An interview with Kelly Issokson, MS, RD, CNSC – Healthcare Professionals Newsletter, August 2019

August 15, 2019

Practitioner spotlight - An interview with

This month’s practitioner spotlight features Kelly Issokson, MS, RD, CNSC from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. In July, Kelly starred in our professional education series, giving an enriching presentation on Using Formulas, Defined Diets, and Herbs as Complementary Therapy for IBD. For those of you who haven’t watched the webinar, you can do so here. Upon completion, you’ll receive a certificate for 1.0 CPEU credit eligible for Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians. To give you further insight into Kelly’s background and how she uses Orgain to help her patients with IBD, read on…

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself personally and professionally so that our readers will be able to “get to know you”.

A: Born and raised in Dallas, TX, I’ve always had a passion for good food (and big hair), so it seemed natural to pursue a career in Culinary Arts. But during my time in school, a dear family member was diagnosed with a chronic health condition that required diet modification as part of their treatment. It was at that moment that I decided to focus on not just being able to prepare delicious food, but food that nourished the body and could help prevent or even manage chronic disease. After moving to Los Angeles, CA, I enrolled in a dietetic internship, completed my clinical training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and accepted my first job as a Registered Dietitian (RD) with Cedars when I graduated. I’ve had many roles at Cedars, but over the past 5 years I’ve focused on nutritional management of gastrointestinal diseases, primarily inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). On any given weekday, you will find me collaborating with the IBD team and providing medical nutrition therapy to outpatients in the Cedars IBD clinic or in the Nutrition Counseling Center, or to inpatients in the hospital where I round with the IBD team. I feel nutrition therapy is the cornerstone to IBD management, and I am truly fortunate to be able to work with top leaders in IBD and be part of the Cedars team.

Q: How long have you been an RD? Do you have any additional certifications/specializations/awards/publications you’d like to tell us about?

A: I have been an RD for 8 years. In addition to my RD credential, I am a certified nutrition support clinician (CNSC). I also hold a Master’s degree in Family & Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition. I do a lot of volunteer work with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and am actively involved in research projects with Cedars-Sinai and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. I recently published an article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, where I discussed my experience on Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN), an effective but underutilized nutritional therapy that induces remission in Crohn’s disease, a type of IBD.

Q: How did you initially find Orgain and what specifically prompted you to begin using with/recommending to you patients?

A: I initially heard about Orgain from Dr. Eric Vasiliauskas, a gastroenterologist and IBD expert at Cedars. He is very much into integrative therapy for his patients, and not only is he supportive of his patients who are interested in incorporating more natural and complimentary approaches into their IBD regimen, he is well versed in the nutrition science that supports these therapies. I am a big believer in recommending products that are wholesome, nutritious, and flavorful. I tried Orgain and was pleased with the flavor and nutrition profile. I try to offer a variety of options for my patients when recommending an oral nutrition supplement, and many are happy to have an organic, low sugar, grass-fed whey protein (and/or vegan) option.

Q: What is your personal favorite Orgain product and flavor and why?

A: I like the ready to drink oral nutrition supplements. The Orgain Complete Nutrition shake in chocolate is nice to have on hand in case I need a quick snack or breakfast on-the-go.

Q: How are you currently using Orgain in your practice?

A: I recommend it as an option for my patients to use as supplemental nutrition (for weight gain, or nutritional repletion), partial enteral nutrition (PEN), or exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN). PEN and EEN are medically supervised diets prescribed by a physician and shown in scientific literature to help maintain or induce remission in Crohn’s disease.

Q: We are so impressed by your commitment to truly understanding what EEN is like from a patient’s perspective. Can you briefly recap your experience with Orgain for our readers and provide background on why this approach is used with IBD patients?

A: I often recommend EEN as a nutritional therapy to my patients, as it has been shown to induce remission and heal gut mucosa in active Crohn’s disease. I understood some of the challenges my patients would face upon starting EEN, but I didn’t feel like I really understood the feasibility, or the social or psychological impact that a liquid diet would have on an individual. So, I committed to EEN for 30 days to help connect with my patients on a deeper level, and to gain insight that I felt would help me counsel my patients more effectively. Although it was challenging, I found it to be possible/bearable and at times very enjoyable. The first week was the hardest, with caffeine withdrawal, food cravings, and some initial gastrointestinal discomfort, but I powered through. Getting into a routine (2 shakes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner), eating before social gatherings, always having shakes on hand (car, work, purse), participating in non-food activities (reading, hiking, movies, art galleries), and talking about my experience with family, friends, co-workers, and patients helped pull me through the remaining 3 weeks. A huge perk was discovering all the extra time I had in my day due to not having to plan, prep, cook, clean, or grocery shop. Transitioning back to solid foods was a challenge, and I quickly learned that I needed to ease back into eating by sticking with bland, soft foods in the beginning. I think the biggest take-away for me from this whole experience, and the thing I feel will help my patients the most when starting EEN, is that you really have to approach eating/drinking in a different, more clinical way, and rely less on it as an emotional crutch. Food is there to nourish our bodies. When we eat, it should be because our body is telling us we are hungry (stomach gurgling), not because food is around, or we are bored, or we are sad, or we are celebrating. That’s not to say that food can’t be fun. Eating should be enjoyable. And I enjoyed my liquid diet a whole lot more once I looked at it as less of a chore/diet, and more of a different way to nourish my body. And yeah, liquids can be boring and monotonous, but, as a good friend once said, everything is temporary. Eventually, and sooner than you know it, you’ll be back to your solid foods!

