On this episode of the show, I'm interviewing Jen Lyman, a Registered Dietitian working in the St. Louis region. Over the years, she has seen a lot! She's worked in multiple settings, including hospitals, an eating disorder treatment facility, a bariatric surgical center, and now she works for herself. She created New Leaf Nutrition to give people simple solutions. No more constantly being hungry. No more weight loss to just gain it all back. No more chasing the next fad diet. With Jen, you get easy-to-understand, straightforward help. Together, she will help you identify goals that are mentally and physically healthy for you, and create a path to get you there. She makes eating easy. Jen believes health doesn't exist on a single plane. For a person to be fully well they need many specialists who, ideally, work as a symbiotic team.
Hello, and welcome to STL active St. Louis is premier health and wellness podcast. STL active aims to give listeners in the St. Louis area the information they need to succeed and progress with their health and fitness. This podcast is brought to you by stlouispt.com and hosted by Doctor of Physical Therapy Greg, Judice.
Hey everyone, its Dr. Greg, owner and physical therapist at Judice sports in rehab. On this episode of the show, I'm interviewing Jen Lyman from New Leaf nutrition. Jen has been a dietitian since 2014 and has a ton of experience in different settings. This experience led Jen to open new leaf nutrition in 2019. And she is doing some amazing things for her clients. I'm proud to call Jen a colleague but also a friend, and am excited to share her story with you. Without further ado, let's get into the interview with Jen Lyman. All right, today on STL ACTIVE we have Jen Lyman from New Leaf nutrition. Welcome to the show. Thanks, Greg. Absolutely. Glad to have you. I'm glad we were able to connect. This is awesome. Yeah, I'm glad. Well, let's introduce you to the listeners. So why don't you tell everyone about your background.
So I'm a registered dietitian, I in high school took a lot of personality tests to see, like, what I would kind of naturally fit into. And so that my job didn't just suck the soul out of my body every day. And the two things that kept coming up were to be a dietitian or to be a pharmacist. So as a junior in high school, I interviewed and shadowed both of those professions and kind of found that a pharmacist didn't have the amount of human interaction that I really wanted in a day. Which was a mistake, honestly. I mean, I would be making so much more money, Greg.
If I had done that, but Well, let me tell you from firsthand experience, both my parents were pharmacists, and I don't think either of them really liked it. So really, I think you probably made the right choice. Okay.
All right. But I really liked the science of nutrition. I mean, that's what my four years of school really were, I took regular chemistry, organic biochem boot camp, all of them.
And I liked
the reason that nutrition was attractive to me was that I liked being able to take those really complicated science concepts and turn them into a really simple way to explain to someone, this is what you need to eat every day so that we can help your health. So that's why I got into nutrition. And even when I got into college, I took more tests because I was like, this is a lot of science for what I had a perception of what I'd be doing every day. So I went to Mizzou. They have a coordinated program in dietetics, which was really nice. It's kind of like a nursing program where once you apply you do your first two years of school, just normal classes. And then you have to apply to this program, which is really competitive. I don't remember how many people applied my year. But normally there's like 8200 people applying and then 15 people get into the programs. That's pretty dang select. Yeah, it's once a year. I mean, it's nice because once you're in the program, everything is taken care of for you like nursing, where you're doing your internships, you're doing your classes. Everything is taken care of. You don't have to worry about getting those internships, I had a full ride to Fontbonne. But with them, I would take four years of school and then fingers crossed that I would get an internship. It's like a 5050 shot. sure whether you get an internship there, but you have to have the
internship to be able to finish. Yeah, it was the guarantee versus figure it out on your own.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, if you don't get your internship, you can't sit for your registration exam. If you can't pass that exam or sit for it, then you can't be a dietitian. So went to Mizzou got all that done. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It's a pre-med program. But I'm really glad that I did it. And so after I graduated from there in 2014 my first job as a dietitian was at an eating disorder treatment facility which was a really hard place to work but it I learned so much I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. And after that, I worked at SSM and just another hospital in California. worked at hospitals for like five years. Saw that that wasn't the most stainable model for actual health for people. So then started my own business.
