Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD: General bio, GI Dietitian, Speaker, Gluten-free Expert, Mindful Eating Coach, Writer & Teacher

Picture of Cheryl Harris, photo by Doris Kuehn

Cheryl Iny Harris, MPH RD is celebrating 20 years as an RDN! She has spent the majority of that time focused on digestive disorders. She was recognized as one of the top nutritionists in the DC metro area by the Washingtonian and was selected as the “Emerging Dietetics Leader of the Year” for Virginia for her commitment to enhancing patient well-being as a clinician, through research, writing and speaking. She has presented widely on nutrition for the Virginia Academy Annual Conference, Maryland Diabetic Association, the Institute of Medicine, Villanova and more and taught the Academy’s Certificate of Training in Gluten-related disorders released in 2021. Her articles on nutrition have appeared in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Today’s Dietitian, Simply Gluten-free Magazine, Gluten-free Living, Gluten Intolerance Group, and numerous DPG newsletters.  She has been quoted by many media outlets, including the Washington Post,, WebMD, Cosmopolitan, Prevention, the Food Network, and the Washingtonian. Cheryl currently serves on the board of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a disability advocate. Cheryl is trained as a trauma-informed mindfulness practitioner in MBSR, MB-EAT and MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion)

Why nutrition? I come from a Middle eastern family. Food was my first language. I understand that for many people, food is central to family, culture, celebration and comfort.

GI Dietitian:

I have spent the last 17 years focused primarily on digestive health of all sorts. That includes Celiac disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns & Ulcerative Colitis), microscopic colitis, gastroparesis, reflux, bloating, SIBO, fructose and sucrose intolerance, EPI, nickel allergies and more. Of course, people with digestive issues often have anxiety around eating, disordered eating, and sometimes chronic pain. Many have had difficulty getting the care they deserve, and getting someone to listen and try to put the pieces together.

Why? Well, I didn’t start out with an interest in digestive health or complex medical issues. Over 20 years ago I developed severe and humbling digestive issues. Even as a dietitian I didn’t have the skills and resources to manage them. I spent years as a “medical mystery”, and needed to understand what was happening to me, and how nutrition interacted with other systems of the body. I’ve been on that path ever since. Countless courses and thousands of patients later, GI nutrition is now a recognized specialty, and it’s been a wonderfully rewarding career.

Honors:picture of blueberries

Cheryl was honored to be selected as one of the DC area’s best nutritionists by the Washingtonian in 2014, was selected as Virginia Dietetics Association’s Dietetics Leader of the Year for 2012 and received a Leadership Award from the Department of Health in DC in 2005.  Cheryl was a board member for the Celiac Sprue Association for 2012 and served as a board member and Nutrition Advisor for DC Metro Celiac Association from 2006 until DC Celiacs disbanded in 2019.

Background and certifications:

Cheryl Harris (full bio) has a Master’s Degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley in and a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University in 2000.  She has worked as a Registered Dietitian and nutritionist since 2003. Cheryl has trained extensively in mindfulness, mindful eating, and stress management, and has completed the foundational Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher training  and the Mindful Self Compassion program through the Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Institute at University of San Diego, an MBSR Practicum with Trish Magyari. To round things out, she has also taken professional training program through the Center for Mind Body Medicine and coaching coursework on Michelle May’s “Am I Hungry?” program. Cheryl is certified as a Health and Wellness Coach through Wellcoaches.

Cheryl has taken a wide range of trainings (incomplete list):

  • Monash FODMAP courses on IBS and the Monash course on Identifying Eating disorders in Gastrointestinal Conditions
  • Low FODMAP trainings with Kate Scarlata, Patsy Catsos, etc.
  • Yearly digestive health courses, including IBD specific trainings, IBS trainings, gastroparesis, SIBO, POTS & dysautonomia, disordered eating, ARFID, neurodiversity, etc.
  • Ehlers Danlos Society ECHO Clinician Training & AHP trainings
  • The Mast Cell Society ECHO training

Gluten-free expertise:

Cheryl is the “go-to” nutrition expert on Celiac disease and a gluten-free diet for the DC cute picture of a squash with tomato eyesMetro 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, on Let’s Talk Live DC and more. She has been quoted on gluten-free living in the Washington Post, the Washingtonian, MSNBC, Living Without, Delight Magazine, etc. She enjoyed serving as the Nutrition Advisor for DC Celiac from 2007 to 2019.  She has shared her expertise at the Virginia Dietetics Association Annual Conference, guest taught for Institute for Integrative Nutrition, presented at an FDA panel on Gluten in Medications, has been quoted in the Washington Post on a gluten-free diet, discussed gluten sensitivity on on “Let’s Talk Live DC”, chatted on Celiac Radio, and has authored articles and classes for Today’s Dietitian, including Growing up Gluten-Free  in the Sept 2013 issue of Today’s Dietitian and Celiac and Thyroid disease .  She has written articles on gluten free living for the Gluten Intolerance Group, DC Celiacs newsletters, and more.  She was a content editor for the Dietitians in Gluten Intolerance subunit of the AND Medical Nutritional Therapy group.  Selected presentations on gluten-free living and Celiac disease include  Northern Virginia Occupational Health Nurses, DC Celiacs, Chesapeake Bay Area Celiac Support Group, King George Celiac support group, and many more. She has been gluten-free for almost two decades and so she blends personal experience with the current research, and her gluten-free blog was recognized by the Washingtonian as one of the area’s best.

