New campus dietitians helps students learn food from fiction


Registered dietitian Natalie Stein was recently hired as EWU’s Manager of Nutrition and Sustainability. Stein offers free diet consultations for students, potentially saving them hundreds of dollars | Photo courtesy of EWU Dining Services

By Josh Fletcher, News Editor

EWU now offers all students free access to a registered dietitian who will personally set students up with a customized meal plan.

“I’m a non-diet dietitian, because I’m never going to put somebody on a diet because I don’t think there’s a diet that fits every single person,” said Natalie Stein,RD, Manager of Nutrition and Sustainability.

Stein started at EWU at the beginning of October; she is ready to help anybody looking to improve their lives through what they eat.

Stien can help students address needs such as allergies, or athletes looking to perform at a higher level. Best of all-it’s free.

“The average cost, with insurance, to see a dietitian for one hour is about $100,” Stein said. “If you go to Eastern, that’s free.”

A big problem most people have is eating healthy; for most people, it’s because they don’t know what to eat. One week it is how saturated fat (found in butter or coconut oil) is bad for you, the next it is how it will give you more energy and make you live longer.

“There is just a lot of media on food, and it gets misinterpreted sometimes. And that’s where people become misinformed,” Stein said.

Stein hopes to dispel some of the fad diets. Instead she wants to help people through an evidence-backed way of eating, one that is totally individualized.

“(Most people) just want a one size fits all solution, and dieting and eating is not that at all.”

Stein schedules people to meet with her in her office so she can do a consultation and go over their goals, so she knows how to help.

The process usually takes 45 minutes to an hour, but can save students a lot of time in guess work as to what they should and shouldn’t be eating.

Stein didn’t grow up a super healthy teenager, and struggled with her own problems.

“When I was in high school I was overweight,” Stein said. “I had dis-metabolic syndrome which is basically pre-diabetes…I was seeing a dietician every other week.”

Stein says she decided to become a dietitian after she had weight issues forcing her to be on medication–something she didn’t want to do.  

“I didn’t want to be on medication anymore, so I just decided to lose a bunch of weight,” Stein said. “The medication (Metformin) gave me a lot of stomach problems…I didn’t want to have to deal with this.”

Going through the process herself gives her an edge on her competition, Stein believes, because she knows how hard it can be.

“It’s kind of hard to sit there and sympathize…but in my opinion how much can you actually sympathize if you haven’t ever experienced it,” Stein says.

Stein has only seen a few students since she took the job, but looks forward to seeing and helping more.

“Most people don’t know (EWU offers this service). I’m hoping they become more aware because I love helping people.”