Tell us a little about yourself...
Hi! My name is Ellen Paterson and I am the proud mother of three very active boys and live in a house full of big dogs! I am a registered dietitian and I was also a fitness instructor in my past life. I started as a dietitian at a hospital in New York City working in the ICU. I was later introduced to Nestle when they launched a new product that was revolutionary to nutrition in critical care and pediatrics. After almost 25 years with Nestle, I made the difficult decision to leave the company to care for my ailing husband who was diagnosed with lung cancer. Through his struggles, I saw how difficult getting the right nutrients can be for people with cancer. I was compelled to work with Vidafuel when the opportunity arose — a company whose mission is to help people with chronic or life-threatening diseases live longer, healthier lives.
What inspired you to become a dietitian?
Ultimately, it is about the patients. I was inspired to become a dietitian because eating healthy and exercising makes me feel good, and I wanted to empower others to feel the same way. I love educating people to live healthier lives and truly believe that the right food is key to achieving that.
Describe the work you do as a dietitian:
I use my clinical dietitian skills to understand the nutrition market everyday. Although I rarely practice as a dietitian anymore, my education and experience help me relate to patients and colleagues about what products can improve their personal situation!
I believe that I am part of a company that will disrupt the industry. I love speaking with patients about their individual nutritional needs and helping them find the right solutions. It is my personal mission to elevate the role of nutrition as preventative medicine and to promote a profession that I am extremely passionate about. Dietetics is a profession composed of 99% women, so I try to be a role model for women, particularly those who aspire to utilize their skills in an entrepreneurial way.
Share a time when you know you made a difference:
I’ll never forget the time I spoke to a young woman who had breast cancer and was trying to recover from surgery but was not healing well and was ultimately sent to a wound center. She saw remarkable results in her healing after she started taking Vidafuel Wellness Protein Drink, and was so grateful for it.
Another remarkable story that sticks out for me was from a dialysis patient who had COVID-19, and it made her albumin levels tank. Our protein drink was instrumental in her recovery back to health! I feel so privileged to have been a part of creating this wonderful product, and to be able to speak with patients, hear their stories, and truly feel like I am making a difference.
When should someone get in touch with a dietitian?
I recommend reaching out to a dietitian if you are interested in improving your overall health and incorporating better food into your diet, or if you are experiencing any health issues that affect proper nutritional intake. Speaking with a dietitian will help uncover any dietary deficiencies and help develop an eating plan that works best for you.
What’s your favorite part of working for Vidafuel?
I love the camaraderie and collaboration of my brilliant team. Individually, we each bring unique ideas and perspectives to the company, which equates to a dynamic, unstoppable team! Working for Vidafuel is amazing and I am excited to see what is in store for us in the future.
What is your favorite food?
My children would vote salad, since that is what I eat the most. My other favorite meal would be pizza with vegetable toppings — like spinach — to get my greens in too!