So maybe go into that sustainability factor that you were just talking about.
Okay. So, in the house, did you ever work in the hospital? Okay. So you kind of know, then that,
and I know where you're going, I just want you to say,
Okay, so in the hospital setting, you are working for the administration, not for the patients. So it didn't matter to them, whether my patients hemoglobin A1C, which is a marker of how well if someone who has diabetes, how well they're controlling their blood sugar, they don't care whether I'm able to bring someone's hemoglobin Awan c down to points that all they care about is how many people did you say see today? And can you see some more. So in the inpatient setting, I was seeing dependent on the hospital, depending on the facility and what their needs were, but generally about 20 people a day. And spending realistically then two hours interacting with people. And then six hours charting, which is the whole reason I didn't want to be a pharmacist was because I didn't want to be isolated from people all day long and computer all day long. Exactly. So in the hospital setting, you are chart like the reason that charting so important is so that you can protect the hospital from lawsuits, a and then B, it's to get the hospital reimbursement. So a big thing for us, the hospitals get tons of money whenever we can document malnutrition. And we're the only profession that can document malnutrition, with any amount of accuracy. So that's why we spent all day long turning and it just was like I said, why I became a dietitian. I didn't want my soul sucked out of my body. And it felt like that's what was happening, that you just were a cog in this machine. And you couldn't help anybody. I mean, if the point of your day is documentation, it's not about people.
Right? Absolutely. And that can be soul-sucking, because I've been in those settings where there's a lot more documentation time, unfortunately than treatment time. Yeah. And so obviously, that was a frustrating thing for you. Yeah. And I'm sure that was part of why you opened your business. Yeah. So kind of go into that. The thought process of starting your own practice.
I just knew there had to be a better way when I was working out. So I've worked outpatient and inpatient, in the hospital setting outpatient. I like you, someone will come in, they just got diagnosed with diabetes, they just got this really huge, life-changing thing that they just found out about their doctors like alright, and you see a date, go see a dietitian, best of luck to you. And that's kind of where the doctors and their nutrition education and that's fine, that's appropriate. MD'S get one elective of nutrition that they could take in med school, they don't necessarily have to take it. So it's great that they send it my way, but because I'm working on hospital time, I have an hour and a half that I can talk to you. And then Best of luck, like, I have to teach you everything, everything you need to know about diabetes. Yeah. And checking your blood sugar and how to eat like, that's not realistic. We can only absorb so much at one time. And that person then couldn't. If they had a question that all they can do is like, well, this is all I got, I can just Google it, or, or do whatever they want, basically. So I started my business because I wanted there to be the ability to have more support. And that's a big part of what I'm doing is, every one of my clients gets my cell phone number, they can just, I encourage them, you're paying just you're paying to be able to text me, please text me, I can't know what's going on. Or your struggles. Unless you tell me I'm so happy to help you. But you have to communicate with me about what's going on. So they can text me and call me or email me. I just wanted it to be able to be a two-way street that they are getting every ounce of support that they could possibly need.
Awesome. So it sounds like in the hospital, unfortunately, you were kind of becoming another box to check right then the MD knows that. Okay, you have to see the dietician before you can leave. Mm hmm. Check the box,
what's on their automatic order sets, right.
So once that goes through, you do your hour and a half and this person is likely going to struggle for the
next hour and a half because you still have to chart so maybe an hour
right so that you can have the other half-hour to tell all about it
and like Have a breath, take a drink of water, because I'm trying to cram everything I know, into 60 minutes. Right? And it's Yeah, it's just it's too much. So
how I do matter how many handouts you give or how much education you can put out in an hour, it's never gonna be the same.
No, I mean, a handout is not the same as, let's look at what you're eating for breakfast.
