Sometimes we need a little inspiration, whether it be for a workout, nutrition tips or a new recipe and Instagram can be an amazing way to find it! Instagram is full of nutrition experts but it can be tough to weed out the good from the not so good information out there. Don’t you worry, we got you covered. Here are the eight nutrition influencers you should be following this year (in no particular order)!
Incredible Nutrition Influencers You MUST Follow in 2021
McKel Kooienga, MS, RD, LDN
Mckel is a registered dietitian, founder of Nutrition Stripped and creator of the Mindful Nutrition Method. Her personal health and wellness philosophy is that health is a daily practice. It isn’t something that is micromanaged or all consuming. It’s a practice and a process. She also believes that “our physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health is a combination of thousands of thoughts, choices, and actions we take to create a way we live.” She states that, “food is more than cellular nourishment for our physical bodies, it’s about the experience and mindset around our eating and lifestyle habits to achieve the health we deserve.”
Mckel started her health and wellness path young as she always suspected that she was meant to support others on their own health journeys. As an artist at heart, she loves merging the art of healthy living with the science of nutrition and health to make a full picture of human health come alive. She started Nutrition Stripped in 2013 as a way to share her gifts, expertise and passions. This has grown into an amazing community and resource. Mckel continued to evolve her philosophy as she experienced her own health issues such as migraines, digestive issues, anxiety and depression. This taught her more about self-care, intuition, resilience, habit change and confidence.
Right now, Mckel is passionate about moving to the forest of Tennessee with her husband to live more sustainably and homestead. Right now, she is working on the 2021 Mindful Nutrition Method and inviting more people to reclaim balance and experience a more positive and supportive approach with the way they nourish themselves.
Kristen Carli, RD
Nutrition Counseling and Consulting: www.camelbacknutritionwellness.com
Kristen is a Registered Dietitian and her health and wellness philosophy is “more plants – the more, the merrier!”
Kristen originally got her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and worked in PR software and product design. After 5 years, she felt unfulfilled and went back to school for nutrition. She got her Bachelor’s of Science in nutrition and dietetics, completed the dietetic internship and became a Registered Dietitian. She started her labor of love, her plant-based blog and Instagram, Mostly Green, while she was in school.
She is passionate about helping future nutrition students succeed. She states, “Going back to school was HARD. Becoming a dietitian is HARD. I want to help make this process easy!” Her long term goals include continuing to serve more patients through preventing and fighting chronic diseases in her individual nutritional counseling. Also, she plans to help remove some barriers to entry for nutrition students and future RDs, by creating more opportunities and providing additional resources.
Right now, you can find her working on recipe development for Mashed.com which she is having a lot of fun doing! She is also creating recipes and doing food photography for a few brands. She works one-on-one with patients via telehealth 3 days per week specializing in chronic disease prevention and management including patients with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, prediabetes, and weight management. Finally, she spends a lot of time working with nutrition students, helping them match to the dietetic internship through my work with All Access Dietetics.
Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, CPT
Erin is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. Her health and wellness philosophy is progress not perfection. She shows them how focusing on small, simple changes they can actually stick with is key to long term success since the true path to improved wellness is consistency.
Erin fell in love with nutrition during her first nutrition class in her physical education degree. She had dreams of becoming a gymnastics coach and owning her own gym but that class changed her path. She switched majors and became a Registered Dietitian. She connected with business owners throughout her time at college to learn as much as she could about the world of entrepreneurship. Right out of school she took two part-time jobs both in a clinical setting. Eight months later, she opened her own practice, then six months after that it became a full-time venture and after a year she hired her first dietitian to work with her! Soon after she connected with the media to help grow her client base and that opened doors she never imagined. She has now become an author of 4, almost 5 books, a speaker, a nutrition spokesperson for brands she loves, and the co-creator of Master the Media an e-course and program showing dietitians how to break into a career in the media to get their name in the news to launch their business and their brand.
Erin is passionate about taking the guesswork out of good nutrition especially for people with diabetes. Health doesn’t have to be complicated. Small, simple changes can have a major impact on overall health. Her long term goals include her first priority, to be the best mom she can be to her 3 little ones so they can grow up and have a positive impact on the world. Professionally, she wants to help as many people prevent and overcome type 2 diabetes through creating programs, books, and resources and also help as many dietitians and healthcare professionals learn how to get their name in the news to build their businesses and brands.
Right now she is working on video content as she grows her YouTube channel ‘Healthy Mom, Happy Family,’ growing the Master the Media e-course and programs she co-created, and working on releasing a new book by the end of the year! She is also working on life balance with a thriving business and three little ones.
Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Instagram Handle: @onceuponapumpkin
Maggie is a Chicago-based, Registered Dietitian. Her personal health and wellness philosophy is attainable wellness for millennials. No fads, crash diets, or health practices that leave you feeling miserable and even more confused about nutrition! She likes showing people how they can focus on small nutrition practices that can have a big impact on their mood, health and life!
Maggie got started on Instagram, simply by showing her love for pumpkin foods and recipes. She started to notice that there was a community of people who loved all things pumpkin. That eventually turned into sharing different ways to use pumpkin in the fall and spotlighting seasonal foods, nutrition and body love for millennial women. She even published a cookbook in 2020 about all things pumpkin called “The Great Big Pumpkin Cookbook”.
Maggie is passionate about helping women love their bodies more and feel confident in their nutrition choices. I also strive to show people that healthy eating can be fun and exciting! With that, she has a long term goal to create a nutrition course for women. She is currently working on revamping her website.
