Casey McKinney knows firsthand that the challenge of eating healthy can be a headache.
McKinney, a registered dietitian who this week opened a nutrition counseling office inside Horsham Athletic Club, located at 400 Horsham Road, admits that good nutrition wasn’t always her forte.
While a student athlete at West Chester University, McKinney, now 28, started her morning with a bowl of cereal and most days hit the soccer field at 1 p.m. practically on an empty stomach.
“I was just eating crap and eating at weird times,” McKinney said, adding that she was getting “debilitating migraines” as a result.
“I just realized it was my eating habits,” she said.
Then a biology student, McKinney switched majors to nutrition. Since graduating in 2007, McKinney has worked for a for-profit office, a non-profit health clinic in Philadelphia and now works at Temple University in diabetes outpatient education.
McKinney, a lifelong athlete, said working in a sports nutrition environment gives her a break from “clinical stuff” from her full-time job and the opportunity to help people looking to balance out their workouts with healthy eating.
Horsham Athletic Club General Manager Doug Steinly said the gym is looking to coordinate with McKinney to provide nutritional seminars, educational newsletters and comprehensive nutritional and personal training packages.
“Our goal is to provide the best in exercise training and nutritional support, individually or in small groups,” Steinly said. “I believe for individuals to experience true success with their personal wellness journey, they have to address exercise and nutrition and the most success can occur when those two facets are working cohesively together.”
For now, McKinney, a Dillsburg native who just purchased a home in Willow Grove, plans to have office hours in Horsham every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. She accepts insurance and said that most plans cover nutrition counseling. Even though her office is situated feet away from fitness equipment, McKinney said her door is open to everyone.
And while each client’s nutrition journey is unique, in general, McKinney said Americans are deficient in vegetable intake.
“Half of your plate should be those non-starchy vegetables,” McKinney said.
In terms of fruit, McKinney suggests that people “try to eat the fruits with the edible skin” – like apples, peaches and pears. Those have more fiber, as compared to bananas and can help prevent blood sugar spikes, she said.
To get clients started on the right path, McKinney said she always serves fresh iced tea during her appointments. While it may not prevent the headaches that McKinney grew accustomed to in her own path to better nutrition, green tea – her favorite – is a “known metabolism booster.”
To learn more about Casey McKinney’s nutrition counseling, email her at wholesomenutritionRD@gmail.com, or call 215-675-4535 Ext. 125.