She started her career at an eating disorder treatment center in St. Louis where she gained invaluable experience providing nutrition counseling to clients who struggle with eating disorders, disordered eating and weight management. She has helped hundreds of clients change their eating behaviors and improve their relationships with food.
In 2012 she founded Germanese Nutrition Consulting LLC, a nutrition consulting business that offers a variety of services to individuals and organizations. Her mission is to inspire and empower clients and consumers to find a balance between enjoying delicious food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Jessica graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from Saint Louis University. Upon graduation, she moved to Dallas, Texas where she completed her dietetic internship at the Baylor University Medical Center. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and belongs to the following Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Groups: Dietitians in Business and Communications, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, and Food & Culinary Professionals. Jessica is the PR/Media Chair for the St. Louis Dietetic Association and the Social Media Coordinator for the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Executive Board.
My Food & Nutrition Philosophy
The relationship between nutrition and health has become complicated and confusing for many people; I am here to help you untangle the confusion. With obesity, eating disorders and diet-related health concerns on the rise in our country, it is insufficient to tell someone what to eat and how much to eat; we must also explore the underlying issues that influence your eating behaviors and food choices. Together, we will look at the functions of food in your life and your belief systems surrounding food and nutrition, allowing us to identify and modify beliefs and behaviors that hinder your ability to cultivate health and balance.
Healthy eating is all about moderation, not deprivation. When it comes to food, less is not always more. Deprivation often leads to cravings, hunger, and overeating. All foods can fit into a healthy eating plan and too much dietary restraint often backfires. While everyone has individual nutrition needs, in general, following the 80/20 rule may be helpful: eat wholesome, nutritious foods 80% of the time; eat “fun foods” 20% of the time. If you allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, you will be less likely to over-indulge when these foods become available. Food is one of life’s greatest joys. Yet for many people, eating has become complicated and unpleasant. If you feel guilt, shame or anxiety after eating certain foods, we can identify why you are experiencing these negative emotions and discuss ways to achieve a more positive experience with eating. Some clients may want to further explore the underlying emotional issues related to food and eating by consulting a professional licensed therapist as a compliment to the nutrition counseling experience.
Balanced eating starts with a positive relationship with food and the eating experience. I like to focus on helping clients develop a positive relationship with food in addition to providing science-based nutrition recommendations. Many eating issues originate from a negative relationship with food, which can be the result of many things: childhood food messages, emotional issues, career demands, hectic schedules, illness, stage of life, nutrition beliefs, dieting history, “rule-based” eating etc. To normalize your eating patterns you must first identify how your food and nutrition beliefs and past experiences with dieting have impacted your current relationship with food. My goal is to help you untangle your food relationship so you can move toward more connected and intuitive eating.
“Health” has many dimensions. If I were to ask a group of people what words come to mind when asked to think about the word “health,” many would probably say exercise and diet. While it is true that exercise and diet are important variables, there are social, spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects to a healthy lifestyle too. I have found that some individuals focus so much on being a “perfect eater” that they lose sight of the “big picture” of a healthy lifestyle and as a result, they miss out on the fullness of life. Nutrition is just one aspect that contributes to quality of life and if your desire to eat a certain way prevents you from participating in other important activities in your life, you may want to re-evaluate your beliefs about what it means to be healthy.
Healthy eating needs to be enjoyable to be sustainable. If you don’t enjoy the foods you eat, you probably will not want to eat those same foods for the rest of your life. It is important to figure out what will make healthy eating more enjoyable and sustainable for you and your family. What are the main barriers to healthy eating in your family? Cost? Taste? Convenience? I believe it is possible for anyone to develop an eating plan that fits with their lifestyle and nutrition goals. Together, we can identify barriers, problem-solve and establish a realistic eating plan for you and your family.