As we near the end of 2020 we wish to express our gratitude for who the year has brought into the Carlton Senior Living family. Among these individuals we welcome onboard Claudia Graetsch-Vasquez as our new Dietitian and Nutritionist for all Carlton Senior Living communities. We invite you to read more about how Claudia first became interested in the field of nutrition, what motivates her, the thing she is looking forward to most and how she chooses to “live her life.”
Claudia attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill directly after graduating high school to complete some undergraduate work. She then transferred to Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo to pursue a major in Biology. It was then, that she first became interested in the field of nutrition. She knew she had a passion to work in the health care field. After about a year into her studies at Cal Poly, she decided she wanted to obtain a greater specialization within the field. In a meeting with her counselor, she was introduced to the field of Nutrition. As Claudia recalls, “I was living away from home, taking charge of my health and became personally interested in nutrition so I thought it would be an interesting field to study and work in.” Upon graduating as a Nutrition Graduate, one of the routes she could pursue was becoming a Registered Dietitian. As Claudia shares, it “seemed like the best next step for me.” She was extremely interested in working clinically within the hospital, specifically within the Critical Care setting. She was motivated to help people feel better and meet their nutrition needs throughout their illness and recovery. In order to become a Registered Dietitian, she was required to attend a national dietetic internship program. Her internship was based out of Napa State Hospital with various rotations around hospitals and clinics in the Bay Area.
Without a doubt, Claudia has a passion to serve others and to help them reach their health and wellness goals while teaching and empowering them to manager their chronic diseases. Nutrition has always been a hot topic and with that comes the realm of myths & misinformation. She enjoys, as she says, “setting the record straight” and teaching people how to stay informed by doing their research to remain wise and avoid any scams. She became a Registered Dietitian in 1997, and after being in practice for over 20 years we would agree that it certainly has been the right fit. Within this time, she has been a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) for almost 15 years. The CDE credential has recently changed and she is now known as a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist otherwise known as a CDCES.
When asked about her professional experience and accomplishments, she reflected on one of the great aspects of being a Dietitian, and that is the varied experience and jobs that she has had the privilege to hold. She spent the first 10 years of her career working clinically within a local county hospital and health clinics. The experience, as she puts it, “was so valuable being exposed to so many cultures as well as illnesses.” She then transitioned to working primarily within Chronic Disease Management mostly focused on Diabetes. The clinics served both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes as well as Gestational Diabetes. Patients were seen individually as well as in group classes. She has also worked as a Research Dietitian, a weight loss Dietitian in a medically supervised weight loss program and as a Health & Wellness Dietitian for the employees of John Muir Health. Last but certainly not least, she is currently working as a Corporate Wellness Dietitian for John Muir Health as well as a Consultant Dietitian for a few telehealth companies.
A good friend and fellow Dietitian, Kitty Lenhart introduced Claudia to Carlton Senior Living. Since joining our team, she shares that she is looking forward to working with our amazing residents as well as their families and our wonderful staff. She is hoping to help enhance the menu’s offered and provide nutrition and health education for all. At Carlton Senior Living we go by our slogan, “Live Your Life.” Claudia shared with us that in living her life, “I really try to practice what I preach – most of the time (I call it the 80/20 plan). I enjoy good healthy food and love the great outdoors. I share this love with my family; my husband and two sons, ages 13 and 11. My favorite activity is trail running – the farther the better. I’ve completed many Ultramarathons!”
Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.
~ Jack Lalanne