An Interview with Our Registered Dietitians, Rebecca and Sarah! March 8, 2017

by Behind the Scenes Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What better way to celebrate Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day than hearing from HelloFresh’s very own RDs, Rebecca and Sarah? Continue reading to learn what inspires them and the one nutrition myth they wish you’d stop believing. 

Registered Dietitian-interview-HelloFresh

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day was established in 2008 to celebrate the dedication of food and nutrition experts across the country. Although you may have heard the terms “nutritionist” and “dietitian” thrown around in food-related conversation, there’s actually a fundamental difference between the two.

Registered Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

A Nutritionist is simply anyone with an undergraduate or graduate degree in nutrition. Meanwhile, a Registered Dietitian (RD) has completed an undergraduate program in nutrition and a one year clinical internship. Additionally, Registered Dietitians must pass a national exam administered by the American Dietetic Association and maintain their registered status through continuing education and certifications for areas of specialization.

Exclusive Interview with HelloFresh’s Registered Dietitians

You know what they say, “not all heroes wear capes,” and our RDs are a perfect example of that! Rebecca and Sarah play a vital role in ensuring health and wellness are an integral part of our recipe development process. Let’s hear a bit more about what they have to say…

1. What inspired you to become a Registered Dietitian?

Rebecca: Unfortunately, I lost my mom when she was far too young to the food-related diseases that plague many Americans. Her passing inspired me to take back my own health by learning everything I could about food. I read all the books written by Michael Pollan and ended up changing many things in my diet and lifestyle. His writing really opened my eyes to the many problems in our current food system. Becoming an RD was a way I could best combine and use my background in psychology and love of all things food. I’m passionate about educating and empowering people to take back their own health by mindfully considering the what, when, and why of how they eat.

registered dietitian-HelloFresh

Sarah: I’ve always loved food and its relationship to health, but I didn’t think much of it until I took an Intro to Nutrition class my freshman year of college to fulfill a science requirement. I hated science growing up but really fell in love with this idea of food as medicine during the class. Food is so intrinsically related to our bodies and preventing disease that I was hooked. Knowing that I could help people live long, healthy, happy lives made it an easy decision to become an RD.

2. What do you do on a day-to-day basis here at HelloFresh?

Rebecca: I am part of the marketing team working with all forms of media content. I use my voice to talk about nutrition and wellness at HelloFresh, vocalizing my health expertise on TV, radio, print/online publications, here on the HelloFresh blog, and across all social media channels (you can follow me on Instagram!!). You may have also seen me leading the weekly LIVE unboxing videos or the LIVE cooking parties twice a month.

Sarah: I work closely with the culinary team to give feedback and advice to make our recipes health-conscious, and work with the procurement team to ensure that the ingredients we’re sending fit within our nutritional needs and have a clean ingredients list. Every week I create FDA-compliant nutrition labels that go on the outside of the box and put accurate nutrition and allergen information on the recipe cards and website. I also spend time each week looking into trends in the food world to inspire new recipes and cooking techniques.

3. If you could give one piece of advice regarding health and nutrition, what would it be?

Rebecca: Eating healthy is definitely not as mystifying as most people believe. It’s actually pretty simple, and Michael Pollan said it best – “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Creating great health is the result of developing long-term sustainable habits, which are made up of thousands of small daily decisions. It really is all about balance and finding a way of eating that works on an individual basis. That being said, one of the most powerful ways to be in control of your health is to select and cook foods for yourself so you can physically see everything you are putting into your body.

Sarah: Like Rebecca, I very much live by Michael Pollan’s advice. I think one of the easiest ways to live longer and feel better every day is to add more fruits and vegetables into your meals. I don’t ever suggest removing something from your diet because food is delicious and we all have really unique, complex relationships with it. But, if you’re looking to lose weight or just feel better, I would suggest bulking up on fruits and veggies. You’ll feel more satiated without adding lots of calories, and vegetables are delicious when prepared correctly.

