Gauri Junnarkar MS, RD, LD, CDE, LMT, BAMS
for something nutrishus
Many unique dietetic careers come from combined specialties. Like Sapna Punjabi-Gupta, Gauri's unique specialty involves her background in Ayurveda, but she also recently added massage therapy. With this background it is obvious that she takes a holistic approach when working with clients. She mentions two of my favourite terms, moderation and mindfulness, which fit so well with the evidence based consults dietitians offer.
Why did you become a RD?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda which is a holistic health science that originated in India 5000 years ago. Spices, herbs and foods are an important aspect of Ayurveda. I love research, and was always intrigued by the amount of research done in modern nutrition. So I decided to get a Masters in Nutrition, become a Registered Licensed Dietitian (RD, LD) and combine the two modalities to offer an integrative approach to nutrition.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I am in private practice. I have an integrative nutrition practice called ‘Ayurnutrition’ in Dallas Fort Worth where I combine Ayurveda and Nutrition. I am also a Certified Diabetes Educator. I provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) for Diabetes Type 1, Type 2, Pre Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, Weight Management, Renal and Heart Disease.
How would you explain what you do?
I am very passionate about Ayurveda and Nutrition. I got my Massage Therapy license last year and also have started offering Ayurvedic Massage and Ayurvedic Bodywork therapies. In practice I combine all three modalities and offer an integrative wellness approach to health.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
A typical day starts with getting to my office by 9 am. Next I log into the schedule to look at the appointments for the day. I take out the client files in order of appointments. Next I make arrangements to be ready for the client. If the client is coming for a combo session which includes consult and massage therapy, then I make sure I have everything ready for the consult and massage therapy session. A typical day may have 5-6 consults and combo sessions. In between sessions I finish documentation for the sessions. Lunch is usually between 12-1 pm. Depending upon the time and the next session I answer client emails and phone calls. I also take mini stretch breaks in between sessions. After my last session, I make appointment reminder calls for the next day and head home by 6-6:30 pm. So the typical days is busy, but as long as I am organized and on top of things it goes pretty smoothly.
What has been your career path?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda (BAMS) from the University of Mumbai. After coming to the United States I did a Masters in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. I did my clinical internship, passed the RD National Board exam and became a Registered/Licensed Dietitian. I worked in-patient for some time and then worked in Outpatient Diabetes Centers for a number of years. I got advanced certification as a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator). I love to teach and have been teaching Undergraduate Nutrition at Tarrant County College as an Adjunct Professor. I also completed a 500+ hour Massage therapy course and got a Massage Therapy License.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda (BAMS) from the University of Mumbai. I have a Masters in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. I got advanced certification as a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator). I also completed a 500+ hour Massage therapy course and got a Massage Therapy License.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
I see a lot of growth for the industry. I feel with the growing interest in holistic nutrition and Nutrigenomics. I feel that these two fields will become more prominent.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
‘A dietitian will take all my favorite foods away’. A dietitian on the contrary is an expert Nutrition and Healthcare professional who will work with and educate the client on making better food choices.
What would you like people to know about RDs?
RD’s are expert Nutrition Professionals who have undergone a lot of training to become a Registered Dietitian. So if you have any nutrition or food related questions, RD’s are the best health care professional to seek advice from.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I am passionate about an Integrative approach to Dietetics.
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is a Lentil Quinoa Khichari (casserole) with green beans sautéed in olive oil and cumin.
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
Mindful eating and everything in moderation.
More about Gauri:
Google Plus: Ayurnutrition