Karen Diaz RD
Karen is a registered dietitian and busy mom of two toddlers, Claire and Lucas. She always wanted to start her own business but fear and self doubt got in her way. That changed in 2010 when she launched her website, Your Online Dietitian. She learned that action is hard, but it trumps beating yourself up for not accomplishing your goals. Changing behaviors is hard, but with support, guidance, and motivation there is nothing you cannot do. To me there is nothing more rewarding then helping another busy woman sort out her struggles with food.
Karen attended James Madison University and received her BS in Dietetics in 2001. She completed her dietetic internship at NY Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan and passed her RD exam in May 2003. After graduating, Karen started building experiences in pediatrics, food allergies, and weight management both at UMDNJ University Hospital and the research department at Mount Sinai Hospital.
In 2006 Karen began applying her expertise to eating disorders and disordered eating through her work at The Renfrew Center, one of the leading centers for eating disorder treatments on the east coast. Karen has developed a complete understanding of the diet mentality and how it affects people’s choices. Optimal nutrition is always the goal but if the psychological effects of dieting are not addressed, developing a positive relationship with food becomes difficult.
My entire life I never felt truly 100% happy. I grew up in a loving family and was given all the opportunities in life you hope for. I heard the message, “As long as you are happy”, but I felt happiness needed to be in a box that involved college, job, married, kids, retire. After college, I completed my internship to become a registered dietitian and remained in NYC working at a local hospital. On the surface, I seemed like a happy, carefree twenty-something. I was not. Some days I would barely make it into my apartment before collapsing in hysterics. I felt lost. I fled the city for home in search of comfort, but felt like a stranger in my hometown. Upon moving to Hoboken, I met my now husband and was engaged after four months. We were living together in the city and started planning a wedding. Now everything would be fine, I thought. Wrong! I knew little about the complications involved in creating a life with someone. I think to some degree I always managed to get my way and for the first time I was challenged by this man I was marrying. I got upset. I threw tantrums. Then wait, this was a good thing! I felt more alive than I had in years. He challenged me. If I wanted this to work, love was not enough. I had to look inside and think what part I played in our communication difficulties, new ground for both of us.
Fast forward five years later, we have two kids, moved to the suburbs of NJ, and began specializing in eating disorders and intuitive eating. That was all I wanted growing up and I had it. Again I found myself crying in my Cheerios, all too familiar territory for me. Was I destined to never be satisfied? I came to Julio in tears, something was missing. I did not want to wake up one day and have regrets. My current regrets and fears:
Starting my own business
Traveling more. I still cannot let go of the fact I never went abroad in college.
He gets it. Julio says, stop talking and do it. You want support, here it is, but prepare to be questioned and challenged. I am learning it is not all puppies and rainbows. So here I am. I launched an online nutrition counseling site in 2010 called youronlinedietitian.com and began blogging. It worked, I felt proud. I changed jobs, traveling is in the plans, and I am learning Spanish. I know I will have failures along the way, but now I look at them as a positive thing. I will learn how to be better from them but they will not stop me. At the end of the day, I want to be happy with my reflection in the mirror and show my kids they can try anything with hard work and integrity.
What is Healthy Living for Life?
The name reflects my theme, my goal for the rest of my life. I want all my clients to embrace healthy living not just healthy eating because spiritual, emotional, and physical health are all intertwined together. After working with chronic dieters and eating disorders, I see how hard people are on themselves. I see how attempted failures at weight loss and health goals bring people down. They cycle through the ups and downs of dieting feeling helpless and hopeless. Healthy living for life is about looking at the whole picture and defining goals and fears to help you find what works for you and keeps you healthy. Healthy living defies a single definition and can be tailored to fit your needs. Healthy living looks at meal planning for the week, time management, fears about letting go of dieting or looking at food differently, understanding the different diet approaches to choose which suits you best, and the challenges faced everyday in meeting our goals.