Oak Forest dietitian stays on the move
BY REBECCA SUSMARSKI email@example.com August 15, 2012 1:58PM
Kelly Devine Rickert, of Oak Forest, teaches a weight-loss class at Saint Xavier University in Chicago Thursday, June 28, 2012. She is a registered dietitian and owner of Devine Nutrition. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 17, 2012 6:02AM
If multitasking is a weight-loss secret, then it might be one thing that helps Kelly Devine Rickert stay in shape.
The 30-year-old Oak Forest resident works full time for Franciscan St. James Hospital as a registered dietitian, and occasionally serves as a media spokeswoman for the not-for-profit Illinois Dietetic Association. She also is sole owner of Devine Nutrition, a nutrition consulting business.
Rickert has always possessed a penchant for exercise and fitness.
She discovered her passion for running when she participated in races at age 6. When she attended Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Rickert was active in cross-country, track and basketball.
“Cross-country and track have a lot to do with nutrition, and it (nutrition) just became something I wanted to do,” Rickert said.
After finishing her undergraduate years at Benedictine University, Rickert obtained a master’s degree in nutrition education from Eastern Illinois University. She also became a certified personal trainer and specialist in sports dietetics.
Rickert founded Devine Nutrition after discovering hospital work did not always allow her to take a personal role in helping others with weight loss.
“I like working with people, and I like the exercise component along with the nutrition,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to do that in my day job, so I came up with a way to eventually be my own boss.”
Rickert is available for nutrition seminars, collective workouts and fitness camps. She often leads group exercise routines at private homes and hosts exercise classes at St. Xavier University. Rickert also offers one-on-one programs for weight management, sports nutrition and diabetic meal planning.
To help her clients lose weight, Rickert asks them to write food journals. The clients send their journal entries to Rickert by email and meet with her once every two weeks to discuss their progress. Rickert also encourages clients to exercise and eat small but frequent meals to increase energy and metabolism.
“When people know that someone’s watching them, they kind of do a lot better,” Rickert said. “I strongly advise people to food journal to make them become more aware of their habits, so they can see what they’re eating.”
For busy clients who often eat fast food, Rickert recommends getting salads or grilled chicken wraps with dressing on the side. She also encourages her clients to exercise, even if they cannot for long periods of time.
“Whether it be for a short while or more, it’s doing something,” Rickert said. “I’m a big fan of exercise.”
Rickert’s busy lifestyle does not end when her meetings conclude for the day. When she is not helping others to “get in shape,” Rickert spends time with her husband, Ryan, and their three children — Connor, Justin and Emily.
She also pursues her love of running, and has a goal to run a race in all 50 states. She has run in 14 states so far, and her favorite race occurred in Hawaii.
“We ran right next to a volcano at sunrise,” Rickert said. “It was really pretty.”