Jun. 24. 2015
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Get to know Keri Glassman, the impressive Dietitian and go-to source for all things nutrition.

Hi everyone! Today I have another inspiring woman to share with you all, meet fellow registered dietitian and crusader for healthy living, in today’s Inspired Interview with Dietitian Keri Glassman. Keri is a go-to source for nutrition, especially family and kiddo nutrition, with everyone from the Today Show, to  Dr. Oz, Access Hollywood, Rachel, The View, and countless fashion and Women’s Health Magazines- her resume is quite impressive right? She was kind to share with the Nutrition Stripped community all about what she thinks of her career as a dietitian, what inspires her, how she balances work and life, and her favorite foods that keep her mind and body fueled.

Keri Glassman
for Nutrition Stripped


Keri Glassman MS, RDN, CDN

If you had to define all that you do in a title, what would you say?

Educator, Author, Mother, Entrepreneur, Tv and Magazine contributor, Dietitian, Healthy cook, CEO of Four Million Things on my to-do list having to do with being a mom and all things health & wellness!

What is your professional background?

Undergrad at Tufts University (I didn’t study nutrition there, but I did eat in their healthy dining hall – a lot!). Masters in Clinical Nutrition, NYU

How would you describe your philosophy about ‘Living Whole and Eating Well’?

It’s not all about food. At all. Over a decade ago, when I used to ask people about their sleep patterns, or about their relationships, they sometimes looked at me like I was craaaa-zy.  Times have a changed a bit (now they just may raise an eyebrow) and people are faster to accept and embrace, what I call the 8 pillars of a Nutritious Life.  The pillars are all connected on a physiological and behavioral level. When you eat well, you sleep well. When you sleep well, you eat well, you have more energy to work out and when you work out you sleep better etc etc etc… This has always been the core of my practice and philosophy. The food pillar – Eat Empowered, is all about putting the best, whole real foods into your body and listening to your body. It’s not “I can’t eat the chocolate cake”, it’s “I can eat the blueberries and they are good for my skin, my mind and a byproduct will be healthy weight.”   

How did you get started creating your passion into a business—what’s your story?

Somewhere in my late teens and early twenties, I began to have a big inner conflict around wanting to rock my “skinny” jeans and needing to fuel my body to tear it up on the soccer and lacrosse fields. I always had a passion for nutrition – even if I didn’t realize it.  My friend Amy, reminds me that I used to say things like “I am craving almonds, my body must need vitamin E” when I was as young as 12! (I don’t remember this and I probably had no idea what I was talking about, but, she will swear by it!) When I realized that being a nutritionist was an actual career choice, I had that “for realz? This is what I am meant to do!” moment.  I graduated from college and began working at Sports Illustrated (I have always been an athlete and fitness nut and wanted to do anything in the sports world!) and would sit and read Health Magazine instead of doing my work! That’s when I knew I needed to pursue this passion.

Studying nutrition was pretty natural for me. It combined my love of food with my nerdy interest in science and a super strong desire to be a helper. I started in a small office by myself, worked and hustled to build a client base and when I was a year in, hired my first dietitian to work for me.  I had an opportunity to do a national FOX segment and immediately fell in love with tv. That’s when I realized I really could reach more than just the peops coming into my office.  From there, I wrote my first book,  started a nutrition bar company… 10+ years later, I built a team of 5 RD’s, I’m on book #5, still love doing tv, and started The Nutrition School –an online nutrition school — and have had a whole LOT of ups and downs in between!

You work with large media brands, on TV, and magazines; what is your favorite outlet to share your information?

Working one on one with someone gives you a special kind of fulfillment.  You build a true relationship with another person whom you are helping to change their life.  Sharing info on tv and receiving emails from viewers about your tips is rewarding in another way. For me, I love breaking down the science into bits of info that I need to spit out fast and in a way that people can absorb it and put it into action.  And, writing books is completely another animal!  As corny as it sounds, I love each one for different reasons and one of the reasons I don’t think I could ever do one thing!

You have “The Nutrition School”, which educates nutrition professionals on entrepreneurship, how did you get started with this idea- did you ever dream you’d do this?

Yes! When I started my practice I created a very specific methodology that made it easy for me to be the best nutritionist I could be (it helped me be accountable to myself – something important as an entrepreneur!), and helpful for the client to be successful.  It’s part of the reason my business grew quickly, I think.  As I hired dietitians over the years, they studied my methodology and became Nutritious Life Certified in order to work in my office. So, no matter which dietitian clients were seeing, they were all getting the same level of care and being taught the same types of healthy habits (unique to their situations and to the personality of the dietitian of course), but still under my whole person approach. It was an obvious fit for me to be able to share this philosophy and methodology online for other wellness professionals who were looking for some career direction. If I can help others avoid the mistakes I made over the years, teach them my successes to expedite their own successes, and give them a roadmap to help their own clients reach their goals, then I have truly accomplished my original Nutritious Life mission — to help as many people as possible take their nutrition up as many notches as possible. Score!

Owning your own company isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it’s actually more of the “blood, sweat, and tears” variety; what are your biggest challenges as a business owner and how do you overcome them?

