Alumna Spotlight: Sadie Hitsky, Registered Dietician



As March unfolds, so does the celebration of National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits. This year, the theme "Eating Beyond the Table" encourages us to delve deeper into our relationship with food, considering not just what we consume, but also the broader impact it has on our lives and the planet. In this alumni feature, we are honored to spotlight Bastyr alumna Sadie Hitsky, a Registered Dietitian who specializes in Integrative and Functional Health. Sadie's journey from student to practitioner has been shaped by her time at Bastyr University, where she acquired invaluable insights and experiences that continue to guide her practice today. Join us as Sadie shares her reflections on National Nutrition Month and what "Eating Beyond the Table" means to her.

What is your current position, and how did Bastyr prepare you for your career?

I am up to a lot of different fun and exciting things these days! I work for a telehealth company that specializes in digestive health. Last year I dove into entrepreneurship and started my own private practice. I recently started exploring creating online programs and blogging as well so that I can reach a bigger audience and support more people. My focus has centered on gut health/digestive health for the last few years.  

I had the privilege of doing an undergraduate and a graduate degree in nutrition from Bastyr. The Bastyr name helped me immensely in securing rotations for my distance internship that I organized through the University of Houston (but completed in the greater Seattle area). I was well-equipped to step into a counseling role after my grad program due to my experience in the Bastyr Clinic and courses such as motivational interviewing. In my opinion, these were the most valuable parts of the graduate program and set me apart as a new dietitian in the field. 

What led you to choose your career path?

This answer might make people roll their eyes but it was a study abroad trip to Rome, Italy during my sophomore year of college at the University of Washington that led me to choose to study nutrition and become a Registered Dietitian. The entire program focused on the slow food movement and it reinforced the role that nutrition plays in people's health, for me. As someone who grew up with parents who prepared home-cooked meals every night, grew vegetables in the backyard, and encouraged me to be adventurous when it comes to food, that trip was a reflection of parts of my childhood and that sparked a bit of a desire to share this with other people. The field of nutrition just felt like the obvious path forward for me after that trip. 

I should also mention that before I even went to college my mom was encouraging me to check out Bastyr (moms are always right). I should have just listened to her from the get-go!

What motivates you in your professional endeavors?

At different points in my career, it’s been different things. I've been in the hospital asking about boost flavors. And I can tell you that does not fill my cup. That was my first experience as a dietitian and it motivated me to find a role that I was excited about.

In my current roles, I am so motivated by my clients and the people I get to work with. Every single time I meet with somebody new, and they are relieved by our session together, or they are encouraged, or they feel better because they've consistently implemented a new habit; That is what motivates me. I believe health is our biggest asset and I am very motivated to support people who want to achieve better health so that they can have more fulfilling lives and make their health a promotor of the life they want to live rather than an obstacle to it. 

What I have recently realized on my journey of Entrepreneurship is that I'm still working to strike the balance of supporting people with improving their health without burning myself out. I am constantly motivated by the people that I get the privilege of working alongside and I am very motivated to continue learning and growing my business in a way that supports my long-term goals for my career which includes more time to spend doing things outside of work and business. 

What does eating beyond the table mean to you?

Beyond the Table means a few things that tie back to some of the other pieces I’ve already mentioned.  Beyond the Table represents the holistic approach to health that is especially preached at Bastyr and in functional medicine. Nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to our health. The other foundational pieces like movement, sleep, and stress management can't be neglected if you want to achieve true healing. It's not just about what you eat. 

Beyond the Table also represents the access and resources you may or may not have which can influence health outcomes. Health encompasses the providers you work with and if they make you feel seen, heard, and inspired to make change.

If I tie "beyond the table" to exactly what I do in my practice with clients focusing on digestive health, one of the things I say day in and day out is “how you eat is just as important as what you eat”. With every person I work with, we look beyond the table and examine the eating environment, stress levels, access to resources, time, and tools because these factors all play a role in the bigger picture of your health.