Virginia Messina, MPH, RDN
Nutrition Consultant, Nutrition Matters, Inc.
Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, Loma Linda University
Founding member of Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, and member of its Speakers Bureau
Fact sheet author and reviewer, and newsletter editorial staff member, Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group
Co-author of 13 books on nutrition and related topics
Virginia (Ginny) Messina, MPH RDN, presents at P-POD with the support of the Speakers Bureau of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She holds an MPH degree with specialty in Human Nutrition from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and has had a distinguished decades-long career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, serving as author of books and peer-reviewed-journal articles, scientific advisor, assistant professor, public health nutritionist, lecturer, nutrition services director, editor, reviewer, consultant and blogger. She has co-authored 13 books, ranging from those offering guidance to consumers in making practical evidence-based daily dietary choices (such as “Vegan for Her: The Women’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet”), to the multiple editions of the exhaustively researched “The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications” for professional reference. She has also twice co-authored the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position paper on Vegetarian Diets, and has authored or co-authored more than 25 peer-reviewed-journal articles dealing with soyfoods, other legumes, phytochemicals, bone health, chronic disease prevention, vegetarianism and the nutritional needs of women, infants and children.
Ginny served for many years as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University, and also taught nutrition courses at the undergraduate or graduate level at Central Michigan University and Lansing Community College. Institutional settings for her practice as a Registered Dietitian included Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a United States Public Health Service rural health clinic, and George Washington University Medical Center, where she served as Director of Nutrition Services. Under the masthead of Nutrition Matters, Inc., she has steadily built a reputation as a leading authority on nutrition issues generally and on veganism particularly, through her consulting, lecturing and freelance writing, directed at a wide variety of clients, nonprofit organizations and public settings. She has developed nutrition education materials for many of these settings, including the federal government’s national cholesterol program. Today she is focused primarily on providing individuals with the tools and knowledge necessary to adopt a vegan diet that can promote health sustainably on a long-term basis.
Ginny was a founding member of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has served it in numerous essential capacities over the years, along the way receiving its Award of Excellence in Service and Leadership. She was one of its first newsletter editors, moving on to become its vegetarian nutrition Fact Sheets editor, and since 2008 she has authored and reviewed the Fact Sheets, and written quarterly newsletter columns summarizing current nutrition research. At various times she chaired its Nominating Committee, co-chaired its Continuing Education Committee, served on its Research Grant committee, and wrote its authorized Continuing Education Program on Vegetarian Nutrition. Some of the lecturing she has done throughout the U.S. on nutrition issues has been in her role as a long-time Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group Speakers Bureau member.
Ginny has served on the Advisory Boards or Scientific Committees for numerous organizations, such as the Sixth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, VegMed 2016 conference (Berlin, Germany), Better Eating International, Oldways Vegetarian Network, Vegan Trade Council, VegYouth, Nutrinic, One Step for Animals and (since 1997) Vegetarian Resource Group. A substantial amount of her writing has emerged from her extremely long-term relationships with Vegetarian Resource Group and Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, but she has also authored numerous articles and columns for a wide variety of publications and organizations such as: Today’s Dietitian, Food and Nutrition, Encyclopedia Britannica, EatDrinkBetter.com, Family Circle, V-Lish ("Ask the Dietitian"), One Green Planet, National Vegan Examiner and Veggie Life. She has long maintained her own blog at TheVeganRD.com, and has approximately 26,000 followers on Twitter and 21,000 on Facebook.