Featured Member: Jessica Jones, MS, RD, CDE

August 7, 2018

Jessica Jones

We are delighted for you to meet our featured DIFM member, Jessica Jones, MS, RD, CDE! Jessica is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Zumba Instructor with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition. Jessica's three biggest joys in life include: 1. eating fresh fruits and and vegetables, 2. helping people realize how amazing healthy foods can taste and improve their health and 3. getting 8 hours of sleep every night.

What is your area of practice and how do you incorporate integrative and functional nutrition into your work?

I am the co-founder of the multimedia platform, Food Heaven Made Easy. We are a one-stop shop for delicious and nutritious living. Through our platform, we host the Food Heaven Podcast, provide online nutrition courses and programming, and host international wellness retreats. We try to incorporate integrative nutrition by focusing on not just food, but also our self-care practices overall. Our goal is to help people transform the way they eat, make peace with food and live their best life. In addition to my work with Food Heaven Made Easy, I  work in a primary care clinic two days per week providing one-on-one counseling on everything from disordered eating to GI issues.

What are some of the results you have seen since integrating functional nutrition into your practice area?

People often come to me thinking that I will be the food police, telling them what to eat and what not to eat. They are surprised to see that it goes far beyond that. I always ask my patients about sleep hygiene, stress management, exercise habits, and how in tune they are with their body when it comes to food and hunger/fullness cues. Instead of leaving with a set of restrictions and rules, patients learn more about their bodies and what they need to do to truly take care of themselves in a practical way they can maintain for life.

I always ask my patients about sleep hygiene, stress management, exercise habits, and how in tune they are with their body when it comes to food and hunger/fullness cues.
- Jessica Jones, MS, RD, CDE

Jessica Jones

How does your culture influence your work?

I work with a wide variety of patients from many different cultural backgrounds. Culture and effective intercultural communication are a critical part of the work that I do. I tailor my nutrition counseling based on what community the patient is from. For example, if I am working with a Guatemalan patient and Spanish is their second language, I will focus mostly on photo-based education vs. providing handouts in Spanish that they may not be able to read.  I also try to make recommendations based on the foods and flavors that they are familiar with and enjoy.

What advice would you give anyone interested in learning more about integrative and functional nutrition?

Continue to be curious! When you graduate from a nutrition program, you have a general knowledge of many things, but there is no real depth. If you are interested in learning more about integrative nutrition, it can sometimes feel overwhelming and that you don’t have a place to start. One of the simplest ways to learn more is to attend a DIFM webinar. Then, once you get more comfortable, you can attend a symposium or conference. For RDs who have been in the field for a while, remember that it’s never too late to learn more about an area of expertise, integrative nutrition included!

Thank you for sharing your valuable insights with us, Jessica!