Sure. Makes sense?
Yeah. So I slow it way down now.
So let's, before we go into more about your business, okay. I am definitely confused, but I'm sure there are others that are confused. What's the difference in a dietitian and a nutritionist?
That's a loaded question. Right? So good.
So a nutritionist doesn't actually mean anything. There's no education, there's no certification, that is a nutritionist, I there's no other profession I keep trying to think of, is there any other profession that has this kind of? confusion? I can't think of any I'm sure there are. But not basically a nutritionist doesn't mean I think So have you ever read like a Web MD article about nutrition or any kind of health the topic
of any kind of topic,
or know about nutrition? Have you ever read an article about nutrition?
about anything ever? Have you watched like a Kellogg's commercial? I've got
a magazine in the corner? I've heard that
you're a nutritionist?
Did you know that's all it takes? Put
it on your resume?
So So how, how is this? legal? First of all, how is that? How is that the word or?
It's just a word?
Yeah. So anybody with any knowledge of nutrition can be, yeah, quote, you a nutrition can
see or you can put it on your resume, it means the word means nothing. So a dietitian is someone. And that's not to say that someone who has a degree in like nutrition and fitness doesn't know anything about nutrition, it's just different. So a dietitian, like I explained upfront has all that education. And a lot of our education is spent as well in treating diseases with nutrition. So diabetes, kidney disease, heart failure, there's really not a body system that isn't impacted by nutrition. So it's using nutrition as a complimentary alternative route to medications or surgeries to treat this disease state. So that's, that's the main thing that a dietitian can do.
Okay, so let's go back to the hospital setting just real briefly, okay. Would a nutritionist be at the hospital setting, it would have to be okay. And that's kind of what I was thinking. Because if anybody can be a nutritionist, there's no certification, there's no necessary specific thing that you've met to be able to be qualified to work in that setting. Exactly, you'd have to be a registered dietician, right. And we as registered dietitians can write orders, which you wouldn't want just like someone who had an online, six weeks, six months, whatever certification to be writing orders for your loved ones, tube feeding, or TPN. You wouldn't want that. And, you know, the biggest thing that I heard there was that treatment of diseases because I'm sure there are a lot of nutritionists in quotation marks that do right by their people for getting them the right macros and the right micros and, you know, maybe they're helping them lose weight and all that's great. But are they going to be able to specifically help someone through heart disease or with diabetes, or any of the other disease states that can be significantly affected by nutrition?
And they shouldn't even touch those people if they know that their client has that because and the reason so in Missouri, it's illegal for a nutritionist or some more for you to write a meal plan for somebody. And the reason for that is just to protect you. Because if you're writing, like generally, fruits and vegetables are good for everyone, right? Oh, yeah, everyone should eat more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains. Well, if you don't know how kidney disease or if you don't know how to ask whether your client has problems with their kidneys, or that client doesn't think of mentioning it to you, you could give them in you saying, Yeah, eat more fruits and vegetables that's increasing their potassium, then if their kidneys can't filter out all that extra potassium, then you get too much potassium and you know that the heart is a potassium calcium channel, and it could give them a heart attack. Okay, and they could die because of you, Greg
Right. So that brings up an interesting point, as someone who's never written a meal plan. Luckily, guys, that would be called the cops.
I have definitely met a few,
let's say, personal trainers. Yeah, in the area that's part of what they offer is assistance with nutrition and meal planning. As well as the physical training side. Yes. So they go together. Absolutely. Yeah. But so in those scenarios, that's technically in Missouri illegal.
