Whitney A. Cessna, MS, RDN, LDN, Chief Nutrition Officer
I. LOVE. FOOD. You know the old saying- eat to live, not live to eat? Well, I live to eat. Everyday. Self-proclaimed foodie. I love to cook, grocery shop, and plan weekly meals for my household. It is something I look forward to every week! Another huge passion of mine is traveling. Whenever I am able, I JUMP at the opportunity to go somewhere. Whether it be a short drive down I-64 or a seemingly short 7 1/2 hour flight outside of USA borders, I get more excited about indulging myself in the cultures' FOOD than seeing a famous church. First words out of my mouth after reaching a destination are usually, "Alright, where are we eating?!" I truly NEVER skip a meal. As mentioned on the Home page, I whole-heartedly believe that focusing on counting calories is a bunch of hoop-la. Eating healthy doesn’t mean foregoing all your favorite foods and guilty pleasures, but planning and prudence changes everything. The fewer food decisions you’re making on the spot (whether starved, rushed, tired or tipsy...) the better.
I received my Bachelor in Science in Dietetics and Master of Science in Dietetics Administration from the University of Kentucky. My dietetic internship was also completed through the University of Kentucky, doing food service and medical nutrition therapy rotations at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, KY, and finishing Community Nutrition at Shelby County Cooperative Extension in Shelbyville, KY. During my masters career, I wanted to pursue research in pediatric nutrition. Through the dietetics department, I had heard about a group of faculty and students that travel as a brigade to Ecuador to develop comprehensive community development projects to reduce the child malnutrition epidemic. Through persuasion and finding the perfect faculty member to work with, Dr. Hazel Forsythe handed me an opportunity to travel internationally to Ecuador, South America to gather and collect data on a small Tsáchila community just outside of Santo Domingo. If you have an extra hour on your hands, feel free to dive into this 135-page work I like to call my baby: "FOOD SECURITY FACTORS AFFECT GROWTH IN YOUNG CHILDREN IN AN ECUADORIAN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY," published in 2015. Data collection abroad was one of the most humbling, incredible, eye opening experiences of. my. life.
When I found a job in research shortly thereafter (which was another wonderful experience), I felt a puzzle piece in my life was missing. I always knew I wanted to help and educate others on nutrition, but I couldn't quite figure how. After talking to my sister one day on the phone while eating, she says to me "Wow, you truly NEVER skip a meal, do you?" THERE IT IS. WHAM. I need to start my OWN business. Don't Skip A Meal was then launched and I haven't looked back! I am SO passionate about this journey. I hope and pray that my love for food and nutrition will guide others to lead healthier lifestyles!
Other than loving the power of a few cheese cubes and chocolate morsels, I try to enjoy this crazy, blessed life. I am obsessed with my 90 lb. fur baby, Bri, who is a COMPLETE princess, and my handsome new husband, Christopher.
I work full-time as a Diabetes Educator in the Pediatric Endocrinology department at University of Louisville Physicians.
Christopher Cessna, Business Manager
Whitney and I share many passions, but food and nutrition are two that have been with us from the beginning. As a college athlete, nutrition was always a must for me. While my desired outcomes may have changed since college, boy do I miss those TRYING to gain weight days that I still have the same passion for. Whitney and I believe that a healthy well-balanced diet is not achieved via fad diets or calorie counting but rather by meal planning, portion control and well sourced fresh ingredients. Certain fad diets may yield short-term successes but for a long-term solution you need a more global approach to your diet and that is what Don’t Skip a Meal is here to provide.
With a background in finance and 10+ years in the healthcare industry I believe I bring a unique skill set to DSAM. I understand how your diet and food intake can impact your overall health. This is what drives my passion for DSAM, the value we bring to our clients for not only meal planning and recipe direction but also better overall health.