I’m Gretchen Gruender, dietitian and partner in the journey to bring understanding to the relationship between food and your health. I have twenty years of experience helping people feel their best.
I guide people who are motivated to feel their best while navigating the challenges of cancer or other chronic health issues to a path of improved energy, digestive health and quality of life.
My life was changed forever through the experience of watching someone very dear to me go through cancer treatment. I watched her love of food diminish as she struggled to eat enough to get through infusions and surgery. As a result of this intense treatment and the eating challenges, her energy was low as was her quality of life.
Soon after this, I started working towards my Masters in Nutrition. I knew her experience was not unique and I wanted to learn everything I could to help others who were experiencing these same challenges. After finishing my degree, I had the opportunity to work at a top cancer center during my dietetic internship, I jumped at the opportunity and have never looked back.
When someone gets a chronic disease diagnosis, it’s life changing. While there may not be many choices along the journey, what you eat is in your control. However, with an abundance of conflicting information, making food choices for your diagnosis can be overwhelming and frustrating. This can turn the experience of enjoying our food into the stress of nourishing our bodies with what we perceive as the “right” food. This doesn't have to be the case.
I will guide you on your path to wellness and find what feels right for you. My goal is to help you improve your energy and digestive health through food choices that fuel your body leading to an improved energy and quality of life.
For over twenty years, nutrition has been my passion. Following graduate school, I began work in clinical nutrition at a hospital and regional cancer center before moving to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where I worked for over twelve years. From 2017-2021, I served as a member of the leadership team for the Oncology Nutrition dietetic practice group. I am also a frequent speaker in the area of oncology nutrition and love the opportunity to empower people with a better understanding of nutrition.
Over the years, I have expanded my expertise to include many other chronic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and gastrointestinal issues. My goal is to help translate the science into the foods that best nourish your body and taste.
I continue to expand my own knowledge base with professional certifications including training in mindful eating and over twelve years of study in the area of integrative and functional medicine. I also read and review the research. Our understanding of this field continues to evolve and that’s what keeps nutrition so exciting!
Every chance I get, I’m trying new dishes, testing recipes, and finding comfort in the old favorites. The kitchen is my happy place! In my free time I love being outdoors with my husband, our teenagers and dogs.
Education and Certifications
Master of Science, Nutrition - Bastyr University
Dietetic Internship - Washington State University
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through the Commission on Dietetic Registration
Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition since 2010
Washington State Certified Dietitian
Advanced training in ketogenic diets through the American Nutrition Association
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group
Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group
The Center for Mindful Eating
Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice 2nd edition, chapter Gynecological Cancers, co-author
“Food, cooking, and nutrition have never really been important to me despite my excessive weight and poor family history. That all changed shortly after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I was reluctant to work with a nutritionist but was pleasantly surprised by Gretchen’s approach and demeanor. Gretchen does a great job of recommending trade-offs or food alternatives that are a stretch but are still attainable.
She has taken the time to not only recommend meals but also has gone the extra mile to provide cooking instructions ;) I was recently with people I had not seen for awhile and they were all surprised by how much more diverse and healthy my diet has become. I love the health benefits of my new lifestyle and so does my doctor. I am extremely grateful for Gretchen and know she would be of great support to anyone truly looking to improve their health.”
What is a Dietitian?
Registered Dietitians or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists use the credential of RD or RDN. They have undergone extensive education at a university and are now required to have a Master’s or PhD prior to a year long dietetic internship which includes training in several settings before they specialize.
They maintain this credential through regular continuing education through the Commission for Dietetic Registration. With clinical training and experience, dietitians are positioned to be a part of your medical team.