BETHLEHEM — LGC Nutrition, a new private practice just off the Four Corners in Delmar, wants to help clients understand that having a relationship with food does not always have to be a negative one.
LGC Nutrition owner Lindsey Cumoletti, a registered dietitian specializing in medical nutrition therapy, said she offers both one-on-one and family counseling regarding nutrition which can touch on topics including food allergies, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and hypertension. She said she can also help people question and change their eating behaviors as well as develop healthier eating habits.
“What’s the reason for having a bowl of ice cream every night? Are you stress eating, for example?” she said. “Trying to fix those underlying factors can help people lose weight, if that’s what they want, or help them eat healthier overall.” She added that people should not expect a one-and-be-all cure but instead receive assistance with treatments, potential meal plans and disease management.
Located on 125 Adams St. in Delmar, LGC Nutrition originally opened on Aug. 30 and now accepts insurance from CDPHP, MVP, UnitedHealthcare and Medicare and is looking to include Aetna in the coming weeks.
It also had its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 2, which was attended by numerous local well-wishers, town officials and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.
“As I’ve been in Bethlehem and I’m nearing almost a full year here at this chamber, I’ve noticed a lot of businesses with a focus on health and wellness and so your business has the right fit and your location, so close to the Rail Trail, also fits in with our healthy living,” said Maureen McGuinness, the chamber’s president. “Our chamber is going to be starting a strategic plan and one of the focuses we’re looking at is maybe branding Bethlehem as a healthy community. … And I think this business and what you’re doing for the residents fits in nicely, so welcome to Bethlehem.”
Regarding the latter point, Cumoletti said she lives in Albany but grew up in Guilderland. She said she has long enjoyed traveling to Bethlehem for its features like the library, Swifty’s and McCarroll’s. She also said she has had a longtime relationship with the topic of nutrition both personally and professionally.
Cumoletti brought up how she comes from a family, from her father’s side specifically, with a history of heart disease and high cholesterol although she “was lucky [she] did not get the cholesterol gene but some of [her] siblings did.” This meant that she is neither at risk of heart disease nor has high cholesterol.
She recalled, however, that her father had his first heart attack at 30 even though he was in great shape and played rugby, and many of his family members died from that. Her father then became a vegan which led to Cumoletti growing up in a more vegetable-based household and her mother was also health-conscious.
“I knew a lot more about nutrition and medicine than the average kid did and I knew why because of my family’s history but I didn’t know the science behind it then,” she said. “When I graduated college, I started working at a doctor’s office … and I started training for a marathon. I then fell in love with nutrition because I loved how much nutrition everyday affected how I ran.” Cumoletti studied human biology in college, and received a post-baccalaureate in nutrition sciences and a master’s of science degree in applied nutrition.
The path to making LGC Nutrition a reality began a year ago. Cumoletti said she understood the importance of insurance in relation to medical nutrition therapy after doing her own focus group. She recalled going to a dietetic and entrepreneurial retreat in New York City this past March that was led by a dietician who owned her own private practice there. It was there that Cumoletti said she learned how to start her own business. She eventually developed LGC Nutrition’s website and found a location in Delmar to set up shop.
Looking ahead, she wants clients to also feel educated in a sense on nutrition when coming to LGC Nutrition. “Nutrition is something we all do. We eat all the time and we have to in order to survive but it’s not something we’re all educated in,” she said. “Most of us know our proteins, fats and carbohydrates but when it comes to managing disease states, we don’t really know how much we should have and there’s a lot of misinformation on social media and online.”
Also, “diet” is a word Cumoletti hears often when people talk about nutrition and food.
“I even have people say, ‘I want you to give me a meal plan,’ and well, we can do that but we’re going to do a lot of other things too,” she said. “A diet, to me, is your life and it doesn’t start and stop. Sure, anybody can go on a diet, follow a meal plan and lose 10 pounds. But as soon as they stop and go back to their regular behaviors, they gain it back and that’s what I see.”
She added that the obesity epidemic in the U.S. includes people who go through “yo-yo diets” where people go through a cyclical process of losing weight, gaining weight, going on a diet, and repeating the overall process — a phenomenon that is not sustainable.
“We will not be doing diets, we will be making lifestyle changes and sustainability,” she said. “I’m also here to keep people accountable and check in with them once a month or so to help their motivation, keep them on track and find out the main drives causing their behavior.”
She also brought up how it is not a sustainable mentality when someone immediately cuts out all sugar or grains, and it is easier if you take small steps and not feel like you are being judged if you treat yourself every once in a while.
“I’m trying to make people feel comfortable while still eating healthy and maintaining a normal and sustainable lifestyle,” Cumoletti concluded. “Food and nutrition are not as hard as it seems. Think basic. A little bit of everything and everything in moderation helps. Everything’s a balance.”
For more information, visit lgcnutrition.com.