health, and the RD is a key player not only in client assessment but also in providing evidence-based nutritional strength training interventions. Join Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN, FAND, EBQ, for a session that will review the latest research on sarcopenia and provide an integrated nutrition roadmap, including myoprotective foods, nutrients, and nutraceuticals, along with tried-and-true recommendations for increased exercise and lifestyle changes to reduce the rising tide of this immense public health problem.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe genetic and lifestyle risk factors and root causes of sarcopenia.
  2. Apply a multimodal approach to muscle health assessment, including physical performance tests and biochemical laboratory markers.
  3. Recommend myoprotective whole foods and nutrients to clients, including protein, amino acids, n-3 PUFAs, and polyphenols.
  4. Counsel clients on the use of evidence-based dietary supplements that support muscle health.
  5. Summarize an integrated nutrition roadmap (diet, lifestyle/exercise, labs, supplements) for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.
About Our Presenter:

Author, educator, and RD, Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN, FAND, EBQ, is dedicated to helping clients on their personal health care journey, integrating the very best nutritional science and mind-body modalities. Swift graduated from Arizona State University with a master’s in nutrition and expanded her conventional dietetics background with extensive training in functional medicine.

Swift is the cofounder of the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy,, an online functional nutrition training program for health care professionals. She pioneered innovative functional nutrition programs at Canyon Ranch Health Resorts, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and Mark Hyman’s UltraWellness Center. Swift also directed the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s highly acclaimed “Food As Medicine” program for 20 years.

Swift is a contributing author for the medical textbooks, Integrative Gastroenterology, Integrative Women’s Health, Krause and Mahan’s Food & The Nutrition Care Process, and Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy. She’s a scientific reviewer for Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, and she coauthored two books on digestive health: The Swift Diet and The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Health. Swift is certified in Mind Body Medicine skills and evidence-based Qigong (EBQ) and integrates these healing modalities in her teaching and clinical practice.

An avid swimmer, Swift also enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, and exploring natural habitats with her golden doodle, Dottie Rose.

Time-Restricted Eating: Considerations for Females

Diane Vizthum, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Time-restricted eating (TRE) is a dietary approach that limits calorie intake to a set window of time during the active phase of the day, without necessarily altering diet quality and quantity. The flexibility of TRE allows individuals to maintain their eating pattern preferences, which may help with diet adherence and compliance. However, while TRE is gaining in popularity, males and females may respond to TRE interventions differently.

Join Diane Vizthum, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, for a session that explores considerations specific to females who may be candidates for TRE.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain the different outcomes of time-restricted eating (TRE) interventions for males and females.
  2. Describe the relationship between TRE and female reproductive hormones.
  3. Identify the relationship between TRE and eating behaviors.
About Our Presenter:

Diane Vizthum, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, is an RD and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics with 10 years of experience in nutrition counseling and clinical research. She’s currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware, where her dissertation research focuses on the relationships between meal timing, eating window length, and eating behaviors in emerging adult women.

Vizthum has coauthored over a dozen publications, including a recent systematic review on the relationship between time-restricted eating, appetite, and disordered eating. 

RDs in Concierge Medicine

Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN

Concierge medical practices are growing around the United States, especially in major metropolitan areas. Many use health coaching to provide wellness services and programming to their members (patients). RDs can be a vital part of this booming model, as an employee, a contractor, or in establishing a strong referral source for private practice leads.

Join Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, as she details the opportunities for dietitians to be involved in concierge medicine. Kennedy will discuss the importance of understanding this space better and will explain how RDs can demonstrate their value to concierge medical practices through smart proposals and strong execution of deliverables.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain the concierge medicine model.
  2. Develop compelling proposals for use in applications to concierge medical practices.
  3. Identify key aspects of wellness programming for the VIP patient.
  4. Illustrate how to work with, not against, the health coaching model.
About Our Presenter:

Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, is a nutrition and fitness expert, educator, and keynote speaker with more than 25 years’ experience helping individuals, companies, and professionals with the latest discoveries in nutrition science.

