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Melanie Sanders is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She decided to study nutrition and start a second career as a dietitian after working in communications for 10 years planning and implementing public relations programs for food and lifestyle companies.  


As her passion for food and nutrition grew, she observed how much confusing and conflicting information is available on how to eat "right.”  Real Food Knowledge was created to deliver factual and straight-forward nutrition information.


On her personal food journey, Melanie has embraced a no-diet approach to nutrition.  Her passion is empowering individuals to create a healthy life that includes a positive relationship with food and body.


Learn more about Melanie's education, nutrition experience, and communications experience below.  In addition to seeing patients in a clinical setting as a Registered Dietitian at St. David’s Medical Center, Melanie provides nutrition counseling at iLiveWell Nutrition Therapy and offers freelance communications and event planning services for food and nutrition companies. 


The University of Texas at Austin


  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, August 2015

    • Coordinated Program in Dietetics


  • Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, December 2003

    • Business Foundations Certification, McCombs School of Business




St. David's Medical Center   Austin, Texas

Clinical Dietitian

October 2015 - Present

  • Assess patient's nutrition status, develop plan of care, provide appropriate education, evaluate outcomes, document work

  • Collaborate with doctors, nurses, therapists, case managers, and pharmacists to provide exceptional interdisciplinary care while serving as a liaison between the medical care team and food service department

  • Assess need/appropriateness for enteral and parenteral nutrition support, manage tolerance and complications, adjust to best meet patient's nutrition needs

  • Teach nutrition education classes for stroke, diabetes and spinal cord injury patients at St. David's Rehabilitation Hospital 


Dietetic Technician

June 2015 - October 2015

  • Performed dietary screenings, reviewed and charted in electronic medical records (MEDITECH), provided patient nutrition education, and worked closely with Registered Dietitians and food service staff


iLiveWell Nutrition Therapy   Austin, Texas 


October 2015 - Present

  • Work with individuals to provide supportive nutrition counseling and develop a personalized nutrition plan 

  • Provide medical nutrition therapy for individuals with specific nutrition needs 

Office Manager/ Nutritionist 

June 2014 - October 2015

  • Assisted registered dietitians in operating a private practice including administrative duties, marketing and communication, and client services


Coordinated Program in Dietetics, University of Texas at Austin   Austin, Texas  

Dietetic Intern

August 2014 - August 2015

Supervised dietetics practice at the following locations:

  • Clinical 

    • St. David's Medical Center

    • Marni Paul Specialty Care Center at Dell Children's Medical Center

    • Houston Methodist Cancer Center

  • Community and Corporate Wellness 

    • Meals on Wheels and More

    • Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

    • Bene-Fit by Cypress Associates

    • Wellness Program for Firefighters, The University of Texas at Austin

  • Food Service

    • The Villa at Marbridge

YMCA of Austin   Austin, Texas

Program Coordinator for The Happy Kitchen

June 2014 - May 2015

  • Organized 20 cooking and nutrition education classes for eight YMCA of Austin Branches


Sustainable Food Center   Austin, Texas

Farm to School Intern

January - May 2013

  • Outreached to five AISD schools to increase the awareness of school leadership, food service team members, students, staff and parents about the Farm to School program, local produce and healthy eating behaviors

  • Successfully coordinated Meet the Farmer, Vegetable Sampling and Label Reading events to bring food system education to life for the students




JHL Company   Austin, Texas

Vice President

October 2008 – May 2011

  • Responsible for staff utilization and development, revenue generation, income projections, expense control, and administrative functions related to executing the annual business plan and meeting profit objectives

  • Managed seven employees overseeing fundraising, communications, public affairs and stakeholder relations projects for 11 clients including nonprofits, associations and corporations

  • Provided strategic guidance to internal client teams including prioritization, anticipating and addressing client needs, and problem solving



September 2007 – September 2008

  • Strategically planned and implemented fundraising, communications and stakeholder relations activities for clients