Yeah, I'm not gonna, I won't, like report them
right to the holy, I'm not gonna be calling 911. Great, good. But the
point is, the point
that's out of their scope. Yeah. And I think that's the biggest thing with healthcare is knowing where your scope of practice really is. Mine is very wide, I have a doctor in a post-doctorate in physical therapy, I'm able to, to treat a wide variety of things. But if it's not something that I work on, I'm sure to refer that out. So women's health or something like that. That's not something that I would work on. I have someone that I refer to. That's where they should be referring to you. If there's someone dealing with a disease state, I'm saying a nutritionist. Yeah, yeah, yeah. trainer,
right? Well, I mean, even thinking about a trainer, I'm not taking away from anything that they would be offering, I'm not a trainer, I don't want to be a trainer. Because those two pieces go together so well, or not even so out with they're both required for Whole Health. It's only going to make that person look better and make their clients have more success.
Sure. And I think that kind of boils down to treating what you're awesome at, or helping people with what you're awesome at. Yeah. You know, why would I help someone with something that I'm not the best therapist for them? Again, there might be plenty of things. And I use the the women's health example. Probably not the best example for this. But there are probably certain folks with those issues that I could help. But I am certainly not the best fit. Yeah. And so that's when I would, without looking at me, like with creepy eyes there. Yes. Absolutely. This is when I should refer out and so that that same scenario is with the trainer, maybe they're an awesome trainer. Mm hmm. They should be referring to you to help with the nutrition side of things.
Yeah. I mean, offering very general very broad is, that's okay. But when you get down to like writing a meal plan or trying to help someone with a specific diagnosis, that's where it's just dangerous for that person. It's not that they're not a good person, or that they're obviously they're trying to help this help their clients. But it's protecting that person from potentially causing harm in ways that they had absolutely no intention and, and no education to, to no differently.
Absolutely. And I know we've talked about it right before the show, but there are certain multi-level marketing types of nutrition products that their folks may say that they can fix a lot of different things. Yeah. But again, it's not a dietician that's prescribing these things I put in quotations. It's someone who's trying to sell a product, right? And unfortunately, that can lead to some detrimental effects, I'm sure.
Yeah, and a lot of those products aren't trying to be a one size fits all. If my clients come in, and they're on a supplement like that, most times, it's not harming them, if it's not harming somebody, you know, whatever you can, you can do whatever you want or what you like, or what makes you happy. But if it is causing harm or being risky, then I obviously I'm going to step in,
for sure. That makes sense. So going back to your business, obviously, this is pretty new, would you say October? Yeah, so this is really new for you.
So little, tiny baby,
little tiny, tiny budding business. So hopefully going to be growing and getting bigger and getting more profitable for you. But kind of go into some of the struggles or some of the things that you learned early on with starting your own business.
Patience is a is big, because just like with like for example, like weight management, if I'm going to help my client with me weight management that takes time, so someone is not going to be like I lost 30 pounds in a month and telling all their friends you need to go see Jen because I lost so much weight so fast. That's, that's not healthy weight loss. That's not going to happen, just like I mentioned. expecting my patients and my clients, to have patience with me, I need to also have patience with myself. And let things happen organically, that's been a big because I want it to be good. Now I'm excited. And I want, I want to help as many people as they can right now. And that's
not necessarily realistic,
right. And I, I definitely can feel that as an as another private practice owner, you think you're coming into the market with something that's unique and awesome, and it absolutely is. But people don't know about it. So it's not going to be awesome. Right off the bat, it takes time to get the word out, it takes time to build those relationships. So maybe, maybe talk about that relationship building, whether it's with a business partner or with clients, and how that kind of applies to. Because that's, it's still new for you, right? Before you were getting referrals within a system, you're having to go find your own.
