My name is Mateus, and I am super thrilled you stopped by to learn more about me. I was born and raised in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. I obtained my undergrad in human nutrition in a sandwich program between the University of Brasilia, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas (Sic ‘em Bears!). My undergrad was five and a half years long and I underwent extensive clinical training (They started sending me out to the university’s hospital in my 3rd semester!). I completed my first round of dietetic internships in 2015-2016, which was when I became a Dietitian in Brazil. My original plan was to graduate and open a private practice in my hometown, but fate had different plans. While I was completing part of my program at Baylor, I met my now husband.
After a lot of traveling between Texas and Brazil, we decided to make it official, and I moved permanently to the US.
After moving to Houston in 2017, I learned that I would have to get credentialled with the Commission on Dietetic Registration here in the United States in order to practice as a Registered Dietitian. After having my transcripts validated, I realized I would have to complete the dietetic internships again in order to be eligible to sit for the RD exam. During this process, I started working as a nutritionist for the Texas WIC program, where I provide nutrition counseling with an emphasis on prenatal care, breastfeeding, and pediatrics. While I thoroughly enjoyed my work as a nutritionist, the level of care I was able to provide was limited. I had the knowledge and the training, but medical nutrition therapy can only be provided by Registered Dietitians. I yearned to be able to practice with my full scope of expertise again, so I started actively taking steps to get into a dietetic internship program here in the US.
To expand my knowledge and empower myself to give better care to my clients, I obtained a health coaching certification from the American Council on Exercise. The training had a heavy focus on motivational interviewing and behavioral change techniques. I also completed 1000 hours of breastfeeding counseling, 90 hours of breastfeeding-specific education, and passed the exam to become an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Lastly, I obtained a Master of Science in Nutrition through Lamar University here in Texas.
During my graduate program, I had the opportunity to take an entire course on eating disorders. This was a turning point in my career. I originally decided to go into the nutrition field because I wanted to learn how to lose weight. It was both eye-opening and alarming to learn how common practices within the nutrition field can be damaging and induce disordered eating. This was the first detour in the right direction that set me on a path to heal my relationship with food and my body. It was also the detour that ultimately brought me to Jill’s practice.
In 2020 I secured a spot in the Texas WIC Dietetic Internship and immediately started looking for experiences to get more exposure to the eating disorders field. I had the opportunity to work with the dietitian part of the inpatient eating disorders team at the Texas Children's Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, which further increased my fascination with the field. When I learned I was going to be able to do a rotation with a private practice, I immediately started looking for eating disorder specialists here in Houston. This led me to this practice! Jill took me in as an intern, and I had the privilege to complete part of my training here. After a mind-blowing rotation with the Wellness Coaching and Nutrition Therapy practice, I just knew this was the field for me.
Growing up with a body that never fit the molds set by the media always made me feel inadequate. I always felt like there was something wrong with me, like there was always something to change, something to improve. I look back at my teenage years with much kinder eyes now. It took several detours in the right direction before I found peace with my body. Self-love did not come easy. Now I have the privilege to pursue advanced training in eating disorders while serving others going through struggles with their body image and food. I hope I get to be a detour in the right direction for each client that crosses paths with me. The journey of becoming a Registered Dietitian (again) was hard and long, but I am most grateful it brought me here.
Fun facts about me:
I can speak English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
I love pop music and dancing.
I have a furbaby called Anastasia, she is the most spoiled cat on the planet and completely forgot her humble shelter/rescue roots. She only drinks running water and will sit on any book I open to study.