Meet the Team
About Dr. Ruby Shah
Dr. Ruby Shah is founder of the Vitality Weight Loss and Wellness Institute. She is double board certified in Internal Medicine and she is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is certified both through the American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Obesity Medicine, completing comprehensive training and rigorous testing in each medical specialty.
What is Obesity Medicine? Obesity Medicine is the field of medicine dedicated to the care of patients who are overweight and obese. Doctors who are obesity medicine specialists use comprehensive, scientific, and an individualized approach comprised of nutrition, physical activity, behavioral therapy and medication to help patients lose weight and achieve overall better health. Board certified obesity medicine specialists are clinical experts in weight loss and weight management.
Dr. Shah is passionate about teaching people how food is at the cornerstone of our health. After treating thousands of patients in hospitals she realized that most people didn’t have the basic foundational knowledge to take care of their health. Medications are simply a band-aide to our problems, not the cure. She teaches people that:
The cure (and the problem) lies in our food.
Our food choices can create chronic disease or prevent and reverse them. She teaches people that food is medicine – we can reverse many medical diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol problems by losing weight and/or understanding how food impacts our health.
Join her in adding Vitality to your life! And with so many opinions on nutrition out there, you need a reliable source of information that is rooted in science and facts.
Dr. Asha Chaudhary, PhD in Nutrition and Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach
Dr Chaudhary not only has a Doctorate in Nutrition, but she is also Vitality’s behavior change expert. She uses motivational interviewing to help people understand their root causes of disordered eating and empowers them with the tools to overcome psychosocial barriers to weight loss success. She also uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients overcome stress, emotional eating, and binge eating.
Her expertise in both nutrition and behavior change has helped hundreds of people reach their dreams of a healthy, fulfilled life. Her motto is “We don’t catch disease, we create them by the way we eat and live.”
Jacy Joplin, Registered Dietitian, Culinary Specialist, and Personal Trainer
Jacy is now accepting appointments in clinic and via telemedicine for personalized cooking classes or for nutrition/exercise coaching. She also offers convenient evening telemedicine sessions!
Jacy is a dynamic Registered Dietitian with experience in a variety of settings including weight loss & wellness, culinary education, and sports nutrition. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiolgy from the University of North Texas and a Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. As a Registered Dietitian, she enjoys helping all patients achieve optimal health through individualized nutrition counseling. In her spare time, Jacy enjoys roaming the grocery store isles, redecorating her apartment, and exploring nature. Her happy place is the kitchen where she strives to create & share nutritious and delicious recipes suitable for people from diverse backgrounds & lifestyles.
“Helping people gain confidence in the kitchen with culinary nutrition is my favorite nutrition intervention, but I actually take a well-rounded view to nutrition and believe it is one of many keys to optimal health. You’re not just what you eat, but how you move, how you sleep, and how you take care of yourself. Your overall wellness is a balancing act and I want to be a part of helping you discover, achieve, and sustain that special balance.”
Mikaylan Sickle – Registered Dietitian
Mikaylan received her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics, and is currently working on a Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Nutrition at Texas Women’s University. She has experience in a variety of clinical and community nutrition roles. Her true passion is people and she strives to provide a personalized solution to fit every lifestyle in order to improve each individual’s overall wellness, energy, and confidence. She believes in the power of food to heal. In her free time she enjoys hiking, playing with her puppy, and cooking with fresh ingredients from the farmers market.
Stephanie Bertram, Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach
Stephanie is a certified Life and Weight Loss Coach through The Life Coach School. She believes that our current relationship with our body, and the patterns which fuel our thoughts and eating habits, will determine the quality of our physical, mental and emotional health. She encourages her clients to focus on adapting to a mindset that reflects a lifestyle change.
She is a former athlete and fitness competitor, whose passion to lead a healthy driven lifestyle was ingrained at a very young age. Through out her own journey, she has found that true health begins within our minds. She believes in causal coaching – Getting to the root cause of why you’re in the body you’re currently living in, and then creating the foundation it will require for sustained weight loss and transformation.
Now a wife, and mother of 2 little boys, her mission is to free those suffering from food addiction, binge eating, and diet mindset. She strives to be an example of everything that she teaches, and empowers her clients so that they can cultivate their dream relationship with food, their body and their life.
“I feel it is such an honor I get to do what I do! I love this work, and I look forward to guiding you on your journey to your healthiest and happiest self.”
Claire Cotton is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern (LPC-Intern)
With experience helping young adults and adults transition through some of life’s bigger challenges. Claire has a passion for helping people navigate the deeper waters of depression and anxiety by connecting how these issues relate to forming healthy relationships with food. She has worked with patients with eating disorders including binge eating and understands the intricacies and pressures of a society that sends conflicting messages about food and body image.
Claire likes to treat clients from a holistic approach and uses dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help with compulsive behavior and emotional regulation, including distress tolerance, through mindfulness techniques. This technique is also used to help treat substance abuse and with smoking cessation. She also employs solution focused brief therapy and CBT to help each individual identify their own unique strengths and motivational factors that can help them on their journey to wellness. She is an LGBT+ and BIPOC ally and always puts the client’s well-being first through patience, empathy, humor and grace.
Melinda Gonzalez, Physician Assistant
Melinda is a board-certified Physician Assistant (PA) in practice since 2007.
She is a native of the Rio Grande Valley and received her undergraduate degree in San Antonio, Texas at St. Mary’s University. She studied medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, graduating with a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2007.
She has worked for over 12 years in obesity medicine, bariatric surgery and wellness. Some of her previous experience includes working with some of the top Bariatric surgeons in Houston, Texas whose practice was portrayed on the Discovery Health television show, Big Medicine. She has led many of the top bariatric and weight loss programs in San Antonio through The Methodist Weight Loss Program in San Antonio, Tx. She was also the Clinical Director of the diabetes and wound care clinic in San Antonio, helping patients manage their weight, wounds and health. Melinda’s passion is helping people reach their full potential and make their “comeback.”
Melinda has also co-authored a children’s book, Larvie Learns a Lesson, which emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle including nutrition and exercise.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, bargain shopping, yoga and being a dance mom. She loves spending time with her family, husband and two adorable children.