Hi! I am Shelly! I am an award-winning dietitian, author of the Skinny Louisiana cookbook series, and mom of 2. I spend my days at my private practice counseling individuals for weight loss and many have underlying health ailments including diabetes, prediabetes, PCOS, and hypo/hyperthyroidism. My passion is developing low carb recipes and menu plans low on guilt and high on pleasure all while improving the health and well being of my patients.
A Little Background…
“And the Reserve Champion trophy goes to … Shelly Marie.” My awkward, Kool-Aid dyed, 12-year-old self approached the stage to receive my trophy with applause. (OK, so maybe 6 people were clapping.) I was beaming and walked off the stage clutching my trophy and told my teacher, Ms. Yates, “I want to cook for the rest of my life.”
Little did I know that trophy launched my career.
My name is Shelly Marie Redmond, and long before I became a dietitian, I was a regular ol’ Cajun girl living in Bayou Blue, Louisiana. You won’t find Bayou Blue on a map; it’s a small town right outside of Houma, Louisiana. While most girls played with dolls and cheered, I was the girl who was playing with pots, pans, and the rabbits my family raised (yes, for meat).
My love for the “pots and pans” came from my grandmother, Maw Maw Edna. She taught me everything about shucking peas and peeling shrimp.
I watched Edna in the kitchen and garden, and wanted to imitate her cooking. Edna never had a set recipe, it was “this” and “that,” and together, “this” and “that” tasted amazing. As I continued to watch Edna, this was around the time I heard about 4-H. I went to the first meeting and was hooked. I entered every cooking contest. Blue ribbon mostly, and I finally won that championship.
While many would think the first person I would run to would be Maw Maw Edna with my trophy, I would have to run to a gravesite to tell her about that win. All her hard work took a huge toll on her body, and her heart was suffering. After a long, long battle with heart disease and countless surgeries, she passed way too young, and I took it as my job to carry on her cooking legacy.
In the middle of practicing her legacy, many of my older family members were diagnosed with heart disease, and doctors at the time started discussing the relationship between healthy eating and disease management. 4-H started pushing the health benefits of cooking and there I learned my first recipe substitutions of applesauce replacing both sugar and oil. (I know, not the perfect substitute, but this was a long time ago!) Could this be a career?
I attended Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA and majored in nutrition. Our “community” classes overlapped where we had to perform “healthy demos” for each other and for the staff of the university. I wasn’t the greatest student in clinical subjects, but I could rock the socks out of a food demo, so much that one of the local hospital dietitians took me on cable access TV for a food demo taping. Maybe 5 people saw the segment, and the host forgot my name, but I was hooked on cooking, demos, and TV, as well as another pastime, dying my hair. You now see me as a fiery red head (my natural hair color is orange brown), but I rocked all different colors in school, and folks loved the hair with the cooking.
My first big dilemma came after graduating, I didn’t want to work in the restaurant field, and having to complete an internship, I took all of the $47 in my checking account and drove sight unseen in my beat-up Chevy Cavalier (with no AC in the August heat) to the new world at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. I struggled in the clinical-based program, but I graduated and completed my dietetic internship.
Upon completing my internship and passing my test to become a registered dietitian, I took my first job as on outpatient dietitian on the red team at the Overton Brooks VAMC. I thoroughly enjoyed my job, but quickly realized people were not into the ‘boring, outdated’ nutrition teachings, but more into ‘how can I make this food taste good.’ I started to develop meal plans based on individual food likes and family recipes versus the boring ‘eat yogurt for breakfast.’
On a normal day in 2003, a cute blonde entered my office with a tray of brownies. “Looks like you need one of these.” I took the brownie, and little by little, this cute blonde continued to stop by my office where we shared enough stories for me to take this blonde home to meet my family. After discussing with family that he was not from Houma, I had to break down and admit my husband was from north of I-10. Ohio to be exact. After answering numerous questions including, “Where are you going to go to church?”, my family embraced my Yankee husband Greg.
Starting My Private Practice
I married Greg in 2007, and fast forward to 2013 when our second child, Christian was 2 weeks old. I left the VA back in 2011 while pregnant with my daughter Mireille and took odd jobs in nutrition from PR work to writing. But on that cold December day, Greg approached me with the idea of purchasing a clinic. While the thought never crossed my mind, I knew I could go back to working with clients on the ability of menu planning, cooking education, and weight loss. Without either of us taking one business class, we said yes to purchasing Eberhardt Physical Therapy.
With excitement, I went into the pro/con list, and I wish I could tell you all that I had some type of epiphany in the concept of Skinny Louisiana, but I literally woke up and said, “I will name my firm Skinny Louisiana.” With a TON of cons from folks (yes, many folks HATE the name Skinny Louisiana), I knew I had to get back in the kitchen and cook!
Sitting in my office checking my email, I noticed the subject on an particular email stating “Culinary Competition at Harrah’s New Orleans.” Christian was a little over a year old at the time, and I was pumped about the idea of spending a night in New Orleans. I quickly entered and months later I arrived, and quickly realized the mistake I might have made. I walked in with my Igloo Ice chest, while my 12 professional chef competitors arrived dressed to the chef nines with professional stainless-steel equipment. I lost miserably, but while serving my dish, I met the marketing director of Pelican Publishing. She encouraged me to phone them to discuss a book proposal. My loss quickly turned to a win, and the proposal turned into what today is “Skinny Louisiana…in the Kitchen.” 3 years later, I published “Skinny Louisiana in the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot.”
Why am I a Low Carb Dietitian?
In addition to the debilitating health of my family members (who did NOT see improvements after switching to a low fat lifestyle), I myself struggled to lose my last 15 pounds of baby weight and soon realized I was not achieving success following the Standard American Diet. Watch my video on why I switched over to a low carb lifestyle.
BS – Nutrition. Nicholls State University.
MS – Nutrition. Louisiana Tech University.
Dietitian Internship. Louisiana Tech University.
Nicholls State University Outstanding Alumni. 2017.
The Dairy Alliance. Planning a Delightful, Dairy-Rich Brunch
Rouses Markets. Here’s a Little Secret: It’s Easy to Make Healthier Dishes.
The Forum. Shelly Marie Redmond Keeps It Spicy.
A little bit older and a little bit wiser, Greg and I embrace our entrepreneurs lives in Shreveport, Louisiana with our daughter Mireille, our son Christian, and 2 cats. Drop me an email at [email protected].