Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day!

“First celebrated in 2008, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day commemorates the dedication of RDNs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to increase the awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and to recognize RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day and National Nutrition Month® promote the Academy and RDNs to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information.”

This year on RDN day, I want to highlight some of my fellow RDN’s that also follow a VEGAN diet and lifestyle! So you can get to know them a little better I had them answer these questions…

  1. Why did you become an RDN?
  2. Why did you become vegan? How long have you been vegan?
  3. What did you have for breakfast this morning? (Because its a fun question, ok??!!)
  4. Include a favorite recipe!

Check out their answers here!

Lori Fliegelman Kupferman, RDN, MS, LDN, CPT


  1. I became an RD because I grew up in a very unhealthy home. Once I left for college I realized I wanted to lead a healthy life and help people stay well. I live for PREVENTION.
  2. I had been vegetarian for a few years and 6 years ago this month I took the plunge. My husband was told he needed to go on cholesterol medication at the same time I was going to a CEU program by Dr. Neal Barnard. He is the head of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The whole seminar was based on how to change heart disease and DM through your diet. We decided to give the Vegan lifestyle a go for his health. We have never looked back and FYI, my husband never had to start his medication! 
  3. My breakfast was relatively boring as it was steelcut Oats with added flax seeds, chia seeds, cashew milk, fresh blueberries, and a heaping tsp of natural Peanut Butter.
  4. Favorite Recipe right now…


Anja Grommons, RDN

anja-jpg 1.  My parents owned a restaurant when I was growing up, so we were always cooking, eating, and talking about food. I wasn’t aware of the dietetics field until early college, but when I realized I could use my passion for food to educate the public, I was sold.

2. I started exploring the research that the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine was publishing which led to more research and documentaries about chronic disease, animal cruelty, and the environmental impacts of the Standard American Diet. After that, a vegan diet seemed like a no-brainer. Its been about 2.5 years now and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made!

3. Tofu scramble with spinach, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and sriracha along with toast and coffee.

4. While I don’t have a blog of my own yet, I am a staff writer for VegOut, a vegan city guide. Favorite recipe right now…

Sharon Palmer, RDN


1. I fell in love with food and nutrition as a child, my mother had a garden and canned, and I loved to cook and read about nutrition. Becoming a dietitian was a natural progression from that, and I have never regretted this career choice.

2. I was raised in a mostly vegetarian home, and was some type of vegetarian most of my life. Six years ago, I was doing research for my first book on plant-based lifestyles and I thought that I had to really understand what it was like to be vegan. So I tried a 1-month challenge. I loved the way I felt about my health, eco footprint, and impact on animals. So, I continued with that lifestyle.

3. My favorite: steel-cut oats, blueberries, soy milk, walnuts, flax and coffee.

4. Favorite recipe right now…


Felicia Porrazza, MDA, RDN, LDN


1. When I was in grade school and early high school, I was overweight and would get made fun of due to that and my crazy curly hair! I took charge and ended up losing about 40#. I did it a bit too fast and over exercised (twice per day!). I finally found a happy balance after reading a bunch of nutrition books. I started trying new recipes and fell in love with just the focus on healthy eating as a lifestyle. I ended up applying for colleges for nutrition versus my initial plan of entering the field of law. I took my first nutrition course as a freshman in college and loved it! The rest is history!

 2. I was a vegetarian mostly all through college. About 2 years ago I made the switch to vegan (along with my boyfriend). I feel like it wasn’t just one moment where I decided to complete switch. I had been reading a lot already about plant-based diets, animal cruelty, etc. I already didn’t consume milk/eggs products since they tore up my stomach, so it was mainly just avoiding dairy derivatives and such. I really couldn’t get over the fact that people see cats and dogs and horses as loving creatures we could never harm them, yet we consume cute-pigs and cows. So many people would say to me that they would just not think about it while eating; however, I just couldn’t do that! I remember speaking to a farmer at one of my meetings and they talked about how all of their cows had different personalities. I couldn’t imagine eating one knowing things like that. Plus, the benefits of a plant-based, vegan diet, are just too hard to overlook.
3. This morning I had coffee with ripple (pea) milk plus Schar multigrain bread (I am also gluten-free) + 1 small banana + 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
1. As a college athlete, I loved that food has an impact on our physical performance. As I delved deeper into nutrition, I was amazed by the number of chronic diseases that may be prevented simply by what we do and don’t eat on a regular basis.
2. I have been vegan for approximately one year, but I have experimented with vegetarianism off and on over the years. I even found that my most successful year of college athletics was when I was a vegetarian! I chose to become a vegan after reading the compilation of research in the book How Not to Die specifically, but also due to my knowledge on a plant based diet’s role in disease prevention and longevity.
3. Scrambled tofu with a chopped up Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, greens, and nutritional yeast – all sautéed in veggie broth!

