Guest Contributors

Ilaria St. Florian MS, RD

Contributor to Appetite for Health Ilaria St. FlorianBecoming a dietitian is actually a second career for me. Out of college I went to work in advertising and ended up becoming a TV producer. I worked in New York, Moscow and Amsterdam and shot commercials all over the world.

Ironically, in my last job I produced commercials exclusively for Mars which included brands like M&M’s, Snickers and Bounty. Who would have thought that years later I would go back to graduate school and study nutrition? But nutrition was always an interest of mine going back to my childhood. I remember being a kid and feeling tired and worn out and wondering how my diet affected how I felt. I used to experiment eating different foods and trying to figure out a correlation between what I ate and how I felt. Nutrition was a hobby and interest of mine that became a natural career choice.

I have a Master’s degree in Nutrition Education from Columbia University and am a Registered Dietitian. I am currently working as a Clinical Dietitian at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut. I live in Rye, New York with my husband and three young kids.

My dream is to do away with the kids menu and the belief that kids can’t eat real food. I believe all kids should have access to healthy foods and a healthy diet should be a right and not a privilege.

Jenna A. Bell, Ph.D., RD, CSSD

Jenna Bell-Wilson, MS, RD and PhD in Exercise ScienceHi all!  I’m Jenna A. Bell and I like to think, talk and write about nutrition and exercise – and fortunately, I found a way to make a living doing it.  I am a registered dietitian with a PhD in Exercise Science and before dedicating all of my time to nutrition communications,

I was a professor at Ohio State University. Before that, I was a clinical dietitian working in nutrition support and HIV/AIDS. Basically, I have spent my entire professional life chatting about food and the science behind what we eat for health, sport and illness. And, I love it.

When it comes to my posts, I really just write about what’s on my mind or even more often, what I’ve been doing.  I’m unlikely to review a clinical study for you, but will give tips or ideas for eating right and exercising more.  I base a lot of this on my own lifestyle…which is what I call “normal with an advanced degree in nutrition”.

I maintain my weight…but sometimes it’s not easy. I exercise…but often don’t feel like it.  I try to eat less fried foods…but can’t always keep that promise.  I include fruits and vegetables…but need to find creative ways to eat them every day.  I can cook…but rarely want to.  My mantra for myself is, “don’t eat like a jack-ass” and that seems to work pretty well when faced with a deep fried delight, cheesy dish or pork belly creation.

Jenna Bell-Wilson, MS, RD and PhD in Exercise ScienceI’m an athlete…kinda…and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (oh, and co-author of Energy to Burn:  The Ultimate Guide to Fuel your Active Life).  I have done a few marathons (with a record-breaking 4:37 finish), two Ironmans (took me 14 hours and 30 minutes…slow down!) and I completed a bunch of triathlons.  Although I’m proud of my speedy swim times, I’m no Lance and I never run without walking.  I also struggle to get my butt in gear.  I do not experience moodiness or guilt when I miss a workout and I can go weeks with my only exercise being walking with the dog (about 5 miles a day – not bad, right?).

I’m not overly motivated to exercise, so I understand how challenging it can be to include every day.  But, as one wise fitness professional once said to me, “exercise is not optional”.  I truly believe that if you can get me to do it, then anyone can do it…Ironman included.

Lastly, I’m happily engaged and live in Chicago; we adore our dog, Mokey, the Giant Schnoodle, who is constantly looking for attention or something to get into; and I love love love it when people read my blog and find it useful or relate to it in any way!

Thanks for reading!


Christen Cooper, MS, RD

Christen Cooper, MS, RDMy background is, quite like those of our other contributors, probably best expressed with a massive global flow chart!

I grew up in South Montrose, Pennsylvania. Now if you think “The Office’s” Dunder-Mifflin is in the middle of nowhere, multiply its rural factor by 1,000 to get the “Boondocks” quotient of my hometown: population 500.

In a small school, I managed to stand out as “best personality” and also “least likely to play a professional sport.” In fact, I still carry the intramural basketball record for scoring the highest number of points–for the other team. (No one told me that the teams change sides after half time!)

My interest in nutrition began in 1988 when, at the age of 16, I found myself in Cuiaba, Brazil, the centermost point of Latin America. As an Rotary exchange student, I observed how Brazilians ate the luscious flesh of a pineapple, used the rough outer casing and core to make pineapple juice, and decorated the table with the fruit’s beautiful green tip. I realized how precious food  is and how far it can go when we use it respecfully, modestly and creatively. I thought about how unfairly food is distributed and consumed throughout the world.

Returning to the States, I attended Wellesley College and majored in political science and history. After graduation, I worked on women’s health issues on Capitol Hill, but soon longed to return to global sphere once more.

Fluent in Portuguese and proficient in Spanish, I took a management consulting job with a boutique firm based in Washington, D.C. I moved back to Brazil to work with American health insurance companies, telecom giants, food manufacturers and other companies that were entering the Brazilian market. But I realized that I was on the wrong end of the deals. I wanted to steer the plans toward preserving the culture and foodways of that marvelous country.

I didn’t want to see people in Rio de Janeiro eating the kind of processed junk food that had only recently found its way to Brazil. And I certainly didn’t want the Girl from Ipanema pageant turning into a “Biggest Loser” contest.

Thus, I moved to New York and earned my master’s degree in Nutrition and Education and became a Registered Dietitian (RD). Oh yes–and I got married. With one baby on the way, and another one born four years later, I was busy breastfeeding, watching The Wiggles, and consulting with hospitals, schools, businesses and non-profit organizations on helping individuals to eat more healthfully. I also wrote for various magazines and e-zines, and created my own website and blog to help promote healthier eating. Today I continue this work under the umbrella of my company, Cooper Nutrition Education & Communications.

