Hello, fellow foodie!
Colleen in Washington DC on the Newseum Rooftop

I’m Colleen, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who loves to experiment in the kitchen to create healthy, easy, plant-based meals and snacks. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, I moved to Arlington, Virginia in 2015 to pursue a Master in Public Health degree and fell in love with the arts, culture, and food scene in the Washington D.C. metro area. I stay active by running, hiking, practicing yoga, and lifting weights. Since I love exploring and adventuring in new cities and towns, I try to combine fitness and travel whenever possible. (See below for a shot of me taking a yoga break on the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park.)

Colleen doing yoga at Rocky Mountain National Park

Couldn’t resist doing some yoga moves lakeside at Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park


My Mission

Through my blog, I hope to show busy adults that choosing nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, and whole grains throughout the day is not time-consuming, complicated, or restrictive and can be easy and delicious.

Colleen with her Master of Public Health graduation cap

Posing with my Master of Public Health graduation cap, 2017


My Nutrition Philosophy

I take a realistic approach to nutrition. Nutrition should not be about depriving yourself- you should be able to enjoy all of the culinary delicacies that life has to offer, but you need to know how to make smart choices about it. That’s where eating your fruits and veggies comes in.

I believe in the power of plants. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes help to fill you up, and they contain many vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to think and move properly. If you’re going to choose a burger and fries for lunch, select a veg-rich option for dinner with fruit for dessert. It’s all about being mindful and balanced.

In my blog, I will provide recipes for easy-but-tasty plant-based dishes to cook at home and tips on selecting healthier options when dining out. Even when making the healthy choice, people should love what they are eating, and through my blog posts, I will show ways to incorporate fruits, veggies, and whole grains into delicious-yet-nutritious meals.

I know that changing nutrition habits and behaviors takes time and may seem challenging, but I hope that my blog can help you sneak more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into your meals. Please reach out to me with suggestions for future posts. This blog is about YOU, and I want my posts to empower and inspire you to take control of what you put on your plate.


Can you tell I’m a fan of headstands? Left at the Washington Monument, right at Nationals Stadium


Professional Bio

Colleen Sideck, MPH, RDN, LDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, nutrition communications expert, and food and nutrition blogger based in Arlington, Virginia. She earned a Master of Public Health in Public Health Communications and Marketing from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood University. A skilled speaker and writer, Colleen is a Stone Soup blogger with Food & Nutrition Magazine and has been quoted in the U.S. News & World Report. Colleen also has experience in clinical nutrition and has provided individualized nutrition care for patients with heart disease, food allergies and intolerances, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight, and obesity.

Colleen believes in the power of eating plants. However, she understands that making lasting changes to nutrition behaviors takes time and requires breaking down many actual and perceived barriers to healthy eating. To inspire and empower people to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into their diets, Colleen caters to the busy adult by featuring quick and easy recipes and nutrition tips on her blog, Plant Packed Plates. As Colleen recognizes that health is multifaceted, she encourages the combining of nutrition with physical and mental wellness efforts in order to promote long-term health and well-being.

Colleen is the Social Media Coordinator for the DC Metro Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a program coordinator at a national corporate wellness company. She is a member of the American Public Health Association and the following dietetic practice groups (DPGs) in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Dietitians in Business and Communications, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, and Food and Culinary Professionals. In her free time, Colleen enjoys attending fitness events and concerts, covering her favorite songs on the piano, trying new restaurants, and tending to her vegetable and herb garden. Colleen’s food and nutrition advice can be found on her Instagram, Twitter, and blog.



The tips and opinions expressed on Plant Packed Plates are for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for individualized advice treatment from your doctor or other healthcare professionals. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat health conditions, and you should always consult qualified healthcare providers before beginning a diet/exercise routine or modifying your prescription regimen.

All information on Plant Packed Plates is written and edited by Colleen Sideck, MPH, RDN, LDN and excerpts of this content should not be used unless complete credit is given to Colleen Sideck, MPH, RDN, LDN and direction back to the original source is provided.