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Get to Know Your Dietitians

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The dietitians at Village Health Partners are committed to working with their patients to overcome nutrition obstacles and form healthy eating habits personalized to fit their lifestyle. There are two dietitians available to you in Plano, TX who both have over 20 years of training and experience individually. They are passionate about coaching patients to set realistic, achievable goals and provide them with the tools needed to succeed in weight management, physical activity, and smart food choices.

Find out more about the dietitians on your care team!

Meet Amber Odom RDN, LD

Q: When did you choose to become a dietitian and what drove that decision?

A: I’ve always loved food and fitness (I worked as an aerobics instructor and waited tables to help pay for college) and knew from a young age that I wanted to be in healthcare. In my first year at Texas Tech University, I shadowed a Registered Dietitian working in cardiac rehab and I absolutely loved it. I knew that was the career path for me and immediately changed my major (from Physical Therapy to Food and Nutrition) and left the restaurant job to work as a Diet Technician at the hospital while finishing my degree. I haven’t looked back since.

Q: What is your favorite nutritious meal and why?

A: I’m a foodie and love all food including sweets (in moderation of course), but my favorite meal is probably grilled salmon with roasted veggies (usually brussels sprouts, asparagus, or carrots), salad, and quinoa. This meal is delicious and loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3s, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and whole grains.

Q: What is your favorite healthy snack and why?

A: My favorite snack is a seasonal fruit and almonds. I try to eat whole foods as much as possible.

Q: What are the key things you keep in mind for nutrition when grocery shopping or making your list?

A: I try to meal plan one week at a time and keep a variety of vegetables, fruits (fresh or frozen), lean protein or a vegetarian protein (beans, lentils), and some kind of whole grain on hand. I often make smoothies for a quick, go-to breakfast. My best advice when grocery shopping is to shop from a grocery list, stay on the perimeter of the store when shopping, and never go on an empty stomach.

Q: What is your most recommended tip for those who don't know where to start with weight loss?

A: I practice and teach a healthy lifestyle approach with a mindset of “moderation, not deprivation”.

Q: What's your best piece of advice to those who are thinking of starting a new health journey or want to get back on track?

A: Avoid the fad diets and make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to get started and learn how to fit healthy eating into your current lifestyle. I always tell my patients, it’s about balance and the key is progress and consistency, not perfection. I’m a big believer in baby steps!

Q: What else should patients know?

A: Many times, patients tell me they know what to do, but they’re just not doing it. This is where I can come in and meet them where they’re at to start making some lifestyle changes that are practical and we build on that. Often, they realize that they didn’t know everything and are so thankful for what they learned. It’s amazing to see the results and outcomes over time. I also get super excited when patients can decrease medication or even get off medication just by changing their eating habits and adding some kind of physical activity that they enjoy.

Click here to schedule a visit with Amber today!

Meet Melanie Wilder, RDN, CSOWM, LD

Q: When did you choose to become a dietitian and what drove that decision?

A: After 3 years on a 5-year plan of studying Civil Engineering at Texas A&M, I realized that it wasn’t the career for me and needed to change direction. So, I prayed about it, I opened the course catalog and immediately saw the degree in Nutrition Sciences. I thought, “I love food, so why not study something I can be passionate about?” I had no idea what I would do with that degree or what a Dietitian was, but I knew I would enjoy all the science about food and how it impacts the body and all the body systems. Then I graduated and realized I couldn’t do much with just that degree, so I went back to school at UT Southwestern, for a degree in Clinical Dietetics where I would also do my supervised practice internships to be able to take the Registration Exam to be a Dietitian. I am SO very thankful for the direction I took and all of the experiences I have had from changing my mind to not stay with Civil Engineering.

Q: What is your favorite nutritious meal and why?

A: Truly I love eating any food with family and friends because I feel that is really what unites us all and brings me the most joy. If I was choosing a smart meal to feed myself, it would include mostly colorful vegetables & a great high fiber grain like quinoa, wild rice, or roasted potatoes, and a plant source of protein like tofu or beans. I do like a good crispy thin crust pizza, too… with a hearty salad, of course!

Q: What is your favorite healthy snack and why?

A: ANYTHING peanut butter-based because that speaks to my soul with its delicious creaminess and protein. I like having it with a banana, apple, or seedy whole-grain bread.

Q: What are the key things you keep in mind for nutrition when grocery shopping or making your list?

A: Shopping for enough vegetables and fruits, plain Greek yogurt for smoothies, items with the fewest ingredients, foods with ingredient lists that are actual food components, instead of science experiments to get us through the week. I know what we need each week for our breakfasts and lunches so stocking up for those is simple. It’s getting lured into other items or coming up with a different meal so we don’t get bored that is tricky. I never leave a grocery store without at least 7 bananas because we eat them so fast.

Q: What is your most recommended tip for those who don't know where to start with weight loss?

A: Start writing down what you are eating every day and see what one thing you are willing to change is or do differently. Make that change stick for a few weeks, while you continue to write down what you are eating. Then, highlight what is working or not and determine what the next change could be. Building on small success is key and more likely to produce long-term benefits. Change is difficult (especially if there are too many changes) and takes time, practice, and work. It is hard to know truly what has changed if no records are kept. This also provides a great platform to use for repeat success – make the records your new personalized menus!

Q: What's your best piece of advice to those who are thinking of starting a new health journey or want to get back on track?

A: Determine what benefits you hope to achieve from the journey. Ask yourself, “Why is it worth it to make these changes?” Write these reasons on something you can see daily, keeping quality of life benefits in mind, and review them daily to learn where you are ready to change.

Q: What else should patients know?

A: I get so much out of helping people understand that improving health and eating is not about following a restrictive plan or focusing on what happened in the past, but allowing personal freedom to eat, enjoy food, learn to be a little more active, and giving themselves grace to patiently work a new practice. So many emotions factor into our behaviors and supporting people to learn to navigate this in an accurate and functional way is a great experience to be a part of. I am grateful for the opportunity to work in this field.

Click here to schedule a visit with Melanie today!

Dietitians in Plano, TX

Want to know more about what to expect at your first dietitian visit? Click here!

To schedule dietitian visit at Village Health Partners please text the location of your choice:

  • In-office or telehealth:
    • Legacy Medical Village: Click here or text (469) 382-3807.
    • Independence Medical Village: Click here or text (469) 382-3548.
  • Telehealth:
    • Frisco Medical Village: Text (469) 382–3415.
    • McKinney Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3717.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.