Registered Dietitian

Written by on July 1, 2014 in Features - No comments

Coaching and Educating Patients to Improve Their Health and Quality of Life

Have you ever considered visiting a Registered Dietitian for any of your particular health or nutritional concerns? Perhaps you were in the hospital for surgery, and needed a professional to provide meal-planning tips when you returned home. Or recent lab work revealed a new medical diagnosis and you are interested in learning how to improve your health through nutrition. Maybe you are an avid marathon runner and want to learn tips and tricks for improving your hydration and athletic performance for an upcoming event. No matter what your age, concern or condition is, a Registered Dietitian can help coach and educate patients to improve health and quality of life.

Benefits of Medical Nutrition Therapy

Registered Dietitians work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, outpatient facilities, private practices, grocery stores, fitness centers, military bases, and many more. Although Dietitians are employed in multiple settings, they are a very underutilized component of the healthcare team. Instead of emphasizing and teaching the importance of diet and exercise to prevent diseases, medical teams prefer to prescribe medication as a  “quick fix” to the issue after the disease is diagnosed. Dietitians are skilled at providing preventive care to patients, and also provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) for existing conditions. Educating our clientele and providing MNT to patients can greatly improve health outcomes of patients, regardless of their status or condition.  As Ann Wigmore explains, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

iPadHealthWEBThere are many reasons why doctors and the remaining healthcare team should refer more of their patients to Registered Dietitians. There are many benefits of nutrition counseling for overall health and wellness. Registered Dietitians are the only health professionals credentialed to provide Medical Nutrition Therapy to patients. Medical Nutrition Therapy can mean a wide variety of things, including weight loss or gain, pregnancy and breastfeeding nutrition, childhood nutrition, disease management (Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.), food allergies, and sports nutrition. Even if a patient has general nutrition questions involving meal planning or grocery shopping, this is the time to refer them to a Dietitian’s office. This type of referral relationship is beneficial to the patients in your medical practice. The more educated and informed a patient is, the more likely they are going to be proactive about their health and control or prevent any diseases throughout their lifetime. Initially, eating a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle can improve weight status and muscle tone, energy, sleep patterns, and mood. Over time, living a healthy lifestyle can cut healthcare costs, limit the number of doctor visits and sick days, and decrease hospital bills. Doctors need to strongly consider referring more patients to Registered Dietitians, because after all, “the greatest wealth is health.” (Virgil).

About Triangle Nutrition Therapy

Triangle Nutrition Therapy is a private practice that focuses on improving patient’s health status through diet and exercise. Triangle Nutrition Therapy was established in Raleigh NC in 1995 by Tracy Owens. The initial vision of the company was to provide high quality outpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) to patients. At that time, there were only a handful of private practice dietitians in business, and Tracy left her current position at Rex Hospital to provide alternative outpatient choices for patients.

Tracy also had a personal interest in sports nutrition and noticed that the trainers, coaches, and parents of her kids’ sports teams continued asking for help at games and practices. After teaching a sports nutrition workshop for coaches and athletes at Rex Hospital, she knew there was a large audience and niche for teaching sports nutrition. There is so much misinformation about sports nutrition and a huge gap between what is and what should be. Tracy wanted to educate athletes of all ages to reach their full potential. She did not want a lack of sports nutrition knowledge and application be the reason to hold athletes back in their success. Tracy passed her CSSD exam to become certified in sports dietetics, and continued to specialize in sports nutrition within the practice. Tracy is currently the sports dietitian for UNC Greensboro.

In 2009, Registered Dietitian and AFAA Certified Personal Trainer Ashley Acornley joined the Triangle Nutrition team due to the increasing customer and business demands. Tracy Owens and Ashley Acornley continue to provide a variety of nutrition counseling services to improve health and enhance energy. Their office resides in Raleigh, NC but they travel throughout the Triangle area for various lunch n learns, health fairs, and group presentations. Their nutritional counseling is completely individualized, and they see clients for issues such as weight loss, weight gain, sports nutrition, hypertension, high cholesterol, Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, eating disorders, meal planning, pregnancy, and gestational diabetes. They also provide meal planning and preparation services, grocery store tours, and metabolic testing (BodyGem). They are in network with BCBS NC and Cigna insurance plans. United Healthcare patients receive 20% off their self pay services. They also accept new patients and self pay patients.

Triangle Nutrition Therapy looks at health holistically, and has recently broadened their services, and they believe that nutrition, physical activity, skincare, and overall sense of well-being contribute to optimal health! They provide in-home and group personal training, host a 12-week virtual “Wedding Crunch” program for brides-to-be and their wedding party, and are independent consultants for Rodan and Fields skincare. Tracy and Ashley both encourage their clients to consider their overall physical, mental, and emotional health when trying to make improvements in their lifestyle habits. As Jim Rohn’s famous quote states, “you need to take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”

Contact information:

Triangle Nutrition Therapy
4030 Wake Forest Road, Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27609

Tracy Owens, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN
R+F Skincare:

Ashley Acornley, MS, RD, LDN
R+F Skincare:

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By Ashley Acornley, MS, RD, LDN
Triangle Nutrition Therapy

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