Founder, Desiree Nielsen

Desiree is a registered dietitian with an integrative focus, the host of TV’s The Urban Vegetarian and author of the new plant-based cookbook, Eat More Plants. Her practice focus is complex chronic digestive and inflammatory disease and plant-based approaches to optimal health. Desiree leads nutrition communications, and is available for brand collaborations, keynote and conference sessions.

Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She runs a nutrition consulting practice with a focus on inflammation, digestion and plant-centred diets. Desiree is the author of a book on anti-inflammatory nutrition called Un-Junk Your Diet: How to shop, cook and eat to fight inflammation and feel better, forever and her new cookbook, Eat More Plants: 100 Anti-inflammatory Plant-centred Recipes for Vibrant Living is a #1 National Bestseller. She is also the host of The Urban Vegetarian which airs in multiple countries worldwide and co-founder of My Healthy Gut, an innovative and research-backed iOS app for digestive health.

With education at the core of her work, Desiree consults, writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics – from the brain-gut connection and food quality, to eating a more plant-based diet. She travels throughout North America motivating others to make healthier choices every day with her practical, light-hearted approach. She has delivered keynote presentations, conference sessions and acted as moderator for the natural health industry, health professionals and corporations. Past appearances include the Dietitians of Canada National Conference, Toronto Veg Food Fest, The Nourished Festivals, Canadian Health Food Association Expos, CanFitPro World Fitness Expo, International Foundation of Employee Benefits and Pensions, Pacific Blue Cross, David Suzuki Foundation, Gluten Free Expo and Hootsuite.

A vocal and passionate advocate for integrative and functional approaches to nutrition, Desiree began her work as nutrition manager for a chain of natural food stores and continues her relationship with the natural health industry as a spokesperson and content creator for select companies such as Bio-K+ Probiotics, Nature’s Path Organics, and Planet Hemp Superfood.

Desiree is a go-to expert for local and national media; she is a featured nutrition expert on Global BC Weekend News, the Breakfast Television (Vancouver) and AM1150 (Kelowna). She has appeared on CBC News (Vancouver) and CBC News Now, CTV National News, E-talk, The Social,  Marilyn Denis Show, Breakfast Television (Vancouver), Fairchild Television, CBC Radio outlets across Canada, CJAD Montreal and Sirius XM.

Desiree has lent her expertise or contributed articles to Chatelaine, Redbook, FLARE, FASHION, Best Health magazine, Brides.com, Healthline.com, WomensHealth.com, Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, The Globe and Mail, USA Today, Vancouver Sun, The Province and Toronto Star.

Desiree holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Food, Nutrition and Health (Dietetics) from the University of British Columbia. She completed her dietetic internship at Capital Health Authority in Edmonton (now Alberta Health Services). At home, Desiree spends most of her time in the kitchen, usually with the music blaring, with her sous chefs, her 8 year old son and 3 year old daughter. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family – whether in the garden, at the beach or in the mountains.

Senior Associate Dietitian, Jess Pirnak

Jess leads our private practice and corporate lunch and learn programs. Jess’ practice focus is behaviour change, transition to plant-based diets, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Jess is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Wellness Coach & gut health nerd (thanks to Desiree!). With degrees in both psychology and dietetics, Jess fell in love with coaching after several years of wearing the expert hat and currently integrates the coaching framework with nutrition counselling to support her clients reach their health goals in a positive, and empowered way.

Jess is passionate about education, using nutrition to prevent disease and fostering healthy communities; as such, you will find her consulting, writing and speaking on a variety of nutrition topics. Past appearances include: Global News Morning, Yoga Digest, Gluten Free Expo and North Shore News.

With an extensive background as a retail dietitian, Jess understands the natural food sector and the importance of a sustainable food system. Currently, she is the in-house dietitian advisor for the Canadian Celiac Association – Vancouver Chapter, and the Director of Consumer Product & Services for the MyHealthyGut app and a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia.

Jess is an active member of Dietitians of Canada and is currently chairing a local action group advocating for extended health coverage for dietetic services and primary care dietitians. Jess graduated from UBC’s Food Nutrition and Health program, and completed her dietetic internship with Provincial Health Services Authority after finishing a Psychology degree from SFU.
In her spare time Jess loves to write about nutrition specifically about plant-based eating and gut health on her blog. And if she’s not talking about food, nutrition or health, you will find Jess playing outside or listening to country music.