Hi! I’m Nicole – a Registered Dietitian (RD) and author of Prevention RD! By day, I am the coordinator and manager of an out-patient diabetes education department. By night, I am a home cook, blogger, cookbook author, wife, and mommy to two little girls, Shea (3 1/2) and Piper (1 1/2). You may also hear me talk about Lily and Harlie, our English bulldogs.
I have diverse work experience in diabetes, weight management, renal disease, bariatrics, food service, management, and education. I live in southwest Michigan, though I’m originally from Chicago. I enjoy playing ice-hockey and tennis, running, cooking, and reading…and only wish there were more hours in the day to partake in all of these things.
My “story” is probably different from most dietitians, and it goes something like this. Since a very young age (practically birth, according to my mother), I was overweight. I was happy, smart, and had the most of supportive family and friends a girl could ask for. The ONE thing I battled was my weight. At 14 I went to my first of many Weight Watchers meetings. My leader’s name was JoAnn, and she was a saint. To this day, I can quote many of JoAnn’s sayings. Over the course of several months, I dropped from my highest weight of 190 lbs to 142 lbs. At 142 lbs, I was wearing a pair of size 6 Gap khakis and I thought I looked great. Having such success at the scale, I ditched Weight Watchers with the intention of going the distance on my own — down to my goal of 115lbs. Needless to say, this didn’t happen. With my new-found physique and uplifted confidence, old habits slipped back into action. Before long, I was back at Weight Watchers (with JoAnn), admitting defeat. I needed accountability. And JoAnn.
While my first 50 lbs just about melted off me, I eventually hit a plateau and dieting was not enough. I required exercise to continue losing. So, I joined a gym within walking distance of both my high school and my home. Every day after school, religiously, I went to the gym. I would workout anywhere from 1-2 hours a day. I also joined my high school cross-country team and the boy’s ice-hockey team. While cross-country was a struggle, it increased my endurance drastically and sparked my love for running. Ice-hockey, however, created some social turbulence, to say the least. High school boys don’t really fancy the idea of being on the team with the girl. Hockey and I, however, were a match made in heaven (I was a former figure-skater for 10+ years) and I play on a weekly basis to this day (I later picked up tennis during my first pregnancy and continue to play weekly, as well).
During my junior year of high school, 1 year and 1 week into my weight-loss journey, I had met my goal. I weighed 115 lbs, down 75 pounds. I felt great, I looked great, and JoAnn even had a tiara I wore for the occasion. And you’d better believe mom was sitting in the front row taking pictures. I can remember what I was wearing, even though I haven’t seen that picture in YEARS.
After my weight-loss journey, I had no doubt that I wanted to enter into the nutrition and health field. I ended up at the University of Illinois at Champaign, majoring in Food Science and Human Nutrition. During my four glorious years on campus, I played club ice-hockey and met the love of my life (aka Mr. Prevention). From there, I went on to complete my master’s in Nutrition and Wellness, as well as my Dietetic Internship (DI) at Benedictine University, graduating in December of 2008. I passed my RD exam in March of 2009 and as of 2015/16, am Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM) and am a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).
Two babies and 15 years later, my body has changed and that may forever be a work in progress. I continue to strive for a diet comprised primarily of good-for-me foods while incorporating all the things I love most, like craft beer and all things carbs!
I have completed 4 half-marathons and 2 full marathons (PR 4:07:09), and I look forward to completing some (shorter) distance races in the future! But if I’m being honest, I’m slow and pokey and run for fun. Hockey and tennis are much more so my calling and running is just as much for my mental health as it is for my physical health.
Over 8 years ago, I started this blog as a way to stay “up to date” in nutrition as I was landing my first job as an RD in a poor economy. I fell in love with the blog community and have found this to be such a rewarding activity. I hope to inspire, teach, and humor those nutrition and health guru’s out there, and in the process, to form some great friendships and to learn a thing or two, too!
Disclaimer: I am a dietitian, not a perfect person or consumer. I sometimes struggle with my weight and body image like a lot of people. While this is something I strive to better, I do believe health is about much more than weight or inches but about happiness and balance, and achieving a person I love and admire.
I love mail! Question? Comment? Send it over to me at nicole at preventionrd.com
I receive lots of emails daily. Thank you for writing and for your patience!
Thanks for reading!