JUSTINE HAYS M.S., R.D.
All You Knead to Know
I am a Registered Dietitian with a unique background in business, medical research, and clinical and community nutrition. This range of experiences helped form me into who I am today and how I approach my work.
Growing up in Buffalo, NY with all of my family close by, food was a big part of our lives. Whether is was making pierogies for Christmas, bringing rye bread to Easter basket blessing, or enjoying a Ted's hot dog with my grandparents; food is part of my core memories.
I didn't consider pursuing a career in food, outside of hospitality, until later in my life. I graduated Niagara University with a B.S. in commerce and marketing. After working for a few years in a medical research facility as a project coordinator, I had an epiphany. I knew I wanted to be in healthcare and I still loved food - a dietetics life was for me.
I returned to school and worked in the business office of a local manufacturing company. I eventually left the manufacturing company and attended D'Youville College, to receive my M.S. in dietetics.
Throughout my time at D'Youville, I had many wonderful clinical experience at Buffalo General Hospital, Sister's Hospital of Buffalo, Children's Hospital of Buffalo, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, among others. Understanding the connection between nutrition and disease was a key component of my education and one that I use each day.
I also had the unique opportunity to do a portion of my dietetic internship at a locally well known family farm. This experience was invaluable to me. I truly began to understand farming designations, certifications, soil management, and gained a glimpse into the lives of some of the hardest working people in the world.
It is this combination of manufacturing, healthcare, farming, and community experiences that have shaped my beliefs and actions.
I believe in a whole food approach, with everything in moderation. As a working mother, I don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen when there are puddles to jump in, slides to slide, and pictures to paint. I find ways to prepare most of my foods from scratch with a healthy dose of convenience foods to make it easier. I prep, plan, and produce (mostly) healthy and affordable meals everyone will eat, with a sweet treat thrown in the mix for balance, and I always look for ways to get the littlest hands involved in the kitchen.