The Difference Between a “Nutritionist” and a “Dietitian” and How a Dietitian Can Help You

What can a Dietitian do for you?

Help you:

  • Lose weight
  • Find peace with food
  • Increase energy
  • Decrease body fat
  • Decrease stress & anxiety
  • Improve performance

Dietitians aka Nutritionists provide expertise and guidance for help with weight loss, muscle gain, improved sports performance, management of health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, high cholesterol, obesity, stress and anxiety and better overall health. Nutrition & wellness counseling benefits clients of any age. Clients can get help with a special diets such as low-sodium, low-potassium, gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, high-protein, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan. Adults and children who have food allergies, intolerances, or diabetic needs can also benefit from the help of a nutritionist.


The title “Nutritionist” is not protected by law and does not require regulation, whereas the title “Dietitian” requires specialized education and clinical training. While many nutritionists may have completed formal training or have university degrees in nutrition, they are not required to do so to use that title. Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are regulated and licensed by the state in which they operate. As such, RDNs/ RD, LDNs may have higher fees than someone operating as a nutritionist. *An RD is the same as an RDN. An RD with an LDN is licensed in the state. An MS after a Dietitian’s name means they have a Master’s Degree in Science. I earned my Master’s Degree in Applied Nutrition with a specialization in Fitness from Northeastern University.

Dietitians are Beneficial in the Offices of (but not limited to):

  • Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Orthopedics
  • Sports Medicine
  • Dentists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Personal Trainers
  • Fitness Centers
  • Athletic Directors
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Churches
  • Massage Therapists
  • Acupuncturists
  • Food or Fitness Expos
  • Festivals
    Stopped to take a pic at the end of my shift with a fellow Simmons Alum and Boston Children’s Hospital Dietitian who came to check out the food, fun and education at the Let’s Talk About Food Festival in Copley Square September 23rd 2017!
    Line up of amazing nutrition professionals at the Let’s Talk About Food Festival 2017 in Copley Square, Boston
    Packed all day with questions, photo op at the end of the shift!
    Crowd learning about sugar and health

    Teaching the crowd about sugar and health

Let’s Talk About Food Festival

Join me and other talented food professionals this coming Saturday September 23rd at the Let’s Talk About Food Festival in Copley Square! What will you get at the festival? Free food, free knowledge, and tons of fun for the whole family! Time: 10:15-5PM See the event on Facebook.  Don’t forget to bring questions, an open mind, and an adventurous appetite!


Sustainable Swordfish Skewers

Sustainably Caught Cajun Swordfish Skewers!

Watch us cook this recipe up on video at the 6th Annual Boston Seafood Festival HERE!

From the Kitchens of: Laura Hartung, MA, RD, LDN & Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN

PREP TIME:       6 minutes     Total Time: 12-15 minutes     Servings: 6

Ingredients: 2 pounds of swordfish, cubed into equal chunks


    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons parsley
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Directions: Mix marinade ingredients together. Place fish in marinade and leave in refrigerator 30 minutes to 24 hours. Skewer and grill, 3-5 minutes per side, or cooked thoroughly. Serve warm or refrigerate to serve later.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Makes 6 servings at approximately 413 calories per serving, 39 gm protein, 26 gm fat (4.6 grams of sat fat & 1390 mgs of Omega 3 fats), 272 mg sodium, 617 mg potassium, 3 gm sugar. Also provides approximately 133% of daily needed selenium, 90% of daily needed niacin, 51% of daily needed B12, and 21% of daily needed vitamin A.

Sustainable Swordfish Skewers

Video of Nutritional Benefits of Recipe


How to Keep Inflammation at Bay

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Inflammation is meant to be a positive aspect of our body’s natural way of protecting itself. If something is wrong, for instance, when you fall and scrape your knee, inflammation shows up at the site of the injury, which causes pain and/or swelling, and that gets your attention. This is an example of a normal inflammatory response. Inflammation is not normal when you have it consistently and you are in constant pain, have irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue or if your doctor tells you your blood shows that you have high inflammation in your body via your C- Reactive Protein lab value (CRP).  More info on why your doctor may want to test your CRP to screen for heart disease here.

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What you should eat to help decrease inflammation:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Most fruits brightly colored vegetables contain high levels of natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.
  • Nuts and seeds: Studies have also associated nuts and seeds with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Fish and healthy oils: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, oysters, mussels, halibut, catfish and tuna help decrease inflammation.
  • Whole grains: These grains contain all three parts of grain—germ, endosperm, and bran. Not all whole grains are high in fiber, but they are all good at reducing inflammation because they also contain other inflammation-fighting substances—vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Try: amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and millet (all gluten-free grains).
  • Beverages: The polyphenols in coffee and the flavonols in cocoa are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea is rich in both polyphenols and antioxidants.
  • Spices: Turmeric with black pepper (black pepper has been shown to enhance the absorption of hydrophobic turmeric).

What you should avoid (inflammatory foods):

  • Beverages: Sodas, alcohol, energy drinks, and refined carbohydrates (sugar-sweetened beverages).
  • Meat: Red meat and processed meats (sausage, bacon, roast beef, ham).
  • Processed foods: For example: emulsifiers added to products like ice cream may have independent effects on inflammation. Read more about emulsifiers and gut microbiome disruption here.
  • Foods with refined grains: White bread, white rice, white pasta, white flour. These foods spike blood sugar, which can cause inflammation.
  • Foods with added sugar: Juices, soda, cake, candy, cookies, jarred sauces, salad dressings. These foods also raise blood sugar, which can cause inflammation.
  • Foods with trans fats: Most stick margarine, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, deep-fried fast foods, and most commercial baked goods.
  • Foods with saturated fats: Whole milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, red meat, and coconut products. These fats also raise cholesterol and increase inflammation in your body. Limit these to no more than 7% of your daily calories.