I actually use that exact expression all the time. Whenever someone says, “you’re lucky you do x, y or z…” I say, “Luck? Blood, sweat and tears baby.”  My number one challenge is definitely taking on too much.  How do I overcome it? I haven’t figured it out quite yet but I am working on it every day and I’ve gotten better at saying “no” and prioritizing.  One thing I do is take a look at my mammoth TO DO list each day and then write on a sticky the three or four things that without fail must get done that day. And if I ever forget to do that, at the end of the day I will actually write the post it note JUST to cross them off.  It just feels soooo good to cross things off lists — I know someone out there can totally relate 😉

What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?

I am a total quote geek. I have a lot. In general, my personal mantra is that I try to live by the rule of never fearing failure, only fearing lack of growth.Here are a few of my fave quotes:

  • Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. –Anais Nin
  • You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
  • If you have nothing but love for your avocados and you take joy in turning them into guacamole, all you need is someone to share it with. – Jason Mraz

Who or what gives you the most inspiration?

My kids. My kids. My kids.

Picture this, you’re living your most perfect day- what does this look like?

The perfect day… Waking up early (sans alarm clock) and going for a long walk on the beach.  Delish morning coffee and the paper.  Big healthy home cooked meals all day, hanging with the kids, my man and friends and fam, more beach time, a workout…..a glass of rose, more hang time…

Now, what’s your actual typical day look like?

Waking up early (via internal brain alarm) and getting through long list of emails at my desk while the house is quite. Delish morning coffee, kids to school, and all the madness that those 60 minutes brings. Then, it’s game on. Every minute counts. You can actually get a decent workout in in 12 minutes. And you can cross 3 phone calls off your list in taxicabs between a tv segment and a lunch meeting with your editor. You can write your newsletter while on the subway getting back uptown for a business meeting,  and grab a cup of tea with a friend while walking to a photo shoot. You can instagram that delish thing you saw in the window and facebook your latest blog while in hair and makeup. You can write a chapter of your book once back at your desk before the kids come home, and prep veggies for dinner while they do their homework… 🙂

Fueling your body from workouts and living lean takes work, what’s your typical meal for…

  • First thing upon waking: Water with lemon, sometimes a teaspoon of nut butter, coffee with whole milk or almond milk then usually an hour or so later breakfast of Ezekial toast with coconut butter and cinnamon or scrambled eggs with avocado and tomato are two faves. I take supplements here too, otherwise, I’ll forget to take them!
  • Morning: Some kind of nut and often a fruit with it – apple with cashews or mango and pecans or a green juice with nuts
  • Lunch:  My go-to – big green salad – kale, spinach or romaine with whatever veggies I have around (often cooked leftover from dinner and/or chopped raw I have pre-sliced for the kids), avocado and/or nuts and often some lean protein – again, often leftover – chicken, fish. 
  • Supper: Living in NYC, I dine out a decent amount and love trying new restaurants – but I also LOVE being home and there is nothing like a yum home cooked meal. During the week at home dinners are fairly simple for the fam – always raw veggies on table, always a cooked veggie like burnt broccoli, some kind of protein like grass fed steak and usually a side dish like a farro salad. 
  • Snacks or sweets: I will never give up chocolate chip cookies!!!
  • Favorite beverage: Mint green tea, almost all herbal teas

What’s one of the wackiest nutrition myths you’ve heard of?

Hmmm… there are so many! You need to cleanse a couple days a month for good digestion.  Artificial sweeteners are good for you because they have no calories. 

There’s pros and cons to social media; being a trained and licensed dietitian what are you thoughts on the craze and fall of some social media “wellness gurus”; how do you feel it impacts the well-being of people following along?

I think many professions are affected by insta-experts.  Photographers, chefs, stylists… 

If social media and the things social media wellness “gurus” are putting out are the reason people are deciding to get healthier, find a new workout, try a new food, or gain the community and support they need to stay on track for their own goals, then I’m all for it.  And, there are many great ones out there and the more of us out there spreading the health message, well, then the better. That said, RDs are the experts in nutrition, and I hope that wellness “gurus” do their duty of educating themselves properly and from RDs so they are spreading health information reliably and responsibly.  That is one of the reasons I am so passionate about TNS — for every wellness guru I educate, I know that I did my part in helping to spread credible information and proper counseling technique.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about dietitians?

That we wear hair nets. 

How do you think our profession can support each other more?

There are so many ways now to support each other – buy each others books… interview each other! 😉 Talk to one another, introduce our audiences to each others.  There is plenty of room in the health and wellness space for dietitians that have really healthy messages…embracing one another only helps all of us, and gets our healthy messages spread that much further and faster! I ask for support from my colleague friends all the time. Don’t be afraid to ask for looove and support.

What are your personal favorite research resources? What things do you do to keep up to date with your profession?

I read – as much as I can – everything from the NY Times, Scientific American, Medical News Today, newsletters from organizations like SCAN, CSPI

Anything new you’re working on that you’d like to share?

The Nutrition School –  planning for our fall class in October.

Lastly, why do you enjoy reading Nutrition Stripped?

Well, you had me at Oatmeal Raisin Apple Cookies! I’ve been a fan ever since 🙂

So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?

WebsiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram, Youtube

I hope you all enjoyed this interview with Keri and be sure to check out Keri’s Nutrition School, click here to bring you to it! It’s an amazing resource especially for those of you who want to start a career in nutrition. If you sign up, be sure to use #NUTRITIONSTRIPPED when applying.

xx McKel