Joanna Pustilnik MS RD CDCES
Women's Health Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
Hi and welcome! I'm Joanna, a women's health and non-diet dietitian and nutrition therapist who absolutely loves talking and thinking about (and eating!) all things food. I’m so happy you’re here.
As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I help clients build joyful, sustainable and self-compassionate relationships with food, movement, and body so they can directly pursue the meaningful life they desire. When we are nourished and thriving, anything is possible!
Women's Health Interest
I also have a very special interest in women's health. I was diagnosed with PCOS, suffered irregular and missing periods, and was once told I would need fertility medication if I ever wanted to have children. Starting from the onset of puberty until my mid-20s, I also experienced severe acne, a sign of elevated androgens.
In my journey, I was never provided with any information about how lifestyle and nutrition as well as stress management could benefit my hormone imbalance or androgen excess. I was only offered birth control, which can have deleterious side effects (weight gain, increased blood clot risk, hair loss, anxiety and depression due to no progesterone production).
Once I began studying nutrition and changing my self-care habits, I was able to see a remission in my acne and a normalization of my periods. I am now expecting my third child in early 2023 with no fertility treatments, and I no longer consider myself to be struggling with PCOS. I did, however, experience early pregnancy loss before my 3rd pregnancy- something that is never a women's fault. I understand the pain associated with this trauma. I love providing supportive, warm, evidence-based nutrition care to help optimize fertility, manage gestational diabetes, and for the pre, peri- and post-natal period.
I provide women with the education and guidance that is severely lacking in our Western, pharmaceutical-based healthcare system- the guidance I wish I had been given. We really can affect significant positive change through our food relationship, lifestyle, stress management and eating habits.
Food Relationship and Disordered Eating Interest
My interest in the food relationship and Intuitive Eating grew from my early career work with chronic diseases. I am also a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, and I really appreciate the connection between hormonal and overall health and our metabolic function. Initially, I counseled the way that I was taught in my training- eat this, not that. Obviously, it wasn't very helpful for my clients! I truly struggled with how best to support them. I also noticed the damage that dieting can have on our food relationship and life in general- fatigue, irritability, increased risk of eating disorders and disordered eating... so I decided to stop thinking in the weight loss-oriented, BMI-centric paradigm.
I began learning about Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, mindful eating, and I studied psychological therapeutic modalities such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) so that I could better guide my clients toward wellness-centered behavioral change and a greater quality of life. I also worked to learn about and become skilled in treating eating disorders and disordered eating (ED/DE) (which can also greatly impact our hormone levels!). I can treat and manage all adult ED/DE- from restriction to binge or night eating syndrome. In my work, I like to connect the food relationship with the physical symptoms that my clients are experiencing in a truly holistic approach.
My non-diet, self-compassionate-focused nutrition therapy is grounded in the belief that health cannot be so simply quantified. Our weight, our labs, our pants' size- they are only small pieces of a large puzzle- albeit they can be very informative, we must look at our thoughts, concerns, goals, and emotions as well. The impact of stress is so powerful, for example!
I love helping my clients discover all those the other pieces- and get to a place of food and body joy while focusing on health-related goals in a gentle and effective way. I'd love to chat with you about it!
Joanna Pustilnik MS RD CDCES is a Washington DC-based nutrition therapist, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She holds a Master's in Nutrition Science from the University of Cincinnati and completed her dietetic internship at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. After completing her internship, she moved to Baltimore, MD where she worked as a tele-nutrition counselor and clinical dietitian. She worked with Crossfit athletes and gym-goers in her spare time outside of her tele-health role, and she has also written articles for magazines and helped developed nutrition education programs from the ground up.
In 2015, she moved to the Washington, DC area and continued working as a tele-nutritionist before opening her own private practice in 2017 where she specializes in disordered eating, women's health and PCOS, Diabetes/prediabetes, plant-based nutrition, and Intuitive Eating coaching. She has received training in women's health, food allergies, plant-based nutrition, integrative nutrition, PCOS, Intuitive Eating, and is currently pursuing her Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) credential. Joanna also sees clients through Mind Body Health LLC in Arlington, VA.
She has a background in personal training, group fitness, and health coaching. She is a previous marathon runner and played Division I soccer. She lives with her husband, two little munchkins, and little yappy dog, Lady.