Healthy Dining Expands Nutrition Team with Four New Registered Dietitians to Support Restaurant Industry’s Menu Labeling and Nutrition Initiatives

As the restaurant industry continues to demonstrate its proactive commitment to meeting consumer demand for healthier options and addressing issues related to obesity, menu labeling, sodium reduction and gluten-free and allergen identification, Healthy Dining today announced the expansion of its Culinary Nutrition Services team to support the industry’s efforts.  Four new registered dietitians (RDs) have joined the Healthy Dining team:  Joan Rupp, MS, RD; Elizabeth (Zabel) Shaw, MS, RD; Anjali Patel, MPH, RD; and Jenny Sears, RD.

“We are thrilled to have such talented nutrition professionals joining our team of dietitians, marketing and web experts.  Each of the new dietitians brings a unique skill set that underscores her breadth of knowledge and expertise in nutrition and public health,” said Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, president of Healthy Dining.  “We are ramping up as more restaurants are seeking our nutrition analysis and consulting services and more consumers are searching for the credible nutrition information, guidance and inspiration featured on These new members of our team will help ensure Healthy Dining is meeting the needs of all of our key stakeholders to help Americans eat and live more healthfully.”

Joan RuppJoan Rupp, MS, RD, brings to Healthy Dining her established and illustrious career in nutrition and public health – from academia and research to consulting and community health projects.  In her new role as Healthy Dining’s Senior Director of Nutrition, Joan will lead the team of dietitians in providing restaurants with menu labeling guidance, nutrition analysis services, gluten and allergen identification and healthful trends consulting services. Rupp will also direct Healthy Dining’s research initiatives.  Rupp most notably has served for more than 30 years as an educator at San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, where she has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate-level nutrition classes. At SDSU, she served a dual role as Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics and Lecturer in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences. Rupp is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the California Dietetic Association.

Elizabeth (Zabel) ShawElizabeth (Zabel) Shaw, MS, RD, joins Healthy Dining as one of its Culinary Nutrition Specialists, dedicated to making a difference in the health and well-being of Americans while also inspiring restaurant partners to join the trend of providing more healthful options on their menus. The Simi Valley, Calif. native completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition at San Diego State University, followed by her Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and dietetic internship from Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Ill.  While at NIU, she also completed a Certificate of Graduate Study in Eating Disorders and Obesity and continues to use this knowledge to promote the awareness and prevention of the obesity epidemic. Previously, Elizabeth worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, where she counseled clients with eating and weight disorders, led nutrition groups, and managed the clinical dietetics and foodservice department of a senior living facility in Illinois.  Elizabeth is an active member in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the California Dietetic Association and the San Diego Dietetic Association.

Anjali PatelAnjali Patel, MPH, RD, comes to Healthy Dining as the new Manager of Research, bringing her passion for applying research to practical programs and strategies that make a positive impact on public health. Prior to joining Healthy Dining, Anjali was involved in several research projects, including: creating evaluation tools for nutrition programs; consulting on the program planning, implementation and evaluation for a farm-to-preschool project; and evaluating the current hospital nutrition environment in Southern California.  Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, Anjali earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences Research from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She received a second Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree in Nutrition and Foods from Ryerson University in Toronto. She also received a Master of Public Health degree in Community Nutrition from the University of Toronto. Anjali is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the California Dietetic Association, and also the San Diego Dietetic Association, where she currently serves as the Community Nutrition Events Co-Chair.

Jenny SearsJenny Sears, RD, brings a healthy appetite for health and nutrition in her role as Manager of Restaurant Partnerships.  In this capacity, she is helping restaurants actively promote their Healthy Dining menu choices to their guests and throughout their communities. Prior to joining Healthy Dining, Jenny worked as a clinical nutrition specialist in Sterling, Va., where her roles included nutrition counseling, product development and customer service. She also helped modify, develop, test and analyze recipes for patients that addressed their specific health concerns.  Originally from Herndon, Va., Jenny’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and completion of her dietetic internship at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.  In addition to various volunteer activities, Jenny is also an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

For more detailed biographical information on Healthy Dining’s staff, visit ‘About our Dietitians’ on To learn more about Healthy Dining, visit, “Like” us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter.

Since 1990, Healthy Dining’s culinary nutrition experts have been guiding and inspiring chefs and restaurateurs to create and serve healthier menu choices emphasizing lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and unsaturated fats. As the leader in restaurant nutrition, Healthy Dining works with hundreds of restaurants and has analyzed thousands of menu items for nutrient content. In collaboration with the National Restaurant Association, Healthy Dining leads the largest-ever restaurant industry nutrition initiative to help Americans find restaurants offering dietitian-approved Healthy Dining menu choices. Through, the only resource of its kind, Americans can find the qualifying Healthy Dining-approved menu options and view corresponding nutrient information (calories, fat, etc.) for restaurants that span fast food to fine dining, coast to coast. Kids LiveWell, a new component of the site also developed in collaboration with the National Restaurant Association, highlights healthier kid-friendly menu choices at restaurants. is promoted to the growing segment of health- and weight-conscious consumers through employers, health organizations, health insurance companies, weight control programs, fitness centers, the media, and much more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided partial funding for the development of the e-health tool.


Erica Bohm
858-541-2049 x 7112