We love sharing the stories of the providers who use Healthie to help their businesses grow. Meet Healthie community member Whitney Stuart, MCN, RDN, LD, owner of Whitness Nutrition. We talked to her about hard work, prioritization, and getting clients in different ways.
What first you interested you in nutrition and dietetics?
Whitney: I was set on becoming an OB/GYN until a sudden onset sickness my senior year of high school. 9 months later, it was confirmed as celiac disease and multiple food allergies. My life took a 180 degree turn. I faced the challenges of a new city (hello, Dallas!), a new school (hello, college!), and limited money and transportation.
Southern Methodist University announced a new degree that October: Applied Physiology, which included nutrition courses. I added it to my existing pre-medical studies plan. Just days after my acceptance into the Physiology program, I learned that the UT SW Medical Center worked closely with the program’s professors, that they had a graduate Clinical Nutrition program, and that 99% of the prerequisites would be fulfilled by my undergraduate degree. I never looked back.
How did you get your first client as a dietitian?
Whitney: I was blessed to intern at Equinox’s Tier 4 (now Tier X) program during my first year of graduate school. (Translation: I asked to work for free, any time, any day, in exchange for experience and a killer gym membership.) There, I provided basic nutritional feedback to personal training clients. Once I graduated, many of those “practice clients” became my real ones! Word of mouth is very effective in Dallas, specifically the small bubble of Highland Park.
I found Thumbtack through the recommendation of another RD. I hadn’t tried to actively recruit my own clients yet and was unsure it would reap any new clients. But, surprise, it did! With any listing site, you must be specific and unique; engage your audience by italicizing what sets you apart from the rest. I am told that my focus on holistic nutrition, no B.S. nutrition, and evening hours were most enticing.
What tips do you have for dietitians looking to partner with local businesses?
Whitney: Get authentically involved in your community! I’ve known the owner of Lync for a while because I love their class formats. Although I’ve never discussed a partnership before, I was so excited when Kelsey reached out. It’s rewarding to work with a concept you’re already passionate about – especially when owned by a fellow Girl Boss! Get authentically involved in your community!
Your weekly blog/newsletter has the theme “Food, Fact, and Faith.” How did you find your voice and niche?
Whitney: If I weren’t a dietitian, I would likely pursue pennies as a writer. I am an avid reader and enjoy writing; I even had an English scholarship that I denied. My NewsBlog gave me an outlet to write and engage another audience. The topic was easy: I love food, I love science, and I love the Lord.
What other dietitians and health coaches inspire you?
Whitney: I find the most inspiration from RDs who haven’t had an easy road, who worked for their following and flourishing practice. That list includes Real Food RDs Jess & Stacie, Lauren Marek, Keri Glassman, and Diana Rodgers. They all have a common thread: authenticity and humility!
How do you balance your own private practice with your full-time clinical job?
Whitney: From a young age, I learned the value of hard work and didn’t like the feeling of financial insecurity. Because of that, I prioritize the things that provide the greatest payoff and benefit. I also sacrifice activities that have no purpose, I call these “time sucks” (e.g. Pinterest, social media notifications, TV, magazines, wine clubs).
Even being efficient, I work more hours than most. (I work the same, if not less, than most of my friends who are girl bosses.) It’s easier when surrounded by like-minded women! I strategically work side-by-side my husband in the evenings to consider it “quality time,” schedule most of my friend dates as strategic “sweat dates,” and keep dinner prep to 15 minutes.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being a nutrition entrepreneur and business owner?
Whitney: The benefit of making your own hours quickly dissolves into the reality that there are no real off hours. It’s “when I’m awake, and when I’m asleep.” I grind all day, every day. But, that’s also where the silver lining is: I grind all day for something that I am overwhelmingly passionate for!
Thank you Whitney for sharing your tips on being a nutrition entrepreneur! We can’t wait to see how you continue to grow your business and hustle. You can learn more about Whitney on her website and connect with her on Instagram.