Hello! My name is Alayna Hutchinson, and I am an Elo Health Coach and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I’m excited to be part of your health journey. My history with health and wellness is a bit cyclical.
As a freshman in college, I knew very little about nourishing, honoring, and taking care of my body. A three sport varsity athlete in high school, exercise meant two hour practices a day and 1-2 game days a week, year round. Food was largely team buffet banquets, as much pizza as you could steal away on the game-day bus, and constantly being ravenous no matter what I ate. And this worked for me. I didn’t blink an eye or lose a minute of sleep over what went into my body, because what mattered was scoring goals, winning games, and being with teammates.
Fast forward to freshman year of college and I found myself in a new state with no teammates or athletic teams in sight, lots of anxiety, and an all you can eat food court open 24-7. The idea of working out at a gym amid hundreds of other new faces was terrifying. The combination of stress, processed food and inactivity took its toll and affected all areas of my life. After a difficult first semester, I did what any answer-seeking teenager does, and turned to Google searches. For the next 3 years, I spiraled into a frenzy of restrictive dieting, overemphasis on superfoods, and overtraining. The Student Fitness Center became my new safe space rather than something that I feared. Fueled by my newfound obsession with food, exercise, and health, I graduated with a double major in exercise physiology and biology, and was hard-set on going to graduate school and becoming a Registered Dietitian. During my three-year graduate program, my mindset about food and nutrition completely shifted. I learned about the chemical structures of every nutrient, studied metabolic pathways, and became an expert in medical nutrition therapy. After completing my 7 month internship at Boston Medical Center and passing my RD exam, I landed a job as an inpatient clinical dietitian.
My work as an inpatient, clinical dietitian in Vancouver, Washington, showed me first-hand the devastating effects of lifestyles that don’t prioritize health. My patients were extremely sick with layers of chronic disease and acute inflictions. I loved working with people from all backgrounds, hearing their health histories, and engaging in nutrition interventions for diverse cultural backgrounds, however, I couldn’t shake the frustration that many of these cases could have been prevented through diet and lifestyle.
I came across Elo in the height of the pandemic and knew I wanted to shift gears and focus on integrative nutrition. My conversation with Silvia, Elo’s Principal Nutritionist, solidified my decision and I joined the team in May 2021.
As a Health Coach and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Elo, I’m excited and passionate about preventative medicine through food and lifestyle modification. I am committed to research-driven nutrition interventions and constantly reading about the latest nutrition science. I know that Elo is the future of healthcare, and I can’t wait to work with you.