I hope you enjoy reading my entries as I continue to conduct unauthorized nutrition experiments on my kids, husband and friends.

Kelly Plowe, MS, RD

Hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains

Hi, I’m Kelly. I’m a single, thirty-something  living, working and trying to find some type of work/life balance in Santa Monica, CA.

I don’t have skinny-chick genes, but have found that putting the right foods in my gob and being active goes a long way to override what was God-given. If you can relate to someone who has to watch what she eats and how much she moves—every day—welcome to my life.

I’m a native Michigander but after living in Boston for five years, I feel like an east-coaster at heart. In Boston, I worked as a clinical dietitian at various Boston hospitals while completing a master’s degree at Boston University in Advertising and Communications.

Me and April After Our Halloween RR

Two years ago I moved to Los Angeles for a job in nutrition communications for a large company that grows and markets pistachios. Yes, my life really is all about nuts.

Living in SoCal has allowed me to live a very social and active lifestyle year-round. I spend my downtime riding my beach cruiser around Santa Monica, dining on sushi, farmers’ market shopping and hiking in the Malibu canyons. Since moving to Santa Monica, I’ve really upped my running game and even conquered my first LA Marathon last year. I try to run several half-marathons a year as well, as they’re kinder to my body and my work schedule.

Our Weekend Ride to the Farmer’s Market

I also dabble in CrossFit, the extreme muscle confusion training that my aunt and co-founder of this site, Julie Upton, turned me on to. (Think burpees, handstand push-ups, power cleans, jerks, and presses all in one.)

Other than when CrossFit makes me cry or leaves me feeling like I can’t lift my arms over my head, exercise usually makes me feel better, stronger and clears my head. It also gives me extra wiggle room for calories that otherwise would settle somewhere on me where it’s not welcome.

Estela Schnelle, RD

Me and the girlsEstela Schnelle is a Registered Dietitian & stay-at-home mom living in Southern California. Her blog, Weekly Bite, is a lifestyle blog centered around food, life, & mommyhood. She currently lives in sunny San Diego, California with her husband and two girls.

Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, LD, ACSM HFS

Rebecca Scritchfield

Rebecca Scritchfield is a Washington, D.C. based registered dietitian and fitness expert specializing in helping people build healthy lifestyles. Rather than encouraging people to diet, she helps them learn eating skills that balance individual nutrition needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure.


Rebecca believes that a person’s self care behaviors predict health, not the number on the scale. She has helped thousands of people change their lives by finding exercise that feels great, learning to manage stress, and establishing balanced eating habits.

A graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, Rebecca has reached millions through television, radio, print, and web including: Today Show, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post, O Magazine, Prevention, Women’s Health, and Runner’s World. Visit her website at:

Michelle Dudash, RD


Michelle Dudash, R.D.Michelle Dudash is an award-winning registered dietitian and Cordon Bleu-certified chef who entertains and educates people on how food and health can deliciously co-exist.

She is the “Healthy Dish” newspaper columnist for The Arizona Republic and is author of the upcoming cookbook, Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love (Fair Winds Press, December 1, 2012). Michelle has cooked in a Mobil Five Star restaurant and was a private chef for guests including English royalty.

She has made hundreds of television appearances in Phoenix on ABC and NBC, and nationally on Better and FOX and Friends. Michelle’s recipes have been seen in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Betty Crocker magazine, and at A-list celebrity events.

Michelle lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her hungry 3 year old and husband. For more info:

Clean Eating for Busy Families by Michelle Dudash, R.D.

Kit Broihier, MS, RD, LD

Kit Broihier MS, RD, LDKit Broihier is a food and nutrition writer and owner of NutriComm Inc., a food and nutrition communications consulting company serving food companies and public relations firms. She holds degrees from Michigan State University and Boston University, and is the current President of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (She and Julie were college roommates back in the day…)


Kit was previously on the editorial staff at Good Housekeeping magazine, has authored five cookbooks and written numerous freelance articles for national publications. Her favorite types of articles to write are food-focused nutrition pieces that provide practical, helpful information in a lighthearted manner. Food is too much fun to be too serious!


Kit lives in Portland, Maine with her two teenagers and Smudge, their big, noisy cat. She spends her free time working out, catching up on reading (and Facebook) and having the occasional cocktail with her friends.

Chelsea Fuchs_Headshot

Chelsea Fuchs, MS

Chelsea has always had a passion for health and wellness, but it wasn’t until her junior year at the University of Michigan that she realized she wanted to turn her love of nutrition into a career. After graduating from Michigan, Chelsea went on to obtain her Masters of Science in Nutrition from Columbia University, where she also completed her Dietetic Internship (and interned at Appetite for Health).

While a student at Columbia, Chelsea served as the Associate Editor for Joy Bauer, Nutrition and Health Expert for the NBC Today Show. In this role, Chelsea specialized in translating complex nutrition information into engaging, user-friendly content with clear actionable takeaways.

Today, Chelsea has taken her specialty in nutrition communications to 5W Public Relations, where she provides strategic nutrition communications counsel to food and wellness clients. In her unique role as an RD in public relations, Chelsea helps clients to generate brand awareness, engage audiences, and build brand loyalty through a cutting-edge and integrated nutrition communications approach.

As an RD with a sweet tooth and a love of good food and wine, Chelsea believes that everyone is allowed to indulge, and that moderation is key. She seeks to help others embrace this philosophy, and to inspire everyone to lead healthy lives.