Meet Kathryn Karukas, MS, RD, LD. She is a weight-inclusive, anti-diet registered dietitian at Courage to Nourish. Kathryn has a passion for helping people break free from diet culture and make peace with food, movement, and their bodies. I had the chance to chat with her about all things from her favorite childhood food to her future dog! Read on to learn more about Kathryn!
What is your favorite food today? What was your favorite as a child?
As a child, super random, but my favorite food was lamb chops. My grandma would tell a story that I ate 12 lamb chops at Christmas dinner one year. I still enjoy lamb chops, but now my favorite food is key lime pie.
Where are you from? What is your favorite thing about that place?
I’m from Westminster, Maryland. My favorite things about Maryland are Ravens football and crabs.
How did you become interested in nutrition?
I grew up playing soccer. As every athlete does, you hear a lot of diet-culture related things; eat this, don’t eat that. Unfortunately at that time, I believed it. During my senior year of high school, I had a female strength coach and she was the first person to prioritize strength, rather than shrinking your body. That really resonated with me and was the first turning point in my relationship with food and my body.
Later on, my college academic advisor introduced me to the idea of majoring in nutrition and dietetics in college, so that’s what I did! During my dietetic internship, my sports dietetics rotation preceptor introduced me to the idea of intuitive eating and Health at Every Size © (HAES). It put a name and language to everything I believed to be true about nutrition. It completely changed my world, both personally and professionally, and I never looked back.
What brings you joy in your daily life?
A few things. Puppies for sure. I plan to get a Golden Retriever named Queso in the next few months and I could not be more excited. My job and being able to help people and make a difference in people’s lives brings me a lot of joy. I also love the sunshine and nice weather. Lastly, I love to travel. The happiest I’ve ever been is when I’m exploring a new country for the first time.
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Dog person – 200%
Tea or coffee?
Coffee. Ideally, I prefer local coffee shops. My favorite is in Tallahassee, FL called Lucky Goat Coffee.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I’m going to say a koala because when I was studying abroad in Australia, I was able to hold a baby koala and it just hugged you. I love hugs, so I would be a koala.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in life? As a RD?
Life is too short. Work life balance is so important; Work to live, not live to work. If you want to do something, find a way to do it.
As an RD, I have learned that it’s okay to not have all the answers. Sometimes the best thing that you can do for clients is to be validating, compassionate, and cultivate a safe space for them.
Where else have you lived in the last 8 years before moving back to MD?
I was born and raised in Maryland, but I hate the cold so I went to the College of Charleston before transferring to school in North Carolina. I studied abroad in Australia and lived there for 6 months. I went to graduate school in Florida and lived in a few different areas of the state. I got my first job in California and moved out there.
Of all the places I’ve lived, I would say my favorite would be North Carolina. I like that there are big cities, small towns, beaches, and mountains. There are also four seasons, but not as extreme as Maryland and anywhere farther north.
What has been your favorite travel experience so far and where is your dream travel destination?
My dream travel destinations are Greece or Thailand. My favorite travel experience was a summer trip to Spain. I went with a friend from college and we went to a flamenco show, an FC Barcelona soccer game, the aquarium in Valencia, and the Park de Guell.
Courage to Nourage has offices in College Park, Maryland. Columbia, Maryland. And Alexandria, Virginia. We also see clients virtually across Virginia. Maryland. Washington DC. Colorado. And Pennsylvania.
Kathryn Karukas, as well as all of our dietitians, would love to work with you or a loved one today. Please visit our website to read more about our services. We can help! We would love to set up a 15 minute discovery call and answer any questions you may have about working with us. Visit our contact us page to send us an email.
Kathryn Karukasn. Kathryn Karukas. Kathryn Karukas
Jordan is a Courage to Nourish Intern. She received her BS in Nutrition Science from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing her MS in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Rhode Island. Jordan hopes to become a dietitian and is excited to learn more about eating disorder treatment as well as weight inclusive, anti-diet approaches to dietetics.