Kennedy’s career highlights include collaborating with the industry’s top nutrition and technology talent to pioneer programs, platforms, and products from the ground up with a focus on reengineering healthful eating experiences and transforming how people approach their health. She has served on scientific advisory boards and held executive vice president- and chief-level positions at several startups. She’s currently the vice president of operations and associate director of wellness for Synergy Private Health, a concierge-based personalized primary care practice in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, which is focused on lifestyle medicine, cardiology, functional medicine, health coaching, wellness programs, and member-exclusive amenities at a state-of-the-art facility.

Kennedy holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Indiana University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Fitness Specialist, adjunct faculty in the graduate school of nutrition at Simmons University, where she teaches entrepreneurship, and a former professor of clinical nutrition in the graduate school of Southwest Naturopathic College. She worked for 19 years as senior clinical nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Harvard Medical School Teaching Affiliate Hospital in Boston. She also cofounded her private practice, Cancer Nutrition and Wellness.

As a recognized thought leader and media personality, Kennedy speaks all over the world on the topics of nutrition science, oncology, gut health, behavioral change, and entrepreneurship.

Tuesday, May 21

Key Ingredients for the Nutrition Entrepreneur: Building a Recipe for Business Success

Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RD, and Allan Pincus, BS, MS

As experts with influence, the income potential of RDs is only limited by our ability to sell our goods and services profitably. A key challenge often faced by any entrepreneur is a lack of expertise and training on how to approach and operate a business. It’s essential to distinguish the passion of the entrepreneurial spirit from the analytical decision-making of the seasoned business owner. The impassioned entrepreneur will often make a business decision based on instinct as opposed to understanding how to analyze its potential impact on the business.

In this session, an entrepreneurial RD—Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RD—and a business coach—Allan Pincus, BS, MS—will share tools and tactics to help the RD business owner approach their day-to-day decision-making. Harris-Pincus and Pincus will discuss successful approaches to selling, forecasting, return-on-investment analysis, and strategies for communicating with clients, vendors, and other business stakeholders. Whether you’re beginning a new adventure as an entrepreneur or have been struggling to take your existing business to the next level, Harris-Pincus and Pincus will offer a selection of essential ingredients to aid you in creating your business recipe for success.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain the difference between the impassioned entrepreneur and the analytical business owner.
  2. Identify key tactics and strategies the seasoned business owner applies to their day-to-day and long-term objectives when building a profitable, sustainable business operation.
  3. Implement tools that improve communication and enable successful selling, forecasting, and financial planning.
About Our Presenters:

Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RD, is a nutrition communications specialist, speaker, spokesperson, and RD in private practice. She’s the founder and owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, LLC, based in New Jersey, where she specializes in weight management and prediabetes.

Harris-Pincus is the author of two cookbooks, The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook and The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. She earned both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nutrition from Penn State and New York University, and is passionate about combating weight stigma and myth-busting nutrition misinformation.

Harris-Pincus is regularly featured in major publications, including online/print media, TV, radio, and podcasts. She’s also a freelance contributor to Clean Plates. Follow her on social media @LaurenPincusRD and

Allan Pincus, BS, MS, has more than 30 years of professional experience working for major corporations, including Hewlett-Packard and AT&T. Pincus currently holds the position of vice president, digital channel manager for Merrill Lynch. Previous roles include director of sales, senior engineering manager, as well as CEO and founder of Custom Device Technologies, LLC. In addition, he’s a Series 7 licensed financial advisor. Pincus has authored several patents and has raised both angel and venture capital to bring products to market. He earned a Master of Science in engineering management and Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Drexel University. Pincus has enjoyed mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs and small business owners since 2018.

