Rachel Begun, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and accomplished food and nutrition communications professional. She provides food and nutrition marketing, communications, education and spokesperson expertise to food companies, retailers and foodservice/hospitality providers, as well as to schools, camps and health organizations. Rachel also educates the public via personal speaking opportunities, webinars and writing for publications.
Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009, Rachel focuses her professional skills on the gluten-free community and food industry. In her blog, The Gluten-Free RD, she combines her nutrition expertise and hands-on experience to share knowledge, insights and recommendations for living gluten-free healthfully and happily. In addition to being a NFCA scientific/medical advisory board member and writing for the Ask the Dietitian blog, Rachel counsels patients with celiac disease, food allergies and intolerances, consults for gluten free food companies, and is the nutrition advisor to the NYNJ R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) Chapter.
Rachel is a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, serving on the Board of Directors for the Dietitians in Business and Communications Dietary Practice Group and being a member of the Food and Culinary Professionals, Nutrition Entrepreneurs and Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Dietetic Practice Groups.
Rachel graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a B.A. in Biology and a concentration in pre-medical studies. She earned her M.S. degree in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and completed her internship for registered dietitian certification there as well.
Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN, diagnosed with celiac disease 20 years ago, is a registered dietitian who specializes in celiac disease at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is Nutrition Coordinator and research investigator of the hospital’s Celiac Center and is the author of several journal articles on the nutritional management of celiac disease.
Melinda serves on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’s Evidence Analysis Library task force for celiac disease and on the American Gastroenterology Association’s Press Advisory. Melinda is the founder and former chairperson and current Nutrition Advisor to the Healthy Villi Greater Boston Celiac/DH Support Group. She offers dietitian coaching, nationwide lecturing and consulting, gluten-free classes, shopping tours, home visits and adventure health retreats for those following the gluten-free diet through her nutrition consulting service, Delete the Wheat (www.DeletetheWheat.com). Melinda is co-author of the book Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free, which was published by the AGA Press in May 2010, and is now available for purchase at www.reallifewithceliacdisease.com.
Nancy Dickens, BS, RD, LDN, currently works for Sodexo Healthcare at Neshaminy Manor, a Long Term Care Facility in Bucks County and is a member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Nancy lives in Lansdale, PA with her husband and 3 teenagers. Her twin daughters both have celiac disease, and one has Type 1 diabetes. Nancy manages a gluten free diet for both of them and keeps a gluten-free house, bakes and cooks with alternative ingredients, and both daughters are now feeling healthy and doing great!
In light of the diseases that her children live with, Nancy spends time volunteering for organizations promoting awareness and research for these two diseases. She has been a volunteer for the NFCA since 2005, is currently a member of NFCA’s Speakers Bureau, has chaired fundraising events, and volunteered as a committee person. In addition, Nancy has consulted on major projects including a national public awareness campaign and NIDDK material. She also works closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and has spent several years as the Mentor Coordinator of the “Bag of Hope” program that pairs newly diagnosed families with experienced families. Nancy has served on event committees, and even attended a U.S. Senate hearing and met with Congressmen concerning diabetes research funding. The Dickens family hosts a JDRF walk team every year to raise money for diabetes research.
It is not only a professional goal, but also a personal goal of Nancy’s to help make living with nutrition related diseases less difficult.
EA Stewart, BS, MBA, RD, is a registered dietitian with a private nutrition consulting practice in Del Mar, CA. She specializes in wellness nutrition, family nutrition, celiac disease/gluten sensitivity, other food sensitivities, and nutrition therapy for autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
After being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease, and fibromyalgia following the birth of her two children, EA started researching the link between celiac disease/gluten sensitivity and numerous autoimmune conditions. Her blood tests came back negative for celiac disease, but genetic tests revealed she carries one of the genes for the potential development of celiac disease. EA has been gluten-free since 2007, and correspondingly, symptom-free from Sjogren’s syndrome and Fibromyalgia since then as well. Since going gluten-free, she has rediscovered a love of cooking and baking which she shares on her blog, The Spicy RD, and she is passionate about helping others with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity regain their health through a gluten-free lifestyle.
EA is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as the following nutrition practice groups: Dietitians in Business and Communications, Dietitians in Functional and Integrative Nutrition, and Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN). In her free time, she enjoys cooking with her children, hiking and skiing, and serving as a Girl Scout leader and as a PTA board member at her children’s school.