To find Maggie check out her Instagram and/or website listed above. You can find her book on Amazon.
Dawn Jackson “DJ” Blatner, RDN, CSSD
Instagram Handle: @djblatner
DJ is a Registered Dietitian and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Nutrition. She started her journey after hearing some wise advice on television, “do for a career what you do in your spare time.” She evaluated what she loves to do in her free time and that was to cook vegetarian food for friends when they got home from the bars, read health & fitness magazines, and hang out at the health food store. So she made nutrition & dietetics her major. She has had some incredible opportunities along her journey which have included her first dream job of working at a health food store right out of college, all the way to working for Lifetime TV, as well as being on the Today Show and Good Morning America. She even won a reality show and won a World Series ring after being the head dietitian for the Chicago Cubs for ten years.
DJ’s health and wellness philosophy is “Eat plants, make swaps, have fun.” She is passionate about feeling good. She loves feeling good in her body, having empowering thoughts, and doing work that feels inspiring. She knows when she feels good she’s able to bring love and good vibes to everything she does & everyone she meets. When she feels good she is able to be of better service to the world.
When asked about her long term goals, DJ replied, “I’m not a goal setter. I’m a JOY SETTER. I try not to get weighed down by future goal-setting, and instead lean into daily joy-setting. I work to be present to the joys & ideas of TODAY.” How powerful is that? Right now, she is working on television and video projects and some public speaking gigs. She also has some ideas bubbling for an online Nutrition Camp for adults to learn and grow through fun activities and joy experiments. She’d also like to write a book, but that idea is still percolating.
Final thoughts for DJ, “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”
Megan Rigby, DNP, Certified Nutritionist
Megan is a Doctorate Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nutritionist. She fell in love with fitness and nutrition in graduate school. Her dissertation was all about helping families become healthier. This was 8 years ago and she never looked back. She believes that health and wellness is individual to each and every one of us! We have to find what healthy looks like for US. It has to be part of our life and not all of it! What we do and the habits we create need to be sustainable. She is passionate about helping people become their healthiest self.
For Megan’s long term goals, she wants to open up a small practice. As a Nurse Practitioner and Nutritionist, she would really like the face to face time with my patients. She wants to be able to offer her services on her terms as a provider. It’s why she went back to school! She wants to provide the best care in a holistic and modern manner. She is currently in school for her Family Practice Certification and will be starting telemedicine later this year.
When asked for final thoughts, Megan replied, “I am not your average Medical Provider. I am very different in the fact that I have combined the holistic whole body approach with real research. I believe patients can have the best of both worlds and it’s our job to help them create the healthy lifestyle they need. Medicine should not be all about pharmaceuticals. We need to offer a health approach that involves changing our lifestyle: movement, nutrition and mindset.”
Keri Glassman, MS, RDN, CDN
Keri is a Registered Dietitian and the brains behind Nutritious Life. Keri says she was born to do what she does. She struggled as a college athlete with finding the balance between fueling her body for competition and achieving the “ideal” female figure. Her inherent understanding and interest in food alongside her own internal struggle sparked a lifetime passion for delicious, nutritious food, healthy living and a desire to help make living a healthier, and more meaningful easier for all. After college, she worked at Sports Illustrated but would sit and read Health Magazine instead of doing her work. She knew nutrition was something she needed to pursue.
She received her Master’s of Science in Clinical Nutrition from NYU and became a Registered Dietitian. She could walk the walk and talk the talk but she felt overwhelmed when it came time to see her first client. So, she started her infamous “binder” to help her get organized. She created forms and tools and edited and tweaked and from there the Nutritious Life Studio was born. The Nutritious Life Studio is an online nutrition education platform, where thousands of wellness pros are changing people’s lives every single day. The community now has students from all 50 states and 32 countries!
Her nutrition philosophy is geared toward 8 pillars for total wellness. She believes wellness will look and feel different to every person, but we all have the desire to live healthier and happier lives. Keri’s passions include helping others change their lives and the lives of others, nutrition, science and of course her kids. Her mantra is that she tries to live by the rule of never fearing failure, only fearing lack of growth.
The goal with Nutritious Life has always been to reach as many people as possible and help them raise their nutrition a notch. Through NutritiousLife.com and other media outlets and through The Nutritious Life Studio she’s doing that. Recently, Nutritious Life was acquired by Empowered Education and now with a larger engine behind us they will be able to reach even more people across the globe. Be on the look out for lots of new stuff this year!
Gillean Barkyoumb, RDN
Instagram Handle: @millennialnutrition
Gillean is a registered dietitian and the owner of Millennial Nutrition. When Gillean was in 8th grade, her aunt took her to see the movie “Supersize Me” where the actor eats McDonald’s for 30 days straight. Seeing his health decline and understanding the impact nutrition can have was eye-opening to teenager Gillean.
After studying nutrition and getting her master’s degree, Gillean worked for multi-million dollar companies helping them perfect their product education while creating the foundation for her business today, Millennial Nutrition.
Gillean’s diet philosophy is about two things: simplicity and convenience. She helps millennial women build healthy habits by sharing time-saving hacks like her Dinner Formula —the no-brainer way to create a balanced meal. Her “No Recipe” Recipes—which require no measuring (who has time for extra dishes!?) and no rules—are another way she simplifies nutrition and makes it easy for millennial women. Additionally, Gillean offers a 21-Day Diet Reset guide and virtual program to help women dial in their nutrition with healthy, 20-minute or less staple dinners and daily accountability.
Gillean’s goal: to take nutrition off the to-do list of millennial women so they can focus on all the other important areas of their lives.