Mind-Body Medicine for Improved Professional and Personal Outcomes

Theresa Yosuico Stahl, RD, LDN, FAND, and Becky Wojcik, MA, RD, LDN, RYT

Join Theresa Yosuico Stahl, RD, LDN, FAND, and Becky Wojcik, MA, RD, LDN, RYT, for a session that will provide an overview of mind-body medicine modalities used in nutrition and wellness that help improve outcomes professionally and personally. Stahl and Wojcik will discuss examples from their own practices, as well as results from surveying other RDs, that highlight ways their nutrition peers are using these modalities in their work with clients and community members. Enjoy practicing mind-body techniques with Stahl, Wojcik, and other RDs in attendance, including deep breathing, mindful eating, and chair yoga to better understand how these practices reduce stress, create a connection with mind and body, increase self-awareness, and improve health outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Explain mind-body medicine and how it’s used in nutrition, dietetics, and wellness.
  2. Identify ways to use mind-body medicine modalities to improve professional and personal outcomes for clients and RDs alike.
  3. Counsel clients on mind-body modalities to use personally and professionally.
About Our Presenters:

Theresa Yosuico Stahl, RD, LDN, FAND, is passionate about helping people live full and satisfying lives. She’s been promoting mindful eating for over 40 years, and is a certified facilitator and supervisor with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and the author of the book, I’m Full: Remindful Eating Tips to Feel Great and Make Peace With Your Plate.

Committed to local food access for all, Stahl serves as vice-chair of the Western Maryland Food Council and is a member of the Maryland Food System Resiliency Council. Connect with her at

Becky Wojcik, MA, RD, LDN, RYT, is a mind-body dietitian with over 20 years of experience in nutrition, food education, and counseling. She loves helping clients find body positivity, self-love, and enjoyment of food and movement in order to create a more balanced, joyful life. Wojcik is the director of education and outreach and a mind body dietitian at Downingtown Nutrition, an adjunct faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and the owner of Joyful Connection Nutrition and Wellness, LLC, where she runs women’s groups, presents integrative mindful eating workshops, teaches yoga, and facilitates retreats.

Wojcik currently serves as the president of the Philadelphia Dietetic Association. Connect with her at or

Hot Planet: Dietitians Lead the Way to Climate-Friendly Eating

Kate Geagan, MS, RDN

Given that we’re fast approaching the planetary boundary for climate change with potentially devastating effects on our Earth, how can diet help curb our impact on carbon footprint?

Sustainability expert Kate Geagan, MS, RDN, explores the latest science and shares findings from landmark reports as she examines how dietitians can empower consumers to reduce their personal and collective carbon footprint through dietary change.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Examine diet’s role in planetary boundaries.
  2. Counsel consumers on the primary impacts diet can have on climate change.
  3. Explain how diet change can impact personal and collective carbon footprints.
  4. Provide strategies that empower dietitians to be leaders of change.
About Our Presenter:

Kate Geagan, MS, RDN, is a co-Founder of Food and Planet, where she serves as Director of Strategy. She is the author of Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet, serves on the Global Council of Directors of the True Health Initiative and is a globally-recognized thought leader in sustainable diets.

As a strategic advisor, award-winning dietitian, and media contributor, Kate collaborates with forward-thinking food companies, organizations and investors to accelerate the transition to a more nutritious, equitable and regenerative food future. She has shared her insights on how the sustainability opportunity is rapidly reshaping the future of food with executive, investor, influencer, health professional, and consumer audiences worldwide, and has given over 1,500 media interviews as a trusted health and sustainability expert, including over two dozen appearances on the Emmy award-winning “Dr. Oz Show.”

The Role of RDs in the Emerging Field of Lifestyle Medicine

Kayli Anderson, MS, RD, DipACLM, ACSM-EP, and Paulina Shetty, MS, RD, CPT, DipACLM

From well-respected medical organizations to health and wellness influencers, everyone seems to be touting the benefits of “lifestyle medicine.” Although it may seem like the newest fad, using lifestyle as medicine is actually not new. Its long history and the convincing science that stands behind it ensure that it’s much more of a rising tide than a fleeting trend, and dietitians have a crucial role to play in this powerful way of addressing our nation’s top chronic diseases.

