Body Work Series: Meet Katie Vaughn, Nutritionist
Since I’ve been a regular at the gym, I’ve also been pretty diligent with what I eat – most of the times. I mean, there are more times than not where half of my meal comes from a block of cheese, and sometimes I crave Oreos so bad that I black out and end up at Wegmans with 7 packages in my hand #sorrynotsorry. About a year ago, I started educating myself on the crazy stuff companies will put into processed foods, and found myself… stuck. I was in a downward spiral in Google (like.. “Can Oreos give you cancer?”, and thankfully I came across Katie Vaughn Nutrition. I worked with her one on one for three months – and holy cow, what a change. Now, I’ll be honest, I only saw a small physical change (probably because I was still eating half blocks of cheese and accidentally eating a sleeve of stale Oreos). MY change with Katie was ALL MENTAL. I look at food in a whole new way, and now that I’m diligent with what she taught me, I now see a big change in my body composition. If you’re interested in entering the wild world of nutrition - READ ON!
Please give a short bio about yourself (Full name, how long you’ve been working in the field, and any extra things you’d like to note).
My name is Katie Vaughn. I have been a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist for 7 years. I started my career in the clinical setting, working for local hospitals and long term care facilities throughout Rochester. I gained great experience working in the Intensive Care/Critical Care Unit, Cardiology, Psychiatry, Maternity and the Medical and Surgical units. During that time, my husband was going to be deployed for six months overseas, my daughter was 8 months old at that time. Months before he left I decided to quit my full-time management position to be home with my daughter and start my own private practice—Katie Vaughn Nutrition. The month he left I got my website up and running and continued to book clients from that point on. When he returned, I obtained my certification as a Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist out of Denver, Colorado. Two months later, I took the national exam to become a Board Certificated Specialist in Sports Dietetics.
How did you decide to get into this field?
I was a runner all through high school and college. My performance improved the more I integrated proper nutrition within my training. The better I fueled, the faster I was. That was the point I decided to get into the field. I continue to be my own guinea pig when testing out different nutrition concepts.
What was the schooling like? How long was the program/what was the financial investment for this program/what program/school did you go to?
I earned my Master’s degree from D’Youville College out of Buffalo, NY. It was a 5-year, all year round program that was very intensive and competitive. My financial investment was $100,000+.
Would it be better in this field to join a practice or create your own?
I felt that with the niche I wanted to get into I needed my own practice. Sports dietitians are slowly making their way into different settings. Being that there are very few Board Certified Sports Dietitians in all of WNY and only one other Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialists in all of NYS, I felt it was an opportune time for me to take the plunge to start my own private practice.
Would I need to get acceptance from an insurance company to be able to reach more clients?
I am a private pay service. If my client receives a doctor’s referral to see a dietitian and their insurance has nutrition coverage, they can be reimbursed that way. I also offer a monthly payment plan. Clients have also used their FSA.
What are the positive aspects of this career?
There are so many positive aspects! Improving people’s overall health and wellbeing is a big one! I see athletes improve in their sport; faster, stronger, greater endurance, personal records. I see clients’ bodies changing; losing body fat, gaining muscle mass, leaning out. I get to the bottom as to why clients are in the current position they are in which can lead to a lot of negative emotions; sadness, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, shame, defeated, tired, angry, frustrated. But then I get to see those emotions change to happiness, excitement, motivated, confident, self-love, gratitude, proud, enthusiastic. I have experienced my clients having improvements in blood markers, reducing medication use while decreasing overall disease risk. Increasing longevity is a HUGE positive aspect. I teach my clients the most up-to-date, newly evidenced-based research. This forces me to do A LOT of reading and research—which I love. Changing people’s lives for the better and receiving testimonials from the heart is definitely a positive. Having the flexibility to have my own practice while I take care of my one-year old and three-year old is AMAZING. These are only some of the positive aspects…I can go on and on.
Do you only work with athletes?
This is a common question! No! I work with an array of clientele whether it be for fat loss/weight loss, performance improvement, managing a medical condition, and/or working through emotional eating issues. I work closely with many physician practices, local gyms/fitness centers, and other locally owned businesses helping to incorporate worksite wellness in their establishments. My clientele consists of youths, families, athletes, non-athletes, military, police officers, nurses, physicians, business owners…you name it.
What sets you apart from other nutrition professionals in the area?
I am the only one in NYS with the combination of credentials that I have. Being a Sports Dietitian allows me to work with all types active people whether they are recreational or high level athletes. I am also a Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist which is a nutrition concept that focuses on proper blood sugar control. This is the main nutrition concept used in my practice. The goal of Metabolic Efficiency is to balance macronutrient intake so proper metabolic changes can happen and since a large number of active people eat an unbalanced daily diet (too high of a refined and processed carbohydrate load), it is important to bring them back into balance to control blood sugar and insulin levels. This ability can have profound positive impacts on health and wellbeing to include improved energy, performance, body composition, mood, sleep, hunger and satiety, blood markers, hormone levels while decreasing overall disease risk. Along with Metabolic Efficiency, I teach my clients the most current, evidenced-based nutrition practices while weeding out all of the misconceptions. I use a very individualized approach with each client that includes customized meal plans, personalized eating strategies, and developing healthier habits to make it a sustainable lifestyle change. With all of that being said, what truly sets me apart from other nutrition professionals is that I will do anything for my client to make sure they succeed. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience to empower my clients to be the best versions of themselves—fit, strong, active, energized, focused, time efficient, and driven to succeed in all that they do.
If your interested in learning more about Katie’s services, click HERE!