Marissa Puleo, RDN
COUNSELING & CLINICAL DIETITIAN
for something nutrishus
I definitely share some similar nutrition perspectives with Marissa. She talks about rediscovering the joy in eating as well as finding the balance between healthy and happy (words I often use too!). Like many dietitians we've seen in the series, she is also involved in a wide variety of roles. She works in the challenging area of rehab and eating disorders, and thus definitely deals with diet misconceptions on a regular basis. She's another dietitian I would love to sit down to a meal with, we do love food after all!
Why did you become a RD?
Growing up, some of my favorite memories are from being in the kitchen. I grew up in a family where food was a big deal! I’m 100% Italian so cooking wholesome meals from scratch was something that was very common. As I grew up, I noticed how differently others viewed wholesome meals and how often they were avoided. There were diet foods, fat free foods, and 100-calorie packs all around me. I dabbled with these items and found they simply were not as nourishing as eating ‘real’ food. My natural interest in food and health lead me to a career as a registered dietitian. My passion now is to help people enjoy food again and work towards a positive food relationship.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
My primary population is people with eating disorders and constant dieters. I promote intuitive and mindful eating to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
How would you explain what you do?
My hands are currently in lots of pots! I started my own private practice, Thrive Nutrition located in Scranton, PA where I work with clients to reach personalized goals. In addition, I also provide nutrition counseling at Marworth Treatment Center to help addicted individuals recover from substance abuse and Marywood University to help students live healthier lifestyles while living at college. In addition, I am a part-time clinical dietitian at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. I know, busy, busy!
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
When working for my own business, I am either working directly with clients creating goals and steps to achieve these goals. Behind the scenes, I do a lot of work to communicate with the community by writing blog posts, sharing recipes, and doing presentations for different companies. I currently do all my scheduling and billing, so even when I’m not in the office, I’m working on something.
When at other sites, I also provide nutrition counseling for individuals, but also work with more small groups. I lead a nutrition process group to discuss the importance of nutrition in recovery when at Marworth and also provide a monthly presentation on Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning.
What has been your career path?
I received my B.S. from West Chester University of PA and I completed my dietetic internship at Marywood University. When I first passed my RD exam, I became a part-time clinical dietitian at Regional Hospital of Scranton and part-time long-term care dietitian at Mercy Center in Dallas, PA. It was not long before I was laid off at the hospital and I decided to take the plunge at that time and start my own business. I have since focused on growing my career as a private practice and consultant RD by providing nutrition counseling.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I am planning to attend the Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference for professionals to gain more perspective on helping those with eating disorders. I have attended several local seminars and trainings to remain current in the ever changing world of nutrition!
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
Ideally, I think it would be amazing if there were more eating disorder dietitians. It’s such a growing concern for many as cases rise and where to turn for help is commonly a struggle. Food wise, I hope that more people can understand that calories are not always the enemy and to focus more attention on ingredient labels.
What do people think that you do for a living?
I think people think I’m the food police and just tell people what to eat and avoid all day. PSA: This could not be more inaccurate and makes for a great opportunity to share what I really do!
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I am mostly passionate about helping people understand they don’t need to diet to be healthy. My focus is to help people to trust their bodies and eat foods that are nourishing for the mind and body.
What is your favourite meal?
I could go for pasta, penne to be exact, with meatballs and homemade sauce anytime ;)
More about Marissa:
Instagram : @thrivenutritioncounseling
Facebook: Thrive Nutrition
Website: Thrive Nutrition