We are jumping for joy!! Help us welcome our newest dietitian to the iLiveWell Nutrition family, Savannah Wierenga!
We want y’all to get to know her, so we sat down with Savannah the other day. Check out this fun conversation below!
iLW: What is a Registered Dietitian?
Savannah: A Registered Dietitian is known as the food and nutrition expert. I work with anyone who has any anxieties around foods, medical complications interfering with their eating routine and relationship with food, athletes needing education on refueling for events and everything in between!
I love being an outpatient Dietitian! Here, I get to know my clients on a more personal level.
iLW: What should I expect during my initial visit with you?
Savannah: In our first visit together, I want to know all about you! I ask questions about what your daily routine and how eating, sleeping and movement play a role in your day-to-day life. I also want to know what your goals are in us working together. At the end of the session, I will ask if you would like to try and experiment before our next meeting. This might be adding a slice of bread with lunch, logging or taking pictures of meals/snacks, make a grocery list, or have a mid-afternoon snack, etc.
iLW: What type of schooling have you had? What schools did you attend? Years of schooling? Credentials?
Savannah: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. I also have a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics from Northern Illinois University, along with a Graduate Certificate in Eating Disorders Treatment. After school, I sat for the Registered (RD) exam and then obtained state licensure to be a Licensed Dietitian (LD). All of my schooling and exams took almost 7 years, but the journey was so worth it! Now, I am working on becoming a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD).
iLW: Are there good and bad foods?
Savannah: Surprise! There are no good foods or bad foods! When we label food as “good” or “bad,” we give it moral qualities and then when eating them we think of ourselves as “good” or “bad.” Every food fits! We might notice that different foods affect us in different ways. Some foods may serve as a source of energy to sustain us during a long day and other food might relax us and comfort us. My role, as your dietitian, is to help you find what nourishes YOU!
iLW: If you had a super power, what would it be?
Savannah: My super power would definitely be teleporting. If I could move from one place to the next without driving or flying, I would save so much time!
iLW: If you were on a desert island and could only take three foods and one book, what would they be?
Savannah: I would take Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Diet Coke and sushi. YUM! I’ve never been very good at sitting down and reading, but it is a goal of mine. Currently, I’m reading Gorge by Kara Richardson Whitley.
iLW: As a registered dietitian, what do you wish everyone knew?
Savannah: I wish more people knew that we need full-fat salad dressing. So much of our society is influenced by diet culture and one thing I often hear about is people using fat free dressing. Leafy greens and vegetables are full of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K) that help our bones, eyesight, blood and so much more. But if you don’t have a fat source with it we lose all of our helpful vitamins. Buy the regular ranch – you won’t regret the taste or the physiological benefits.
iLW: Besides seeing clients at iLW, what other type of work are you involved in?
Savannah: I also work as a dietitian at an eating disorder treatment center.
iLW: What types of nutritional issues do you find yourself drawn to working with?
Savannah: I am really drawn to working with individuals healing from eating disorders, disordered eating and yo-yo dieting. I also work a lot with vegan, vegetarians and athletes.
iLW: What is your greatest strength (work or personal)?
Savannah: My greatest strength is seeing both sides of a situation. I have compassion for both conflicting parties and enjoy helping mediate situations.
iLW: If I have a physical illness such as diabetes or gastro problems, how can a RD be helpful to me?
Savannah: An RD will teach you how to nourish and fuel your body, while also managing symptoms of your illness. There is so much scary information on the internet and it appears that treatment recommendations are “one-size-fits-all.” Working with an RD helps you learn to tailor a plan to your lifestyle and taste preferences. You’ll receive individualized attention and understanding to help you.
iLW: What is your greatest accomplishment (work or personal)?
Savannah: My favorite and latest accomplishment is that I just finished remodeling my bathroom! I have never been a creative decorator or had the patience to work on home improvement projects. However, I really admire Joanna Gaines and designers on HGTV and it’s been on my bucket list to remodel something in my lifetime. Now I am hooked and just started a new project of painting my kitchen cabinets.
iLW: What have you learned the most from your work experience?
Savannah: I have definitely learned and gained a lot of patience and flexibility from my work.
iLW: Tell us a little about yourself… Where were you born? Do you have pets? Favorite vacation? Favorite food?
Savannah: I was born in a small farming town in northern Illinois. I have an orange and white cat named Teddy, and an Australian Shepherd dog named Chance. I love to travel anywhere! I don’t have a favorite place yet, but I love anywhere with a beach. I really want to visit Greece. I love ALL food but my favorite is any type of taco.
Thank you to Savannah for sharing herself with us! To read Savannah’s full bio, please click here.
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.