Jennifer Smith, MA, RD, LDN

  • Hometown: Willmar, Minnesota
  • Willmar High School
  • BS in Dietetics, Minor in Psychology – North Dakota State University
  • MA in Mental Health Counseling – Capella University
  • Registered Dietitian since 2001

Featured in Charlotte Observer’s Mom of the Week

As a child and adolescent, I didn’t think much about nutrition and physical activity. I ate what I wanted to eat, when I needed to eat, and stopped eating when I was satisfied. I biked, swam, and played without thinking much about how it affected my weight and body.

In my late high school and early college years, nutrition and physical activity became more of a focus…to an extreme. I started restricting by trying every fad diet and started over exercising. I was constantly thinking about food, calories, and weight. Eventually, I began to overeat and gained all of the weight back plus more. I hated myself for my lack of willpower.

During this time, I started to focus on nutrition and psychology in college. Through my studies, I realized that I didn’t overeat due to a lack of willpower. Food was the one thing in my life that I was able to control, yet my mind and body were fighting back in order to function. Restricting almost always leads to overeating. I am thankful that I was able to break the mindless eating cycle and regain a healthy relationship with food, physical activity, and weight.

As a dietitian, I have over seventeen years experience working with individuals who are dealing with disordered eating. As a mother of three girls, I know how important it is to promote healthy eating while allowing kids and teens to enjoy their favorite foods.  I also know that balancing it all with a busy schedule can be difficult, but it can be done!  Most importantly,  I know the importance of mindfulness in eating and every aspect of our lives to achieve variety, moderation, and balance.