It seems like only yesterday that my grandma fell victim to chronic kidney disease. Growing up in Hawai’i, I would often catch the bus with my grandmother to the hospital. Reason for the visit was unknown to me, but I always witnessed my grandmother hooked to a machine for hours on end. ‘What is she doing?’ I thought but never asked. My instincts had told me it was important. Sometimes, I would overhear a medical professional say, “dialysis.” Fast-forward 3 years after my first nutrition class in college and all I could think back on was how my grandmother was a victim not only of end-stage renal disease, but also of complications from uncontrolled type 2 diabetes that led to renal failure. This ignited in me more than just an interest in nutrition. It led to my career. I wanted to be a registered dietitian nutritionist in order to educate the public about evidence-based nutrition and prevent nutrition-related diseases.
Currently, as a registered dietitian nutritionist, my expertise lies in the underserved, elderly population, as well as sports nutrition. I own a private practice called Genki Nutrition, an online counseling business for one-on-one, corporate wellness, and more. I chose Genki, a Japanese term, for it means energetic and healthy. I wanted my passion and love for food to burst through the name of my company. I am a Board-Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition, Board Certified Case Manager, and a Certified Personal Trainer. Getting there was no easy feat, but it was a journey worth every second and I practice nutrition every day without regrets.
To become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, a minimum of 5 years of studying is required. I completed my 4-year degree in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Hawai’i in Manoa. Their curriculum is an approved didactic program by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Following the conclusion of this program, I completed my 1,200-hour supervised practice and a Masters in Business Administration at Dominican University, in Chicago. After, I moved to New York City and completed my examination with flying colors to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
I am very excited about this new journey with Guild Magazine. We live in times when anyone can say something that without proof can be construed as professional fact. As the Food Director, I will be curating trustworthy material for our readers; restaurants of interest, cultural foods, nutrition professionals, chefs, and everyone from farmers to sommeliers. I will ascertain their professional craft will be based on gastronomy and evidenced-based food science. In the battle of fear of food, misunderstanding, and marketing misinformation we see around the world, it is now my life’s work to debunk myths and bring trust back to the subject of food.
My mantra with Guild Magazine is, “Food, Professional facts, and Evidenced-based, ONLY!” Food is the epicenter of our existence, and we all have a stake at the dinner table. We aim to ensure our readers are not only properly informed but also engaged in the conversation.
– Jonathan Valdez, MBA, RDN, CSG, CDN, CCM, ACE-CPT
For more information on Jonathan Valdez and his services, please visit the link below.