March 10 is National Registered Dietitian Day! At Territory we have an in-house registered dietitian, Danielle McAvoy, who makes sure that all of our meals meet our strict nutritional standards. These guidelines include certain calorie, sodium, and macro targets that must be followed to keep our meals as healthy as possible, without sacrificing taste! To celebrate National Registered Dietitian Day, we sat down with Danielle to talk about her role with Territory, what it is like being Territory’s resident RD, and more!
What do you do at Territory and how long have you been with the company?
I started out part-time doing nutrition analysis of recipes, but officially joined full-time 6 years ago this month! For the past 6 years, I’ve been the DC culinary manager and responsible for developing the menu, bringing on new chef partners, overseeing meal and ingredient quality, managing the DC chef network and culinary operations, designing and rolling out new products, and writing nutrition content. I’m in the process of transitioning into a new role for Territory where I’ll be focused on building the company’s nutrition expertise and visibility through content, partnerships, and engagement.
Where are you based out of, and where did you get your degree?
I live in Alexandria, VA, just a few miles outside of DC. I got my bachelors in nutrition science from Cornell University, and did my dietetic internship through Penn State. After working for a couple years I went back for a masters of science in public health from Johns Hopkins.
What do you love most about being a Registered Dietitian?
Food is so incredibly powerful. What we eat affects every aspect of our being, from how we feel, to how we connect, to our mood and productivity. I think what prevents many people from eating in a way that truly optimizes their life is knowledge. I am lucky I had the opportunity to study and understand nutrition science, and my goal is to help people realize its true power and change their lives for the better too.
When did you realize you wanted to be a Dietitian?
I actually never intended to be a traditional “dietitian.” I was pre-med in college because I loved human biology and wanted to give myself the option to go to med school. But I realized I love the science of things we can control naturally, like the food we eat and how that affects our health, so I decided to focus on nutrition. I wasn’t sure what I would do with the RD credential, I just knew that I would need it in the field of nutrition.
What is your favorite Territory meal?
I don’t think I can choose just one over 6 years! Currently, I am loving Chef Rachelle’s Shrimp with Garlic Cream Sauce, and Chef Damian’s Seafood Paella. The Pistachio Crusted Tuna Cakes always have a place in my heart, as well as The Greek Table’s Golden Noodles with Coconut Tofu. So many favorites!
What is the most asked question you receive as a Registered Dietitian?
If the person doesn’t ask me “ok what should I eat?” it’s because we are already eating, and in that case they cover their plate and say “don’t look at what I’m eating!”
It’s a common misconception that a) being given a diet plan is helpful in the long run and b) that dietitians are the food police. I don’t have any RD friends who don’t order the fries or eat the dang cookie when they want – it’s all about balance.
Thank you, Danielle, for all of your hard work making sure all of our Territory meals are just as healthy as they are tasty! Happy National Registered Dietitian’s Day!
To order our Registered Dietitian-approved meals, head over to territoryfoods.com and place your order today!