Feeding Kids & Picky Eating
I’m Ronika, a UT trained registered dietitian, foodie, busy working wife & mom.
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, so naturally, my comfort food is bean and cheese tacos. I love Indian food, kimchi has grown on me and
I love trying out new restaurants in the Austin area where we live.
I love baking homemade gluten free desserts (I'm allergic to gluten AND eggs, which is tricky for finding baked goods). I'm not the best home cook out there but I can follow a good recipe. I recently discovered Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups....they are SO good!
If you know the enneagram personality types, I'm a type one. So, I'm someone you would want flying your plane or doing your surgery. I'm great with details, a perfectionist, but can also set too high of standards for myself and others. I have learned to let grace, kindness and compassion play a huge role in my work and personal life.
My approach to nutrition is science based and compassionate.
My goal is to get you feeling your best, teach you about nutrition and to accept and love your unique body which will lead to you being your healthiest self.
Why I Became a Dietitian
Before college, I asked myself, “what could I do that wouldn’t feel much like work?” I realized that I loved reading nutrition articles in my free time and friends asked me about food. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a dietitian.
Through years of taking classes and pursuing a career helping people with prevention of health problems, I found my fit! I earned a BS in Nutritional Science through the Coordinated Program in Dietetics from the University of Texas.
Highlights of my internship were hours spent working with expecting mom and moms of young children at WIC and a specialty rotation working with children with GI issues and Type 1 and 2 diabetes at McClains Children’s in Temple. It was there that I was introduced to Health at Every Size (HAES) and Intuitive Eating Principals in the clinical setting.
I have learned quite a bit after graduating through self study and continuing education. I am thankful for where my journey has lead me.
My Food Struggle Story
Even as a child, stress had a big influence in my life. My parents divorced when I was little and worried quite a bit. As I struggled through my teenage years and all of the challenges that came with them, dance was my outlet. Dance kept me active, hungry and at a healthy weight.
However, as I started my first jobs and college, as my responsibilities grew, a pattern came out. Stress affects people in different ways. Some eat for comfort. I would forget to eat. I would under eat because I was so worried about other things. I didn’t have time to dance anymore, either. I started losing weight, muscle tone and strength. I started having neck and back pain. I felt like my body was falling apart! I couldn’t work out for more than a few minutes without feeling dizzy and weak.
After I had been married for a couple of years, and my husband had to beg me to eat at times, I saw a wise and wonderful doctor. He identified some of the physical problems that were affecting my eating - Helicobacter pylori (a bacteria that causes pain and stomach ulcers) & food allergies!!! Gluten and eggs had been causing migraines and severe stomach issues for years. After treating the bacteria and eliminating the gluten/eggs, I started to feel so much better. Still, the stress factor and under eating were there.
Why I am Passionate about Working with Pregnant Moms and Families
When I got pregnant at almost 30, I was underweight. Pregnancy was a challenge. I had several life changing health concerns, including gestational diabetes. At that time in my life, I was just becoming a dietitian. I knew that I wanted to help others, preventing as much suffering as possible. I had been so focused on my studies that I neglected myself. I began applying principles of self care to my nutrition knowledge. I started honoring my hungers, nourishing my body when I felt the cues. I was able to gain weight and get to a much healthier place. From my personal experience I know that knowledge is not enough. It’s vital to work on healthy habits and behaviors. I have the tools to make those good intentions a reality, and I would love to share them with you.
Intuitive Eating Changed Everything
Now, I am intentional about eating. I eat to nourish my body. I eat because I’m hungry - I honor that. I follow my body cues… which are so often hunger because I’m playing catch up. Weight gain was a struggle for many years, but I’m now at a healthy weight. Some of us struggle more with body image at a higher weight and overeating. I am still working on getting some more healthy movement into my life, but I have come so far! Grace and celebrating our progress is a vital part of the journey.