Mindful eating:

Cheryl began meditating in 2003, and it quickly became an area of passion for her. It also became apparent how supportive mindfulness and mindful eating is for nutrition practice. She has authored articles on mindful eating for Today’s Dietitian, written on using mindful eating for binge eating disorders for the peer reviewed SCAN newsletter, and created and taught a grad student course on incorporating mindful eating into nutrition practice at Maryland University of Integrative Health . Cheryl has spoken on Mindful Eating at Villanova University, Maryland Diabetes Association and many local groups. Her quotes on mindful eating have been featured in the Washington Post, the Washingtonian,  Prevention magazine and Gluten-free Living Magazine. Cheryl has trained extensively in mindfulness, mindful eating and stress management, and has completed the foundational Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher training and Mindful Self Compassion training and teacher training through the Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Institute at University of San Diego, MB-EAT teacher foundational training, professional training program through the Center for Mind Body Medicine and Michelle May’s “Am I Hungry?” program. Cheryl has also focused specifically on trauma informed skills for the past dozens of years, including a MBSR Practicum with Trish Magyari, working with Devin Berry and spending many years learning from Deirdre Fay on incorporating shame resiliency and trauma sensitive skills into practice with clients. She is also the author of a training on Trauma Informed Care through Today’s Dietitian.

Speaker: Need a fun talk on nutrition and health? Cheryl speaks on nutrition and health for a wide range of national, statewide and local audiences.

Previous speaking engagements have included:

Logos of places Cheryl has spokenFood Allergy Support Group of Tidewater: Mission possible: a balanced diet with food allergies

  • Mindful Eating (webinar) Oct 9th from 3-4 EST through Dietitian Central
  • Mindful eating Maryland Association of Diabetes Educators
  • Eating Well with Food Allergies
    • FARE Annual Conference
  • Celiac Disease Awareness Month on Blog Talk Radio with Joy Keys May 18, 2013
  • Good Nutrition on the Go: Moms of Multiples
  • Eating for Survivorship: Life with Cancer in Fairfax, VA (several classes yearly, 2009-2015)
  • Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Chesapeake Society of Gastroenterology Nurses Nov 2012.
  • Celiac Sprue Association Gluten Free Blogging Oct 2012
  • Gluten-Free 101 for the N VA Occupational Health Nurses Association Jan 11th 2012
  • Gluten-Free 101 for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, July 2011
  • Benefits of Farmers Markets WUSA9 July 2011
  • Celiac Disease Video Project Grant funded by the Celiac Sprue Association McLean, VA, Released July 2011
  • Gluten Sensitivity  Let’s Talk Live DC TV segment April 2011
  • Gluten-free Goodness: Maximizing Nutrition on a Gluten-Free Diet for the  VA Dietetics Association April 2011
  • Great Gluten-Free Grains DC Celiacs  March 2011
  • Good nutrition on gluten-free diet Gluten-free Online Radio: Aug 2010
  • The Effect of Celiac Disease on Medications and Other Treatments  FDA Hearing June 2010
  • Harris Whole Health/Kaplan Center   10 classes a year on topics related to a gluten-free diet & Mindful eating    Alexandria/McLean VA
  • Healthy Gluten-free Eating, Gluten-free Grains Chesapeake Celiac Support Group
  • Healthy Gluten-free Holiday hints, Gluten-free weight loss  Washington Area Celiac Support Group 3/11, 5/09,11/07
  • Implications of Weight Gain for Pregnancy Outcomes: Issues and Evidence IOM/National Academies June 2008
  • Living Well with Cancer Smith Farm for the Healing Arts, Holy Cross Hospital, the Wellness Center, Life with Cancer,
    (2005-present, several annually)
  • Building Breastfeeding Friendly Communities  FNS USDA Annual Conference  Sept 2005
  • Successful Breastfeeding Efforts—Panel Mid Atlantic Region WIC July 2005

Nutrition expert and writer:
Cheryl writes for health professionals, nutritionists and also general audiences.Places that have quoted Cheryl HarrisShe is a freelance writer for Simply Gluten-free Living, Today’s Dietitian, Gluten-free Living, and Food and Picture of chocolate banana bread. Yum!Nutrition Magazine.

Selected articles include:


Cheryl was an adjunct teaching nutrition and coaching grad students on Mindful Eating and Nourishment at Maryland University of Integrative Health for 6 years and regularly gives continuing education webinars on nutrition through Dietitian Central, including:

  • Celiac Disease: What Every RD Should Know–3rdEdition
  • Gluten-free and Healthy!
  • Gluten-Free Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free: For All?
  • Mission Possible: A Balanced Diet for Food Allergies
  • A Happy, Healthy Gluten-Free Pregnancy and Baby Feeding
  • Food and Mood: Examining the relationship between food and depression, ADHD, Autism and general health
  • Mindful Eating: Latest Research and Practical Steps to Better Health
  • Mindless Eating: Holiday Edition

Other experiences

For 3.5 years, Cheryl had the pleasure of working with the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, VA., which has a variety of fabulous practitioners that specialize in chronic pain management.   Cheryl has worked with DC WIC (Women, Infants and Children) in various capacities for 5 years, where she was honored with a DOH Leadership Award in 2005.  She provided nutrition counseling services at Children’s Hospital to a clinic for obese children and teens, taught cooking classes for adults with learning disabilities and serves as a consultant for Mom Made Foods, a local organic baby food company.

Cheryl is a member of the following professional groups:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy DPG
  • Disabilities in Nutrition MIG
  • Dietitians in Functional Medicine DPG
  • Behavior Health Nutrition DPG