Food-loving dietitian opens diet-consulting business |

Food-loving dietitian opens diet-consulting business

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Registered dietitian Michele Cowee poses in front of sugar-filled vials displaying the amount of sugar in frequently used products such as soda pop, Hershey's candy bars and chocolate chip cookies.

Becoming a dietitian just made sense for Michele Cowee.

“I love food,” she said. “I love to eat. I love to talk about it. It was the perfect fit for me.”

So she graduated with a nutrition degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1998. For the last five years, she practiced at Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

“I was very happy working at the hospital,” she said. “It gave me a good foundation.”

Then it made sense for her to go out on her own.

“My father owned his own business, and my husband has his own business. The opportunity to have my own place came up,” she said. “I felt like I was ready.”

In May, she left the hospital and moved into an empty room in her husband, John Cowee’s, accounting office on Minnesota Street to open her own business, Sierra Dietetics.

As an independent nutrition counselor and certified diabetes educator, Cowee helps clients guard against heart attacks or high cholesterol as well as design wellness presentations for employers or large groups.

She is also available for one-on-one nutrition counseling.

Cowee recommends people consult a dietitian before attempting to lose weight.

“You want to focus on health,” she said. “Dietitians can meet with people and give them an individual meal plan and work with their needs, medical histories and their weight goals.”

That individual attention is what may be missing from other diet plans.

“No one diet works for everybody,” she explained. “A lot of the problems with those fad diets or pills is they don’t help you learn new behaviors so the weight doesn’t stay off. Eating is a habit. It has to be relearned.”

And Cowee, 41, understands the struggle.

“I’ve always, in my life, had to watch what I eat,” she said. “I have a family history of heart disease and diabetes.”

Helping others overcome their battles with food is what motivates her.

“Food is a big part of life,” she said. “We eat for more than just nutrition. It’s social, traditional, ethnic; it’s comfort. When you can keep all that but help steer them in the right direction, and they get it, that’s what makes it worth it for me.”

For questions or to make an appointment with Michele Cowee, registered dietitian, call 884-0544.

Contact Teri Vance at or at 881-1272.