Join Kayli Anderson, MS, RD, DipACLM, ACSM-EP, and Paulina Shetty, MS, RD, CPT, DipACLM, as they discuss the evidence behind the six pillars of lifestyle medicine, why dietitians are a crucial part of the lifestyle medicine team, and how to get involved in this emerging field.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Define lifestyle medicine and explain the six pillars.
  2. Describe the positive impact lifestyle medicine can have on client health outcomes.
  3. Detail the history and competencies of the field of lifestyle medicine.
  4. Explain the RD’s role in lifestyle medicine and how they can get involved in this space.
About Our Presenters:

Kayli Anderson, MS, RD, DipACLM, ACSM-EP, is an RD who specializes in women’s health. She’s board-certified in lifestyle medicine and also holds certifications in women’s integrative medicine, intuitive eating, exercise physiology, and natural foods cooking. She serves as lead faculty of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s (ACLM) Food As Medicine course and cochair of their Women’s Health Member Interest Group. She’s a fellow of ACLM and is the creator of the women’s health website Plant-Based Mavens ( Anderson is a contributing author of two lifestyle medicine textbooks, including the first one on women’s health. She has worked with organizations like the Blue Zones, Full Plate Living, The Plantrician Project, and the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group to develop nutrition content, recipes, and educational programs. Anderson lives in the mountains of Colorado with her husband and son.

Paulina Shetty, MS, RD, CPT, DipACLM, serves as senior director of education for the ACLM. Her experience spans working in clinical, fitness, public health, academic, and nonprofit settings. She received her Bachelor of Science in medical dietetics from the University of Missouri and her Master of Science in Nutrition and Physical Performance from Saint Louis University, and became certified in lifestyle medicine in 2018. She also serves as a nutrition professor at Johnson County Community College. Shetty is passionate about sharing the hope of lifestyle medicine to treat and reverse chronic disease as well as restore health for providers, professionals in training, the general public as well as friends and family. She resides in Redlands, California, with her husband and two sons, and enjoys offering culinary medicine workshops to residency programs, trying new whole food plant-based recipes, and taking day trips to the beach.

Disrupting the Status Quo: Integrating Accessible, Affordable, and Healthful Foods Into the Everyday Shopping Experience

Emily Massi, RD, LDN

As the percentage of Americans experiencing chronic disease increases and nationwide health care costs swell to new heights, customers are looking to their local grocery stores to provide accessible and affordable solutions. As pivotal members of the continuum of care, retail environments—and the dietitians that work within them—are charged with disrupting the status quo and blazing new paths for health. As a result, the role of the retail dietitian has expanded to include providing guidance on the following question: If given the same promotional opportunities, will sales performance of healthful foods match (or exceed) that of less healthful options?

Join Emily Massi, RD, LDN, for a session that will explore real-life case studies related to the integration of health, merchandising, and marketing into the omnichannel shopping experience. Learn how these programs balance the competing priorities of the grocery industry while simultaneously increasing return on investment and positively impacting customer purchases. Learn the impact of in-store health-focused displays on purchase behavior and how dietitian/consumer packaged goods partnerships can maximize effect. Explore the effectiveness of health loyalty program incentivization on driving healthy sales and providing positive reinforcement for customers. Finally, Massi will review best practices about how to “tell your story” to organizational leadership and prove health’s rightful place in overall strategic planning.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Analyze consumer health insights and how retail RDs connect customer preferences and corporate priorities.
  2. Define the expanded role of a retail dietitian in providing healthful, affordable, and accessible options to customers.
  3. Discuss the impact of health-focused display programming on customer purchase behavior in grocery stores.
  4. Describe the effectiveness of health-focused loyalty incentivization and its impact on customer’s health and value perception of a retailer.
  5. Identify techniques to connect retail dietetics across the continuum of care to improve patient health outcomes.
About Our Presenter:

Emily Massi, RD, LDN, is the healthy living merchandising manager for Giant Food, an Ahold Delhaize retail brand with 165 stores across Maryland; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia. In her role, Massi acts as the liaison between Giant’s Healthy Living program and merchandising teams, working to bring the message of health to the customer’s omnichannel shopping experience. Massi partners with both internal and external stakeholders, including consumer packaged goods and community partners, to drive innovative programming aimed at bringing the message of health to the customer. 