4. My favorite way to use beans!


Hannah Lima MS, RDN, CDN


1. My first experience with an RD was after being diagnosed with T1DM and…that experience left me wondering why I walked away feeling clueless about nutrition related to my new diagnosis. During a panicked drive home with my mind racing about what to eat, did I have any of it at home, where could I find the food i was supposed to eat, would I get it all figured out on time, etc. etc. I became passionate about nutrition and using food to heal the body. After many years in the corporate business world I was blessed with the opportunity to go back to school and pursue the new dream God had placed in my heart. The dream to become an RD and help people navigate the complexities of health and nutrition.

2. Oh gosh, I’ve been a vegetarian for as long as I’ve been able to choose what to put in my mouth. About 5 or so years ago I made the choice to give up my rare cheese indulgences and eat a 100% plant based diet. Even though I was an almost vegan vegetarian, making the choice to eat plants and only yummy plants was the best nutritional choice I’ve made in years.

3. A buckwheat and butternut squash muffin.

4. Favorite recipe right now…


Thomas Bosch PhD RDN LDN


1. Educating clients about the power of healthful nutrition has become my passion and professional mission. In order to deepen my understanding of the intricate connections between our bodies’ biology and the foods and beverages we consume, I earned a degree in dietetics & nutrition to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

2. Born and raised in Germany, I grew up on a hearty, traditional German diet. My parents and grandparents loved spoiling me with treats. But this rich diet was not without consequences. The neighborhood kids began teasing me about my weight. But much worse – at age 12 – I was diagnosed with the autoimmune and skin disorder psoriasis. Thus, began my 35-year-long battle with this “uncurable” chronic condition. My search to regain my health lead me to many alternative healing approaches, but nutrition always played a central role in my trials and errors. It took dedication, consistency, faith, and patience, but after a few months, I noticed changes – some of them were not directly related to my psoriatic arthritis – but were thrilling nonetheless. I lost almost 50 lbs, stopped snoring, became happier, less anxious, more energetic, and my blood pressure and LDL dropped. And slowly but surely, all painful, arthritic joints and inflamed muscles started loosening up and returned to normal. Eventually, all psoriatic plaques cleared up as well. Despite having aged 25 years, I am in better health than I was at age 22. Everyday I wake up, I am thankful for the healing that has taken place. Having reversed an “uncurable” disease is truly miraculous. Thomas has been vegan for 7 years.

3. Granola, flax seed meal, chia seeds, blueberries, raspberries and soy milk.

4. Favorite recipe right now…


Mary Brewer, RDN, RN, MSN, MBA


1.  I became an RD when, I believe, Jackson was still president.  It was sometime in the 80s, anyway.  Food had always been an interest of mine, both for culinary reasons, and because I always struggled with (and am still vigilant about) my weight.  World hunger, social justice, and animal suffering became larger reasons as I learned more about food production and transportation.

2. My wonderful, wonderful 6th grade teacher Ms. Vidal showed us a film about factory farming. Horrified is not the word.  I was 13 or so at the time, and my mother was very encouraging in helping me to eliminate most meat and chicken from my diet (I never liked seafood).  By 18, I had devoured Francis Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet and John Robbins’ Diet for a New America, and there were no more excuses I could make; vegan I became.  I’ll be 53 this year.

I was also extremely fortunate to have attended New York University while Marion Nestle was the Department Head in nutrition.  The department was full of intelligent, dynamic women who helped us connect the dots from our everyday decisions to global consequences.  I learned I, too, wanted to make a difference in the world, for hungry people, suffering animals, and our tortured environment.  I didn’t want to look back at the end of my life and feel as though I was merely a spectator, not doing what I could about the things that matter to me.

