‘You can be in charge of how you feel’

Using proper eating to help people find optimal health


JoAnn Ridout is a registered dietician and nutrition educator at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Ridout and other nutritionists at Nutritional Weight & Wellness work to educate their clients about the importance of eating properly to heal the body. Contributed photo


We all love to eat. The problem is that we don’t know how to eat.

The fully licensed staff at seven Nutritional Weight & Wellness locations across the Twin Cities have helped many people understand the importance of proper eating.

“Until I started working here three years ago, I didn’t realize that you can heal your body by eating the right foods,” said JoAnn Ridout, a registered dietician and nutrition educator at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. “I used to run, and I developed knee pain, that eventually led to back pain, and over the years that led to hip pain. By eating the right foods, my pains greatly improved.”

Ridout and other nutritionists at Nutritional Weight & Wellness are educating clients about the importance of certain foods and how they heal the body. Their message is clear: “You can be in charge of how you feel and your own health.”

Much like an engine, our body needs fuel to keep running efficiently. Inserting the incorrect types of fuel will eventually cause the engine, or our body, to slowly break down.

“We tend to blame things like joint pain and memory loss on old age,” said Ridout. “But we can show you that by eating the proper foods, your aches and pains will improve, as well as your memory, and you can lose weight and maybe even reduce your medication dosages.”

A client of Ridout’s has been impressed by her education about food over medicine and highly recommends visiting a nutritionist like Ridout.


Balanced Eating Guide from Nutritional Weight & Wellness.


“I’ve probably referred 15 people to (Ridout),” said Sara, of Willmar. “She does a phenomenal job. What Nutritional Weight & Wellness has to offer is so practical. It’s not medicine; it’s food. There are not enough places that offer that sort of thing. I feel like when I’m going to the doctor, I’m going to a prescription therapist handing out another thing to mask what’s really going on.”

Nutritional Weight & Wellness isn’t selling fad diet plans or an unsustainable points plan as some do on television. They are simply informing the public that you can lose weight while also healing your body with proper nutrition.

“It’s just real food; no gimmicky products,” said Jackie Cartier, content strategy manager at Nutritional Weight & Wellness.

Nutritional Weight & Wellness educates clients in a number of ways in each of their seven locations – via one-on-one consultations in person, Skype or by phone; as well as classroom education or its weekly Dishing Up Nutrition podcasts.

“We try to reach out to as many people as we can in a way that is the easiest for them,” said Ridout.

Even doctors have been impressed by the results some of their patients are showing upon following nutritional guidelines from Nutritional Weight & Wellness nutritionists.


Alyssa O’Brien, RD, LD (right) works with a client about proper nutrition at Nutritional Weight & Wellness.       Photo by Jen Bergerson


“My doctor is so excited; it’s amazing,” said Mary, of Zimmerman, a Nutritional Weight & Wellness client of Ridout’s for the past two years. “My doctor thought the only way you could get my numbers down was with Lipitor. The last time I saw (my doctor), she said ‘You’re doing great. We don’t have to worry about these lab results for now.’ My triglycerides have gone way down and that’s what I was concerned about.”

Nutritional Weight & Wellness was founded in 1993 by licensed nutritionist Darlene Kvist. The company has since expanded into seven locations – Wayzata, Mendota Heights, St. Paul, Lakeville, Maple Grove, North Oaks, and Eden Prairie.

“We have a lot of clients outside the metro area,” said Ridout. “A lot of them will drive an hour or so, or if they live farther away, we will consult with them on Skype or phone.”

Many people that want to lose weight will try to eat low calorie and low fat, and are unable to stick to a certain diet because they get tired of eating that way and feeling unsatisfied.

“We teach you how to eat properly with real food that is good for you, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats, so you feel satisfied after eating,” said Ridout. “And when you start to feel better, it’s easier to stay on this type of food plan.” Our mothers and grandmothers told us to eat our meat and vegetables, and all real foods.

Some of the foods recommended by Nutritional Weight & Wellness might surprise many people, especially those who have been on numerous unsuccessful diets.

One of those “surprise” food items Ridout recommends is uncured bacon, which if eaten in moderation can be invaluable for improving cholesterol levels, lubricating joints, improving memory, and more. “People have been confused for years,” she said. “High cholesterol is caused by excess sugar, processed foods and trans fats, not saturated fats.”

“Bacon has protein and animal fat, both of which are important sources for improving health,” said Ridout. “Many 90 year olds on the farm were still able to work on the farm when they were living on the foods they raised, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.”

Other foods that should be eaten but there is still a misconception about would be: butter, eggs, red meat (Ridout recommends grass-fed beef), nuts, olives and avocados, to name a few.

“There have been so many mixed messages over the years as far as which foods to eat and which foods to avoid,” Ridout said. “At Nutritional Weight & Wellness we teach you what foods to eat and why. We’re not a diet clinic. We can recommend foods that will help you lose weight in a healthy way. But we are all about training you to heal yourself with ‘real’ healthy food.”

And their client, Mary, of Zimmerman, can testify to those words.

“If you want to feel really good, it just makes a huge difference,” she said, when asked if she would recommend Nutritional Weight & Wellness. “You don’t have headaches all the time, and you don’t have aches and pains everywhere. You’ll find out what you’re deficient in and that it all works together.”

For more information or to make an appointment, call Nutritional Weight & Wellness at 651-699-3438 (toll free at 888-805-8954) or visit their website at www.weightandwellness.com.

The Nutritional Weight and Wellness Facebook page (www.facebook.com/weightandwellness) is a great resource for the latest nutrition news and interesting blog posts from their nutritionists.

#Nutrition #OptimalHealth

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