4. What is one nutrition-related myth you would like to bust?

 Rebecca: One of the most frustrating things is all the conflicting diet advice for what constitutes healthy eating. Diet trends and fads are short-lived and cause confusion. Many of the trendy diets are seductive and make you believe there’s a magic way to have your cake and eat it, too. Unfortunately, this misinformation is most often not backed by science and is spread by people who have no education in the field of health. A “diet” should be the way you eat every day – not some crazy restriction that eliminates whole food groups. Carbs aren’t bad, fat isn’t the enemy, and you can eat sugar – it really is all about balance and portion control.

registered dietitian-HelloFresh

Sarah: Oh man, where do I start? When people go on “juice cleanses” it drives me nuts!!!! Juice is basically just sugar water. When you juice fruits and vegetables you get rid of the fiber, which is the only thing that keeps you feeling full! Even if you’re drinking a juice that has no fruit in it, it’s still just sugar water. If you’re adding a vegetable-based juice into your diet for additional antioxidants, I will give you a pass, but there is nothing “cleansing” or “detoxifying” about juice because there’s no fiber. Also, it doesn’t satiate you. Aside from the fact that there’s no fiber, drinking something doesn’t trigger the same satiety cues as chewing and swallowing do when you’re eating.

5. What is your guilty food pleasure? 

Rebecca: I LOVE peanut butter and eat a lot of it! I eat it every morning with a banana, as a snack with apples, and sometimes just by the spoonful.  That being said, peanut butter is and can be a part of a healthy diet in moderation.  If we’re talking about indulgences, homemade chocolate chip cookies are my weakness hands down!

 Sarah: Salt and vinegar potato chips. I was going to say pizza, but I actually don’t consider pizza “guilty.” However, salt and vinegar potato chips are salty, fatty carbs with no nutritional value. That being said, I love them and think they are so delicious. I definitely crave salt more than sugar, so salt and vinegar chips are the ultimate guilty pleasure food for me. I could probably eat a family sized bag of them on my own, so I make sure to get the single-serving bag when a craving strikes.

Looking for more advice from Rebecca? She’s dishing out the deets on sugar, heart-healthy foods, and even the occasional steak!

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8 comments

Dovas says:

Happy Nutrition Day! Great read and very interesting to know that Juice detox cleanse is a myth… I wish I knew that before buying all those detox shots.

Jordan Schultz says:

Live and learn, Dovas. Live and learn!

Marie says:

Do you have low sodium recipes?

Rebecca Lewis MS RDN says:

Hi Marie,

As the Head Dietitian, I’d be happy to help answer your question. HelloFresh has a large variety of recipes and options each week to pick from. We list out all of the nutrition information on the website next to the meal choices up to 6 weeks in advance before your box arrives. You can log in and see the nutrition (including sodium) ahead of time in order to select the recipes that work best for you. If you are ever uncertain about something, you can also reach out to the dietitian’s directly at nutrition@hellofresh.com

Love your very balanced approach to clean, healthy eating! I agree with you about the juice fasts. They are just sugar water with the fiber (“pulp”) removed! If you are using them to detox, it is NOT going to help with that because one of your biggest cleansing organs, the colon, needs that discarded fiber to bind to toxins and eliminate them from the body. Thanks for your post!

Jordan Schultz says:

Hi Camille! Jordan here, from the HelloFresh community team. So glad you enjoyed our take. We’ll let Rebecca and Sarah know!

Lisa says:

Are any thee plans sent with Organic ingredients?

Jacqueline says:

Hi Lisa – The focus of HelloFresh is on helping our customers make those first steps towards cooking well-balanced meals at home. While our product is not organic, what we do concentrate on is what produce looks and tastes best. We work with sustainable business partners to ensure high quality, seasonal, and farm-sourced produce is delivered to our customers at peak freshness. All of our suppliers have a wealth of experience, and we feel they really are some of the best! If you have any questions about our fruits and veggies, please feel free to reach out to the produce team directly at produce@hellofresh.com.

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