Nutrition Counseling by Alyssa Snow Callahan, MS RD

About Alyssa

Alyssa Snow Callahan, MS RDN, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with expertise in working with children, adolescents, and adults to improve their overall health and body image.  Whether a client is struggling with an eating disorder or any other medical reason, Alyssa approaches sessions with compassion and inidividualized support.  

Alyssa graduated with her MS in Nutritional Science from California State University at Los Angeles, where she wrote her final project on applying the principles of Intuitive Eating during pregnancy and becoming a role model for healthy eating behaviors as a parent.  She completed her internship rotations in health education, outpatient eating disorder treatment, inpatient clinical nutrition, individualized nutrition counseling, and food service management.  Originally from New Hampshire, Alyssa graduated from Boston University with her BS in Communication and concentrations in Psychology and Public Relations.  She worked in health policy public affairs in Washington, D.C., for five years before becoming a Registered Dietitian.

Alyssa has worked as a Clinical Dietitian at a prestigious West Los Angeles hospital in the adult, pediatric, and neonatal care units.  She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), including the Nutrition Entrepreneurs and Pediatric Nutrition practice groups.  She is also a member of an Intuitive Eating supervised practice group, the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians (IFEDD). 


Why an RDN?

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is more than a nutritionist.  RDNs are accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and must pass a rigorous national exam to become experts in nutrition.  All RDNs complete extensive academic coursework in biochemistry, metabolism, medical nutrition therapy, food science, research, and eating behaviors.  Registered Dietitian Nutritionists also complete a year of internship rotations as part of an accredited nutrition program, including clinical rotations in hospitals to apply nutrition science to care for critically ill patients.  RDNs also must complete Continuing Education to maintain their accreditation.  However, nutritionists or certified nutrition experts have completed degrees or certification programs in nutrition.  

In other words, all RDNs are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are RDNs.

Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating is a philosophy developed by two leading RDNs to help their patients achieve healthier relationships with food and their bodies.  Intuitive Eating is based on the idea that we are all born with the inner wisdom to guide us in eating, in the same way we follow our body's inner wisdom for breathing and functioning in other ways.  However, this inner wisdom is disrupted by the diet mentally imposed by our culture - telling us that our bodies won’t naturally look the “right way” or want to eat the “right foods.”  The diet culture encourages crash diets and yo-yo dieting that don't improve physical or mental health and instead leave us feeling frustrated, confused, and that we can’t stick to the “perfect” or “right” diets.  However, these diets are really failing us, not the other way around. 

Intuitive Eating encourages us to follow our inner wisdom, get in touch with our hunger and fullness cues, honor our cravings and our bodies, and apply medical nutrition therapy to fit our lifestyles and medical conditions.  Accepting and applying Intuitive Eating in our lives is a process and focuses on 10 Principles:

  1. Reject the diet mentality.

  2. Honor your hunger.

  3. Make peace with food.

  4. Challenge the food police.

  5. Respect your fullness.

  6. Discover the satisfaction factor.

  7. Honor your feelings without using food.

  8. Respect your body.

  9. Exercise – Feel the difference.

  10. Honor your health.