Massi received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science with a focus in dietetics from the University of Maryland in 2016 and completed the Virginia Tech Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2017. She was honored to be recognized as a 2022 Progressive Grocer GenNext winner, a 2023 Today’s Dietitian “Top 10 Dietitians Making a Difference” recipient, and a 2023 “Woman of Influence in the Food Industry” honoree by the Shelby Report.

A Play by Play: Counseling and Strategies to Help Adolescent Athletes Properly Fuel for Health, Growth, Development, and Performance

Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN

Athletes today face incredible demands to succeed—not only from coaches and trainers but also from peers and parents. For many developing athletes, understanding what, when, and how much they need to eat is the easy part; it’s being able to put the plan into practice that’s the challenge.

Join Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, for an overview of the physical, physiological, and emotional changes that occur before, during, and after puberty, through adolescent development, and into the collegiate years. Through exploration of a variety of case studies, Heather will demonstrate the diversity of the developmental stages, social challenges, and fueling issues dietitians may encounter when working with competitive athletes during the years that are difficult for athletes to properly fuel for health, growth, and sports performance. She will provide guidance, tips, and resources RDs can use to assess, guide, and counsel athletes about proper fueling and when injured, successful return to play.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe the physical, physiological, and social challenges and pressures that must be considered when working with adolescent athletes through collegiate years.
  2. Explain the diversity of developmental stages, sports, training levels, health issues, and fueling challenges encountered when working with athletes across the lifespan.
  3. Counsel client athletes on proper fueling for health, growth, development, and sports performance, including preparation for return to play.
About Our Presenter:

Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, is an internationally recognized RD, a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, and an author with a passion for sports nutrition and nutrition science. Her company, Heather Mangieri Nutrition, provides counseling, consulting, and communication services for athletes, organizations, and companies focused on health and wellness.

As a sports dietitian and nutrition counselor, Mangieri helps athletes properly fuel for health, growth, development, and sports performance, and she provides nutrition therapy for athletes with disordered eating and eating disorders. She also consults with schools, organizations, and companies to create age-appropriate, science-based sports nutrition content, policies, and screening tools to meet the needs of student athletes.

Mangieri also works as a consultant to food and nutrition industries, where she uses her expertise to advise, write, edit, and review content to ensure it’s evidence based, is easy to understand, and resonates with consumers. She served as a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for eight years and currently sits on the board of editors for the Academy’s online Sports Nutrition Care Manual. Her solid reputation as a trusted source of evidence-based food and nutrition information has resulted in hundreds of national and local interviews and content for TV, radio, podcasts, and print and digital publications. As a spokesperson, Mangieri uses her expertise to educate, create nutritious recipes, and develop and deliver science-based messages for the media, industries, and brands that align with her likes and values.

Wednesday, May 22

Building Brain Resilience With Cultural Foods

Maggie Moon, MS, RD

There’s a powerful connection between cultural foods and mental well-being. But how do diverse culinary traditions contribute to enhancing brain resilience and cognitive health?

Join Maggie Moon, MS, RD, as she delves into the scientific research behind the impact of specific nutrients and ingredients on the brain to gain a deeper understanding of how incorporating culturally significant foods into one’s diet can promote emotional stability, cognitive agility, and overall mental resilience. Through a blend of expert insights, personal anecdotes, and practical tips, Moon will empower RDs to help their clients embrace their heritage’s nourishing wisdom and enrich their lives with delicious, brain-boosting culinary experiences.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe how cultural foods can support brain resilience.
  2. Identify examples of brain-boosting foods from a non-Western culture.
  3. Counsel clients on practical strategies that integrate cultural foods into meals to enhance brain health.
About Our Presenter:

Maggie Moon, MS, RD, is a published author with expertise in brain health nutrition, Korean food, and health communications. Her area of practice is evidence-based food and nutrition solutions for optimal brain health, delivered with cultural humility. Her passion is helping everyone strengthen their brain resilience through nutrition, and in this way, add more life to years, from early life to older adulthood.

