Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN

Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN

Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Nutrition Advisor from Smart Healthy Living
Chicago, IL

Brief Introduction/Tell Us About yourself (where you are from, etc):

I’m a born and raised Chicagolander. Aside from being a Registered Dietitian, I am also a professional dancer for the Chicago Honey Bear Dancers (originating from the Bears Football Team). I have also been a military wife since 2018.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nutrition? 

Perhaps the biggest reason as to why I pursued a career in nutrition was because I suffered from childhood obesity. I understood the exceptional emotional and self-image distress that obesity can cause in many people. I suffered from bullying, lack of self confidence, poor body image and disordered eating patterns that were associated with my childhood obesity. On the flip side, I also was able to completely overcome my obesity by the time I was a teenager. However, I always paid attention to the Nutrition Facts label and what I was eating. So it made a lot of sense to go into nutrition to help myself and others learn about nutrition. I learned that healthy eating not only helped me reach my weight goals, but also made me feel better and improved my health

What kind of training did you undergo/certification you received?

I’m a Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN). There is a national credentialing agency called the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). To get your RD/RDN credential, you have to pass the credentialing exam. To even be able to sit for the exam, however, you must have a college degree in nutrition/dietetics (some RDs have bachelors and others have a masters or higher). I received a bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics from Northern Illinois University in 2016. You must also have graduated from an accredited dietetic internship. I was matched and graduated from a highly-competitive internship at Hines VA Hospital in Hines, IL. Accredited dietetic internships are highly competitive and just because you have a degree in nutrition does not mean that you will be matched to a dietetic internship. So, there are many people with college degrees in nutrition who never become registered dietitians and cannot hold the RD/RDN credential. On a state-by-state basis, some states do require that dietitians carry additional state licensure. You may also see something like “LDN” attached to their name. Some states have no additional licensure requirements. However, to ensure that they are a registered dietitian on a national level, look for “RD” or “RDN.” Once someone has been credentialed, RD/RDNs have to have continuing education throughout their entire career. After graduating from my dietetic internship in 2017, I was credentialed and started working in a variety of nutrition settings (i.e. weight loss management, writing script for medical software, writing nutrition articles, recording podcasts).

What do people look for in a nutritionist or dietician?

Registered dietitians tend to be very proud of their RD/RDN credentials (because it’s years of hard training!) so they won’t hide their RD/RDN credentials from prospective clients. To ensure that you are dealing with a registered dietitian (and not just a health coach, nutritionist, lifestyle expert, food expert, health expert), look for RD or RDN behind their name. This ensures that you are working with someone who has extensive nutrition knowledge and who has been credentialed by CDR. 6. If you could persuade people to change three things about their diet, what would they be? There tend to be several universal nutrition themes that I find benefit most, if not all patients/clients that I work with: Increase your vegetable intake. Try to make half your meal non-starchy vegetables (i.e. dark green leafies, carrots, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers). Don’t cut out entire food groups or label certain foods as good and bad. Avoiding an entire food group (i.e. grains) or cutting out foods will only lead to failure. People who look at certain foods and say they “will never eat” that food again are setting themselves up for failure. A healthy diet should be able to include ALL foods in moderation. If you want to “cut out all bread,” just think: Will you be able to avoid eating bread for the rest of your life? Chances are slim, so what’s the point of cutting it out instead of learning to incorporate it into your diet? Healthy food doesn't have to be expensive. People say “healthy eating is expensive” as an excuse or because they don’t know how to get the most bang for their buck when eating healthy. Here are several low budget healthy eating tips:

  • Buy produce when it is in season (when there are lots of that fruit/veggie available so the prices are lower).
  • Plain frozen fruit and plain frozen veggies can be cheaper and retain most, if not all, of the same nutrition as fresh fruit/veggies.
  • Dried beans can be an economical way to get valuable protein and fiber.
  • Freeze leftovers when you can so that you can cut down on food waste and consume those later on.
  • Freeze leftovers when you can so that you can cut down on food waste and consume those later on.

What would you make as a quick and healthy dinner option, if you have 30 minutes of preparation time?

I love to make quick enchilada rice: 1 box of brown rice/quinoa blend (cook in microwave); plain rice (no seasonings or salt added) 1 bag frozen chopped veggies (cook in microwave) Reduced sodium enchilada seasoning 1 can beans, drained (or dried beans that you soaked overnight); heat through Shredded cheese Mix all together once all items have been heated.

What is your favorite snack?

My favorite snack is banana with peanut butter. It’s a healthy salty/sweet snack that is full of fiber and healthy fat.

Plant based living is becoming more and more popular. When eating a mostly plant based / vegetarian diet, are there certain foods to focus on to make sure we’re getting enough nutrients and protein?

Make sure that you focus on where and how you will get protein in the diet. Plant-based protein foods: beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, nut butter, quinoa, high protein pasta, soy, soy yogurt.

Speaking of plant based, what are some of the benefits of drinking chlorophyll water / benefits of liquid chlorophyll?

While there is some research that indicates chlorophyll supplements may have benefits (i.e. acne improvement, slowing tumor growth in animal studies), don’t use chlorophyll products as substitutes to getting lots of fruits and vegetables in the diet. You can get chlorophyll in its natural form via spinach, wheat grass and other green vegetables. However, if you want to try chlorophyll supplements, check with your doctor or pharmacist first. There may be certain medications that can interact with high-dose chlorophyll supplements/products.

What’s one of your favorite organic/natural supplements or vitamins you recommended?

To help have a well-rounded diet and nutrient profile, you can consider having a daily multivitamin. However, keep in mind that a daily multivitamin does not replace a healthy diet.

Any favorite health / nutrition podcasts or books you recommend to our readers?

Make sure you get your nutrition information from registered dietitians (RD/RDN) only! To start your nutrition Internet searches, start at

Where can our readers find you? (Instagram, Facebook, etc)

Please check out my nutrition articles on Smart Healthy Living: