We believe you deserve to lead a life of empowered health based on your personal wisdom, experience, values. We commit to walk beside you in your personal health journey with support that is grounded in evidence, respect and a true understanding of your goals.

Our team of registered dietitians trade hype for science-backed wisdom and personal experience. We exchange perfection-seeking plans for simple, human insights. And most importantly, we believe that personal growth can only come when we are curious and compassionate.

Our Team

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Jennifer McDaniel MS, RDN, CSSD, LD


Jennifer is the owner and founder of McDaniel Nutrition Therapy and is the visionary for the direction of McDaniel Nutrition’s evidence-based services. She is a nationally-recognized media spokesperson and co-author of the Mediterranean Table Cookbook.

How she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up 

As a young teen my mom taught piano lessons in the evening, and I loved offering to help make dinner for myself and my sister while she tinkled the ivories with her students. I found joy in the kitchen, collected my favorite recipes from books and magazines to create my own cookbooks. When my high-school counselor read the text book definition of a “Registered Dietitian,” a light bulb went off in my head, and I knew from that point on what I was going to do with my life.

Family matters

Cooking for my family of three young boys feels a lot different than the carefree cooking days of my youth! I face the same challenges that our own clients face: picky eating, varying food preferences, and the lack of time to prepare meals! Being a mom has transformed the messages I share with my clients – I’m more realistic, flexible and empathic.

What she loves to learn about

I am drawn to understanding the complexity of the individual. What motivates them to change? How did their upbringing influence their view of health? How does their family or work life influence their choices? All of these factors are part of the mix in making decisions about food. Eating is far more than just food.

Greatest challenge overcome

McDaniel Nutrition was born around the same time as my first son, Jack. While I loved being a new mom, I didn’t expect to experience such resistance to becoming a mother. Now, a mother to three boys, I couldn’t be more grateful for my three most influential teachers who I learn from everyday.

Our promise to our clients

For each client we work with, our goal is to provide them with evidence-based, credible, up-to-date nutrition advice with a personalized and genuine approach. We go through rigorous training to become a Registered Dietitians, earning a B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics, and M.S. in Nutrition. Our education and countless hours of experience have been priceless in giving us the solid foundation we need to face the abundance of misinformation in nutrition my clients are faced with daily.

We would love to break you free from the roadblocks that are holding you back from achieving your goals. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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Jamie Daugherty PhD, RD, CSSD

PhD, Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics

Jamie has been a dietitian for 16 years and brings many ingredients to the table. She spends her time in a few varied spaces within the food, nutrition and wellness realm – the kitchen, outdoors, and seeking new adventures around every corner. Growing up in the Midwest, led Jamie to want to continually explore other parts of the globe. St. Louis is and always will be “home”, but her zest for life has led her on many adventurous life experiences, including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Europe while providing opportunities to build meaningful relationships. She connects with students and clients to facilitate leading a meaningful life while building healthier relationships with food, nutrition, and movement. She loves her rambunctious sons Peyton and
Brennan, is grateful for her husband, Tony and cuddles with her yellow lab, Hank. In addition to her work at McDaniel Nutrition, she is an Assistant Professor and Department Chair at Fontbonne University.

How she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up?

I didn’t even know what a dietitian was until I attended St. Louis University. I kept seeing these signs posted all over campus, while in the throughs of a pre-med curriculum: “Interested in Nutrition and Fitness?” I kept thinking to myself – “Yes!” Answering that question internally and then further investigating what this was all about has led me on quite the journey!

What she loves to learn about

I am an ongoing learner. I love learning about other’s food experiences. The power of food is far reaching – our relationships with food and experiences impact how we navigate the world! Our relationships with food can provide: taste, pleasure, enjoyment, a creative outlet, connection, socialization and comfort among others. In having the opportunity to connect about food and
often over a meal, I also learn about new cultures and traditions. What an adventure!

Greatest challenge overcome

So many challenges, so little time! In general on a weekly basis I encounter these two feats – always following my heart and starting before I am ready is something I have to work on with any project or new opportunity. Following my heart allows me to be the best version of myself and do work that makes me feel alive when engaging with clients and students. Starting before I
am ready includes not having all my ducks in a row and letting things take their course, by not overthinking every decision – a learning experience for sure! But for sure the 14er (a 14,000 feet mountain you climb!) of them all was finishing my PhD, while working full time, consulting, raising a toddler, and living away from family. That one still haunts me!

Her promise to our clients

I love working, encouraging and empathizing with clients, who challenge me and help me become a better practitioner. I promise to meet you where you are and empower you to want to “show up” for you and your health daily. I will help facilitate space and dialogue that allows for healthy relationships with both food and exercise; a process that with time will feel less daunting, and more enjoyable and sustainable for a lifetime.

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Nicole (Nikki) Finkenthal MA, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Dietetics

What she knew she wanted to be when she grew up
Growing up I developed a passion for health, nutrition & fitness at a young age. I was extremely active as a competitive dancer, soccer & lacrosse player so nutrition was really important for me to thrive & compete at a higher level. I never really thought about how I could turn that passion into a career until I went to college. I originally was majoring in Speech Pathology and was required to take an entry level nutrition course. Two weeks into the course I went to my counselor to switch my major to nutrition and the rest is history!

What she loves to learn about
I love learning about the way people think and the ‘whys’ behind their decisions! We have so many different decisions to make related to nutrition & our health on a daily basis. The power of psychology in combination with nutrition is so fascinating to me! I love digging deep with clients & helping them determine the reasons behind their decisions in order to help them make more sustainable & realistic decisions that turn into lifelong healthy habits!

Greatest challenge overcome
In order to become a dietitian you have to match with a graduate school or an internship program. I applied to 6 programs and did not get a first round match, right then and there I thought my journey and career as a dietitian was over before it even started! I had truly never experienced a challenge and sense of failure like this up until this point. I was determined to get matched in the second round with the remaining spots. I spent hours rewriting essays, reaching out to new programs, interviewing & networking with past students to get my name out there. Thankfully my hard work paid off in the end and I was matched to a program in St. Louis! While it was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life, I truly wouldn’t be where I am in my life without having to overcome this barrier!

Her promise to our clients
My promise to you is to guide you on your journey to a life of health & happiness! My individualized and hands on approach will always honor your values and have you feeling strong, confident and grounded. I promise a practice with no rigidity, restrictions and judgement. I want to be someone you can rely on to help you learn how to properly nourish your body, learn to look inside yourself, and be mindful of your lifestyle choices and practices. I understand that it’s no easy feat to make lifestyle habit changes so expect endless support, guidance & encouragement every step of the way! Your happiness is my number one priority and I promise to create a plan that lets you be you everyday from here on out.

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Melissa Brown MPH, CHES, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Dietetics

Melissa Brown, MPH, CHES, RD, LD takes a whole health approach to nutrition, working with clients to meet their nutrition goals and achieve their best health while developing a healthy relationship with food.  Melissa uses non-diet and intuitive eating approaches to help clients optimize dietary intake and improve their nutrition status with a focus on preventing or managing chronic disease. She has experience helping clients take charge of their nutrition before, during, and after cancer treatment. Melissa practices joyful movement (with a personal interest in aerial arts, acroyoga, and bike commuting), finds joy in eating delicious food, and is a minor contributor to her partner’s large urban garden.


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