My article, “Living on Liquids: Surviving and Thriving on Exclusive Enteral Nutrition” in the American Journal of Gastroenterology can be found here:

Product Spotlight

Back to School – Nutrition in a Pinch

Orgain HCP Website Protal

For parents, the start of the school year always brings new challenges. It’s easy to get lost in the stress of it all: a new schedule, hectic mornings, homework, you name it.

For parents who are short on time, Orgain’s Organic Kids Protein Shakes are here to save the day! Packed with protein, fruits and vegetables, these liquid superheroes keep kids’ tummies satisfied, and they taste great. While your little one enjoys her Orgain shakes, you can rest assured that she’s getting the best nutrition possible!

Organic Kids Protein Shakes

  • bullet  USDA-certified organic
  • bullet  18g of grass-fed milk protein and whey protein
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  • bullet  Blend of 10 fruits and vegetables
  • bullet  Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
  • bullet  No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Learn More

power tip icon  

Parent Power Tip: If your little one favors cereal in the morning, consider using Orgain Organic Kids Protein Shake as a nutrient enhanced alternative to regular milk in their next breakfast bowl.

When kids are craving something sweet, look no further. These plant-based bars not only taste great, but also offer a wholesome nutrition profile that boasts half the sugar and twice the fiber of the leading kids bar brands. They come in Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Brownie varieties. These versatile bars are a nutritious addition to school lunch and a great hunger-squashing snack for after school.

Organic Kids O-Bars

  • bullet  USDA-certified organic
  • bullet  10g whole grains
  • bullet  7g of fiber
  • bullet  Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
  • bullet  No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Learn More

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Parent Power Tip: An Orgain Organic Kids O-Bar is a nutritious alternative to a cookie or brownie. Just warm it for a few seconds, and it tastes fresh baked! Don’t be fooled by the monkey label; they are great for adults too!

Do you have a picky eater?

Check out our article: 3 Tips to Help Your Picky Eater Get More Protein, authored by Melanie Potlock, CCC-SLP, a pediatric feeding specialist and expert on the topic of picky eating.


New Packaging Spotlight

Check Out the New Look on Orgain Kids Protein Organic Nutrition Shakes

New Packaging Spotlight

Stay tuned for future product updates…


Product Spotlight

Parents – this one’s for YOU:
Orgain Organic Protein + Superfoods

New Packaging Spotlight

We know that the right blend of nutrients can help parents stay strong, balanced and energetic, but their own nutrition is often the last thing on their minds. With so many demands on their time, it’s all too easy for parents to forget to take care of themselves. If this sounds familiar, consider our Organic Protein™ & Superfoods Plant Based Protein Powder, your new secret weapon. It’s perfect for the Supermom and Superdad looking to boost energy, optimize health, and conquer the day.

Loaded with 21 grams of plant-based protein from peas, chia seeds and brown rice, plus a blend of 50 Organic Superfoods, parents get a boost of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals in each delicious serving.


Lots of other superfood protein powders have vague labels filled with “proprietary blends” and low-quality ingredients. You deserve better than that! That’s why Orgain focuses on quality organic ingredients. Blend 2 scoops with your favorite liquid and let your superhero cape fly!


Orgain Gives Back

Giving Back: Growing Healthy Kids

Whole Kids

Orgain is proud to announce our partnership with the Whole Kids Foundation®, a non-profit organization on a mission to improve children’s nutrition by supporting schools, inspiring families and empowering kids to make better food choices.

We will be donating 5% of sales from Orgain Kids Protein Organic Nutrition Shakes, providing up to $50,000 dollars to support the the Whole Kids Foundation’s Growing Healthy Kids Campaign. Through this campaign, we will be helping children across the county gain access to school gardens, fresh salad bars, and nutrition programs through which they will learn invaluable lessons about healthy eating and good nutrition.

The program will run from August through September in all Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market 365 locations. To further support the Growing Healthy Kids Campaign, Orgain will be providing in-store demonstrations at various locations. We’d love your support! Help us help children gain access to nutritious food choices and resources by picking up Orgain Kids Protein Organic Nutrition Shakes at your local Whole Foods Market today.

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