After completing a BS in Biology at the University of Central Arkansas in 1994, I found myself with the opportunity of managing a restaurant while I looked for a "real" job. Little did I know that that experience would prove to be invaluable. Not only did I gain experience in staffing, budgeting, training, and customer service, I also learned about food safety, health inspections, and sanitation.
However, an employee of mine, who was a college student with Type 1 diabetes, tragically died from poor management of his disease. As his employer, I felt helpless and ashamed I didn't know or do more to help him. That became a driving point for me to return to school and become a dietitian, so that I could possibly help others avoid this fate.
I completed my second BS in Dietetics and Nutrition in 2001, again from UCA, and finished the Dietetic Internship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2002. My first job, as a Clinical Dietitian at Baptist Health, provided a broad base of nutrition knowledge to build on. I treated patients through Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), with everything from heart disease to cancer, tube feedings to pureed diets, bariatrics to orthopedics, strokes to kidney failure.
From there, I spend over 3 years in a cardiology group, working in Cardiac Rehab, Lipid Clinic, and Diabetes Education, but also did more fun stuff like cooking demos and grocery store tours. This lead me back again to Baptist Health, but with the Heart and Kidney Transplant Team. Spending almost 10 years there, my focus was on heart and kidney failure management, dialysis, transplant nutrition, weight management, and, of course, diabetes. In 2015, I became a Certified Diabetes Educator after providing diabetes education for over 13 years. In 2018, I completed certification for LEAP therapy (CLT) which identifies food sensitivities and builds an eating plan to lessen symptoms from IBS, migraines, fibromyalgia, and more.
At home, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 20 years, Britt, and son, Alex; playing fetch with my dog, Willie, and cuddling with my 3 cats, Meep, Rudy America, and Conner. I also love to read (romances, don't judge me!), do boot camp, and eat good food (thus the boot camp).
If you're interested, you can see my CV here. And when you're ready, contact me to get started on the rest of your healthy life.