Welcome to the Team: Meet Madelyn Huey, RD, LDN!
Meet Madelyn Huey, RD, LDN our newest addition to the dietetic team!
I understand you were initially planning on becoming an engineer. Tell me what made you change course and fueled your interest in dietetics.
I started out college as a chemical engineer major, not knowing what I wanted to do other than the fact that I liked math and chemistry. Within my first semester, I liked my classes, all the calculations and problem solving, but I had no passion with it. When I decided to change career paths, I thought about my best friend in high school that I’d always talk about food and go grocery shopping with. She was in school for dietetics and told me more about what it means. I thought about how much I loved learning more about food and since then I haven’t looked back.
What populations do you work with and what are your clinical interests within the realm of nutrition?
I work with adults from early adulthood to geriatrics for general nutrition counseling, eating disorders, and bariatrics pre and post-op. I practice gentle and holistic nutrition to help others create, mend, or build a strong healthy relationship with food. My nutritional interests outside of eating disorders are any and everything involving the gut microbiota, pregnancy/lactation nutrition, and sport (specifically weightlifting) performance.
You’ve done a lot of nutrition groups in our Intensive Outpatient Program over the past few months. Can you share a bit of the content of one of the groups that would be helpful, even for outpatient clients?
“Fueling Your Brain” is one of my favorite nutrition groups from IOP as it helps show the range of importance that nutrition has on our health. This group takes the often-repeated phrase “food is fuel” and shows where and why that fuel is needed. For example, protein, one of the 3 macronutrients, is responsible for the structure of the body and over 65% of body protein is found in the constantly adapting skeletal muscle, organs, skin, and blood. Protein is typically only thought for building muscle but has many other vital roles, such as building neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers in the brain that communicate to other cells. We couldn’t have cell-to-cell communication without protein and the process of making neurotransmitters couldn’t be done without carbohydrates, the main source of energy for the body. I feel this group could be helpful to outpatient clients as it helps remind us that we aren’t just feeding to our stomachs when we eat, but to our organs and personality.
It’s the new year and all month long we’ve been inundated with diet and fitness culture. What clinical advice do you have to help us tune those messages out?
We are constantly surrounded by expectations for what we do, how we speak, who to know, what to wear, or how to look by people who don’t know us. Holding on to all the pressure for fitting in and staying up to date on trends each year, only to do it again with the next “new start.” My advice is to take the time this year to study yourself, practice self-care and focus on you because not only do you know you best, but diet and fitness culture wouldn’t have all the “quick fixes” for our health, routines, and relationships if they actually worked. There’s no one solution or answer for how to better any element in your life and likely what you need isn’t the same as what society thinks you need. So stop listening to the culture that doesn’t know you and start listening to yourself.
You’re newer to the Wilmington are. Any favorite spots?
So far loving Wilmington and, of course, the beach is at the top of my list of favorites! I enjoyed surfing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding in both Wrightsville and Carolina Beach this summer. I still haven’t seen a lot outside of the beach scene yet, but I love Front Street Brewery downtown and Islands has become a go-to.
As you well know, we’re pet lovers at Chrysalis. Tell us about yours!
I have 2 puppers, a 5-year-old golden retriever, Millie, and a 4-year-old Dutch shepherd, Brynn! They are both very goofy and derpy with much love for the water and long walks on the beach.