Meet the Dietitian: Ursula Ridens

Ursula Ridens
Photo credit J Yanover Horizon Light Photography
Ursula Ridens, RD, Outpatient Dietitian
Ursula Ridens has worked for Sharp HealthCare for eight years and as a registered dietitian since 2001. She loves to share her passion for mindful eating and improving health without dieting. One of her favorite sayings when it comes to eating is "be curious, not critical."

Ursula believes that changing eating and lifestyle habits takes compassion (especially when "off track") and that it's important to set realistic intentions instead of expecting perfection. Ursula loves to cook, try new recipes and get her kids into the kitchen and the garden to learn and have fun alongside her.

Read more from Ursula Ridens:

Why did you choose to become a registered dietitian?
I always knew that I wanted to work in the health field but wasn't quite sure which profession. My interest in nutrition was influenced by my family making changes in their eating habits when I was a child related to various health conditions. In college, I found myself taking an introductory nutrition course as well as psychology courses. At the time, I had no idea that I'd become a dietitian specializing in disordered eating and mental health.

What are your specialties and interests as a dietitian?
My passion is to help my clients learn to eat more mindfully and to move away from the diet mentality. I specialize in working with clients struggling with eating disorders and those who are unhappy with their weight. No matter if one's weight is low or high, I find that helping clients to eat for the purpose of nourishing their bodies well, rather than to control their size or weight, leads to health improvement and a greater appreciation for their body.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy helping clients discover that healthy eating isn't restrictive. Many clients have a preconceived idea before coming in that I'm going to tell them they can never eat their favorite foods again. In fact, healthy eating is about balance. It's rewarding to see clients make realistic changes and feel better physically.

For More Information
Nutrition counseling may be covered by insurance with physician referral. Self-pay options are also available.

To learn more about Sharp's Nutrition Education and Counseling Program or to schedule an appointment, please call the Sharp HealthCare Outpatient Nutrition Counseling Program at 619-740-4632 or send us an email.

To learn more about Sharp's nutrition services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.