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Happy National Nutrition Month! 

We thought this would be the perfect time to introduce you to our dynamic dietitian duo here at St. Jude Wellness Center! Meet our nourishment experts!

Meet Taylor!

Taylor Rickrode is our lead dietitian coach. She has an extensive background in functional nutrition, meaning she aims to address underlying inflammatory issues with real food interventions. She has specific expertise in hormone imbalances for women and in gut conditions, and she has a true passion for the role of mindset and connection with food and eating.

What made you decide to be a dietitian?

Long family meals were always a cornerstone in my childhood. On Sundays, we used to set the dining room for ‘Sunday Dinner’. It was a special time and it made me fall in love with food that was made with love and how dining together can be a profound experience.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is connecting with my clients. Honing in on what they need and want in their life is very important to me.

What is your food ideology or mantra?

Eating healthy doesn’t need to be restrictive or deprivational — Feeding yourself well should be nourishing and delightful.

Do you have a go-to recipe?

I love Mediterranean quinoa bowls with lots of yummy sauce. Essentially, you layer the ingredients and toppings that you want and add in sauce of choice; ie garlic sauce, tzatziki, or chimichurri. Cava is one of my favorite take-out restaurants!

What is your favorite food tradition?

One of my favorite food traditions is a Santa Maria style tri-tip steak with salad, bread and beans.

Do you have a favorite secret ingredient?

Hmm — I’d have to say salt. You can’t taste it if it’s in there, but if you forget to add it in baking, you definitely notice that something is off. Salt is like that — You shouldn’t really taste it, but it draws out the full flavor of the food.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

I love the cookbook SALT FAT HEAT ACID. Not only does it have so many pertinent food science techniques and tutorials, but also lots of wonderful recipes. Also, I LOVE LOVE Half Baked Harvest on Instagram. Her recipes are drool-worthy.

We hear you are known for your mocktails. Do you have a favorite?

My favorite mocktails incorporate a wide variety of tastes — salty, sweet, bitter, sour. However, I’m a through and through mojito mocktail girl. Nothing beats mint and lime. Mint is sweet and cooling and paired with the acid of the lime and the sweetness of some fresh raspberries, it’s the best.

If you could give just one piece of professional advice to help clients immediately feel a benefit, what would it be?

Although I’m a dietitian, my top priority for my client’s health is not related to food. If you’re not getting good quality SLEEP, you’ll never be able improve your health dramatically. It’s the biggest priority. Fortunately, there are lots of lifestyle habits, herbs and ways of eating that can help improve sleep.


Meet Megan!

Megan Wroe is our Wellness Manager and a registered dietitian by trade. Her dietetic background is different from Taylor’s in that she has certifications in both culinary and pediatric nutrition. Her true passion is in learning to prepare and enjoy real food from early childhood on up.

What made you decide to be a dietitian?

My bachelor’s degree is actually in English and Spanish and I was heading for a career in editing and publishing (which our team will tell you shows through whenever a draft of anything gets sent my way!) But my junior year of college my younger sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and it rocked our family’s world. I attended dietitian sessions with her and fell in love with the ability of food to help with a chronic condition. I graduated and went straight back into school for nutrition science.

What is the best part of your job?

I LOVE that I can wear so many different hats as a manager and a dietitian here. I get to be creative with program development & recipe creation (that’s me on the blog posts you read!) and I also get to learn new things everyday about other avenues of wellness from the experts on our team.

What is your food mantra?

Eat. Real. Food. Yes I am copying the title of the book by Michael Pollen but it is so perfectly simple and accurate. Eat food without labels and you will instantly improve your health and the health of those you cook for.

Do you have a go-to recipe?

They tend to change with the season, but if I had to pick something I can make with my eyes closed and it always tastes good, it’s a veggie egg casserole with avocado toast. Perfection every time and fits for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

What is your favorite food tradition?

We have a red plate in our family that says “You are special today.” You have to really earn it so when you get it for a meal it means something and it creates a huge topic of conversation at the table, which is the whole point of eating together.

Do you have a favorite secret ingredient?

Mine is salt too! A sprinkle of sea salt turns a “meh” meal to a “yeah!” meal. Plus there are all kinds of different flavored sea salts out there now! Smokey sea salt and truffle sea salt are big hits in our house.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

No way – don’t make me pick! I love cookbooks and have far too many. But as any of my friends and family know, I never actually follow any of the recipes! Much to my clients’ dismay, I am notorious for messing with ingredients and not writing it down!

With your background in pediatrics, what is one piece of advice you would give to new parents to enhance the health of their kids?

Serve your kids the same food you are eating from the day they start solids (you’ll have to modify some textures of course). The variety of benefits of this one are astounding, plus it forces mom and dad to eat healthier 🙂

If you could give just one piece of professional advice to help clients immediately feel a benefit, what would it be?

To immediately feel the power of cooking, simply sauté garlic and onion in avocado oil on the stove. Notice how the smells make you feel, notice how everyone in the household comments on how good it smells and how motivating that is. Notice the saliva in your mouth starting to accumulate wanting to eat. That is real food digestion happening right there. That is connecting to your food.


Want to connect with our dietitian team?

From consultations & functional health packages, to our Nourishment Membership & free cooking classes and webinars, we have a variety of ways to team up. We look forward to meeting and cooking with you!