Well, that's interesting, too, like within a system that doctors are limited, if they're in-network with, like, a hospital system, they are contractually obligated to refer to those other dieticians. So even if they know about me, they can't. Like, they can get kicked out of their system, from what I've learned if they refer to me, so like concierge physicians are, like, you know, a great source. And but again, with all those relationships, it's just taking time and having patience and letting things happen organically, and building trust. Because I want anyone that I refer my clients to because they're, I'm like mama bear with my clients like you don't, I'm not going to refer them to someone who I don't have absolute full trust in. So I expect and I think it's appropriate for another provider to have that absolute full trust in me. And that that takes time because I want to be receiving referrals from providers and trainers and staff who care about their clients like I care about my
Absolutely. And I think that's huge is that that trust factor. And if you are able to build trust with those providers, whether it's a trainer or concierge physician, or whoever it is, it will come. I promise because I have a few folks that will refer to me really consistently. And it's, it's great. But it takes a very long time. I'm saying
it's worth it, though, tell them what you know, from
about a year and a half to get that first physician. And it sounds like you're well on your way to having a good relationship with one. So hopefully that continues to go well working on it. I it's exciting. Yeah. So we had mentioned that you didn't quite have enough time in the hospital setting or in the rehab setting, to really connect with your clients or to educate them properly. So how, how is that different in your practice.
So in my practice, we can go, it's all up to that person with how much time they're needing to spend and wanting to spend. The nice thing is that because I am a medical provider, I can use people's insurance. That's a really huge burden. Because I mean, being healthy is expensive. You have to buy good food, you have to go to the doctor, you have to see your physical therapist who fixes you so fast. But it's expensive. So I like that. That's another benefit of me being a registered dietician versus, you know, nutritionist is that we can use Oh, yeah, we can bill we can use flex spending.
So using those
benefits to my client's advantage, and kind of giving them the time to take small little chunks of knowledge versus me having to do this tsunami of information all at the same time, I think is really helpful. And I've found it to be really helpful. Again, if someone has a question about a label, like Jen, I don't know what to count this as they can just send me a picture of the label. And I'll tell them as messengers, but yeah, that's awesome. Or email me or whatever. I want to be available to people in a meaningful way, not just in a this is your health care provider. Way,
right. Don't have to do it with a stuck up thought of, you know, sight of, well, I'm just got to get this done. Exactly. You're actually caring for people.
Yeah, and I hope people can. I think I hope that people can feel that, too. And then that helps them be more comfortable with making these. I mean, they're huge changes that I'm asking someone to do. Food is wrapped up in every part of your life. It's cultural, it's emotional. So me asking you to even make a handful of changes can really impact a lot of different areas of your life. And I'm able now to give people the time that they need to tackle those slowly or in their own time, whenever that ends up looking like that might not necessarily be slow, but in their own time and in their own way. And letting the person dictate
what they need to learn and how fast they want to learn it.
That's awesome. So what is a I'm sure this is varied, and it is for me as well. But what does a care plan look like? On average? So I'll give you an example. So you kind of know what I'm talking about. So I had a guy come in for the first time yesterday. And I saw him one time. And I may only have to see him one more time. So his issue was Yes, of course, right. But his issue was fairly minor. And it's in my wheelhouse. It's my specialty working on the shoulder, and I don't think he's going to need a whole lot more. So that would be on the low end, maybe a couple of visits. Versus I've got someone who comes in, you know, every three weeks for kind of a cleanup, right. So I've been seeing her for a couple of years, every three weeks-ish, on average. So hers is, you know, close to 30 or 40 visits. So a huge variety, but on average him somewhere in the four to six visits for a care plan. I'm sure it's different. So what would he a plan look like for you?
Like you said, it just depends on somebody's goals or what they need? So yeah, it really depends on their diagnosis, kind of like you said, so if, let's say a person has like a really specific problem like I had one person who was just out of the blue diagnosed with like high cholesterol and didn't want to get on cholesterol medication. So I just in went over to their house did a couple of hours of the these are all the things that you can do for controlling your cholesterol with food. And that was that just like, reached out to him? A couple of weeks later, everything going? Okay, you have any questions? Nope, we're doing fine. So for that one instance, because he had a very specific goal, we were able to get done one day. However, that's not really the normal, the normal, a lot of my clients and clients I really enjoy working with, because I really love the psychology and the emotion of food, our weight management clients. So for them, you can't have those kinds of results in one time. And really, you want to have those results. And the sounds bad. And so opposite of you, I guess it doesn't sound bad, it just is that you want those results to be as slow as possible. Because the slower and more gradual I can make the weight come off the last year metabolism is going to be going crazy, the less crazy you're going to feel about food to the less strict you're gonna be, then I can also teach you how to tune into your own hunger and fullness. And eventually, after you're comfortable with a meal plan and you know what you're doing, then we can get into intuitive eating. So you don't have to be on a meal plan forever and ever. So for those clients, I mean, that can take a really long time. And all like ideally, I don't ever want someone to feel like they're alone or like Alright, bye Good luck, cuz I hated doing that to people in the hospital, just like booting you out and talk to you never right,
once they're discharged. You'll never see me.
