About Jena

Specialties

 

Intuitive Eating

 

Eating Disorders

 

Digestive wellness

 

Food allergies & intolerance

Celiac Disease

PCOS/Women's Health

Pediatric/Childhood feeding

 

Diabetes/Blood sugar management

Nutrition Support/EN & TPN

My Story

 

     I discovered my passion for and interest in nutrition my second semester of my sophomore year at Syracuse University. It was the first subject I had ever enjoyed reading the textbook and studying for. It was the first time "science" made sense to me and was interesting for me to read. After declaring my major at the end of the year and as I progressed through my junior year, I learned that it also included other undiscovered passions of mine that I never realized I had: health and psychology. It just clicked with me and I was hooked.

     I decided to pursue a Masters in Nutrition at James Madison University while completing my internship at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center. My first position as a newly registered dietitian was at a long-term care facility in Penn Yan, NY. I then relocated to Boston and worked at a community hospital in Dorchester, MA first as an acute-care and behavioral health dietitian and then as the Clinical Nutrition Manager. After about 5 years in Boston, I relocated with my husband and 18 month old son to my hometown in upstate NY to be near family and friends. I spent just over 5 years as the sole dietitian working at a large not-for-profit community/primary health center system counseling patients of all ages and all medical conditions. It was while working there that I learned and witnessed just how ineffective, futile and harmful (to both physical and mental health) dieting for weight loss was. After having my second son, I rediscovered what I had been fortunate enough to be exposed to while at Syracuse University in my nutrition counseling class (thanks, Dr. Horacek!): Intuitive Eating, a non-diet framework introduced by Evelyn Tribole MS, RDN, CEDRD-S and Elyse Resch MS, RDN, CEDRD-S, FAND in 1995 (and just this year (2020) they released their 4th edition of the book!). It was then, in early 2017, that I decided to pursue becoming a certified counselor in Intuitive Eating and also became a Health At Every Size practitioner.

     Over the years, I have adopted a non-diet, weight-inclusive approach to nutrition education and counseling. I am passionate about and dedicated to fighting diet culture and helping people move away from unsustainable/unhealthy dieting behaviors and a diet mentality, embracing and accepting their bodies and improving their relationship with food, movement and their bodies as well as the way they view and treat other bodies in our society, to help make this world a kinder place to live in. Over the 5 years I spent in outpatient counseling, I saw the harmful effects dieting and diet culture has had on our society and the people living in it. I was limited by my then employers weight-centric approach to healthcare and realized I could provide much more respectful and effective care to the people that I work with which ultimately led to my start of a private practice. I believe a non-diet, weight-inclusive approach to nutrition is vital to help optimize mental health as well as physical health, and both are equally important with regard to our overall health.