Jillian Ondreyka, MPH, RDN, IFNCP, IBCLC, CLT
In my private practice, Embrace Health Nutrition, I enjoy working with patients one-on-one to achieve their health goals. My two specialties are Life Stages & Family Nutrition and Nutrition for Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS).
Life Stages & Family Nutrition
I am passionate about working with moms and babies because I can promote healthy eating in two generations, which makes a lasting positive health impact. My expertise in maternal and infant nutrition will help you build the foundation of healthy eating habits for life for the entire family. Good nutrition is essential to a healthy, happy life!
Nutrition for Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)
If you haven’t heard of HS, this is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease characterized by painful nodules and abscesses which form most commonly in sensitive areas: under arms and breasts, along buttocks and groin, though HS may appear anywhere there is hair.
I have had HS myself since a teenager and came to notice the connection between my flares and what I eat. For me, dairy is a huge trigger. I live in Michigan, where the dairy industry thrives in the Midwest. I remember heading to a dairy farm with all of my family to pet some farm animals and go on a tour. At the end, we all ate ice cream and bought gallons of milk fresh from the farm. This was a really fun experience! But what happened after was not. I was drinking all of this milk, which I don’t usually do, and ended up with multiple, painful HS flares. This was a turning point for me and help me realized that what I ate contributed to my disease.
After becoming resigned to the fact that I am stuck with HS for life (I’m sure some of you can relate!), I decided to learn all I could about HS at the 2019 Symposium on Hidradenitis Suppurativa Advances in Detroit, Michigan. I was amazed at the degree of compassion, enthusiasm, and drive in this close-knit community of HS providers. In the Welcome Remarks, I was pleasantly surprised to hear emphasis on increasing nutrition research and the call to action, “Let's look at diet.” As the presentations progressed, I saw the connections of how a dietitian could help from a nutrition perspective and should be a part of the multidisciplinary care team for HS. I spent the weekend learning about all the new research and meeting providers and researchers from all over the world. During multiple conversations, it came up that you can’t find more meaningful work than helping patients with HS. These conversations energized me and came at just the right time as I had been looking for how to make meaningful change in my private practice. This is when I decided to do what I can to help other HS patients through nutrition.
Through patient’s experimentation and some medical research, it is becoming apparent that nutrition has an important role in managing HS. Foods can either contribute to flares or help calm the inflammation in the body and encourage healing. I work with patients to identify their food triggers and guide and empower them to make lifestyle changes. I partner with my patients to develop a nutrition plan that will fit into their busy lifestyle.
My work experience includes the University of Michigan's Maternal Infant Health Program; The University of Michigan's Briarwood Center for Women, Children, and Young Adults; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at both the local (Wayne County), state, and national levels; the headstart program; and consulting for various organizations. I also have a full-time job working as a LEAP Improvement Coach in Quality Improvement/Research at the Ann Arbor VA. As a Fresh Thyme Ambassador, I promote health and wellness education to Fresh Thyme customers at store events throughout Michigan.
My educational experience is as follows:
2014: Graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Eastern Michigan University with minor in psychology
2014: Upon completion of the national exam, became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
2017: Earned my Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner (IFNCP) credential from the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy
2018: Completed a training program provided by Lactation Education Consultants and received my Certified Lactation Specialist credential
2018: Graduated with my Master’s in Public Health in the program Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan
2018: Became a Certified LEAP Therapist
2018: Passed the international exam to become an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant
I enjoy feeding my curious mind and drive to learn by attending conferences and webinars in my varied interests including breastfeeding, functional nutrition, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, gut health, microbiome, epigenetics, food allergies, health promotion, motivational interviewing, adverse food reactions and maternal and infant health and nutrition.