You right, hopefully,
hopefully, hopefully we're not backing off.
Yeah. Um, so I have a couple of different tiers of how I can help people, I want to be able to be there for people as long as they need it. So that didn't answer your question. Oh, that's
perfect. That's exactly what I was looking at. Um, you know, you mentioned the psychological, the emotional side of eating or food. And that kind of equates to the psychological or emotional component of pain. So there's there's definitely a lower road to take for folks that are dealing with chronic pain. And oftentimes there is a, you know, like a component that is linked to anxiety, depression or to psychologic trauma. Exactly. Yeah. So I'm not a psychologist, and I have resources if I need to, but I can at least start that conversation right to get them to realize that maybe we need some assistance here. Yes, we need to work on strength. Yes, we need to work on range of motion go to therapy, but yes, there may be Cuz it will take over that next year we'll see.
Yep, same for me.
I'll need to get those references from you too.
We can certainly talk about it. Okay, good. So, obviously, your practice is a bit different than then you've experienced in the past. So kind of go into specifically what is different about you, obviously, the accessibility, the availability to connect with you, whether it's email or text outside of their appointments, the time that you're able to spend within those appointments. But is there anything else that you offer that, say the dietitian at the local hospital would be able to do?
Yeah, another thing that I saw a need for and got certified. And this is, in addition to my, like, schooling at Mizzou, was for food sensitivity testing. So I use a test called Mr. T. And we can assess someone basically figure out the kinds of foods that they're sensitive to and get them on. It's called an immune calm diet. So that's, that's something that's really unique that I wished I could have used in the hospital. But because it, it really helps with a lot of inflammatory chronic inflammatory states, like autoimmune disease, for example, or IBS or chronic migraines, it's really helpful for So, and I worked a lot on the GI floors. So knowing that I wish I could offer this help to you, but I can't. Because it's like outside of the hospital type thing that would have to happen.
And they didn't have the ability to code for probably,
oh, no, no, of course not.
Oh, goodness, anything else that's like kind of off the wall that's different, that you're able to do.
Another thing I can do that we didn't do in the hospital was
not just looking at wait for an indication of health. I look at body fat percentage, I take tape measurements, I try to get a full picture, especially for my weight management clients of what is going on. Because I think, again, going back to the psychology of all of this is that that number can be really hard for people it can make or break your day, depending on your week, and your whether you're going to follow your meal plan, depending on what the scale says. So I try to take a lot of the weight off of that number by incorporating other weeks we call anthropometric data so that you can get a better picture of what's going on for your whole body versus just this weight number.
So they're gonna see inches go down, but maybe the weight doesn't change.
Yeah. Or we can look at Okay, well, your weights down, but your body fat percentage is up like, Okay, well, that's an indicator that maybe you're dehydrated. So just looking at other factors. And I think that also leads into another thing that makes me a little different is because I had all that the experience at the eating disorder treatment facility is that I, I lean a lot into the psychology and emotions and it's definitely nutrition therapy and nutrition counseling, not just nutrition education.
So if you're comfortable with it, go into that a little bit more. I know, that was kind of something that we had talked about beforehand, if you can go into the eating disorder facility. Oh, yeah, kind of background there.
