Life After Cancer

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Gretchen Gruender, MS, RD, CD

Gretchen Gruender specializes in oncology nutrition, and nutritional counseling.

“Many people already have nutrition and lifestyle goals in place but may need help finding and using practical tools to make lasting changes,” Gretchen says. “This is where a nutritionist can play a valuable role. I focus on integrating whole and functional foods and guide patients to make the changes that will maximize their health. I want to help people understand how nutrition can impact mood, energy, and well-being whether they are recovering from treatment or fine-tuning an already strong wellness regimen.

Gretchen earned a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Wash. She is a Certified Oncology Specialist and Registered Dietitian.

“I chose to work in healthcare because of the connection with people,” she says. “My previous career was in education and I knew I wanted to continue with this aspect of the job.  I continue to work in healthcare because I have the opportunity daily to work with amazing people at both a personal and professional level.  Patients at the clinic teach me important life lessons on patience, strength, and compassion as well as tips on gardening and food.  Professionals in this field have a strong dedication and passion for what they do, which continually inspires me.” 

Gretchen has had opportunities to work with multiple populations throughout her career, “and the oncology population drew me in,” she says. “It is an area where I can help people make changes that impact their own health.”

In her lifetime, Gretchen hopes to see more studies that give evidence about the impact of diet on health. “I also think that the field of nutrigenomics will give nutrition professionals more insight on how to make very specific food and nutrient recommendations based on the individual person.”

Outside of work, she enjoys cooking and eating, playing with her children, and staying active outside.