Week Three: Q&A with HAC’s Registered Dietitians

Jeannie Versagli and Ashely Boyer are our Registered Dietitians that are available to coach individuals in every aspect of nutrition and health.  Look for their input on nutrition and dietetics throughout this month as we are featuring their responses to topics of interest to our members and the general public.

We hope you find their responses enlightening, informative and motivational, to enlighten your path to wellness.

What’s your favorite client story?

During my time working as an outpatient dietitian and diabetes educator, I worked with a client on self-management skills. This client had both Diabetes and Obesity. He would often avoid foods during the day to try and get his blood sugar levels down, only to find himself eating 2-3x more at night. This led him to take more insulin and resulting in more weight gain and insulin resistance. We worked together to stop looking at food as being fattening and instead of fueling his body with satisfying nutrient-dense foods, and to change from eating mindlessly vs eating mindfully.  Additionally, we worked on eating fewer processed foods and menu planning. We set routine nutrition, exercise, and Diabetes management goals at each monthly visit. Over one year he was able to lose ~60 lbs, while improving his Diabetes by going from an A1C of 8.9% to 5.4%, no longer needing insulin and significantly reducing blood pressure. To date, he is working on encouraging others to take charge of their health and Diabetes at his place of work!

What’s your favorite client story?

I think the best client story is from one of my client’s perspective.

Here is her story which speaks volumes of just what a Registered Dietitian can do.

I started working with Jeannie about one year ago when I needed to change my diet due to medical reasons.  She laid out a plan for my new diet.  I couldn’t believe what a difference it made.  There was quite a bit of work I had to do in order to overcome some of the challenges I was faced with, but I followed everything she told me to do.  Not only did I get a good report from the doctor, but now I have been educated on what foods work for me. I found Jeannie’s expertise so valuable that I asked her for some additional assistance in getting the right nutrition and energy I needed during my long bike rides!  I would feel that my energy level was depleted when I would do a 60-mile bike, especially on the hot and humid rides.  I thought I did all the right things, but I was missing some key ingredients that my body needed.  I am happy to say I am back on track with my nutrition and have some recipes to use before, during and after my bike rides thanks to Jeannie.   

Thanks, Jeannie for coaching me and inspiring me on two very different situations.  I now have the tools I need to say focused and on track! 

“You must nourish to flourish” – author unknown

What are the top five nutrition mistakes you think people make?

  • Not drinking enough water daily – water encourages optimal bodily function, by the time we are thirsty we are often dehydrated!
  • Inconsistent eating- leading to changes in blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Lack of sleep (I know it’s not directly nutrition related, but SOOO important)- deep sleep helps to stimulate human growth hormone, which works on cells to help stimulate the metabolism
  • Yo-yo dieting-most fad diets are a temporary fix, leading to more gain long term
  • Not menu planning- keep it simple, having a variety of easy to prepare meals ready for the week


Hockessin Athletic Club opened its doors on June 10 2007. Boasting over 100,000 sq. ft., a 5-pool aquatics complex, and over 200+ weekly group and aqua fitness classes, it is Delaware's premier fitness destination. 100 Fitness Way, Hockessin, DE · HAChealthclub.com

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