Um, so I worked there for about six months. It was a really hard, really hard job for me because I, I told you, I'm very empathetic, I care so much about my clients. And I didn't, really and it was my first job out of college also. So I probably looked like I also had just graduated high school and looks like a baby for a long time. I probably maybe still do. So I was younger than a lot of those clients are the same age as some of those clients and with eating disorders. It's not just food, you normally have other psychological things happening like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, dissociative disorder, all these things that I had no training and I'm not a therapist, I'm not. I mean, that's it's just not something that we learned about in school and I don't even know if any amount of education would have necessarily changed the outcome for me, but because I feel so much I can feel what someone else is feeling. There. stress and then like the dietitian ends up getting to be the one that takes a lot of the brunt of, of their struggles because we are forcing that person to give up the one thing that they can control the most. So I ended up and all I think it's fair to say most eating disorder, dieticians really get the brunt of, of that person's stress and anxiety. And we we have to kind of be the punching bag for that. And it wasn't something I anticipated and wasn't something that just because I care so much, I just wanted them so much to be doing well. And when I couldn't, I mean, I can't change any other of like the psychological factors that are going on for you. I can't make your anxiety medicine be working right. I can't make your depression medicine be working right. I just wasn't something that I could stay in. Got it.
And I think that you know, your experience there probably made you much better as a clinician in your own practice, because you've seen that, that background of how much the psychology of things can change in. And when we were talking earlier, your first thought was see your therapist, right. And so I think that it's very important that you're not saying that you're going to be able to fix everything, but it's that combination of the two. Mm hmm. Yes, you're going to be educated on the right things to do. How to do it the right way. How to do it slowly and make sure that it's sustainable long term. Yeah. But maybe the psychological component needs to be addressed by a professional. Yeah, that feel
for sure. That's huge.
above it. So another thing that we had talked about before the episode was some of your biggest obstacles, right? Yeah, as a clinician, as a business owner, as a person, all of the above
all of the above, um, something that I think is kind of normal, especially for female entrepreneurs, I don't know you, you can speak that to is imposter syndrome, where I know, I have all this education I know. And I think to the more you learn, the more education you have, the more you realize you don't know. So feeling like I know when I first started, as a dietitian, I remember saying to my friends, I can't believe people are putting their health in my hands. They, I mean, it's appropriate. And I have the tools and the knowledge, and I could do it. But I still felt like I was just a kid. I I mean, it's a lot to be talking to ICU physicians at 22 years old and making recommendations and telling them that you disagree with their plan of care. Like who am I? Um, so that still is something that I struggle with and, and have to remind myself that No, you do know what you're doing. And it's okay. And even if you don't have enough, I don't know something that you have the ability to find out you have all this team of other professionals around you who can help you. So it's the emotional side of owning a business has been really harder than any individual task of own yet. The tasks are easy. It's the oh my gosh, it's a roller coaster every day. I don't know if you experienced that way. I think
the biggest thing for me is doing the right tasks.
Yeah, individual tasks are not difficult. It's making sure that you're connecting with the right people at
the right time or not beating yourself up for
exactly not getting caught up with. Okay, I have had six notes to do. But I have six phone calls to make the phone calls are more important to them, even though they're going to be a little bit more stressful. For me, it's like always my issue
Yeah, for me, I have to, I get so excited. I just want to help everyone. I want to help them right now. If I get a message from somebody, like wanting to have a conversation, I want to have it right now. And after myself, Jen, you need to eat lunch. You need you to have to take care of yourself. There's no such thing as a nutrition emergency. And that's something that is normal for dietitians to say but I'm now having to remind myself of there's no such thing as a nutrition emergency, everything will be okay. I mean just going through every day, a full range of human emotion. I am great. I can do this too, man. I am I don't know what I'm doing. why don't why did I think I could own my own business?
