Introducing Chrissy Arsenault
Chrissy Arsenault is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) based in the Indianapolis-area. She is a Licensed Dietitian in the state of Indiana.
As a nutrition communications expert, she works with food companies and media outlets to translate scientific information into easy-to-understand messages. After all, there is so much confusing and conflicting information when it comes to food and nutrition. Additionally, she counsels clients one-on-one in-person and through telehealth to reduce chronic disease and help them reach their goals.
Education & Credentials
Chrissy obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences with minors in Biological Sciences and East Asia studies at Cornell University. Through her personal passions for healthy eating and exercise and working part-time as a Certified Personal Trainer during college, she learned that there were so many myths out there when it comes to nutrition. She wanted to be able to educate and serve others through the healing power of nutrition.
After graduating from college, she completed her Dietetic Internship to obtain over 1,200 hours of supervised practice at University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. This program consisted of rigorous rotations in clinical, foodservice, community health, and management. She then sat for her exam to be credentialed as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) through the Commission for Dietetic Registration (CDR).
After working in dietetics for a couple of years, she then obtained her Master of Business Administration at Indiana University – Kelley School of Business in order to strengthen her business acumen and gain more experience in marketing and communications. This enabled Chrissy to scale her influence by working with better-for-you food companies to translate complex science into consumer-friendly messaging, while continuing to work one-on-one with clients.
What Is A Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN)? Why Work with A Registered Dietitian?
There are many experts that call themselves ‘nutritionists’, but it’s important to know that all Registered Dietitians are nutritionists, but nutritionists are not Registered Dietitians.
Nutritionists are not required to go any education or credentialing, as the term ‘nutritionist’ is a self-proclaimed title. Nutritionists are not legally accepted as experts in food and nutritional science, nor licensed to practice in many states where licensure exists for Registered Dietitians.
Registered Dietitians are experts on nutrition and food. They are required to also maintain ongoing continuing education credits to keep up with the latest trends and science.
The path that Chrissy took to become eligible to be a Registered Dietitian was as follows:
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree through a US-accredited university
- Completion of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
- Completion of an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI). This is a highly competitive process where you are matched to a program, and the match rates hover around 50 percent.
- Pass a challenging national credentialing exam
There are two other paths by which an individual can become a Registered Dietitian.
First, an individual can complete a coordinated program that already includes supervised practice rotations during time in undergraduate studies, and then sit for the credentialing exam.
Second, there are many individuals who look to go into dietetics as a second career. Someone with a bachelor’s degree in another field can also obtain a master’s degree and go through the dietetic internship match process or look for a program that incorporates supervised practice during the master’s program. The national credentialing exam is also required at the end of the education and supervised practice.
You can read more about the eligibility process on CDR.
Experiences as A Registered Dietitian
The most common question that Chrissy is asked in private practice is what the perfect diet or meal plan is in order to lose weight and look good. However, when it comes to nutrition, Chrissy doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, and there really isn’t a magic bullet plan! She believes in understanding her clients’ motivations and goals and then working together to create a sustainable approach that isn’t daunting. For example, to spotlight a success story, a client who Chrissy worked with was overweight, at risk for diabetes, and wanted to lose some weight. She started by getting the diet history of this client and devised a nutrition plan that reduced the client’s calories by 250 calories per day to create a calorie deficit of half a pound per week, but doing so in the form of small, sustainable changes made a big difference. By working with Chrissy for 6 months, the client lost over 25 pounds, and the client’s A1c was back to normal and no longer at risk for diabetes! In addition to the physical health benefits, the client had a renewed sense of confidence, mental health, and was inspired to help his family on their healthy eating journey as well.
Fad diets are so common, but not very sustainable. Some of the most common diets that Chrissy sees in her practice is keto, intermittent fasting, gluten-free, and organic. Although Chrissy believes that all foods fit, and thus, these diets can work as part of a holistic approach, it’s more important to focus on sustainable habits that will work for the long-term. Rather than labeling foods as good or bad, Chrissy believes in focusing on mostly plant-based foods and moderation. There is so much more that Registered Dietitians can help with beyond the creation of a meal plan: accountability, coaching, nudging clients toward healthier habits, education on chronic disease, and even navigating the psychology behind pantries and grocery aisles. In fact, most clients don’t do well on a meal plan; this requires a lot of discipline and only a small percentage of people adhere to strict meal plans.
There are only so many hours in the day, and Chrissy wanted to find a better way to reach a broader audience and scale up her impact. She does this by working with food companies to develop communication strategies that are evidence-based and pull in science, but distill this information into bites that are easier to understand. She has recently worked with clients ranging from small, start-up brands, to bigger, national brands, to ensure that we all help consumers reach their health goals. Food companies often look to Registered Dietitians like Chrissy to create engaging content, such as blog posts, joint influencer product giveaways, and communication strategy.
Chrissy also supports local media outlets for speaking engagements and serves as a subject matter expert for media interviews. She aspires to use her platform to help others lead healthier lives and establish a healthy relationship with food. She was recently interviewed for the following news features:
- Thrillist on healthy, cheap foods
- LifeZette on diet sodas
- Stocking your freezer for summer
- Lean protein choices
- Health benefits of reducing sugar intake
Additionally, she did a cooking and hydration segment for local FOX News on preparing for a local mini-marathon, which you can check out here.
Are you a food company looking to create evidence-based, engaging content for your audience? Or, are you looking to work with a Registered Dietitian on healthy eating?
Check out Chrissy Arsenault’s website at www.thepinkpamplemousse.com or follow her on Instagram: thepinkpamplemousse or LinkedIn. She offers free 15-minute, no-obligation consultations to discuss your health goals with you and see if you would be a good fit for a nutrition coaching program.