3. Today I had a slice of whole-grain bread (with sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds), toasted, with chunky peanut butter, and an orange.  I live on citrus during the winter.  I generally drink water (or I drop a tea bag in it, hot or cold), and sometimes drink flavored seltzer if I feel like something fizzy.

4. My Twitter account is @MaryBrewerSays, and I have a website called AgingVegan.com. However, I don’t do recipes; I talk about food politics, how animals are treated, and such.  I will tell you my favorite cookbook is Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr & Chef Chad Sarno.

Suzanne Sorensen RD, LD, CDE


1. I have a degree in education and taught science for 7 years…I then got my nutrition degree and became an RD to teach people how food is a medicine that can have a positive impact on health! Still a teacher, just new students and subject 🙂

2. I became vegan for compassionate reasons. On a lobster catching trip in the keys we caught lobsters then had to twist off their heads at the dock to just keep the back end 😦 I couldn’t do it and decided that if I couldn’t kill my own dinner, then I shouldn’t be eating it. That was 10 years ago, vegan ever since!

3.  I had “Vegan One Minute Cinnamon Roll in a Mug” – a new recipe I wanted to try! No, nothing healthy about it.

4. Vegan Chicago-Stlye Deep Dish Pizza! Not my recipe, as per the link it’s from Carrots and Flowers.


Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD 


1. Originally, I wanted to help people who were struggling with disordered eating like I was in high school. After seven years and working in many “traditional” dietetic fields, I found my true calling of helping people, and families with young kids, who want to transition to plant-based lifestyles. My ultimate goal remains the same: to help people live their best life, by reconnecting with their food and themselves.

2. I became vegan in early 2013 after having grown up on the Standard American Diet. Originally, it was because my husband and I were bored of what we were eating and simply wanted to see if we could “go vegetarian” for a month. Almost immediately, we gained a ton of knowledge about how a plant-based diet can dramatically improve health, save millions of animals, and is immensely better for the environment. We watched Forks Over Knives and it was a no brainer – we went from vegetarian to vegan in a very short amount of time. We now have a happy, healthy toddler who has been vegan since birth.

3. Tofu scramble with avocado. One of our favorites! And coffee with vanilla + soy milk.

4. Favorite recipe right now…


Marty Davey, MS, RD, LDN


1. Because I wanted the scientific background behind what I knew made people healthy.  I thought it was amazing that you could eat specific foods and have a clear outcome.

2. I had been vegetarian since 1980.  There was no vegan word in Cleveland, Ohio.  Then, I moved to NYC and started to hear about veganism.  I thought it was crazy.  When I had my son I breastfed.  I thought it was immoral to take a mother away from a child no matter what the species.  When my son was 3 we moved and I went to the North American Vegetarian Society’s Summerfest.  I learned how to cook with no dairy from Jill Nussinow [now one of my mentors] and how to bake with no eggs from Fran Costigan.  I went home with my son, looked at my husband and said, “we’re now vegan.”

I’m a force of nature.  He did not worry as long as the food tasted great.
3. Peasant bread with peach jam, made in a culinary class I taught last summer] and nut butter [cashew, walnut, almond with chia seeds and turmeric made by my husband, Jim Fitzpatrick] and green tea.

