Happiness Prescriptions from 7 Dietitians

Gratitude is a dietitian's prescription for happiness

“We don’t give thanks because we’re happy,
We are happy because we give thanks.”
—The Secret of Saying Thanks, by Douglas Wood

Gratitude is a dietitian's prescription for happiness
Meet 7 Dietitians who are happy because they are grateful…and learn their favorite gratitude practices you can use today to feel healthier and happier.

Want to kickstart your happiness every day? Think about what you are grateful for!  When you shift your focus to what is wonderful and working in your life instead of what is not working it can dramatically improve your mood and happiness!  I firmly believe that how you start your day is how you do your day! No matter how rushed, or how big my to-do list, while the coffee and hard cooked eggs are brewing I take some time to be intentional. I find that my morning ritual of writing in my

Good Days Start with Gratitude Journal and reading Jesus Calling sets the tone for my day and helps me focus on positivity instead of my challenges and what I am trying to fix. I also use my daily gratitude journal as a diary of my days filled with  experiences, celebrations, who I was with and leaves me with joy-filled memories

There are many studies that show that having a gratitude practice or gratitude habit can help create more happiness. To get you started, I asked my Registered Dietitian Nutritionist friends to share their gratitude practices.

Jill Castle, MS, RDN


Jill Castle, MS RDNJill Castle uses a business calendar/journal  called the Daily Greatness Journal. Every day there’s a prompt for gratitude. Jill typically gets up in the morning and while having her coffee, jots down what she is  grateful for, and plans her day. Jill also does yoga twice a week and sets an intention for her practice which typically centers around  gratitude and mindfulness.

Jill reminds us, “Gratitude is an attitude of success!” Love that Jill!!

Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN


Krista UlatowskiKrista finds herself reflecting on her reasons for feeling grateful during quiet moments – when meditating, or during Shavasana at her yoga studio. It’s then that she can tune in to filling her mind with thoughts of loved ones, friends, her furball and other positives that she is beyond lucky to have in her life.

Carlene Thomas, RDN, LD


Carlene ThomasFor gratitude Carlene uses the Golden Coil paper planner which has a list of 4 gratitude lines each week. Carlene loves efficiency, so when her task list and schedule is in the same place as a gratitude list, she can’t help but use it!

Kim Kulp, RDN


Kim starts each day with a gratitude habit. She writes, “I stand with my coffee in my hand, looking out the window and watch the sun rise. I enjoy the quiet, and marvel at the beauty of each day, thinking of all the possibilities ahead. This fills me with gratitude and excitement. Then it’s time to get on with my day!”

Gratitude is a dietitian's prescription for happiness

Jen Haugen, RDN, LD

www.jenhaugen.com  and www.pamperedchef.com/pws/jenhaugen

There was a time in Jen’s life that she didn’t reflect on what she was grateful for and didn’t really savor any special moments. Now, Jen uses the Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal and writes down 3 things she is grateful for each day.

Last Christmas, she gave it to her two teenage kids and husband and they are using it too. Her daughter has even asked for a new one as she is noting it’s getting near the end.  Jen is honestly surprised at the commitment her daughter has had! Jen gifted me the same journal and I do love it more than any of the other journals I have used before. Maybe because it is simple and quick! Quick is my middle name!

“A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.”


Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN


On a larger scale, Kelly dedicates her time and talent to charity work with JDRF & Diabetes Sisters (both non-profits). Kelly is a JDRF board member and a content provider for DiabetesSisters.org, but above all, Kelly is a heck of a diabetes advocate creating her own fundraising events, but also giving a portion of her personal business proceeds to JDRF. Every day Kelly does charity work, she says, “It’s a great day to be alive, and she can feel being alive!”

On a lesser, daily routine, Kelly practices gratitude in prayer giving thanks to three news things each night before bed. Kelly doesn’t use a journal or anything physical; it is more of a bedtime routine that helps her close the day with positivity. The three things can be small things like being able to move her body, or Kelly will zero in on how thankful she is for insulin, or the smaller syringes she uses to inject her insulin.

Holley Grainger, MS, RD

www.Holley Grainger.com

Each morning, Holley receives an email of the day from Dynamic Catholic. It has a simple and quick thought but it always helps Holley stay centered. At dinner, Brent, the girls and Holley have a gratitude journal where they write down what they are each thankful for that day.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate!”

I believe life is filled with surprise and delight and having a gratitude practice helps us find it!

Brene Brown reminds us, “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I pay attention and practice gratitude.”

Gratitude Rituals That Can Change Your Day
All I Want For Christmas Is a Gratitude Visit
Gratitude the Everyday Secret to Being Happy
Give the Best Gift Ever: Gratitude
Dear Mom With Gratitude
5 Ways to Discover Gratitude

Do you have a daily gratitude habit or ritual? My dietitian friends and I cannot wait to learn from you


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