Meet Melinda

Hello, I'm Melinda!

Close-up of Dietitian Melinda Benz
Dietitian Melinda Benz Standing at Outdoor Event Booth
Photo Credit: Photo of Melinda Taken at Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary Spring Fest by Photographer Paul Adams

Melinda Benz, RDN (she/her/hers) is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the owner of Melinda Benz LLC. Her virtual nutrition private practice is located in Northern Colorado, and serves the state of Colorado.

Melinda specializes in plant-rich vegan nutrition and mindfulness-based eating strategies. Her mission is to offer education and support in making a plant-rich vegan lifestyle more fun and fulfilling through practical daily ingredient swaps and simple steps to making sustainable changes.

She has professional experience in outpatient Integrative Medicine with a focus on health promotion, where she gave nutrition education presentations for the community, provided individual Medical Nutrition Therapy, and was featured on local television segments to perform cooking demonstrations.

In addition, Melinda is a Reiki Master and an Affiliate member of the Reiki Membership Association through The International Center for Reiki Training. Through her Reiki training, she appreciates gentle energy healing techniques to promote stress reduction and relaxation.

Melinda is a certified Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training Practitioner (MB-EAT-P) through the Mindful Eating Training Institute (METI). She is passionate about nurturing positive connections between our mind-body and eating experiences.

She considers herself a lifelong learner, keeping up-to-date with the latest plant-based and vegan nutrition research and recommendations and furthering her education, particularly in mindful eating approaches and behavior change.

Melinda pursued this path of starting a virtual nutrition private practice so she can dedicate her time to plant-based and vegan nutrition, building community connections, and supporting clients in achieving their plant-rich health and wellness goals.

She enjoys getting involved with the Colorado community and providing plant-based nutrition education talks at local organizations, centers, and vegan events.

Melinda is an empathetic and enthusiastic educator and holds the utmost expectations and integrity in her work.  From speaking engagements to client nutrition consultations, her style is genuine, down-to-earth, and brings lighthearted humor to conversations.

Melinda is available for speaking engagements and media inquiries.  She welcomes connecting with companies and organizations that align with her nutrition and wellness philosophies.

A Snapshot of My Nutrition Philosophy...

From my perspective, being connected with our overall wellness has a multilayered meaning, but at its core, is about making lifestyle changes that align with our personal values.

I am first and foremost vegan for my love of animals and environmental reasons. I’ve also experienced health challenges before discovering I was highly intolerant to eggs and dairy, both of which were vital staples in my diet throughout childhood and into adulthood.

My views on nutrition and “healthy eating” are ever-evolving. I remember perusing the store supplement aisle as a teenager, fascinated by the descriptions of what different vitamins and minerals do in our bodies, which sparked my curiosity about what foods contain these nutrients. 

This keen interest in nutrition studies and my empathic nature led me down the path to becoming a nutrition counselor.

I made the shift from omnivore, vegetarian, to vegan throughout my life. I made the choice to go vegan once I connected the path between my ethical values and personal health values. When these paths intertwined, there was a greater sense of alignment, peace, and confidence with my food choices and overall well-being.

Health and wellness is not a one size fits all solution! Nutrition concepts can become complex very quickly. I believe there is much to learn from one another and the stories we tell ourselves about our bodies, health, or the “picture-perfect” vision of wellness.

I value a holistic approach to nutrition and well-being, exploring how foods offer varying levels of satisfaction and nourishment while discovering ways to find flexibility with our daily food choices.

It’s a common misconception that vegan diets are restrictive and not a lot of fun. There can be concerns around getting enough protein, or not getting proper essential nutrients. In my experience, vegan living is anything, but boring! In fact, I’ve found that there’s so much creative potential with plants, and I enjoy sharing how a vegan lifestyle can be fun, fulfilling, and accessible.

Whether you wish to go more plant-rich for your health, the animals, the environment, or all the above, my goal is to support you in creating sustainable lifestyle changes through collaboration and providing practical, evidence-based nutrition education.

Vegan sandwich with tofu and vegetables
© yuliiaholovchenko - stock.adobe.com
Stack of zen stones on abstract nature green summer background
© Ju_see - stock.adobe.com
Chocolate brownie with berries and mint leaves
© nata_vkusidey - stock.adobe.com
Rescued Aubrac Cow at Sanctuary
© Rawpixel.com - stock.adobe.com

Areas of Specialty

Plant-Rich Vegan Nutrition

  • Shifting to a plant-rich eating pattern
  • Vegan/vegetarian nutrient needs
  • Navigating food preferences
  • Practical plant-rich ingredient swaps

Health Promotion

  • Nutrition throughout adulthood
  • Reading food nutrition labels
  • Heart-healthy eating
  • Personalized dietary changes

Mindful-Based Eating

  • Enriched mind-body connection
  • Confidence with food choices
  • Enjoyable eating experience
  • Flexibility with eating habits

Credential
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

Certification
Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training Practitioner (MB-EAT-P)

Professional Memberships
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Member of the following Dietetic Practice Groups (DPG) through the Academy:
Vegetarian Nutrition
Nutrition Entrepreneurs
Dietitians in Business and Communications
Behavioral Health Nutrition

 The Center for Mindful Eating
Professional Community Member

Formal Dietetic Education and Training
Ohio University – Bachelor of Science in Human and Consumer Sciences,
Area of Study: Dietetics

Wellness Workdays – Distance Dietetic Internship

Eatright Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Logo
The Center for Mindful Eating Professional Member Badge
Reiki Membership Association Affiliate Member Logo

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Above photo of Melinda: Thanks to Longmont Public Media for the space and equipment gear!

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