As the best-selling author of The MIND Diet, Moon has reached millions with her nutrition advice and has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, Prevention, RealSimple, Women’s Health, EatingWell, MindBodyGreen, and more.

Workshop: Just Give It a Try: Culinary Nutrition for Communities

Ashley Carter, MS, RD, LDN, and Jasmine Westbrooks, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES

“Just give it a try” are words we say often (or think often) when working with the community. Talking about food, recipe modifications, and dietary changes is a great first step, but trying foods is where the change can occur.

Join Ashley Carter, MS, RD, LDN, and Jasmine Westbrooks, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES, as they discuss how to be more confident when giving nutrition demonstrations and the importance of providing demonstrations to the community. Even by educating lower socioeconomic communities and families, it still may be difficult to buy food, and when the food is in hand, families may be scared to try it. Providing clients with culinary demonstrations can bridge the gap between education and implementation and will help encourage clients (and their families) to try new foods. Dietitians may not always be confident in the kitchen; this session will provide the missing piece for creating positive change.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Describe culinary nutrition and how it relates to the dietetic profession.
  2. Demonstrate confidence in preparing food in front of an audience.
  3. Develop strategies to implement cooking demonstrations in daily practice.
  4. Develop a plan of action for providing in-person or virtual culinary components.
  5. Improve patient health outcomes by providing nutrition education that contains a culinary component.
About Our Presenters:

Meet Ashley Carter, MS, RD, LDN, and Jasmine Westbrooks, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES, two RDs who banded together to pursue their passion for preventing chronic disease through nutrition education. Together they’re founders and directors of EatWell Exchange, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that teaches low socioeconomic communities how to grow their own food, cook foods in a more healthful manner, and become more educated about their cultural foods.

Westbrooks and Carter teach communities how to make sustainable changes while still respecting and maintaining their culture. Over the past four years, they have served over 25,500 clients, including traveling to Grand Goave, Haiti, for a mission trip in 2018, where the pair initiated a community garden that provided a place for over 65 families to grow and harvest their own food.

Ask the Expert: A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND

Today’s Dietitian’s “Ask the Expert” columnist, Toby Amidor, will go in depth on the latest nutrition trends from the past year and look ahead at upcoming trends consumers may be asking about. Stay abreast of current and future trends by being prepared to answer client questions intelligently and adequately.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Counsel clients on the most popular nutrition trends from 2023 as well as new and emerging trends for 2024 and beyond.
  2. Explain the science behind these trends to help avoid confusion and engage clients in fact-based discussions.
  3. Facilitate intelligent client conversations and effectively answer client questions regarding current and upcoming fads/trends.
About Our Presenter:

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, is a veteran in the food and nutrition industry with 20 years of experience. She’s the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition, where she provides nutrition and food safety consulting services for individuals, restaurants, and food brands. For 12 years, she has been the nutrition expert for and a founding contributor to its Healthy Eats blog. Amidor is a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report Eat + Run blog, Muscle & Fitness online,,, and, and she has her own “Ask the Expert” column in Today’s Dietitian magazine. Amidor has been quoted in hundreds of national publications and appears on television regularly. For the past 11 years, she has also been an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2018, Amidor was honored with the Media Excellence Award awarded by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Amidor is a Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author of six cookbooks, including The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day; The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go; The Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook: Simple Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious; Smart Meal Prep for Beginners: Recipes and Weekly Plans for Healthy, Ready-to-Go Meals; The Best Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook Ever: 100 Tasty Recipes Using a Store-Bought Bird; and The Create-Your-Plate Diabetes Cookbook: A Plate Method Approach to Simple, Complete Meals.

Amidor trained as a clinical dietitian at New York University. Through ongoing consulting and faculty positions, she has established herself as one of the top experts in culinary nutrition, food safety, and nutrition communications.

Today's Dietitian Spring Symposium