Many of my clients often ask me questions about my background and want to know more about what inspired me to become a nutritionist. Although, you can read a brief bio on my website, I was lucky enough to be interviewed for the Chico Statements, my alumni magazine. To save you from having me blab your ear off, I thought I would share the article here for those interested in learning about the woman behind the CNK apron.
Perfecting the Business of Nutrition
As a woman who’d earned 99 golf trophies by the time she was 20, graduated from college early despite one transfer and at least three major switches, and began a consulting business just two years after graduation, you can imagine Cate (Munroe) Ritter struggled with perfectionism.
It’s a struggle Ritter (BA, Honors English, ’07) says her Chico State English professors helped her overcome. Sort of.
Obsessed with writing the perfect first draft, she remembers making countless trips to their offices after class to have them review a new essay. Eventually she realized “what they were telling me all along: that there is beauty in imperfection, that we can learn from our mistakes. … They didn’t want a perfect paper,” says the California native, “They wanted a good story.”
It’s a lesson she tries to instill in her clients today, many of them executive golfers, overachievers at heart who want to either lose weight or body fat—quickly.
“They might want to try 10 things all at once,” says the certified nutritionist. “But I say, ‘No, start small and simple.’ Otherwise, we can’t tell what’s helping or hurting.”
Ritter owns and operates Cate’s Nutrition Kitchen, a health and wellness consulting business in Phoenix, Arizona. For Cate, the grocery store is an extension of her office. She meets clients there to teach them how to shop, read food labels, and pick out foods to help them reach health and fitness goals.
“If you don’t know how to shop for food or how to prepare it, you’re missing out on the overall benefits that food has to offer,” she says.
Walk with Ritter up and down grocery store aisles, and you see healthier signs of her perfectionism, not to mention feel like you’re getting an honorary degree in nutrition. She’ll tell you why your skin’s inflamed, what foods will rid you of an allergy breakout, and which herbs go best with your Brussels sprouts. Don’t like Brussels sprouts? She has a recipe for that, at www.catesnutrition.com/brilliant-brussels-sprouts.
But the biggest takeaway for Ritter’s clients? “They gain more awareness about the connection between the food they eat and how it makes them feel,” she says.
Next up for the newlywed and newly certified yoga instructor: Ritter and husband Jeff, a golf instructor, will offer golf instruction and coaching for high-level executives. But a perfectionist’s work is never done; she’s also writing a golf nutrition guide.
Jackie Dishner is a freelance writer and author from Phoenix.