Danielle: The Dietitian, Takes The Stage

Now, that you read my blog titled "You Are What You Eat," you're probably thinking, "what should I eat?" Well, I come with all the answers and if I don't have the answers, I know I have a friend SOMEWHERE who does.

Enter Danielle: The Dietitian. (applause)

Danielle Ciappa is a Bronx-based Registered Dietitian providing private Nutrition Counseling to the New York Metro Area. Danielle holds a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Nutrition Education from Immaculata University. While obtaining her Bachelor's Degree, Danielle helped develop, implement and analyze a Pediatric Weight Management Program at West Chester University.

Prior to providing private Nutrition Counseling, Danielle was a Renal Dietitian specializing in Nutrition Education for the Latino dialysis community in North Philadelphia. She also continues to work as Clinical Nutrition Manager in a Manhattan psychiatric hospital. While working for these organizations, Danielle stayed current with all trending health and nutrition topics through self-study, formal classes and continuing education.

No stranger to obesity and health issues herself, Danielle shares her own weight loss struggles, adventures in cooking and random daily musings with a large audience on her personal blog, Danfredo Rivera.

FFC: Why did you decide to pursue a career in nutrition and dietetics? Tell us where your interest in the field began and how your career unfolded.

Danielle: I have to be honest about this one...I had transferred to WCU as an undeclared major with 9234857 credits scattered about various disciplines. After my first semester there, I was forced to choose a degree program and in order to do that, I looked through every. single. one until I found the one that would allow me to graduate school the quickest-nutrition and dietetics won. I figured, "I like to eat, so I can study nutrition." Had I known about the 9-month UNPAID internship I needed to complete, too, I would've chosen nursing.

FFC: What type of services do you provide?

Danielle: Right now I offer individual and group counseling, weight loss management and diabetes education, all within the New York Metro Area. I have a food shopping service, too, where I will go to a supermarket with you and help you make healthy food choices. You can view a complete list of services here.

FFC: Where did the idea for your blog/website come from? 

Danielle: I have been posting recipes and snapshots of my meals on my Facebook page and personal blog for a little over a year now. People began emailing me and asking me more specific questions about my meals. Those emails back and forth would usually spawn a conversation about healthy eating and nutrition education. After about a million of those emails, I thought it'd be a good idea to dedicate an entire blog to food and use it to advertise my own nutrition counseling services as well.

FFC: Can you share with us a success story (no need to share names) or an example of the relationships you share with your clients? 

Danielle: I have an entire page on my site dedicated to testimonials, but the one that sticks out most in my mind is my own. I have struggled with my weight for my entire life and in 2007, I tipped the scales at nearly 200 pounds.

It took a knee injury (caused by my heavy load) and a mean (weight-related) comment from a patient to finally get my own situation in check. Four years and 85 pounds later, I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been! Click here if you want to read more about my own weight loss journey.

FFC: I see you share various recipes on your blog. Can you share with us a dinner recipe for an active lifestyle? Ie. For a fun/fit/chic woman headed home after her workout who needs to fuel her body fast? 

Danielle: One of the best-tasting meals I've ever put together was made using random items in my refrigerator and cooked in 20 minutes! I called it "Cranberry Spinach Turkey." I know...worst. name. ever. Please don't judge it based on the horrendous name I gave it, just check it out! I promise you that you won't walk away disappointed (or hungry).

For those who want to read more and learn more, take a look over at the "Blogs I Love" section and click on Danielle: The Dietitian's logo.