By Heleigh Bostwick
The power of science meeting the pleasure of eating is how Kimberly Evans describes Whole Health Nutrition, the business she recently opened in Williston with fellow registered dieticians Leslie Langevin and Abby Wadsworth.
“It’s about the way food interacts with the human body and how to use food as part of the healing process,” she said.
Evans, who works part time at Fletcher Allen Healthcare, has been a registered dietician in private practice for 25 years. “With all of the changes in healthcare, it was time to ‘go public’ about the role nutrition plays in preventative healthcare,” she said. “Leslie and I set up the partnership in 2010 and in 2011, Leslie brought Abby on board. We’re equal partners in the business and we’re all foodies. It’s what drew the three of us together.”
Whole Health Nutrition opened approximately six months ago inside Synergy Fitness on Industrial Avenue in Williston.
“We liked the location and we have specialized training working with athletes. It’s an environment where people value health, so being in a fitness club setting really works for us,” Evans said.
Evans calls it their permanent home for administrative purposes and said it’s where they see individual clients, but said that they tend to spend a lot of their time out in the community as well.
They work with Vermont Athletic Sports Training Academy, Vermont Technical College, Champlain College and several schools in the Chittenden County school system.
Whole Health Nutrition also partners with Healthy Living, a natural foods store in South Burlington, where they lead in-store nutrition demos, cooking classes and food tastings. “We are unique from most registered dieticians,” Evans said.
Clients typically fall into one of four categories: chronic disease management; elite level to weekend warrior athletes; workplace wellness; and those with eating disorders. “We deal with everything from cardiovascular health issues to diabetes, food sensitivities, vegan athletes and dealing with work-related health issues,” she said.
“Business has been going really well,” Evans said. They recently hired Jamie Sheahan, who just earned a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Vermont and is scheduled to take the registered dietician exam in July.
“When a prospective client calls, he or she is matched with one of us in terms of schedule and what their needs are,” said Evans, adding that most insurance companies cover at least three visits with a registered dietician. Once a client is paired up, they undergo a detailed assessment that looks at nutrition, physical signs of health, physical activity and diet, which is analyzed using computer software specific to a client’s particular health issue. The next step is developing individualized meal plans that include recipes and trips to grocery stores to sample new, healthier foods.
“Adult clients are harder than the kids,” said Evans. “As adults we’re not exposed to different foods so when we try them for the first time, it’s important to remember that ‘this isn’t familiar’ doesn’t necessarily translate into ‘I don’t like it.’” Her rule of thumb is that you must try a food 15 times before you say don’t like it. “After that you’ve earned the right to say you don’t like it,” she said laughing.
Whole Health Nutrition is located at 426 Industrial Avenue, Suite 180. For more information, visit www.wholehealthnutritionvt.com or call 999-9207.