My name is Jennifer Teems Seay. I’m a Registered Dietitian (RD) and I am the nutrition counselor for Outside In Nutrition. I have practiced as a RD for six years, serving a diverse mix of people from those managing complex medical conditions to those who are well and wishing to prevent disease. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and a Master’s degree in Nutrition from the University of Georgia. I started out practicing in New York City in the Mount Sinai medical system. In more recent years, I have returned to my home state of Georgia and have consulted for both the School Nutrition Program and for patients of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, where I worked for four years. I live just outside of Decatur with my husband John, my daughters Edie and Lane, and Harold the dog. The things I love most in life are my family, my friends, getting outside in any capacity, music, yoga, and cooking healthy foods for my adventurous little ones!
Though I have experience in many areas of nutrition, I work mostly with adults and adolescents. I am most passionate in the areas of digestive health, cardiovascular health, and general health and wellness. There is so much evidence to support nutrition counseling as a key piece to successful treatment with heart and digestive health, and I believe I can have the most impact in my career by focusing my energies and efforts in these very specific arenas rather than being a generalist.
I hadn’t seen myself focusing on digestive health until many experiences that had big impacts on my life just prior to starting my private practice. When I started talking about starting my own business, I started getting many referrals for digestive concerns and even had a few Gastroenterologists reach out to me as a potential referral source. I realized there was a serious lack of experts in Atlanta in this area. I met the wonderful Kate Scarlata at a conference I attended earlier this year, a fellow dietitian and leading expert on belly disorders and the low FODMAP diet. As she reflected on her years of experience and seeing clients lives and abilities change due to normalized digestive function from making dietary changes, I started getting really excited about learning more and more. Since then I have been fascinated by what I’ve learned about the physiology of the gut, the gut microbiome (good bacteria in our digestive tract), the impact of GI surgeries on folks’ lives and livelihoods, and the role diet plays in all of this. If you think changing your diet may help improve your life and digestive health, I would love to help!
The reason I became interested in nutrition in the first place was my personal family medical history. My maternal grandfather died of a heart attack at an early age and my paternal grandmother died of a stroke, also before her time. I started really reading a lot about heart disease prevention in high school and my interest has clearly persisted since then. Diet plays a HUGE role in maintaining and improving the health of your heart and blood vessels. It is well established in the literature that a balanced diet including more healthy fats, fewer saturated and trans fats, and lower sodium leads to improved health of the heart and blood vessels. What does that mean? Eat your fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Eat mostly plant based foods. Limit processed foods. But all of that is easier said than done, isn’t it? Meal planning and mindful eating and grocery shopping…. oh my! If you could use help lowering your cholesterol or blood pressure or managing a specific cardiovascular condition, please give me a call. I would love to help!
General Health and Wellness
It is a wonderful experience to see first hand the effect that sustainable diet changes can have on a person’s health. I have seen patients who are able to come off of their blood pressure, cholesterol lowering, and diabetes medications over time due to making dietary changes. Improved mental health also tends to follow improved physical health. Our health is really the sum of our habits. Creating new habits surrounding food takes focus and diligence, and working with me can help you jump start changes you can make in your own diet.
What’s In a Name?
I often have people ask me why I chose the name Outside In Nutrition for my business. I chose it because it reflects my basic outlook on what I do. I believe if most of what we eat comes from a whole food plant based diet, we will see meaningful changes to our health. So much of what is available in the grocery store has been changed so much from it’s original form, that calling it “food” can at times be a stretch. So, when I came up the name for my business, I was envisioning bringing in food from a garden or farm. This doesn’t mean everyone has to grow their own food by any means, but being more conscious of where your food comes from, what you pull from the grocery store shelves, and incorporating more or mostly whole foods into your diet will almost certainly have a measurable impact on your health! For some of my digestive clients, I may recommend they avoid or limit certain plant based foods, but I will always recommend others to go in their place to create balance.
Header Image by: Richard Roberts @ rdr pr (cropped to fit space).