I think that's a very normal feeling just like you said, it's, it's because when I first started mine, I went in, you know, thinking I'm on top of the world, I just finished a residency program and feeling super confident. Start out, it took me a month and a half to get my first client. So that kind of that could have put a damper on like, okay, is this gonna be sustainable, long term? Now that I'm mostly stable, it's not thriving, but it's mostly stable. Now it's that, am I doing the right tasks at the right time? Right. There's, there's so much strategy behind the scenes of what's the next thing that I'm going to do? Is it going to be some sort of online campaign? Or is it going to be some sort of presentation out into the community? Like the target just keeps moving?
It does? Absolutely. And I think my biggest frustration is when you start your business, someone says, oh, it'll take a year to get where you want it to be. And then about 10 months in when you think you're almost at that year, someone says, oh, it'll be two years till you see where you want to be.
Yeah, it's a moving
target. And then when you get close to two years, they tell you five, so. So I'm in the middle of that right now. Yeah, so I've got a few more years. And I'm, I mean, every statistic says, if you can make it X number of years, you're gonna be how many years? It's a moving target.
Come on, you got to give me some hope here.
I want to say it's five. But if you can make it five years, only, okay,
you know, four and a half. That's right for me.
But the biggest thing is, you know, you're doing the right thing for your client. Yeah. You know, you're helping people in a better way than you could in another setting. Mm hmm. Yeah, your clients are happy to be seeing you. So you know, you're doing the right thing. If you can survive the ups and downs, financially, turmoil Exactly. emotionally and financially, if you can survive it. You know, you're doing the right thing. Yeah. So I think that's the biggest thing. It's kind of funny to talk to someone who's been in business shorter than I have. Because usually, I'm networking with books who've been in this for, you know, several years. So. But this is fun. So kind of To summarize, dietitian, right. So a lot of education. And you provide a lot of education to your clients.
Yeah, it's my favorite.
I would agree. That's definitely my favorite thing to do is for someone to leave and say, I didn't realize I could even use that muscle. I didn't even know it was there. So that's always Exactly. So there's a lot of education behind what you do the counseling, not necessarily in a psychological way, but still kind of in an educational slash.
I call it a curious way, like just an approaching every situation with like, I wonder why that's happening? And I don't know the answer to that. And you might not know the answer to that, but we'll see if we can figure it out.
Like it. So anything else that you wanted to share?
Something that if someone wants to, like talk to me,
yeah. So how do people get in contact with the best way to get started?
Well, if you want to contact me, you can go to New Leaf dash nutrition.com. And you can learn more about me, I write blog posts, like almost once a week, just about a variety of health topics, that way you can make sure that we are, I'd be a good fit for you, if I'm not a good fit for you, that's fine, like, go see someone else, that's not a problem with me at all. But to see if I'm a good fit, and then has more contact information on there, I can teach you how to call your insurance company to see if this would be something that they would cover. And you can always like, your first 30 minutes with me, I call it like my discovery time, it can either be in a phone call or in-person that's always free. Because like I said, I if it's not going to be a good fit, I would rather let you know, then charge you for something that is not worth it for you or for me. So that's, that's a good place to get started.
Love it. And that's exactly how I do things as well a free discovery session to make sure that it's a good fit. Yeah, and you know, just as well as I do that if it's not a good fit. It's not fun for either of you to know. So
it's fine. Like I'm not gonna be everybody's cup of tea. And that's,
that's okay. It's how the world works. Yeah. And you don't have to be friends with everybody. That's right. So Well, I appreciate you being here. I'm glad that we have so much in common in the business way. So and obviously we've been able to refer some folks back and forth. So hopefully that will be able to continue Yeah. So, again, thanks for being here. Appreciate it. Any last parting words here?
Eat your vegetables.
Okay, check with you first. Um, those are pretty safe for me. Okay, okay.
All right. Sounds good. Thanks so much for being here. This has been STL active.
Thank you for listening to the STL active podcast from St. Louis PT comm If you enjoyed the show, please spread the word. Thanks again and see you next time.