Christendom College

From the Dietitian


Hi! My name is Michelle Van Doren and I am a Registered Dietitian. I have been working in health, fitness and nutrition for 16 years now. I have enjoyed working as a health educator for both individuals and groups, clinical work in hospitals, outpatient centers, and long-term care. I also enjoy writing about nutrition and health and write regularly for two blogs, a hospital newsletter, and have been published in, a partner of the Lance Armstrong foundation.

Today is an exciting time as more and more individuals and families are taking an interest in the health benefits of natural whole foods. The expression “we are what we eat” has never been more true. Although we have more opportunities to buy healthy foods than ever before, understanding what a truly healthy diet is remains a challenge. It seems everyone is promoting the RIGHT WAY to eat with specialized diets including the paleo diet, vegetarianism, veganism, gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, and the raw foods diet just to name a few.

I would like to look at healthy eating from a practical perspective. I have recently taken part in an online group exploring healthy eating, and I would like to share with you part of my discussion in this group:

I have noticed that during our search for better health, we often feel like we should be doing something because it works for someone else. Perhaps it is switching to vegetarianism, or veganism, or a raw food diet, or the paleo diet, or any number of other ways to eat. We wonder if the choices we make are enough, maybe we are missing something, and so we continue to search out ways to improve our nutrition and that of our family.

While I am an excited life-long learner, I do believe we sometimes lose sight of the big picture when it comes to diet and finding the "Right Way" to eat.I truly believe healthy eating is a very personal and individualized thing. Being open and flexible and intuitive to our bodies is so much more important than finding the "right way" to eat. Because what's right today might not make us feel our best tomorrow...

I am very interested in helping individuals find their way when it comes to health and nutrition, and I am pleased to be working with Christendom College. I am excited to be offering an “Ask the RD” column, where you can share your nutrition questions. This is an excellent opportunity for us to learn together about nutrition and health and the latest nutrition news. This is available for families, students and faculty. By sharing our questions, we can all learn together.

Happy spring,
About the Chef