Professional Development

RDs to Watch in 2017

To find out which dietitians will be movers and shakers in 2017, I put out several feelers on dietetic practice group LISTSERVS and some of my RD contact groups. I was absolutely blown away by the response and efforts of so many dietitians. The world of nutrition is ever evolving and RDs are leading the way. I had a tough time choosing whom to highlight, so I selected RDs from various areas of practice who are launching books, products, or services in 2017. Let’s all keep an eye out on the following dynamic dietitians.

Regina Ragone, MS, RDN, and Elizabeth Fassberg, MPH, RD, CDN
Ragone, cofounder of Food Fit Fabulous, and Fassberg, president and founder of Eat Food, are leading a hands-on food and nutrition journey to learn about all the nuances of the Mediterranean diet. The program is taught in Siena, Italy, several times per year, and RDs can earn 25 CE credits during this six-night, seven-day program. For more information about the program, visit 

Shahzadi Devje, MSc, RD, CDE
Toronto-based dietitian Devje is working with celebrity chef Charles Mattocks (AKA The Poor Chef), an international diabetes advocate, on an upcoming TV reality show called Reversed. Shahzadi will help develop the nutrition program, including education sessions for the show participants, all of whom have diabetes. She also will facilitate workshops and cooking demonstrations, collaborate with other health care professionals on set to cover diabetes-specific topics, and provide one-on-one coaching and nutrition support to participants. For more information about the show, visit

Jessica Levings, MS, RDN
Levings launched Balanced Pantry in April 2016 to provide accurate information about food and menu labeling for dietitians and consumers. With all the food and menu labeling changes coming in the next few years, it’s important that dietitians inform clients about the changes and counsel them on how to use the labels to their advantage. Be sure to pick up RD resources to share with clients about the new food and calorie changes rolling out on packaged foods and menus.

Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND
Beginning in April, Mitchell will host a global biweekly podcast called Beyond Bariatrics: Everything You Need to Move On. This is a joint project with Australian dietitian and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics member Amanda Clark, RD, founder of Portion Perfection tool kits for weight loss and postbariatric surgery. As there are 200,000 bariatric surgeries in the United States each year and patients generally need in-depth nutrition counseling postoperation, this podcast was created to provide reputable nutrition information.

Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Catsos will be releasing The IBS Elimination Diet and Cookbook, which is an expanded, updated edition of IBS: Free at Last!, in April. IBS: Free at Last! broke the FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols) story to consumers, dietitians, and gastroenterologists in 2009. She also has a low-FODMAP toolkit for RDs available on her website at 

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, and Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, Chef
Be on the lookout for Shaw and Haas’ new Fertility Foods Cookbook, which hits shelves this summer. The cookbook provides more than 100 nourishing recipes to bring awareness to the important role nutrition plays in fertility. Both of these lovely ladies have struggled with infertility, and this cookbook combines science, nutrition, and recipes for those trying to conceive. 

Kelly Springer, MS, RDN, CDN
Springer is a corporate wellness guru who launched a series of 80 short videos on nutrition in the workplace. The online learning platform Kelly created is available for all employees, not only those who can attend a 12 PM “lunch-and-learn.” The series consists of 52 weekly videos, 12 monthly videos, and 12 weight loss videos. She’s also partnering with Healthie, an online dietitian platform with an app, which allows employees to enter their biometrics, track their food, and even contact a Kelly’s Choice dietitian through their HIPAA-compliant site for video nutrition visit.

Jessi Haggerty, RD, CPT
Haggerty wrapped up the first season of her BodyLove Project podcast and is now recording her second season. The podcasts showcase experts in the field of eating disorders, as Haggerty’s mission is to help women (and men) achieve acceptance and happiness with their bodies.

Marci Evans, RD
Evans has launched a five-part online training series for dietitians to become skilled in treating eating disorders and will be adding more courses throughout 2017.

Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RDN, HFS
Scritchfield just released her first book, Body Kindness: Transform Your Health From the Inside Out — And Never Say Diet Again. In this practical, inspirational, and visually appealing book, she demonstrates how to create a healthier and happier life by treating yourself with compassion rather than shame. It shows the way to a sense of well-being attained by understanding how to love, connect, and care for yourself—and that includes your mind as well as your body.

Jodi Danen, RD
Danen recently launched Lunch Bites lunch box note cards for kids. Her goal is to provide a little bit of nutrition education at lunch, using the cafeteria for teaching kids about healthful eating just as the classroom is used for other subjects. The cards offer positive sayings and acts of kindness on the front side with jokes, riddles, and fun facts on the back.

Leslie Powell Schilling, RDN, and Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD, CSSD
Power RD duo Schilling and Peterson will release Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods From Baby’s First Bite in May. In the book, the two discuss how to make nearly any family meal baby friendly so parents don’t have to cook separate meals. It also incorporates age-based advice, culinary help for parents, and easy, step-by-step recipes so you can introduce healthful and tasty food to your infant as early as possible.

Barbara Spalding, MA, MS, RDN
New York City-based Spalding just launched a website called Breast Cancer Kitchen to help women deal with the many issues that arise before, during, and after breast cancer treatment. As an RD who’s had breast cancer intermittently over 10 years, she has a unique perspective on managing nutrition and lifestyle after diagnosis.

— Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition and the author of the cookbook The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day. She’s also a nutrition expert for and a contributor to US News Eat + Run,, and Muscle & Fitness.

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