I’m Joy Lynn Umphrey, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in Arizona. I have a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in nutrition from Arizona State University. Then I did my dietetic internship through Utah State University then passed my board exam to become an RDN. I finished off my formal education at Utah State University obtaining a Master of Dietetic Administration with an emphasis on Strategic Value Creation. This is fancy wording for a business degree. My work experience includes large urban hospitals, small rural hospitals, long-term care, skilled nursing, and private practice. My clients needs have ranged from diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, PCOS, menopause, weight gain/loss, digestive issues and pregnancy. The best part of my day is helping my clients and then seeing them achieve their health goals.
Being an RDN is not my first career. I helped my husband grow his construction company working as the office manager while raising our six children. Each pregnancy brought new challenges and during the last four, I developed Gestational Diabetes. This put me at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. I went back to school after my last child to learn how to beat the odds and be my healthiest self which I now teach to others.
As I have worked with my clients, I have incorporated a mindfulness-based approach from day one. Everyone has food behaviors and rules whether they realize it or not. I am upfront and let my clients know that I am a recovering emotional eater and yo-yo dieter. I too have tried most of the popular diets and if they worked, I wouldn’t have had to try so many. I became frustrated and felt like I had no willpower. When studying to become an RDN I learned about mindful eating practices and started implementing them in my life. It was freeing. Food lost its control--I was back in charge. I stopped using rules and developed a healthy relationship with food. Exercise was no longer punishment and I quit counting how many calories I burned.
My philosophy when working with clients is that food is neither good nor bad, it’s fuel. No food is off-limit. As a team, we work on changing behavior and understanding the “why” of their food choices. Once clients can change their thinking, they change their behavior, which leads to a healthier lifestyle. My clients grow a couple of inches because they stand up taller due to the confidence they’ve gained while working with me and going forward.