Jake Berman

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What is the difference between a Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian? Why am I Important?


Who is the Nutritionist at Berman Health and Wellness?

Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Stacey Justiniano, BSDN, CPT. I am a graduate from Florida International University's Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition program and I am also a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer. I am on the road to becoming a Registered Dietitian (it’s a long process..) with completion in 2024! Outside of nutrition, my hobbies include working out, specifically weight lifting. I am recently married and have two little dogs, Louie and Rosie, whom I adore immensely. My favorite pastime is watching sunsets at the beach. I can speak Spanish and (some) Portuguese and love traveling and learning about different cultures!

What is a Registered Dietitian?

A registered dietitian is someone who has a bachelor degree in dietetics and nutrition, a DPD (Didactic Program in Dietetics) verification statement, has matched and completed a 1200 hour internship process, passed the national board exam, and is licensed to practice in their state. Registered dietitians are nutrition experts and require extensive training to distinguish themselves.

What are Your Values as a Nutrition Professional?

My motto is simple, “you deserve to live your healthiest and happiest life”. I believe it is important to evaluate all aspects of your life when delivering the highest quality of nutrition care. Nutrition is not one size fits all! Mental health and physical health go hand in hand so don’t be surprised if in addition to food we talk about stress, trauma, relationships (with people and food), what makes you happy, or what doesn’t!

I also have a weight-inclusive, health at every size, intuitive/mindful approach to nutrition. What does this mean? Well, regardless of your size or shape you are worthy of an unbiased evaluation of your health. Here at Berman Health and Wellness we take many values into consideration when designing a nutrition program. We look at the basics; height, weight, age, sex, activity level, body composition, but we also take a closer look at lab values to evaluate metabolic health. Our recommendations are based on data, not on appearance. What is an intuitive/mindful approach? Regardless of our goals, it is important to improve the mind/body connection. How many times have you opened a bag of chips, sat on the couch in front of the TV and next thing you know… the bag is empty. This is mind-less! When we mindlessly eat, we are diminishing our bodies ability to realize when we are satisfied or when we are full. We are all born with the ability to feel when we are hungry and when we are full, but as we age, the society we live in has taught us to ignore or suppress these feelings, reducing our mind/body connection. It is important to get back in tune with our bodies and feel all the things we are supposed to feel! Together will focus not only on the food you eat, but also how you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally as these factors play a huge role in our day to day lives, food choices, and overall health.

What is Your Health Journey?

To take it wayyy back to the beginning, I was born prematurely and developed pneumonia as an infant. As I grew older, I developed Asthma and GI issues. When I was about 10 years old I “grew out” of the asthma and then developed eczema/psoriasis. I was fed a pretty typical American diet as a child; chicken nuggets, pizza, fries, candy, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, sandwiches, and very little vegetables. It wasn’t until I was about 20 years old that my eczema/psoriasis got out of control. Dermatologists gave me steroid creams and they would work for a little while, but the break outs always came back. Finally, at my last dermatologist visit I was recommended an oral steroid. I refused. I knew there had to be a better option. I was just beginning my nutrition journey, so I spent countless hours researching specific diets for my skin conditions. I tried eliminating lectins, but that didn’t work. There was something else contributing to my issues. Fast forward to beginning to work with Jenni, I did food sensitivity testing and realized I had been consuming the foods I was most sensitive to DAILY. I also realized from lab testing that my cortisol level (stress hormone) was high. Cortisol levels are impacted by exogenous factors, like untreated childhood stress or trauma, and internal stress as well. After modifying my diet to eliminate the foods I am sensitive to and supplementation to help improve my lab values, my eczema/psoriasis has cleared up. I didn’t think it was possible. I am proof that this stuff works!

If I Have Food Sensitivities/Allergies, How Will This Affect Me?

The majority of my clients, including myself, have food sensitivities. This does not mean you have to eat boring food! I can assure you that there are alternatives for almost everything nowadays, which makes living with food sensitivities a lot easier. I also LOVE food. I love flavors, textures, sauces, spicing things up and will not limit you to plain chicken and broccoli. I will help you modify your favorite recipes or restaurant orders to fit your needs. We will find alternatives for everything if needed. Also, the exciting news is once we reach a certain point in the gut healing process, we can begin to reintroduce foods you may be sensitive to. So, food sensitivities may not be forever!

So.. Will You Put Me on a Diet?

NO! Diets in our society have caused more harm than good. They can be severely restrictive, limiting, boring, draining, and HARD! Yo-yo dieting (starting new diets like you change clothes) has been found to have negative effects on metabolism and overall health. It is important that instead we create sustainable lifestyle changes. We want this to last! I am here to help you find foods that will improve your health in all ways, but also help you find balance for the foods you truly enjoy. My goal is to help you modify your current habits to create new, lasting changes.

I’ve Experienced Being Judged by Healthcare Providers in the Past, How Are You Different?

I can assure you that this is a judgment-free, safe space. Rather than judge, I will help you understand why you may have made certain choices and help find solutions moving forward.. Going back to that mind/body connection, food choices can be related to many things for example, emotions or physical needs. If we can figure out the main driver of certain habits/choices we can find solutions to improve them. It is important that you discuss all food choices with me so I can best help you understand the why behind the choices. If there is a metabolic dysfunction, vitamin or mineral deficiency, or high stress level for example, this could be impacting your food choices. The better communication we have with one another, the better nutrition care I can provide to you.

Stacey Justiniano

Stacey Justiniano

Upon graduating from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition, Stacey Behm, BSDN-Nutrition Professional, found her passion in helping people become their happiest and healthiest selves. She has a holistic approach to nutrition, taking into account more than the food you are eating. Stacey is soon to become a Registered Dietitian, which requires an extensive dietetic internship, national board exam, and licensing.
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