GSDA year in review

GSDA had an event filled and exciting year in 2016-2017. We started out the year with a welcome back picnic at Pratt Park. The cloudy, cool weather didn’t compromise our mingling and enjoyment of fresh, tasty food. Next we met at the Beacon Hill food forest in September for a tantalizing discussion from Mary Purdy, MS, RDN on mindful eating for ourselves and our clients. She emphasized the need to ask clients not only what they are eating but how, where and when they are eating for a truly holistic view of their health.

As October weather turned crisp, GSDA met at Oxbow Farms for a guided tour as our annual fall conference (pictured above). This organic farm in Carnation uses sustainable practices to produce crops for surrounding residents, schools and CSA subscribers. Our day ended by gleaning sweet peppers to donate to local food banks.

After a short break for the holidays, GSDA was back in action for our January cooking class. In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Ann Anagnost, professor of anthropology at University of Washington taught us the history of soul food while making delicious (and surprisingly healthy!) recipes. Using the Seattle Pacific University food lab provided us with the kitchen space to cook and enjoy the feast. Because the event was a huge success, we had Ann come back to teach a Mediterranean cooking class in April!

GSDA year review

Soul food cooking class with UW professor Ann Anagnost

Our final two events included our spring conference and the student-organized May seminar. In April, GSDA showcased Maureen Chomko, RD, CDE, and her knowledge on motivational interviewing and Lori Taylor, MA/MS, RD, on environmental nutrition. In May, we were graced by sisters Morgen Beck Rochard, financial planner and then-GSDA president Marissa Beck Gandert, MS, RD, who discussed how to manage our finances and advocate for better pay. Participants left feeling inspired to budget, save, and invest their money while also feeling empowered with the tools to better negotiate wages as dietitians.

GSDA year review

Maureen Chomko, RD, CDE speaking at the Spring Conference

Our GSDA students are the foundation to our profession and board. Every year they get a chance to shine by planning two events. In early November, the students hosted a brunch with guest speaker Mya Kwon, MPH, RD, CD. She spoke on self compassion for those in the healthcare profession to prevent burn out and frustration with client relapses or inability to change. Their second was the May financial planning workshop mentioned above. Great job Layla, Amanda and Lauren!

Finally, we offered two webinars this year. Our first featured Mary Purdy speaking on brain health. She was our conference scholarship winner last year and presented her findings last fall. Our second webinar featured Chris Vogliano, MS, RDN, for a conversation about food waste. As our legislative chair and passionate environmental activist, Chris took us through the basics on how much food we waste and what to do to change this. If you missed it, the food waste webinar is archived on the Webinar page in the member’s section!

As we look back on this great year, and ahead to the next, the board has pride in representing Seattle dietitians. Stayed tuned for more fabulous events this coming year and join as a member today!


Christy Goff, MS, RDN, is GSDA’s public relations co-chair and president-elect. She’s an employee wellness dietitian and community liaison for a team called the Living Well Alliance at Pacific Medical Centers.