Rebecca (Panzer) Toutant,
MA, RD, LDN, CDCES, cPT
Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist
To help people feel safe, strong, and empowered in their body.
Additional training in trauma, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Everyone has a story that leads them to healthcare. My own journey took a few twists and turns that ultimately brought me to where I am today.
It started in junior high when my life become "complicated" (to put it lightly). I found physical and emotional relief in running and changing my approach to food. The changes gave me a bit of an "edge" in high school as I competed in cross country, dance, musical theatre, and soccer. The experience also left me craving a way to share my experience with others but wasn't quite sure which path to take.
Fast forward, I went to college with the intention of studying medicine. After working as a home health aide, I quickly realized my true passion was preventing disease with nutrition and movement. I got certified as a personal trainer and worked my way through college helping clients achieve fitness, compete in sports (bodybuilding, triathlons, marathon), and adapted exercise (programs for individuals with varying developmental and physical abilities).
After college, I found myself in New England to complete my dietetic internship. While I loved the work, I also realized the "answer" to nutrition was not education but instead understanding and navigating the complex web of psycho, social, emotional circumstances that inform health behavior. I moved to Boston to further my knowledge with a master's degree in Health Communication hosted by Emerson College and Tufts University School of Medicine.
My graduate work provided me the opportunity to conduct and publish my original research exploring how college students navigate celiac disease in college. That opened the door to write for the DASH for Health program. Later I continued my work in communications supporting neurodevelopmental diversity working as a research associate at Massachusetts General Hospital for the Autism Treatment Network / Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health ; coordinating quality improvement projects, research studies, and publishing an extensive supplement in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Since 2013, I've found an amazing home for my work at the Cambridge Health Alliance. For over 6 years, I supported adult and pediatric clients, from all around the world as they navigate their relationship to food and health. The work opened my eyes to the importance of addressing health disparities and inequities as the incredible value in trauma informed work.
In 2018 I took on the role of Wellness Manager and now support over 4600 employees with their pursuit of holistic health to in turn support our communities. I maintain a small, virtual, private practice. I also keep myself busy developing nutrition education programs for schools such as the Fearless Foodies at Waltham Public Schools and for PLT4M - supporting high schools all over the country. Here and there, I write cookbooks. When I'm not working, I'm biking, running, hiking, or simply playing with my two kids and husband.
Through it all, I've learned my role is not to lead people blindly down a path towards health based on what I think is best. Instead, my work is to help people develop their own internal compass. To step back and look at their personal values, life circumstance, and map out and support a journey towards health and performance.
- Panzer RM, Dennis M, Kelly CP, Weir D, Leichtner A, Leffler DA. Navigating the Gluten Free Diet in College. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2012; 55 (6):740–744.
- Brugge, D., Panzer, R., Stanish, H., & Fleming, R. “Distinctive characteristics of CBPR in a study involving children with autism spectrum disorder.” Manuscript in progress for Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly.
- Furuta, G., Williams, K., Kooros, K., Kaul, A., Panzer, R., Coury, D., & Fuchs, G. “Management of Constipation in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Pediatrics 2012; 130:S98-S105.
- Malow, B., Byars, K., Johnson, K., Weiss, S., Bernal, P., Goldman, S., Panzer, R., Coury, D., & Glaze, D. “A Practice Pathway for the Identification, Evaluation and Management of Insomnia in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Pediatrics 2012; 130:S98-S105,
- Sidhu, R., Loh, A., Minshew, N., Bauman, M., Neumeyer, A., Logan, W., Panzer, R., Coury, D., & Barnes, G. “A Practice Pathway for Use of Electroencephalography in Identification and Evaluation of Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” (not published).
- Mahajan, R., Bernal, P., Panzer, R., Whitaker, A., Roberts, W., Handen, B., Hardan, A., Anagnostou, E., & Veenstra-VanderWeele, J. “Clinical Practice Pathways for Evaluation and Medication Choice for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Pediatrics 2012; 130:S125-S138.
- Panzer, R. “The Gluten Free Guide to College.” www.tinyurl.com/GFGuide2College.com. Re-posted to 25+ public websites and blogs.
- “A parent’s guide to behavioral health treatments.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “A parent’s guide to navigating autism.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “Complementary and alternative therapies.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “A parent’s guide to feeding in autism.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “A parent’s guide to ABA therapy.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “A parent’s guide to mediation literacy.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “A parent’s guide to toilet training in autism.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “Sleep guide for families.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “Dentist’s guide to autism.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “Medication decision aid for families.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “Blood draw guide-families.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.
- “Blood draw guide-clinicians.” Autism Speaks. www.autismspeaks.org/atn.