  • Planned and managed events ranging from intimate, corporate meetings and receptions to forums and conferences


Ketchum Public Relations   Los Angeles, California

Account Executive 

March 2004 – June 2007

  • Planned and implemented PR programs for food, travel, and lifestyle brands 

  • Developed communication materials including press releases, media alerts, Q&A documents, and company profiles

  • Built and maintained strong relationships with editorial media contacts to secure ongoing coverage for clients

  • Member at Covenant Presbyterian Church

  • Volunteer at Sustainable Food Center, Meals On Wheels & More, Capital Area Food Bank, Food In Tummies, Urban Roots Farm, Green Gates Farm​



Leadership and Professional Memberships


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Member, September 2013 - Present

Austin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • PR Chair, October 2013 - May 2014

  • Member, April 2013 - Present​



  • ServeSafe Certification, 2013


  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Training, 2014


  • The Happy Kitchen Facilitator


ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foods

Collaborated with multiple partner agencies to coordinate a 10 city PAM for Grilling competition for ConAgra Foods that cumulated in a national grill off in New York City. In addition to overseeing logistics, media coverage was secured to promote the brand, recipe ideas and the competition.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers

Conducted media outreach for Weight Watchers to promote timely tips and recipes for healthy eating. Coordinated a special event for select Weight Watchers participants that had succeeded at reaching and maintaing impressive weight loss goals to be recognized by the company spokesperson, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.



Promoted Safeway’s 3-Hour Thanksgiving Dinner featuring the 2-Hour Turkey. Trained Safeway deli managers and firefighter’s in target regional markets to serve as spokespeople for the time saving recipes and conduct live television interviews.

Hail Merry

Hail Merry

Conducted local market research for Hail Merry to assist with increased product distribution. Promoted macaroons and tarts to target clientele at the Texas Conference for Women.

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change

Promoted Seeds of Change new line of Simmer Sauces to media nationwide and generated print coverage of the new product.

Baby Einstein

Baby Einstein

Secured national media coverage of the Baby Einstein brand and products in parenting and women’s magazines. Developed messaging documents for Disney executives as well as responses to media inquiries regarding children under three watching television.



Planned a Mother’s Day celebration for Mattel’s Little Mommy with special guests, Denise Richards and Dayna Devon, host of “EXTRA.” Mothers, daughters and their Little Mommy baby dolls enjoyed an English Tea Party at the Beverly Hills Hotel.



Developed and distributed press materials for Waterpik’s oral healthcare and showerhead product lines. Participated in trade show planning and coordination.

Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises

Secured national and regional media coverage for Viking River Cruises highlighting their cruise vacations in Europe, Russia and China. Coordinated journalist familiarity trips and traveled with journalist Peter Greenberg to host his nationally syndicated radio show from a ship at port in Budapest on the Danube River.



Raised $1.5 million annually from corporations, community entities, foundations and individuals for TexasOne, the state’s economic development marketing program, through prospect identification and research, development of solicitation materials, targeted outreach and follow-up, account invoicing and tracking, database management, event planning and management, and communications.



Coordinated events for AT&T Texas’ legislative affairs department ranging from an intimate dinner for 30 with a special guest speaker to an evening boat ride for legislative staff to a high-level party for 400 people held during a national legislative conference. Developed budgets, timelines, line-by-line schedules and an overall look and feel implemented through invitations, decor and take-away gift as well as managing on-site logistics including vendors, set-up, registration, special guests.

Rise Across Texas Challenge

Rise Across Texas Challenge

Managed fundraising, special events, and public relations for the Rise Across Texas Challenge charity bike ride supporting the Rise Schools of Texas. Bicyclists pedaled 850 miles from Orange to Presidio with a stop in Austin, Texas for a celebrity bike ride and to celebrate the 60th Birthday of Governor Rick Perry and businessman/philanthropist, Steve Hicks, who conceived the idea of the Challenge.

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