Nutritionist Katie Mae Petersen is a specialist at Sonoma State who works to make students healthier by teaching them how to eat a balanced diet. Peterson is located on the second floor of the Recreation Center and teaches a variety of classes to students looking to improve their way of eating.
Petersen started out wanting to become a doctor, but soon learned that nutrition was her passion.
“I was working in a co-op kitchen and I realized how powerful food was, It is the cause of disease and prevention. It has just changed my life so much,” said Petersen.
Petersen received an undergrad in human biology from Michigan State and a master’s degree in nutrition at Bastyr University in Seattle.
Petersen has been a nutritionist for four years.
Being on a mainstream processed diet, Petersen changed her eating habits when learning about nutrition, and it changed her life in a variety of ways.
“I was eating ice cream and french fries, so when I decided to change my eating habits I had more energy and my skin even cleared up,” said Petersen.
Hoping for students to make this healthy change as well, Petersen offers nutrition consultations dealing with how to choose and prepare the healthier option.
“We also do grocery store tours and a potluck every Friday. I try to get people to learn how to make more vegetables, beans and whole grains. It is important they are exposed to these core foods,” said Petersen.
The potluck is every Friday at 5 p.m. and the nutrition consultations are $30 per hour.
“Each week we make the potluck themed. This week it is Fiesta. Students get really into it and bring a variety of healthy dishes and we share recipes with one another,” said Petersen.
Petersen can also teach students with special dietary needs what to choose and specific nutrients that would benefit the student the most.
“There is no greater service we can do for our bodies than to take care of it. The gym is important, but this really starts in the kitchen with proper nutrition,” said senior Scott Liebert.
Liebert puts a lot of time and energy into his health and believes that students do not take advantage of the Nutrition Center as much as they should.
“The habits we form now can often stick with us for life, we’re young and our bodies are still developing and growing. I truly believe SSU students could get a lot from the Nutrition Center that will benefit them now and in years to come,” said sophomore India Graham.
Graham is also a student who maintains a healthy lifestyle and believes that if more students knew about the Nutrition Center, they would make better eating habits and learn to enjoy eating healthy rather than it being a chore.
“I would love for students to come in and have a nutrition consultation. I’m not a teacher that’s going to school you, you can take what you want,” said Petersen.
To keep students in the loop about what is going on at the Nutrition Center Petersen has created a variety of social networks such as a Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
To make an appointment with Petersen, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or refer to the Sonoma State Recreational Center homepage.