1. I was first introduced to the study of
nutrition science during an elective class while studying pre-med. It was this course that actually sparked my interest in shifting my career to something nutrition-related. I soon discovered that I could became a Registered Dietitian and utilize my passion to help others achieve a healthier lifestyle through food. I love my career and it is filled with many opportunities!
2. I started my transition to a vegan lifestyle in 2010 primarily for ethical reasons. This was largely influenced by the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. Although, there was a time where my diet consisted of a mix of vegetarianism and veganism, about a year in a half ago I recommitted myself to becoming a vegan. I’ve found this is typical of many people transiting to a vegan lifestyle, everyone moves at their own pace. To me, part of maintaining this lifestyle is to stay true to my values and not partake in factory farming practices but rather choose kinder foods for my health, the animals, and the environment.
3. Because it’s Sunday today, I always treat myself to something different than my usual breakfast during the weekday. This morning my breakfast consisted of homemade vegan banana bread (with a layer of vegan butter), a large smoothie made with kale, fruits, flaxseed meal, and soy milk, and my must needed black coffee. It was filling and really good!
4. This split pea soup has been one of my favorite soups on the blog and one that I make at home often:
1. Nheather-borders-mba-founder-kailo-nutrition-1-200x300utrition is a major career change for me! The decision to pursue a career as an RD began when I started teaching plant-based cooking classes. I was so inspired as I watched class attendees move closer to their health goals after making modest changes to their daily menu. I knew that becoming an RD would open more doors and allow me the opportunity to empower others to improve their health. Prior to becoming an RD, I was worked closely with medical doctors in the medical device industry and found myself wanting to work directly with patients. After nutrition landed on the career scene, I knew that the dietitian role would be a the perfect interaction of direct patient interaction, science, and helping improve the health of others in a meaningful and sustainable way.
2. My decision to transition to a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle stemmed from a personal experience trying to lower cholesterol. After focusing on a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle and watching the numbers plummet (for both me and my husband), I was driven to learn more about nutrition and how it plays a primary role in our health. I am still in awe of the impact nutrition plays on so many common diseases and conditions and there is still so much to learn. I have been plant-based for five years and continue to use familiar foods in new ways and explore new foods to add into the mix!
3. Crock pot steel cut oats with dates and strawberries!
1. After working in marketing and event management for six years, I realized my passion was not in the success I had, but in the activities I participated in during my free time. After researching how to best build a career out of the joy I found in feeding people, learning and sharing nutrition knowledge, and creating unique and fun plant-based recipes, I went back to school to become a registered dietitian. My growing interest in and personal switch to a plant-based diet around the same time also fueled this transition.  I now work in private practice, educating and helping people who have specialized dietary restrictions, whether by choice or medical necessity.
2. After being married for a few years, my husband and I decided we were going to pursue a more healthy and active lifestyle. We did a few rounds of p90x, cleaned out the white, processed foods from our kitchen, and started to notice results. I also started to read anything and everything I could around nutrition, healthy eating, local food and farming, and plant-based eating, mostly as a way to educate myself in a well-rounded way regarding the changes we were making. I also started running at this time and was trying to best fuel my body for my new fitness endeavors. Switching to a vegetarian, and later, vegan diet was a move I made to increase my fitness level and running abilities. I felt stronger and faster, recovered easier, and saw positive body changes that continued to fuel both my diet and training. I’ve now followed a plant-based lifestyle for 7 years and have run 12 half marathons and 5 full marathons, with the goal to train and run #6 as my first postpartum race later this year.
3. Avocado toast! My favorite easy morning routine.
1. I became an RD because I was considering medical school and then I attended a lecture about public health nutrition where they explained that 80% of chronic disease is caused, at least partly, by poor nutrition. I believe in prevention before cure, and so I was hooked on nutrition from that point on.
2. I’ve been vegan for about 4 years. I was eating mostly vegan for health reasons, but when I switched on to the environmental issues, I decided to become fully vegan for 30 days and see how I felt. It was so easy, and I felt so good I just decided to stay vegan. I did keep vegetarian Fridays for a little while, because I had some lingering dairy cravings. After a month, those just went away. As a vegan I started to explore the animal rights issues, and that really opened my eyes and solidified my commitment to veganism. I am so happy I have the experience of following a plant-based diet to share with my clients! I truly believe that most of our chronic diseases could be overcome with a movement to a whole-foods, plant-based diet.
3. My Black Forest Cake Smoothie!
4. I don’t really tend to post a lot of recipes on my blog (yet?) but here is a link to the smoothie on my professional Facebook page:
This only highlights a few of the many registered dietitians out there that are vegan. I hope you enjoyed getting to know them as much as we did here at ecoRDN.

As always, thanks for reading and eat well!

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

©2017 ecoRDN


One thought on “RDN Day 2017 (Vegan Edition)!

  1. I love this blog! I enjoyed reading about the journey that other RDs have been on. I am excited to check out all of these recipes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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