For Anti-Inflammatory Recipes: Click here 

For Anti-Inflammaroty Recipe Videos: Click here

Source: Published January 2017. 

Cooking in Italy


It is important to me to make my own meals as often as possible and share them with loved ones. It makes a difference knowing where each ingredient comes from and home-made food always tastes better than store-bought food. On a trip to Italy this summer, I learned how to make gluten-free Pasta Pomodoro from scratch along with Risotto (the Italian word for waves) and Tiramisu. I was taught by a professional Italian Chef, Christina, who teaches in a beautiful kitchen overseen by a company called Veronality, which I found on, a wonderful travel website that helps you find good deals on tours and classes anywhere in the world.

Harvard Study: Adding Seafood and Omega-3s Improved Diet Quality

Environmentalists and everyone working on their health can rejoice about this news published this month from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

“We have great news to share for the seafood and health movement. Seafood continues to be recognize as a vital part of a healthy diet and a new study from Harvard shows that adding seafood and omega-3s to our diets may reduce the risk of premature death. As we have shared previously, eating seafood is good for our health and the healthier choice for our environment.”

Bottom line: Even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence health.

Let’s talk more about this, while eating the freshest seafood and listening to live music at the Boston Seafood Festival Sunday August 13th (SO SOON) on the Boston Fish Pier.


The study details and link to original publication:

study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which analyzed 74,000 adults over 24 years, found improving the quality of your diet to include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and less red and processed meats and sugary beverages, may significantly reduce risk of premature death.

The study, which looked at diet over a 12-year period (1986-1998) and the subject’s risk of dying over the next 12 years (1998-2010), found that increasing healthy foods in your diet is associated with lower risk of total and cardiovascular death. The Mediterranean Diet or DASH Diet were considered to be best examples.

The researchers found that swapping one serving of red or processed meat daily for a better option was linked to an 8% to 17% decrease in risk of death. Among those who had relatively unhealthy diets at the beginning of the study but whose diet scores improved the most, the risk of death in subsequent years was also significantly reduced.

Lead author Mercedes Sotos-Priet says that, “Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk.”

The study was published in the July 13, 2017 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Pumpkin Protein Power Pancakes!


Throwback to 2009! Shown above is me cooking Pumpkin Protein Power Pancakes with Laura Hartung, MA, RD for Gold’s Gym members to enjoy pre or post-workout as a nutrition-packed version of the beloved pancake. Why are these pancakes healthier than regular pancakes? More protein, more fiber, vitamin A, less sugar, and totally satisfying! If you’re looking to add more power to your pancakes, follow this recipe below and get cooking!



“Pumpkin, it’s not just for pie!”-Laura Hartung, MA, RD


  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3 scoops whey protein
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup whole oats Condiments

Suggested Toppings: Melted natural peanut butter, or almond butter, or maple syrup.


Mix all ingredients in until smooth. Heat griddle; spray w/oil. Place 2 small ladle-size portions onto the griddle. Heat on medium high until light & fluffy (look for bubbles)


Serving size: 1 pancake; 6 servings per batch without condiments

172 Calories, 1g Fat, 25g Protein, 17g Carbohydrates, 4g Fiber

Recipe modified from

Grocery Shopping Tips

  • Watch out for flashy displays, the ends of the aisles, and sale items
  • Come prepared with a list – you’ll be less likely to impulse buy
  • Shop on a full stomach, or at least not when you’re very hungry (low blood sugar levels lower your inhibitions, like having a few alcoholic beverages, so you may buy foods that are less healthy and potentially end up overeating)
  • Shop around the perimeter of the store – this is where you will find healthy, colorful produce (the longer the food lasts on the shelf, the longer the food will last in your body)
  • Do your research – Grocery stores now have apps that you can download and will save you money with rewards or coupons

Here’s an example of Star Market supermarket’s app:

Shaw’s has one too:

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Do you find it challenging to find time to exercise? Many believe that exercise has to look like something from a celebrity workout video or last for 60 minutes in order for it to make a difference. The reality is that any time you move your body it counts as physical activity. If you have a crazy schedule, appreciate that integrating these quick little bursts of physical activity into your day will make a difference:


  • Park in the farthest spot in the parking lot and walk (or park farther than you usually do)
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator
  • Take a 10-minute walk on your lunch break or during a rest period
  • Walk or bike to work, or drive halfway to work and walk or bike the rest of the way
  • Walk or bike to the store for light groceries or to a friend’s house
  • Take a stretch break every 1-2 hours to get your blood circulating and more oxygen to your brain
  • Walk around the perimeter of the field/court/arena while your child is at a sports practice
  • Walk over to a coworker’s office instead of calling, texting, or emailing to ask a question
  • Initiate walking meetings at work when meeting with two or three people
  • Walk around the block after dinner
  • When watching a television program do strength-building activities during commercial breaks or every 10 minutes (push-ups, crunches, planks or bridges)
  • Clean the house or car
  • Turn on some music and dance
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