EPICURED CLINICAL NETWORK MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Stefani Pappas, MS, RD, CDN, CPT, works as a Clinical Dietitian at St. Francis Hospital and also sees clients in her private practice in Great Neck, NY.
EPICURED: Welcome Stefani! To start, tell us a bit about your practice. What do you like to focus on as a dietitian? What about the work gets you most excited?
Stefani Pappas: My practice is called Stef Health Tips and is located in Great Neck, NY. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I am dedicated to leading a healthy and active lifestyle, and inspiring others to do the same. My approach encourages whole, natural, and real foods, but works with clients to incorporate their favorite foods into a balanced diet. I enjoy seeing my clients fall in love with a healthy lifestyle and become their very own nutrition expert!
EPICURED: From your Instagram, I can see you’re a passionate cross-fitter! What role does fitness play in your practice?
Stefani Pappas: I truly believe that good health requires a balance of nutrition and physical activity; you just can’t have one without the other in my book! I’ve always been passionate about fitness and how empowered it makes me feel. With my Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Training background, I’m able to create nutritious meal plans and “fitness prescriptions” for my clients. Sticking to a fitness regimen, even if it is just walking 30 minutes a few times a week, is a requirement to work with me!
EPICURED: Let’s talk FODMAPs! We first connected after you wrote a piece on the low FODMAP diet for Long Island Weekly. What inspired you to want to cover that topic?
Stefani Pappas: I work closely with Dr. Fred Gandolfo, a Gastroenterologist at Precision Digestive Care in Huntington, NY. We have collaborated on many different cases to show that proper nutrition and medical therapies can provide effective care to patients suffering from IBS and other GI diseases. Learning more about the low-FODMAP diet with my IBS clients inspired me to write the article! The diet is very specific but can be broken down into a simple, easy to understand way.
WATCH STEFANI’S EPICURED INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER:
EPICURED: What is your experience with using the low FODMAP diet for IBS patients? What kinds of successes have you seen?
Stefani Pappas: I have seen tremendous improvements in symptoms of my patients with IBS on a low-FODMAP diet. The re-introduction phase is fun because you realize how passionate people are about their food! We are typically able to incorporate back some of my client’s favorite foods, but portion sizes play a key factor in regards to tolerance.
EPICURED: Any favorites from the Epicured menu? Anything you’d like to see?
Stefani Pappas: I never liked chia seed pudding until I tried Epicured’s version– it is delicious! The Tikka Masala is another one of my favorites. I loved the Dragon Fruit Smoothie and would like to see more smoothies on the menu.
EPICURED: How have you seen the RD’s role change or grow in treating medical conditions such as IBS (or diabetes, heart disease, etc.)? Do you feel this relate to a broader “food as medicine” movement happening in healthcare?
Stefani Pappas: I take great pride in my role as a Registered Dietitian, and I truly believe that nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. I think my passion for the field, as well as results with my clients, has shown an example to the healthcare professionals that I work with. I’m seeing more and more doctors and other healthcare providers taking interest in nutrition and its role in good health.
EPICURED: What else should our readers know about you? When you aren’t working, what do you like to do (hobbies, volunteer work, family)?
Stefani Pappas: I come from a big Greek family, and I’m extremely passionate about Mediterranean cooking. My family’s interest in the Mediterranean Diet is one of the main reasons why I became interested in pursing a career in nutrition. I love whipping up my Grandmother’s delicious Greek recipes that are packed with good nutrition and flavor!
Want to learn more?
Check Out: Stefani’s Website
Follow: @stefhealthtips on Instagram