Meet Lauren Minchen, Nutrition Blogger & Golda Bar CEO
Learn how Lauren Minchen started her nutrition blogging career and founded Golda Bar, an allergy friendly, gluten free protein bar.
Lauren Minchen is a dietitian, writer, blogger and entrepreneur based in New York City with extensive experience across various fields of nutrition. Today she’s sharing her journey to becoming a dietitian and nutrition entrepreneur.
How did you decide to become a dietitian?
I was in school for journalism and media, but I decided to make the switch for job opportunities originally! I loved nutrition, and it had played a big role in my recovery from an eating disorder. So, I decided to pursue it.
Can you tell us about your nutrition career to date?
Yes, it’s been interesting. I had a very eclectic educational experience. Thank you, Hunter College and NYC! I completed all of my coursework at Hunter, and then I also matched with their internship program (required to become an RD). The program placed me in several different settings, from clinical to community to non-profit to a private eating disorder recovery facility. My education was very well-rounded, and I’m grateful for that because it shaped the way I built my practice. I founded Lauren Minchen Nutrition in 2012, and I’ve been working in nutrition counseling since then. I work with digestive conditions, eating disorders, autoimmune conditions, weight loss, sports and fitness, pre-natal nutrition, and general health and wellness. I work with all major insurance companies, which is beneficial for my clients.
What advice do you have for dietitians just getting started?
Expose yourself to different nutrition environments. Clinical work gets a lot of press, but the nutrition world is growing, and the opportunities are becoming more varied. Volunteer as much as possible, and determine where you fit best. I know volunteering with so many different places taught me how to work with different types of people and helped me determine what I wanted to pursue.
Tell us all about Golda Bar – how did it begin, why did you develop it, and what differentiates it from other bars?
Golda Bar is the product of unofficial research these past several years. I always had such a hard time finding a nutrition/protein bar that I loved, and that I didn’t feel bad recommending for my clients. We’d generally have to compromise on something, like sugar grams, protein quality, GMOs, etc. So, I decided to create my own! I did my research when it came to manufacturing, recipe development, ingredient quality, etc., and once I located a manufacturer I liked (building my own facility is a bit out of the question at the moment :), I launched the company and began a Kickstarter campaign. This all happened last October. I successfully funded the campaign this past January with $10,000 and officially launched the first flavor in February. We’ve gotten great feedback so far. Our bars are gluten free, non-GMO, whole and organic food-based, and low in sugar. We also use ZERO artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols (big request from my IBS patients!). A big complement to us has been that many customers benefit from smooth digestion after eating them, as opposed to that bloated feeling one gets after eating the many protein bars on the market these days. Our bars are really gentle (thank you, soluble fiber!) and chock full of raw cacao, grass-fed whey protein, coconut oil, almond butter, and Stevia: really simple and really delicious. My goal is to provide bars that are all low in sugar (our current flavor, Cacao Almond, has only 2 grams), non-GMO, gluten free, full of organic whole-food ingredients, and free of artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. And my ultimate mission is for everyone to have a Golda Bar option, no matter their diet limitations. This means an assortment of allergy-friendly bars in various flavors. I want everyone to find their #GoldaStandard. I know, cheesy, but true!
How do you think that technology is changing the way that dietitians can practice?
I am personally experiencing how nutrition counseling and coaching is moving online. Fewer people want to schedule an appointment in my office. They would rather speak on the phone, email their food log, or text with me about their eating habits. Technology has made it so much easier to communicate quickly and efficiently. And I actually love it. I love being able to connect with clients on an app or via email. It saves time, and the more frequent contact (versus once per week or monthly appointments) can increase clients’ success. The best thing we can do as dietitians, I personally think, is to embrace the change and use it to help our clients reach their goals. Technology can help us partner with them in a way that stand-alone appointments can’t.
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