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Dietitian Spotlight: Mearaph Barnes

1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a Texas girl with a love for all things related to food storage, food safety, and food allergies/sensitivities. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the illustrious Howard University in Washington, DC and obtained my BS in nutrition and RD internship hours in their dietetic program. I’ve interned and worked at some cool places like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)- Food Safety & Inspections Services (FSIS), Kraft Foods, Mondelez International, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (Washington, DC), and spent some time as the Child Nutrition Manager at BakerRipley. Currently, I’m establishing my private practice as a Food Allergy/Intolerance Dietitian for Roots Reboot LLC while also working part-time at a skilled nursing facility in Los Angeles, California. 

2. What’s your favorite part about being a dietitian?

My favorite part about being a dietitian are the “Aha!” moments that people have when you are able to offer them simple explanations for their biggest food questions. I love witnessing the moments of realization that clients have because it usually is closely followed by their own  renewed relationship with food. Some examples of questions I get are;

  • “What is the deal with gluten-free?”
  • “Could my migraines be triggered by what I eat?”
  • “How much protein do I need?”
  • “What is the difference between juice and a juice drink?”

The list goes on and on!

3. Describe what your typical week looks like?

My typical week is a hike through Runyon canyon on Monday mornings (I like to do the really steep path for a little more of a challenge), then I spend the rest of the day at the WeWork office in DTLA (downtown LA) working on my food allergy services launch (coming soon) and Roots Reboot office work. TuesdaysThursdays, and Fridays, I work at a 98-bed skilled-nursing facility and provide RD/nutrition recommendations for patients, along with completing monthly food-service projects (food safety audits and special diet accuracy checks). Wednesdays are usually exactly like Monday’s except I workout at the gym. On Saturday, and Sunday, I’m squeezing in time with friends, practicing a lil self-care, checking out LA foodie spots, and planning out tasks for the following week.

4. How do you find balance between work & personal?

What’s awesome about working in your passion is that work is personal, or at least it is for me. I try to overlay my outings with friends to double as opportunities for content. For example, my friends and I went out to a pumpkin patch for Halloween but I brought my camera along so I could get some pics to promote the Teal Pumpkin Project (it’s a food-allergy/sensitivity awareness initiative during Halloween). However, to give another type of answer, I think blocking out time for certain things like self-care, turning off your phone for a few hours, and completing weekly goals sheets like the ones created by Courtney Brand is extremely effective. I also swear by Asana! It’s an amazing task/project platform that Taylor and I use daily.

5. What are 3 foods you can’t live without?

You guys know this one was super hard for me to answer. So I had to think about my fave dishes and work down to the ingredient that means the most to me.

  • #1 is honey because I love tea and that’s my go-to sweetener. I usually use a local brand purchased from the farmers market, or this one my mom sends me by a couple in Texas who only sell their honey a few times a year.
  • #2 is turmeric because it has so many benefits and I talk about them in the post Reboot with Curcumin on our website

  • #3 is cilantro purely because Texas has amazing tacos and what is a taco without cilantro?!

To learn more about Mearaph check out her website here, and follow her on instagram here and here

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17 Comments on Dietitian Spotlight: Mearaph Barnes

  1. Ken
    November 3, 2017 at 7:11 pm (3 weeks ago)

    She’s a star! Can’t wait to see the great impact she has on the nutritional world!

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      November 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Isn’t she?!

      Reply
    • Mearaph
      November 4, 2017 at 12:35 am (3 weeks ago)

      Omg thanks Ken!!

      Reply
  2. Clarence
    November 5, 2017 at 5:03 am (3 weeks ago)

    I have a personal connection with Mearaph, she is my dear friend. Although I am already very healthy, she has help me to see beyond my current health knowledge.

    One time she made me sit and we watched What the Health on Netflix. Onward and upward, to a healthy lifestyle, including more plants!

    Thanks Mearaph. Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  3. Tee
    November 6, 2017 at 7:31 am (3 weeks ago)

    I love these posts!!! It’s great to see beautiful women of color highlighted in the field!

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      November 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm (3 weeks ago)

      yes! so many inspiring beauties!

      Reply
  4. Phil
    November 8, 2017 at 11:16 pm (2 weeks ago)

    💯💯💯 is all l can say.

    Reply
  5. Heidi A
    November 8, 2017 at 11:29 pm (2 weeks ago)

    So exciting to see Mearaph on this feature! She is absolutely my go to on this subject and her knowledge and accuracy is always SPOT ON! Her insight is so refreshing and important to be heard in an age like ours. As a woman and a minority, the advice she shares with her friends and her social media followers is invaluable and exposes us to information we may have not otherwise heard or been aware of which is CRUCIAL since our diets make up such a large part of our lives and health! Also, she’s just an absolutely superb human being with the best sense of foodie humor ever 🙂

    Reply
  6. Andrea Donelson
    November 8, 2017 at 11:31 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Love this article! Mearaph is definitely my go to person for all of my crazy nutrition questions. The “aha” moments are too real.

    Reply
  7. B. Eazying
    November 9, 2017 at 12:30 am (2 weeks ago)

    Mearaph is a very knowledgeable foodie. Taught me a thing or two, keep up the good work!

    Reply
  8. alyson williams
    November 9, 2017 at 4:07 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Love the interview! Food culture and health has increasingly grown in my life in the last year. I love seeing women my age so involved and passionate about!

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      November 9, 2017 at 5:33 pm (2 weeks ago)

      So happy you enjoyed! And yes, these woman are so inspiring!

      Reply
  9. Erica M
    November 9, 2017 at 6:54 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Reading this post gave me a little push to read up on the benefits of Tumeric. Clicking on the link right after I️ post this comment for sure. Becoming healthier, in the food choices I️ make, is also become a major focal point for me these days. So Roots Reboot here I️ come for those healthy delicious receipies.

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      November 10, 2017 at 3:28 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Yes go check them out!

      Reply
  10. CVR
    November 9, 2017 at 7:48 pm (2 weeks ago)

    who knew eating healthy could actually be enjoyable.

    thanks for the knowledge.

    Reply
  11. D.C.
    November 14, 2017 at 5:37 pm (1 week ago)

    Mearaph is a jewel. Whenever our group gets together, she teaches us the importance of a healthy diet & lifestyle without being overbearing. She makes delicious, healthy meals for us too. I’ve only known her for a couple years, but Mearaph has definitely made a great impact in regards to positive health 💪🏾🙌🏾

    Reply
    • Wendy
      Wendy
      November 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm (1 week ago)

      Aww that’s so sweet! So happy to hear so many good things about her on here!

      Reply

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