Marissa Kleinsmith, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach

Gentle nutrition

Food neutrality

Body positivity

Joyful movement

Self care, not self control

Empowering you to cultivate YOUR personal health journey 

Marissa Kleinsmith, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Coach

Gentle nutrition
Food neutrality
Body positivity
Joyful movement
Self care, not self control

My Journey to Intuituve Eating

I love to eat. Like, really love to eat. As it turns out this love for eating can be a slippery slope when coupled with the notion that there is a state of optimal health that one “should” be working towards. My drive to achieve this allusive pinnacle of wellness morphed into a disordered relationship with food fraught with stress and anxiety that seeped into other areas of my life.

Doing what I thought was ‘best’ for my body – restricting certain foods unnecessarily and obsessing about food quality – stole more time, mental and physical energy, and fun from my life than I care to admit. Coming to terms with my food rules and evaluating how they’ve served me over time has been powerful in shaping a much more compassionate, less dogmatic approach towards eating. Reclaiming freedom in food choices is liberating. If you’ve been on one diet after the next to change the shape of your body or assuming certain foods are “bad,” it’s time to forgive yourself for feeling like a failure when those diets haven’t worked. You haven’t failed the diet, our diet culture has merely sucked you in and spat you out like millions of people every single day! It’s time to reclaim our natural ability to be an intuitive eater.

Untangling the web of confusion around this personally and from a macro, society-wide scale has been a journey in and of itself. It’s also been a reminder that eating is much more than putting fuel in the tank. While there is a time and place for functional and integrative nutrition approaches, such as performance diets or supervised elimination diets, food can be a source of nourishment for our bodies, emotions, and relationships. When approached with flexibility and curiosity, eating can be a source of joy and not something that takes up excessive brain space distracting us from more important things.

Now, if you’re thinking Registered Dietitians should have it all figured out when it comes the eating, remember that we’re all educated in slightly different ways, but for the most part we come from a very traditional approach to health and that the size of our bodies being an indicator of health. We’re taught to provide prescriptive meal plans, portions, macros, have clients use food tracking apps, weigh and measure their food (and themselves), but what does all of this have in common? These all outsource your hunger, fullness, satisfaction, and teach people that they can’t trust their bodies to tell them they’re hungry. Think about it for a second – how is it that an app on your phone knows more about your body than you?!

Turns out that dietitians can just as easily get sucked into the diet culture that swirls around us on the internet, in the grocery store, at the gym, on social media – it’s everywhere. There’s even science to back up just about any view on eating out there.

My Journey to Intuitive Eating

I love to eat. Like, really love to eat. As it turns out this love for eating can be a slippery slope when coupled with the notion that there is a state of optimal health that one "should" be working towards. My drive to achieve this allusive pinnacle of wellness morphed into a disordered relationship with food fraught with stress and anxiety that seeped into other areas of my life.

Doing what I thought was 'best' for my body - restricting certain foods unnecessarily and obsessing about food quality - stole more time, mental and physical energy, and fun from my life than I care to admit. Coming to terms with my food rules and evaluating how they've served me over time has been powerful in shaping a much more compassionate, less dogmatic approach towards eating. Reclaiming freedom in food choices is liberating. If you've been on one diet after the next to change the shape of your body or assuming certain foods are "bad," it's time to forgive yourself for feeling like a failure when those diets haven't worked. You haven't failed the diet, our diet culture has merely sucked you in and spat you out like millions of people every single day! It's time to reclaim our natural ability to be an intuitive eater.

Untangling the web of confusion around this personally and from a macro, society-wide scale has been a journey in and of itself. It's also been a reminder that eating is much more than putting fuel in the tank. While there is a time and place for functional and integrative nutrition approaches, such as performance diets or supervised elimination diets, food can be a source of nourishment for our bodies, emotions, and relationships. When approached with flexibility and curiosity, eating can be a joyful experience and not something that takes up excessive brain space distracting us from more important things.

Now, if you're thinking Registered Dietitians should have it all figured out when it comes the eating, remember that we're all educated in slightly different ways. For the most part dietitians come from a very traditional weight-centric approach towards heath where the prominent notion is that the size of our bodies predict our health (thin = healthy, fat = unhealthy). We're taught to provide prescriptive meal plans, portions, macros, have clients use food tracking apps, weigh and measure their food (and themselves), but what does all of this have in common? These all outsource your hunger, fullness, satisfaction, and teach people that they can't trust their bodies to tell them they're hungry. Think about it for a second - how is it that an app on your phone knows more about your body than you?!

Turns out dietitians can just as easily be sucked into the lure of diet culture that swirls around us on the internet, in the grocery store, at the gym, and on social media. While I can’t rewind and change the way I’ve previously worked with clients, I recognize this as a learning opportunity and am committed to partnering with clients from a more compassionate, whole person lens. 

After completing my master’s degree, I returned to Durango, Colorado, where I’ve worked as an inpatient and outpatient clinical RD, in diabetes education, as a program coordinator for a non-profit, in integrative medicine, in CrossFit gyms, and most recently in private practice. I primarily work with folks one-on-one but also love running groups where we can harness the members’ experiences, nurture frustrations, and celebrate successes. Engaging with folks from various and sundry backgrounds provides some perspective into different food landscapes, strengthens compassion, and raises awareness of privilege.

A multitude of factors determine our food choices in a given day and over time. It is the totality of these choices over the long term that influence our health. This way of viewing health and eating can take practice. It may even be a conversation that you have with yourself daily. 

I’m eager to support folks in finding their unique balance in eating without deprivation while feeling their best physically. This could be you if you’re seeking the sweet spot between managing digestive issues and food restrictions, or if you’re fueling for fitness and desire freedom in eating. 

As a mother of two, a space that’s near and dear to my heart is helping moms appreciate and nourish their bodies free from guilt. With so much pressure (internal and external) placed on mothers, as well as the massive physical and emotional changes that women go through, personal and family food choices can become a major trigger of stress. 

No matter who you are, I firmly believe that your weight does not determine worth and is not the sole indicator of health. Healthy behaviors can be cultivated at any size, and eating can be fun and pleasurable while also supporting your health. 

What Clients Say

"As a busy professional it was a struggle to eat enough food to support my health and CrossFit training. Marissa helped me understand how to do this and made it achievable within my lifestyle. The best part was that it was designed to meet my personal needs. Because I don't have hours of time to spend in the kitchen, Marissa provided me with food ideas to ensure I can meet my nutrition demands with easy, simple to prepare foods. Most importantly, I now have steady energy throughout the day and sleep better!"

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