Feeling nutrition information overload? I get it. Step back, take a deep breath, and let me guide you to nutrition info worth acting on. . .
I Take Nutrition From Daunting to Doable.TM
When I first began my career as a registered dietitian, I used to say, “If only people had more access to nutrition information.” Today, one of the most frequent complaints I hear from people is that they are overwhelmed and confused by the many conflicting nutrition reports in the news. They don’t feel confident about identifying doable healthful choices that fit in their lives.
That’s what inspires my work.
I love to take current nutrition research – things you may see in the headlines as well as things you may not — and put it in the “big picture” of overall research. Studies are clear in showing that you don’t need to eat “perfectly” in order to make a difference in your health, energy and longevity. So I help people develop an understanding of how they can set priorities for realistic steps to healthy eating.
What I Bring to the Table
I work as a writer, speaker and consultant to conquer that “nutrition overwhelm”.
I empower audiences and readers to go beyond the headlines and incorporate solid nutrition research into their lives. People tell me they appreciate my ability to break down complex information to provide clarity with a positive approach. They feel less overwhelmed and develop a sense of achievable priorities.
- I am invited to speak all across the country at nutrition and health conferences, alongside major figures in cancer research, nutrition and wellness.
- Every week for more than twenty-five years, my syndicated columns ran in newspapers and websites nationwide, and I continue now writing articles for major publications and websites.
- I also write for health professionals, including a variety of peer-reviewed research reviews.
- As a consultant, I revel in the chance to be involved in major projects as an expert reviewer, excavating through piles of studies to find the gems — recommendations that are scientifically sound — and then explaining how to put them into practice.
- I’m honored to have served as Nutrition Advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) for more than thirty years, both creating and reviewing educational messages, interfacing with the media, and presenting seminars and workshops for the public and health professionals.
- During many years in private practice, I provided individual and group nutrition counseling dealing with heart health, weight, disordered eating, and medical problems such as diabetes. Always, my focus was on realistic strategies for reaching health goals. That experience continues to inspire and inform my work today.
My heartfelt goal through all of this is to help you find ways to use what science shows so that you are not merely surviving in life, but truly thriving, healthy and energized for the life you want to live. It’s a journey, and I feel honored to walk it with you.
The Personal Side
Each stage of life brings new insights. With decades-long renovations of a Victorian home nearly done (Are they ever really done?), and my years as hockey-mom to two sons behind me, I’m embracing this chance to put my energy into professional and personal projects that intrigue me. As a military mom who’s been through my sons’ four deployments, enjoying a variety of physical activity options has been vital to keep me strong and healthy on many levels.
A personal story: I have now worked my way up to a red belt In Tae Kwon Do. Yet I still remember my first attempt at breaking a board. I had passed all other parts of the test for my first new belt, but try as I might, I couldn’t break the board. My instructor said,
“You are seeing the board as a barrier and letting it stop you. You’ve got to look beyond the board and kick through it.”
Sure enough, with focus, I broke my first board. I instantly saw it as a metaphor for all the walls my clients were seeing to eating more healthfully. I want to be the voice reminding people that even when we see barriers, that doesn’t mean we can’t break through.
GET TO KNOW: Karen Collins
Profile Interview: As featured in July 2014 Today’s Dietitian
Education, Affiliations and Awards
I am a registered dietitian nutritionist, with a BS degree in dietetics from Purdue University and a dietetic internship at Barnes Hospital/Washington University Medical Center. After a few years as a hospital clinical dietitian, I pursued a Master’s degree in nutrition from Cornell University, where I also became a Lecturer and Clinical Instructor.
One of my personal philosophies is that being actively involved is what makes a difference for causes I value and for my own growth. Starting with a three-year term as co-director of the Wellness/Cardiovascular Health subunit of the SCAN dietetic practice group, and ultimately serving as SCAN’s Chair, I enjoyed six years of serving on the board. Previously, I served as president of my local dietetic association, as well as president or board chair of multiple local charitable organizations.
I am a member of these professional organizations:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Heart Association
- American Society for Nutrition
- Diabetes Care and Education Dietetic Practice Group
- Dietitians in Business and Communications Dietetic Practice Group
- Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group
- Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) Dietetic Practice Group
Awards I treasure:
- Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND), an honor that recognizes outstanding professional accomplishments, pursuit of life-long learning, and visibly living out values such as social responsibility and integrity
- Distinguished Service Award from the American Institute for Cancer Research in 2019, citing “unparalleled” expertise in translating nutrition research and professionalism as an expert adviser dedicated to scientific research
- Excellence in Practice in Wellness Nutrition from the SCAN dietetic practice group in 2012
- Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in New York State by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics