Fun Facts about Jessie
Why did you become a dietitian?
After graduating from Northwestern University with a journalism degree, I was certain my first job would be in newspapers. Instead, I found myself at a cookbook publisher, where I worked for 5 years before transitioning to magazines. During that time I encountered several registered dietitians who really impressed me with their knowledge of food, nutrition, and metabolism. I was hooked. Thus began a 7-year journey to become an RD myself, while still working full time. I dissected animals and took my lab courses over lunch breaks and would run off to take more science courses in the evenings. My publishing job gave me a 7-month leave of absence to complete my clinical rotations. It was an exhausting time of life, but I’m so glad I did it.
What was your first job?
My first job was delivering newspapers as a 5th grader. I inherited my brother’s route, and I credit carrying a 50-pound bag of newspapers on a daily 5-mile walk in the freezing Iowa winters for my outer strength and inner grit.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa and attended East High School.
What’s your favorite food?
I love just about anything with avocado, and I believe the best bites are those enjoyed among good conversation and enthusiastic eaters. Also, that little bit of crispy cheese at the very edge of a pizza pan is my definition of a heavenly bite.
What inspires you?
I’m often inspired by written words, the human spirit to keep going after hardship, trees in the springtime, and people who can see a silver lining (my husband is pro at this).
Do you have any pets?
I don’t have pets, but I think I might hold the record for longest-living goldfish. My goldfish, Miss Saigon, lived for 12 years and even traveled back and forth to college with me (in a water bottle!)
What do you do for fitness?
After my college sports career ended, I’ve spent much of my adult life taking group fitness classes (cycling, barre, yoga, TRX, kickboxing). But road biking and Peloton courses are my favorite way to stay fit. My husband and I have completed RAGBRAI (the weeklong ride across the state of Iowa) and Copper Triangle in Colorado several times, and have logged many miles across our mountainous state.
What do you do for fun?
I genuinely love to spend as much time as possible with my family. I was late to motherhood, but I’m enjoying the happy chaos of it. I live for date nights with my husband and I love to fuss over my backyard roses and raised-bed garden. I enjoy creative writing, hosting dinner parties, and hiking.
Do you have any food allergies?
I’m blessed to not have any food allergies.
What did you do before joining The Real Food Dietitians?
Prior to joining the RFDs I had a long career (18 years) in publishing, including cookbooks and magazines. I was the former editor-in-chief of Delicious Living magazine, senior nutrition editor for Diabetic Living magazine, and am still a frequent contributor to Better Homes & Gardens, Oxygen, and Clean Eating magazines, among other health outlets.