We had the good fortune of connecting with Marissa Martorana and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marissa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
A few years into my career as a Registered Dietitian (RD) I was approached by a few individuals to do one on one nutrition counseling sessions to help them address various nutrition related concerns. This was outside of my normal every day job as a renal dietitian, and a consultant at a head start program, where time was limited once you factored in all of the day to day company expectations. It was evident from those few meetings with my “side clients”, that there was an opportunity people were seeking for RD services. It became clear that there was also an opportunity for me to be able to help people in a deeper, more meaningful way by going into private practice. I learned it would allow me time to cultivate relationships with clients who want to make sustainable changes to their health, and to me, that was enough to motivate me to pursue it full time.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is a sole proprietorship. Currently, all of my work is done via a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform, or other virtual platforms due to the Covid-19 pandemic.I see clients of all ages who are seeking to improve their relationship to food, or to address past or present struggles with eating disorders. I also see those seeking to manage diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, or improve their overall wellness. I practice from a health at every size (HAES) approach, which means I focus on the clients overall patterns of health behaviors, rather than focusing on their body size. Health is inclusive of many different patterns such as sleep, stress, mental health, eating, exercise, lab values, and intent with the above mentioned. By focusing on the entire individual, it allows time to peel back the layers that are holding them back from healthy habits to be implemented for life, rather than a few weeks or months. Creating sustainable habits that promote peace with food and exercise yield long term benefits for body and mind. Intuitive eating (when appropriate) is also something I focus on with my clients, and is a part of the process for cultivating a healthy relationship to food. What sets my business apart from others is that I am an in network provider with Anthem Blue Cross PPO, Medi-care, and different managed care groups (HMO’s). I also have a contract in process with Blue Shield PPO, By accepting insurances, I am able to reach a broad range of clients who wish to stay in network to maintain affordability, yet prioritize their nutrition and health. Another part of my practice is contracting with different companies who are seeking nutrition services for their company in various capacities. My partial client list includes The Salvation Army, The Canterbury, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Beach Cities Health District.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
While living in the South Bay, I’ve realized there are so many great outdoor activities that I would recommend to anyone visiting. The beaches are of course a must-Torrance, Redondo, Manhattan-any one is fun. I love to be physically active so I would recommend the Ocean trails in Rancho Palos Verdes for a beautiful hike. Must eat at restaurants for delicious food and drinks include Nelsons at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Love and Salt (Manhattan Beach), Ortega 120 (Redondo Beach), and The Riviera Mexican Grill (Redondo Beach). Due to the current pandemic, some of the mentioned locations may be closed or have limited hours.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m grateful to have had some great support from family and friends as I’ve built my business, and kept it running. Specifically, I deeply appreciate the support of my husband who has encouraged me to keep moving forward and figure things out with private practice, as the road is never smooth when you’re running your own business. I also recognize I was fortunate to have a family friend who let me “test out” their office, before I committed to renting my own space to see clients. It’s been great connecting with other dietitians along the way to bounce ideas off of each other, and to share our passion for the field.

Website: marissathedietitian.com
Instagram: @marissathedietitian
Linkedin: Marissa Martorana, RDN
Twitter: @MarissaTheRD
Facebook: Marissa Martorana, RDN; Private Practice Dietitian
Yelp: Marissa Martorana, RDN

Image Credits
Alessandra Martorana, Adreanna Evans