Meet the Board: Carrie Dennett

This is the first post in our “Meet the Board” series. Each Monday, we’ll feature one of our 2017-18 board members, not stopping until we run out of board members (in late January).

Carrie Dennett, MPH, RDN, CD
Media/Communications Chair

I’m a nutrition counselor at Menu for Change in Seattle (located in the Polyclinic Madison Center) and earned my Master of Public Health degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington. In my previous (career) life I was as a journalist, and I currently write the “On Nutrition” column for The Seattle Times, write regularly for The Washington Post, Today’s Dietitian magazine and Environmental Nutrition newsletter, and blog at Nutrition By Carrie. I also appear semi-regularly on KING5’s New Day Northwest.

I’m the nominating committee chair for the Women’s Health Dietetic Practice Group, a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH). In my personal life, I’m an avid cook and vegetable gardener and seek out farmers markets wherever I travel. On that note…

My favorite meal at the moment is what I call “Turkish Breakfast.” It’s an approximation of what we ate each morning from our hotel’s amazing breakfast buffet during our trip to Istanbul last December. As the weather cools down (finally), I suspect my favorite meal(s) will shift to homemade soups and stews.

Turkish Breakfast

Turkish Breakfast

My favorite form of movement is walking (although yoga and weightlifting tie for a close second). I love walking fast, and I love walking where there are elements of nature, whether it’s a neighborhood with attractive landscapes, a park full of trees (Seward Park is my favorite), or next to water (Lake Washington, Alki beach or the Oregon coast). I do some of my best thinking when I’m walking, and I consider long walks excellent training for travel, because I like to do most of my sightseeing on foot.

My favorite travel destination is Paris, hands down. After years—no, decades—of longing, we finally went in 2014 and have returned every year since. (We already have our 2018 trip booked.) To me, places are like people—when you meet one you like, you want to get to know it better, and that requires many meaningful encounters. (I think I may have actually managed to see all of the Louvre by now.) Of course each year there’s a bit of mental wrestling, because there are many other places I want to visit someday, and money and vacation time are finite resources. In 2016, we went really crazy and went to the south of France (ending with a few days in Paris).

Paris food

Eating delicious street food from L’As du Fallafel in Paris

My favorite food city is…drum roll…Paris. We always rent an apartment so we have a kitchen, and last year we just happened to eat in a lot more, mostly because we felt more confident (with our middling French language skills) about buying the wonderful freshly prepared foods at farmers markets (the Bastille market is our favorite). Normally, we have to hit the ATM hard pretty hard mid-trip, but this time we didn’t. We saved a ton of money, while eating incredibly well. Of course, I think we funneled some of that money into purchases at the amazing kitchen shop E.Dehillerin…

Eating well in Paris…no restaurant required.

My favorite hobby is reading. I started reading when I was three, and as a natural introvert, it’s been one of my great pleasures in life. Fiction reading took a back seat almost 10 years ago, when I had to take a deep dive into science classes before apply to grad school, but whenever I make a point of immersing myself a good book, it’s such a joy and a destresser. I found I needed to do a lot of reading this past January.

Something that most people don’t know about me is that I used to be a Master Gardener. I got heavily into gardening when we bought our first house—on a half-acre lot—in Snohomish County. I still love gardening, but at a lesser intensity, which unfortunately means I forgot a lot that I learned as a Master Gardener!