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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Sullivan

Canvas Rebel Interview

I was honored to be featured in Canvas Rebel Magazine! I loved sharing my insights and advice regarding starting my private practice, Nutrition for Body and Mind. Always remember, it's never too late to follow your dreams! Check out my interview below, and enjoy! I'm here to help you get started and stay focused on your health and wellness journey. Let me know when you're ready to get started!

Courtney , looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Setting up an independent practice is a daunting endeavor. Can you talk to us about what it was like for you – what were some of the main steps and challenges.

I started my own private practice, Nutrition For Body and Mind in 2010. My early work as a Clinical Dietitian in the fast paced hospital (intensive care unit) setting as well as my outpatient experience leading a Diabetes Support Group for patients gave me well rounded experience and a solid foundation. I also worked outpatient with a Board Certified Gastroenterologist helping patients in all realms of digestive diseases and disorders by creating specialized meal plans for them. This early work helped shape my approach and knowledge base as a Registered Dietitian.

My love for sports and growing up as an athlete spiked my interest in Sports Nutrition and moving into preventative health which is when I started my own nutrition private practice, Nutrition For Body and Mind. I became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer as well to help my clients with fitness and creating fitness plans. I enjoyed getting more involved in preventative health working one on one with clients in the sports nutrition field, pregnancy nutrition, weight loss and overall balancing a healthy lifestyle with a holistic approach.

I shared an office in Beverly Hills, CA with other amazing doctors that I worked with and had met in the Clinical setting. I brought in nutrition clients of my own and the other doctors would also refer clients who needed help with nutrition. It was a great office share wellness setting.

My advice for a young professional would be to gain a couple of years of experience in the field and growing your professional network before starting your own practice.

Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?

I grew up playing a variety of different sports and ran Varsity Cross Country and Track at Dana Hills High School. Running gave me a clear mind and strong body. It was then that I realized the importance nutrition had on performance and this spiked my interest in wanting to learn more in college. I went onto study Nutrition at The University of Arizona and completed my Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in Chemistry and a focus of Dietetics. I completed my 1 year Dietetic Internship at the VA Greater Los Angeles and then passed my RD board exams to become a Registered Dietitian. From there, I also became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. I tied together the aspect of nutrition and fitness as an overall approach to wellness when I started my private practice, Nutrition For Body and Mind.

I am passionate about helping my clients reach optimal health through the delicate balance of nutrition and exercise. My private practice is focused on lifestyle behavior modifications, fitness, wellness, sports nutrition tactics, pregnancy nutrition, digestive disorders, supplementation protocols, hydration needs, bride-to-be packages, and customized nutrition plans to accomplish your goals and address food allergies or nutrition related disease specific concerns.

It is one of the most rewarding jobs to help my clients get healthy and turn their life around for the better. I work one-on-one with my clients to create customized nutrition and fitness plans, individualized macronutrient needs, assess lab work and nutrient intake, as well as educate them on pre/post workout nutrition, dining out strategies, travel nutrition, portion control, timing of meals, and nutrition facts label reading. I help my clients develop a healthy relationship with food and understand the best ways that it can nourish their body. To see the look on their face when they have lost body fat, gained lean muscle, increased their energy, eliminated headaches, or gone off medications (i.e. blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar medications) to name a few, makes me feel so happy, fulfilled and proud. I implement customized nutrition with each client, it is never a “one fits all approach.” I help my nutrition and fitness clients stay accountable and on track with their goals, and I enjoy every minute of it!

If you could go back in time, do you think you would have chosen a different profession or specialty?

If I could go back, I would 100% choose the same profession as a Registered Dietitian. I have learned so much through my schooling, as well as through my experience in the Nutrition and Fitness/Wellness field and it has shaped who I am today. I have always wanted to “help people” and helping them learn how to make nutrition and/or fitness part of their everyday lifestyle has been a gift. It is a very rewarding experience to see the joy on my clients’ face knowing that I am helping to change their life for the better. Whether it be to eliminate stomach pain and digestive concerns, or help with weight loss, or help with lean muscle gain and athletic performance or lower cholesterol/blood pressure/blood sugar levels, or how to best fuel your body while pregnant or post pregnancy (while nursing), it is all so rewarding.

What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?

I believe putting in the time in the early years, networking and building my brand really helped build my reputation. For example, I researched all of the best GI, Sports Medicine, ENT, OBGYN, and holistic doctors in my area and set up meetings with them to let them know about my Private Practice, Nutrition For Body and Mind and how I could help their patients with nutrition. I created a strong referral network of doctors and from there it became a strong word of mouth network with my current clients. It is important to create strong connections and professional relationships in the field to get your name and brand out there.

Thank you so much for the feature Canvas Rebel. I loved sharing my insights and advice about starting my own private practice, Nutrition For Body and Mind.

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