Hi! I’m Tessa Komine (last name pronounced ko-mee-nay). I use she/her or any pronouns. I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and I provide individualized nutrition counseling for cultivating a healthy relationship with food. My work is rooted in a Health at Every Size®/weight-inclusive, anti-diet approach, and I will often incorporate principles of Intuitive Eating within my practice (learn more about my approach here). I am passionate about helping my clients heal their relationship with food and re-connect with their body’s inner wisdom.
I moved to Portland in 2018 but I am originally from Massachusetts (grew up in a town southwest of Boston and went to undergrad at Northeastern University) so I am a New Englander at heart. I completed my Master’s program at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and did my dietetic internship at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Before moving to Portland I lived in Southern California for almost a year and a half where I worked at a small eating disorder treatment center and also for a public health agency that provided services for individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Prior to starting my solo private practice, I worked with an outpatient group practice called Ruby Health and Wellness where I was able to cultivate my deep passion for this work.
I am a mixed race (Japanese and white), cisgender, demisexual, pansexual, non-monogamous/polyamorous, small/thin-bodied, able-bodied, US-born and documented healthcare provider. I recognize that I hold an incredible amount of privilege. I acknowledge these privileges (among others) and how they may impact the client-provider relationship. If you have any questions or concerns about this conversation, please feel free to reach out to me.
What is your experience and background in nutrition/dietetics?
I have experience treating folks of all ages with eating disorders at the PHP, IOP, and outpatient levels of care. I have also worked closely with individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and other health concerns, such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cancer, and renal disease. I take a sensitive approach to challenges such as food insecurity and I aim to cultivate self-compassion for my clients. I have always had a passion for outpatient care and have enjoyed taking on the challenge of running my own small business in private practice.
What do those letters after your name mean?
MS: Master of Science (in Human Nutrition & Food Science)
RDN: Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (which is equivalent to Registered Dietitian or RD)
LD: Licensed Dietitian (required by Oregon for RDs practicing in the state)
CD: Certified Dietitian (required by Washington state for RDs practicing in WA or providing telehealth for with WA residents)
What is the difference between a registered dietitian and a nutritionist?
RDs are required to complete coursework approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, complete a minimum of 1200 hours of a supervised internship at an accredited facility, complete a national exam by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, and maintain professional educational requirements (CPEs). The title “nutritionist” is much less protected and could be used by anyone without requiring professional training. An exception is a Certified Nutrition Specialist which is a protected title. All dietitians are also nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
I love partner dancing, going for walks or hikes, exploring new places by tasting local cuisines, running outside, listening (and sometimes playing) music, volunteering, and learning new things! I always enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea, and I am never without my supply of peanut butter.
What are some ways that you take care of yourself?
I recognize the important role that my own self-care plays in allowing me to continue supporting my clients. Here are a few things that have been helpful in building my self-care practice:
- Scheduling in specific time to spend with my partners, friends and family to help me feel connected and centered
- Maintaining regular sessions with my own therapist so I can continue to do my own work
- Enjoying delicious and satisfying food as well as warm beverages (like tea or coffee), whether it’s part of a familiar meal or a new dish that I haven’t tried yet
- Playing with my little critters (I have 3 pet snakes named Pancake the kingsnake, Sorbet the snow corn and Bagel the ball pyton)
- Surrounding myself with nature by going for mindful walks, jogs, bikes or hikes
- Watching my favorite shows or movies curled up in bed with my weighted blanket