https://www.glwd.org/blog/rdn-day-celebrating-our-superstar-team/

3.9.21 / Nutrition

RDN Day: Celebrating our Superstar Team

Our small but mighty team of RDNs are the safe keepers of our signature difference: medically tailored meals! They design our menus, counsel our clients, offer nutritional education to our community, and keep our kitchen food safe. Every year, on RDN day, we like to share a little bit about this important team that you may not know. Curious what an RDN’s favorite food or activity is? Well, read on, and meet the team!

Lisa Zullig, MS, CSG, RDN, CDN

Years at God’s Love: 19.5 (November 2021=20 years!)
Years as RDN: 21
Area of interest: Gerontology, HIV
What activities do you enjoy? Running
What is your favorite God’s Love dish? Quinoa Corn Cakes
Tell us a little-known fact about yourself: I’ve climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro
When did you realize God’s Love was special? Many years ago, a client tearfully thanked me for her son’s birthday cake. It was something that she did not expect and something that she wouldn’t have been able to get for him. This has stayed with me ever since.
Who is/was your biggest influence as a RDN? An influence of mine is Susan Knightly. She is a co-author of a book called Food for Recovery which focuses on the nutritional aspects of recovery. This book inspired me to go back to school.
What are your favorite foods? Popcorn and red wine.
If you could live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? “Perfectionism means that you try not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived.” –Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Ronnie Fortunato, MS, RDN, MBA

Years at God’s Love: 10 years on April 1, 2021Ronnie Fortunato Headshot
Years as RDN: 20 years
Area of interest: HIV, Oncology, General Nutrition
Favorite God’s Love dish? The quinoa-corn cakes. I rave about them!When did you realize God’s Love was special: I was a volunteer in the Nutrition Department for 2 years prior to being hired. I used to walk in and see how happy everyone looked, and I’d think, “I’d like to work here.”
Who is/was your biggest influence as an RDN? I’ve been most influenced by our clients. They are inspirational.
What are your favorite foods? I like most vegetables, walnuts, fish, and milk chocolate. I’m a foodie.
If you could live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? “Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.” And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” (From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran)

Jamie Lopez, MS, RDN, CDN

Years at God’s Love: 5.5 yearsJamie Lopez Headshot
Years as RDN: 6 years
Nutrition specialty/area of interest: Specializing in Intuitive Eating, weight inclusive health care
What activities do you enjoy? Eating, listening to music & yoga.
What is your favorite God’s Love menu item? Beef Picadillo
Tell us a little-known fact about yourself: I love to hike and travel. 3 years ago, I had an eat, pray, love experience and hiked 40 miles across northern Israel, from Nazareth to Capernaum.
When did you realize God’s Love was special? The moment I walked in. The friendliness from every person I met, the genuine concern for client well-being, and the overall energy of God’s Love is what makes it a very special place to work and volunteer.
Who is/was your biggest influence as a RDN? Carolina Guizar, MS, RDN, former GLWD Nutrition team member, she was the one who introduced me to Intuitive Eating
What are your favorite foods? It’s hard to pick one, but bread and cheese are my favorite combos. Burgers and pizza, and of course fries! Yum
If you could live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.-RBG

Ana Blanco, MS, RDN, CDN

Years at God’s Love: 3 years plus. Ana Blanco Headshot
Years as RDN: I have been a RDN for 16 years.
Area of interest: Integrative Nutrition and Functional Medicine
What activities do you enjoy? I love greeting my parrots every morning. They never fail to make me smile.
What is your favorite God’s Love dish? Thai vegetable stew.
A little-known fact about yourself: I worked in an apiary in Norwalk, CT when I was pregnant with my daughter. You could see me selling honey in greenmarkets around NYC and CT in a big van packed with honey and a display of live honeybees.
Who is/was your biggest influence as an RDN? Sandra Arevalo has been a great influence in my career. She is an amazing and committed nutrition professional and educator with a formidable vocation to serve, especially the Latinx community in NY.
What are your favorite foods? Any seafood, especially mussels; fruit; leafy vegetables; bread; dark chocolate (with hazelnuts a big plus!); parmesan cheese; hearts of palm; chips; olive oil!
If you could live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? One of my favorites is from the Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda (1904-1973): “Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera.”

Mary O'Hara, MS, RDN, CDN

Years at God’s Love: 2.5 Full time years, nearly 4 years in totalMary O'Hara Headshot
Years as RDN: 15 + years
Area of interest: Diabetes, Renal transplant/renal disease
What activities do you enjoy? Being outdoors in nature inclusive of hiking, gardening.
When did you realize God’s Love was special? The moment I walked in.
What are your favorite foods? Lasagna, broccoli rabe, most greens with garlic and olive oil
If you could live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? “Live and Let Live”

Austin Park, MS, RDN, CDN

Years at God’s Love: 2 years totalAustin Park Headshot
Years as RDN: 2 years
Area of Interest: Integrative Nutrition and Functional Medicine
What Activities do you enjoy? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, meditation, running, being outdoors
What is your favorite God’s Love Dish? Kale Burger
When did you realize God’s Love was special? The 3 weeks I was an intern at God’s Love and saw how everyone here was motivated, happy, purpose-driven and treated each other with respect.
What are your favorite foods? Korean barbeque, pizza, kale, french fries and the occasional wheat grass shot.
My biggest influence as an RDN: My college professor, Dr. Christopher Masterjohn, who got me interested in integrative nutrition and ongoing evolving science of vitamins and minerals.
If you live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? “It doesn’t take any great intellect or qualifications to create something wonderful, just absolute devotion towards what you wish to do” – Sadhguru

Emily Jones, MS, MBA, RDN, CDN

Years at God’s Love: 11 monthsEmily Jones
Years as RDN: 3 years
Nutrition specialty/area of interest: Areas of interest are diabetes management and gerontology.
What activities do you enjoy? Looking up different food recipes from Budget Bytes and Chef John to make dinner exciting.
What is your favorite God’s Love menu item? Kale Burger
Tell us a little-known fact about yourself: I like to paint and sculpt
Tell us about a moment that made you realize God’s Love was special: I attended a talk years ago given by Lisa Zullig, MS, RDN, CSG, CDN, on the nutritional needs of those with Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.
Who is/was your biggest influence as a RDN? Soonyang Juhng, MS, RD, CDN, former Clinical Nutrition Manager at NYP-Columbia.
What are your favorite foods? I like so many different foods, I cannot pick a favorite.
If you could live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Paula Rubello, RDN, CDN

Years at God’s Love: 8 months
Years as RDN: 8 months
Area of interest: Too many interests… Diabetes, Intuitive/Mindful Eating, Weight Management and Oncology
What activities do you enjoy? I love making breakfast everyday!
What is your favorite God’s Love dish? Chuck’s Famous Brownies
A little-known fact about yourself: I speak 4 languages fluently (Spanish, English, French and Italian)
When did you realize God’s Love was special? When I interned at God’s Love, I went on a delivery shift. I had the opportunity to interact with the clients and witnessed their gratitude and gratefulness. This made me realize how incredible and special of an organization this was.
Who is/was your biggest influence as a RDN? My college professor who later became my supervisor at a job has been my biggest influence as a RDN.
What are your favorite foods? Sweet Potatoes, Peanut butter and Granola
If you could live by a particular quote or saying, what would it be? “Inch by Inch, Life’s a Cinch!

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