Interview with Melissa Odorisio - MS, RD, LD/N, CNSC

"Determination, because I now know that with enough work, belief, and commitment, any goal or dream can be accomplished."

- Melissa Odorisio

Receiving such good feedback about the interview series makes me even more excited posting NT's second inspire to Empower interview with Melissa Odorisio! There is something exciting and relieving knowing someone who succeeded in the journey you're currently on. Melissa is that person for me, a Registered Dietician and fellow blogger, specializing in nutrition support for the trauma intensive care unit at a hospital in Florida. On top of working in the intensive care unit at a hospital she has a blog, Garden Goddess kitchen, inspiring others to eat nutritious & whole. I think you will really enjoy learning a little more about Melissa, don't forget to check out her blog full of yummy recipes! 

Name: Melissa Odorisio, MS, RD, LD/N, CNSC


 Clinical Nutrition Specialist specializing in nutrition support for the Trauma Intensive Care Units at a hospital.

Tell us a little about your journey to where you are now

I decided early on, in high school, that I was interested in nutrition.  I was always drawn to the health care field.  I went to the University of Florida to receive my dietetics degree.  After graduating, I worked as a Nutrition Educator at the University of Florida’s WIC Program, a nutrition program for low income women, infants, and children.  I completed my internship with the Florida WIC Program, and worked as a Registered Dietitian with them for about 2 years after.  While I enjoyed nutrition education and counseling, I wanted to get into clinical nutrition so I started a distance master’s program in Medical Science/Health Science from the University of South Florida.  Soon after, I was hired as a clinical dietitian at Shands Hospital working in the trauma, oncology, and transplant areas. I was really enjoying nutrition support, enteral and parenteral nutrition, so I decided to become certified (CNSC- Certified Nutrition Support Clinician).  I now work in the Trauma ICU at a different hospital, a level 1 trauma center, and love the complexity and diversity of the patients.

Favorite recipe on your blog, Garden Goddess Kitchen?

Cashew Hemp Seed Pesto, It’s a perfect sauce or dip! Click here for recipe! 

Eggs or oatmeal?

Oatmeal!  With any combination of nuts, fruit, and almond milk.

You just finished a killer work out, what is your go to nutritious meal?

I typically eat dinner before I go to the gym, so post-gym I often have a protein smoothie- usually some frozen banana, strawberries, chocolate protein powder, cacao powder, and almond milk- or some variation of that!

Has your health always been a priority?

I’ve always made an effort to eat healthfully and exercise. Over the years I’ve made some changes, but it’s always been something I value.

Morning ritual/routine?

I like to enjoy my breakfast or tea out on my balcony for some fresh air before work.

What inspired you to become a registered dietician?

My grandmother was a Registered Nurse and I always found her work fascinating, so I knew I wanted to work in the health field.  I think nutrition is a huge influencer of health and it can do so much in terms of disease prevention.  That’s really what drew me in.

What food can you NOT live without?

Almond milk- my smoothie base!

What advice would you give women struggling with body image?

Sometimes taking the focus off of appearance and recognizing what the body is capable of doing helps me put things into perspective.

Favorite quote/Mantra?

Everything you can imagine is real. – Picasso

What is your favorite characteristic about yourself and why?

Determination, because I now know that with enough work, belief, and commitment, any goal or dream can be accomplished.

Typical meal for:

  • Breakfast:  A smoothie with lots of almond butter
  • Lunch: A salad from our salad bar at work- plenty of mixed greens, veggies, and edamame
  • Dinner: Always changing! Lately, roasted chickpeas and anything else I have laying around to roast
  • Snacks: Peanut butter/cinnamon toast or avocado toast

What do you believe living a healthy life means?

I think living a healthy life means being balanced in all aspects- physically, mentally, nutrition, etc.  I think it’s important to give attention to all areas.

Dream vacation destination?

I haven’t been to Europe yet, so I have many countries on my list- England, Hungary, Italy, so many more!

Keep in touch with Melissa Via:

With love & health,