Cheryl is the “go-to” nutrition expert on Celiac disease and a gluten-free diet for the DC Metro area. She has worked with thousands of gluten-free clients to help them make life easier and healthier. She teaches locally, statewide and nationally, and her articles have been published in nationally in Today’s Dietitian, Simply Gluten-Free, Gluten-free Living and the Gluten Intolerance Group magazine and more. She has been quoted by on gluten-free living in the Washington Post, the Washingtonian, MSNBC, Delight Magazine, etc. She has been the Nutrition Advisor for DC Celiacs since 2007.
Whether you’ve been gluten-free for 2 weeks or 2 decades, it’s normal to have questions. The first priority, of course, is to make sure diets are completely gluten free. But when the dust settles, it’s important to make sure it’s a healthy, varied and enjoyable gluten-free diet! Fiber, B vitamins, calcium, iron, and more are particularly important for people on a gluten-free diet. Many people also have questions about how to have a balanced diet, about label reading, identifying hidden sources of gluten, how to avoid gluten when dining out, how to navigate holidays, travel, and how to make it EASY so that it fits in your schedule and budget.
And, of course, there are all the “normal” nutrition questions: how to combine a gluten-free diet with eating for high cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer, etc.
Good Cardiovascular Health:
Are your blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol starting to creep upwards? There’s no good reason to wait to get diagnosed with heart disease to take better care of your body, and plenty of reasons to be proactive! While medications and supplements can be helpful for many people, nothing can replace healthy, balanced meals and exercise.
While research studies have been mixed, many parents report that removing gluten and/or dairy from the diets of children with autism, ADHD, and sensory processing issues can lead to improvements in attention, learning, behavior, and other physical complaints. If you decide this is something to try for your child, Cheryl can help you learn about label reading, identify foods to eat and avoid, ensure that your child is eating a balanced diet and getting the nutrients needed for growth and development and help you identify helpful resources for yourself and your child.
The first step is knowing what to eat, but for most people, that’s only part of the challenge. The second step is HOW and WHY we eat. Mindful eating helps us slow down and develop a healthier, more balanced relationship with food. Not only are there many documented benefits for cardiovascular disease, depression and even cancer, but it often can lead to better weight management, too. Especially if you’re a lifelong dieter and it never sticks long term, it’s time to try something new. Cheryl has trained in mindfulness, meditation and mindful eating through the Center for Mind-body Medicine in DC, Insight Meditation Center of Washington, Michelle May’s Am I Hungry? and more for the past 8 years.
She recently wrote a featured article in the March 2013 issue of Today’s Dietitian on Mindful Eating.
Often when people are diagnosed with food allergies, they need assistance figuring out what foods are safe to eat on their new diet. Removing foods from the diet may also lead to deficiencies of nutrients over time, and it’s important to find other foods that supply those nutrients or identify supplements that will fill those needs. People with food allergies often have questions about eating out, traveling, navigating the school system and more. Cheryl can help you find safe foods, create a healthy, balanced diet, and direct you toward great books, websites, blogs, support groups, stores and other helpful resources.
Since Cheryl discovered that she could not eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, yeast, sugar and more, she has learned a tremendous amount about juggling allergies and living well from both her personal and professional experiences.
Cheryl recently presented at the FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) annual conference in 2013 on eating well with food allergies.
Most people have a general idea of what they need to do to lose weight: eat less and do more. But often it’s not that simple, and it’s important to sort through a lot of the diet “hype” that we hear in the media every day. Many people need support to develop a healthy, balanced plan to support overall health and well-being. Clients keep a food record, which helps Cheryl identify eating pattern and helps YOU be more aware of your every day choices.
Research has shown time and time again that diets don’t work. Not only that, many people gain MORE weight after dieting. So Cheryl’s focus is on goal setting with clients, and choosing measurable, steps towards where you want and need to go, rather than assigning a diet plan.
All people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are different, and there is no one diet that works for everyone. However, many people with FM, CFS and other autoimmune conditions report great improvements in pain and fatigue levels when they remove gluten from their diet. Other foods that often cause problems are sugar, artificial sweeteners and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers). Most people also do well when eating less processed foods and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Cheryl works with clients with FM/CFS to help create a diet that will help them feel better and have more energy. A common topic is food preparation when dealing with fatigue, and creating strategies to make healthy eating possible and keeping meal preparation simple, inexpensive and doable.
Babies bring a lot of joy, and Cheryl can help you make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need for a happy, healthy mom AND baby during pregnancy and afterwards. Cheryl has helped moms and babies for many years and is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and breastfeeding advocate.
There are a variety of dietary treatments that can help get stomach pain under control, and Cheryl has had many years of experience specializing helping clients manage these through diet. She has also received extensive training on a low FODMAP diet, which helps many people with IBS and IBD.
It’s important for children to eat a healthy diet as they grow, both for their health today, and because children set lifelong eating patterns in their early years. Cheryl works with parents to choose strategies to help picky eaters and veggie avoiders expand their horizons.
Whole foods eating involves eating foods in an unprocessed state. Generally, the more “whole” a food, the healthier it is for us. For example, eating an apple is healthier than apple sauce or apple juice, because it has more fiber and other healthy nutrients. Cheryl can help you find ways to incorporate more whole foods and limit processed foods in your diet.
Vegetarian diets and vegan diets can be very healthy if they are planned to make sure you are getting enough nutrients. Often, vegetarians and vegans find they are not getting enough calories, protein, iron, calcium, B12 and or other vitamins. Cheryl can help make sure you are getting a balanced diet and find ways to add more nutrients, if needed, while honoring your decision to avoid animal products.
PCOS is a common reproductive disorder that often causes weight gain and problems with blood sugar, too. Diet, exercise and stress management are a huge part of avoiding or managing complications of PCOS. Fortunately, over the last few years there has been increasing research on the best food strategies.
In 2003 I was diagnosed with PCOS and met all of the diagnostic criteria. It was a major call to action for me. After a dietary overhaul and lifestyle changes, I’ve gone years without any symptoms and no longer meet any testing criteria for PCOS. Many factors can contribute to hormone imbalance, yet I’m a huge believer that our daily choices can absolutely make a big impact on symptoms and quality of life.