Judith Scharman Draughon, MS, RDN, LD





for something nutrishus

It's always great to meet dietitians via other dietitians. Judith (AKA Judes) was referred by interviewee Krista Ulatowski. She's a client of Krista's and went from supermarket RDN to corporate wellness RDN to now author RDN. Her career hasn't followed a straight line, but her experiences have helped her create a unique position and business.

Why did you become a RD? 

I was always interested in nutrition from my junior high track days through high school days as I learned to balance my eating habits. 

What area of dietetics do you work in? 


How would you explain what you do? 

I help people sort through the massive amounts of nutrition information to know what to eat that fits into their lifestyle. 

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

I motivate groups of people to make healthier choices through presentations and seminars. I also create recipes or find products that are healthy, easy, fast and delicious! 

What has been your career path? 

My first job was a clinical dietitian at a hospital. Then I became an outpatient dietitian for a hospital. After my first child was born, I wrote a book about healthy food shopping and launched a supermarket tour business that I led for a few years until I moved to the Middle East for four years. I was fortunate in that I had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the world while raising my children. 


Upon returning to the States, I worked with parents to create a health-promoting environment for their children and teens. I even hold a patent for a children’s nutrition educational tool! During this time, I also taught nutrition and healthy cooking at a culinary institute. In 2013, I continued teaching at the culinary institute but started a private practice with an emphasis on corporate wellness. I helped employees to live healthier lives in a group setting through presentations and seminars. I also worked with CEOs of companies to improve their health despite their hectic traveling schedules. That was a good fit for me given I led a busy life filled with travel, too. 

In an attempt to help these employees and clients, I narrowed down the scientific findings to the twelve most important things, or “fixes,” they could make to improve their weight and health. These twelve “fixes” became the base of my new book, “Lean Body Smart Life: 12-Fix Plan to a Leaner, Healthier, Happier Life.” The book is chock-full of tangible ways to actually apply these 12 fixes to people’s busy lives. It includes shopping advice, cooking formulas and 36 educational videos. It will soon have an accompanying app to help track the fixes you are working on. I also have a Lean Body, Smart Life RDN Affiliate Program, so dietitians can use my book and presentations to open up doors to help more groups, organization and clients. Since becoming an author, I primarily speak to groups across the country and spread my message of ways to make small changes that make a big impact on your health over time. I love helping people feel better!

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I have a bachelor of science degree in medical dietetics and a masters of science in health education. I regularly attend conferences where the leading researchers are presenting from around the world. I also have an advanced certificate of training in adult weight management and another in pediatric weight management from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. 

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now? 

A world with less nutrition misinformation and more sound nutritional information based on science being dispensed. 

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? 

RDs are the nutrition experts!

What are challenges you encounter as a RD? 

RDs have degrees that are based on biochemistry so our ability to look at the whole health picture is more clear than those with less science education. Consequently, when those with less science-based education provide counseling, there is a lot of mistruth that is being applied to peoples’ diets that is counterproductive to long-term health. 

What do people think that you do for a living? 

Many people think I’m a cook. 

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

Helping people know what to eat to make them feel better for years to come. 

What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals? 

Often RDs have more science-based education along with a broader scope of nutrition to fit scientific truth into the whole picture. 

What is your favourite meal? 

Grilled seafood and roasted vegetables or grilled seafood on a green salad. 

What tip(s) would you give to our readers? 

Connect with the groups, patients and clients you work with before you try to help them. Often it takes just a minute or two. By this I mean listen to what they need and where they are at in their lives. Then meet them there rather than deciding what they should do. 

More about Judith:

Website: Foods With Judes

Instagram: @foodswithjudes

Facebook: Foods With Judes

Twitter: @FoodsWithJudes

Pinterest: Foods With Judes

LinkedIn:  Judith Scharman, MS, RDN, LD

Google+: Foods With Judes

Thanks Judes!