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Ashley Klees, Dietetic Intern

Ashley Title- ohsu grad

What does a day in the life of Ashley look like?

A day in the life of Ashley is simply and wonderfully busy, being that I am near the end of my Dietetic Internship at OHSU.  Due to my constantly changing environment and fluid work schedule, no two days are the same… which I love! I am constantly meeting new dietitians, patients and members of the OHSU and Doernbecher health care team which has been exciting, inspiring and rewarding.  My day always begins at 6 a.m. when I begin my 40 minute commute into Portland.  I enjoy getting to OHSU early every morning to prepare for the day ahead and catch a breather before a long and eventful day of learning! After completing the Dietetic Internship, I will be busy studying for my R.D. Exam, applying for my dream jobs and developing my food blog.

What would you consider to be the best part of your job?

The most exciting and enjoyable component of the Dietetic Internship has been the opportunity to meet and become acquainted with various mentoring Registered Dietitians, medical team members, patients and their families. I have greatly appreciated and valued all of my various rotations where the Registered Dietitian worked in a supportive and passionate team environment.


If you could change one thing about the nutrition/dietetics world, what would it be?

If I had the power to change one thing about the nutrition world, with unlimited financial resources of course, I would expand the field by providing mandatory nutrition courses in America’s schools. While class subjects such as math, science and English are vital for educational development, I must ask… Why does the value of educational development stop at the mind while excluding nutritional and physical health?

What books have shaped you and your practice the most?

Better Homes and Garden Cook Book
30 Minute Meals by Rachael Ray
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 5th Edition by Gropper/Smith
Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy, 12th Edition, by L. Kathleen Mahan, Sylvia Escott-Stump


Which books are on your summer reading list?

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
Diabulima by Grace Huifeng Shih, MS, RD
The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Where can we find you on the web?

Professional Portfolio


Food Blog

What do you do to de-stress or find balance in your life?

Stress is the name of the game during the Dietetic Internship, and I turn to my cutting board, sauté pan and oven when I am feeling overwhelmed.  I greatly look forward to the dinner meal every night, as I set this time aside to focus on exploring my creative outlet of cooking as a way to distress after a long day of critically thinking and calculating.  When I am extra stressed, you can easily find me in the kitchen cooking a huge dish of roasted vegetable pasta loaded with garlic that can be smelt from a mile away!

How would your friends and family describe you?

A compassionate, overly sensitive and determined daughter, big sister and girlfriend whose extreme love for food and personal relationships has led her to the career path of her dreams.

Tell us about an accomplishment you are proud of, personally or professionally.

I am very proud of a recent experience I had when creating my Community Outreach Project last fall.  I decided to create a project called Food Bank to Table, which was a combination of my nutrition knowledge and my immense passion for helping those with food insecurities.  Together with my amazingly supportive community, I was able to fundraise 1,300 cans of food which I used in assembling 175 Taco Chili Meal Kits for families of SnowCap Food Bank in Gresham.  Each meal kit contained 3 cans of whole beans, 3 cans of tomatoes, 1 can of corn, taco seasoning and a fresh onion, needed to cook a delicious and nutritious taco chili dinner for a family of four.  I provided these meal kits to over 100 families visiting SnowCap Food Bank, along with nutrition education, budget shopping tips and canned good meal planning ideas. This experience was incredibly rewarding, and I will never forget the excitement in multiple mothers’ voices when shaking my hand and exclaiming, “I cannot wait to make this for my family for dinner tonight!”


How did you end up in Portland?

After growing up in Gresham, Oregon and attending Sam Barlow High School I moved south to Corvallis, Oregon to attend Oregon State University. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into OHSU’s Dietetic Internship which is when I decided to move back to my home town.  I always thought I would miss the little town of Corvallis, also known as my home away from home, although I have grown to love Portland and I am excited to settle down here near my family and begin my future career.

What’s on your bucket list?

  • Eat fresh pasta in Italy
  • Run a half marathon
  • Volunteer in Michelle Obama’s garden with school children
  • Attempt parasailing or zip lining (I am very, very afraid of heights although I would like to give it a try!)
  • Road trip across America experiencing all of the diverse foods each state is known for
  • Host my own Food Network cooking show
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