• Shelley A. Rael, MS RDN

    • I am not really “from” anywhere in particular – the given of being a Navy “brat” and moving about every 2 years – all stateside.

    • I have lived in the Pacific Northwest, New England, the South, the Southwest, and the southernmost state.

    • I have never, ever owned a Barbie doll. It doesn't bother me. What does bother me is when people say, "Every girl had a Barbie doll."

    • By the time I was 13 had been to 49 states. It took another 32 years before I finally checked off my 50th state.

    • Growing up, I absolutely HATED P.E. and sports. I was a reader and I am still a reader.

    • I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico against my will in 1984. Never left.

    • I am a Wife of one, Mom of one, since 2014, a Nana of one, and Dog Mom to two. 

    • In my 30’s, completed in several endurance events including running half-marathons, two marathons, and five La Luz Trail Runs; cycling events including four centuries (two on a tandem) and four sprint triathlons (if it wasn’t for the swimming…).

    • When I travel I feel that the trip must revolve around the food experience from food trucks on Oahu’s North Shore to Katz’s Deli in NYC to a Salmon Bake in Juneau, Alaska.

    • I really enjoy outdoor experiences from snorkeling in the Florida Keys to stand up paddle boarding in Waikiki, kayaking in Alaska to bicycling the national monuments and sites in Washington, D.C.

    Bonus: I was briefly a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico. As a wedding gift from our Maid-of-Honor and Best Man, my husband (to-be) and I went skydiving. It was a static line, which means you are on your own and the rip-cord automatically pulls the main parachute once you get a certain distance from the plane. There was a malfunction with the main parachute which had me in a free-fall for several seconds (which is a long time when you are 4,000 feet in the air with a non-functioning parachute. Luckily the reserve worked and obviously survived the experience enough to do it all again (without incident) a year later.

  • My interest in nutrition happened in my early 20’s. I was in a class where I was being taught what I thought was common knowledge: good nutrition.

    Growing up, my mom prepared meals with color (sometimes she would say, “this meal has no color”) and balance (all the food group) and I took it for granted that this is how everyone ate. She was self-educated about good nutrition (in an age of just books) and my school lunches included whole wheat bread sandwiches with peanut butter that was JUST ground peanuts, salad, and fruit.

    We had veggie lasagna and beans in our tacos instead of meat. We were by no means vegetarian, but we didn’t have meat every day. I was introduced to (more like tortured with) tofu at the age of 9 (at a time when tofu was not really mainstream) and hearing that corn, peas and lima beans are a “starch, not a vegetable”. Our go-to item to take to church picnics and tailgating was a fruit salad where people were challenged to guess how many different fruits were in it (average: 12).

    So with the attitude that I could get PAID to talk about nutrition, I went after a degree in nutrition/dietetics. Little did I know what was to come: a LOT of science including chemistry, biology, math and nutrition science. Who knew? But I made it. Along with the 900-hour internship after my BS degree, I also got my Masters of Science in Nutrition.

  • To me, there is no right or wrong way to eat. Despite a lot of information telling people that THIS is THE way to eat, I do not agree. Big picture: we are all humans and we all have the same basic needs. As humans, we need specific nutrients. We ALL need carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. But because we are all different humans, we need to adjust those basic nutrient needs to the individual - to YOU. Plants are all plants and they all need water and light and nutrients to grow. Some need a lot of care (delicate flowers) and some can survive a beating from nature (like palm trees in a hurricane or a cactus in a desert); some will last a season and some will last centuries.

    I don’t say “that food will kill you” or “that food is toxic” – because I don’t agree with such broad statements. Consistently eating something will affect overall health, but having a hot dog at the ballpark isn’t going to affect your health. Driving and walking to the ballpark will be riskier to your health than the hot dog.

    With a lot of myths and misinformation in the media and internet – I want to help people understand the reality of nutrition for the individuals. In the field of nutrition, nothing is black or white but many, many shades of “it depends”.

    But I will always say: If you want dessert, then eat it first. It would be even better if… you shared it with me!

  • Disclaimer:

    Shelley A. Rael, MS RDN pledges to provide evidence-based nutrition information. Nutrition, wellness, and general health information are intended only to assist visitors this and related websites in their personal lifestyle management. Nothing on this website nor its associated blog or linked social media sites including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter should be considered advice or diagnosis. The content is for educational purposes only and not a substitute for personal, professional medical care or diagnosis. You are urged to consult your primary care provider regarding any health condition or issue. As with any form of health and medical advice, your personal experiences are unique to you and must be adjusted for your personal needs.

    All information on ShelleyRael.com including content, blog posts, and free downloads and videos, is subject to copyright. It may not be reproduced without crediting this website, Shelley A Rael, MS RDN LD and Shelley Rael as the original source.


    As a registered dietitian nutritionist and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I am bound by a code of ethics Valuing my professional reputation, I strive for transparency in my work.

    If I have the opportunity to partner with an entity, company, and/or organization I choose to do so only when the values align with my own. If not comfortable representing a product and/or services, I pledge to not align with such organizations. As of August 2018, I have NO partnerships with any organization. This information is updated annually or should a partnership occur. I may also include affiliate links on occasion, but I will mention that on any post/place that contains one.

    My views are my own and they are delivered with honesty, reality and, at times, a dose of sarcasm. If I am provided samples and share my opinion, it is not influenced because they were free. Any questions you may have about such views and opinions can be directed to me.