ABOUT

Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN

Barbara Ruhs is your Neighborhood Nutritionist. Barbara’s passion for nutrition was influenced by her own weight struggles as a child. It was a love for the game of tennis that had a strong influence on the development of her lifelong healthy eating and fitness habits.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in nutrition & dietetics from Cornell University, she pursued a Master’s degree in Nutrition from Boston University. Her dietetic internship was completed at Boston City Hospital. A lifelong learner, she pursued graduate studies in psychology at Harvard University until she re-located to the southwest in 2008.

Barbara began her career in dietetics as the State Coordinator of Nutrition Education for Massachusetts Child Nutrition Programs (USDA School Meal Programs). This experience planted the seed for a life-long commitment to improving public health. She started Neighborhood Nutrition in 1998 while living in Cambridge, Massachusetts and working as a sports nutritionist for Wellesley and Babson College. During this time, Neighborhood Nutrition quickly developed into a thriving private-practice where she developed a niche working with clientele struggling with eating, body image and a balanced approach to exercise. She was a nutrition therapist and sports nutritionist at Harvard University during this time.

After more than a decade in Boston, Barbara took a step away from the day-to-day of individual counseling to pursue a career in the food industry. This decision was fueled by the increasing number of individuals whom she witnessed struggling with severe eating disorders. Her ultimate goal: To have a global impact on what and how we eat in America. Stay tuned!

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Natalie Verderame, MS, RD

Born and raised in the Phoenix area, Natalie developed a zeal for food and health at an early age. She saw first-hand the negative toll of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes on her family members and knew she wanted her career to be one that helped others foster a healthy relationship with food and prevent chronic diseases.

Natalie graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition and a minor in business administration. She then completed her dietetic internship and graduate course work at California State University, Long Beach. As part of the achievement of her master’s degree in nutritional science, Natalie received the graduate department’s Outstanding Directed Project Award for her work in developing an educational curriculum on the nutrition approach to stress management.
Natalie earned a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She has worked in a variety of nutrition settings including clinical nutrition (both inpatient and outpatient), nutrition counseling, school nutrition, cooking classes, and nutrition education classes.

Natalie’s scope of practice has included:

  • Weight management
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Nutrition during radiation/chemo
  • Prenatal nutrition
  • Child nutrition

When not in the Neighborhood Nutrition office, you can find Natalie working as an employee wellness dietitian with Banner Health. She enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants, hiking, traveling, swimming, volleyball, live music, art, and is always up for adventure.

Natalie enjoys practical problem solving with people on how to balance work, stress, family life, and a healthy lifestyle. She is excited to partner with you on your journey to good health!

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Barbara Ruhs, Owner

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Natalie Verderame