PROLOGUE: When I created my Guilt-Free RD® name and tagline, and started sharing my philosophy, I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from other RDs and I knew I’d struck a cord with like-minded dietitians. That sparked an idea for a new way to interview, share and promote dietitians, their brands and their services. My traditional dietitian interviews are longer and more focused on sharing communications tips and tricks as well as the interviewee’s career journey. In contrast, these interviews will be shorter and more focused on the RD’s food philosophy. I hope you enjoy them and will contact me to share YOUR food philosophy!
Monica Lebre MS, RDN, LDN
MELISSA: Monica, what is your food philosophy and why?
MONICA: I’ve always been a big believer of “all foods can fit”. As a dietitian, I get asked quite frequently, “What should I eat?” or “Is this food good or bad?”. The truth is, in my eyes , there are no “good” or “bad” foods. There are certainly foods that can make individuals sick, especially with food allergies or certain diseases, but even then those foods are not “bad”. They just aren’t right for that certain individual. Food is fuel and I aim to get this across to my clients. I believe that many people see food as a negative thing, which honestly makes me sad! Food should be something to be celebrated. So in my practice I aim to remove the negative connotation of food and focus on the benefits of food: sustenance, nutrition and just as importantly, enjoyment!
MELISSA: Tell us a little more about you and your brand.
MONICA: I started my private practice almost 2 years ago, so I still feel fairly new in this arena. Private practice has been something I wanted to pursue since becoming a dietitian. Time and circumstances worked out and gave me the opportunity to dive in, which has been the best thing I’ve ever done!
In my practice, I mostly see individuals for weight management but I also work with adolescent female athletes. I like to consider my practice as a “non-diet” approach to healthy eating. So many individuals are focused on “dieting” and “rules”. My focus is on healthy eating while eliminating negative behaviors with foods and encouraging exercise for enjoyment as well as health. It’s important to me to have individuals see food and nutrition for the wonderful thing it really is!
MELISSA: What are your services?
MONICA: The majority of my practice is individual nutrition counseling for weight management and sports nutrition. I love doing nutrition workshops for female athletes. I have participated in corporate wellness education lectures. I also have a blog in which I discuss hot nutrition topics, specialty diets and my life as a dietitian and foodie!
MELISSA: Where can we find you and follow you online?
MELISSA: Do you have any resources and/or advice for other RDs to build their brand, boost their communication skills, start their own biz, etc.?
MONICA: There are so many people to learn from out there, so my best advice is, don’t go it alone! Private practice can be lonely and isolating at times, so get involved. Volunteer for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, their DPGs, state affiliates, your local community and network, network, network! Talking to other RDs that have been in private practice and volunteering with the Academy and DPGs has been one of the best things I could have done for my career. Not only have I made great friends, it’s empowering to be able to give back to your profession by volunteering in these roles and it’s fun!
EPILOGUE: Thank you to Monica for sharing her food philosophy, brand and services with us! I hope you have been inspired!
Like what you read here? Hear what other nutrition experts have to say about careers, communication and chasing their dreams. Visit the Directory of Dietitian Interviews and be inspired!