Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What RDs Do: Jean Caton MS, MBA, RDN

JEAN CATON
THE BUSINESSWOMAN'S COACH
HOST OF COLOR MY WORLD CONFIDENT PODCAST
for something nutrishus


I love hearing about the non-traditional roles that dietitians have, I think it says a lot about our skills. Jean has created a unique business based on her career experiences, and I love that she's focused on helping women build confidence and succeed in the corporate world. She has interesting thoughts on the future of dietetics and I agree that we need more specialists, not generalists. 

Why did you become a RD? 

I did not have a clear career vision for sure. My reason for becoming an RD was that chemistry was my favorite subject in high school. Becoming an RD was not a common or well known career path when I entered the field.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

I no longer work in dietetics. In my early career, I worked in dietetics for nine years - briefly as a Clinical Dietitian at a community hospital and then was promoted to Chief Dietitian. I then took a position as Education Coordinator at a Harvard Affiliated teaching hospital where I was Assistant Director of the Nutrition Department and co-developed an Internship Program that I coordinated. Next, I then moved into the business world, leveraging my RD credential and my MBA, and took a position as Product Manager for an enteral feeding line of devices and nutritional supplements.

How would you explain what you do? 

Currently I am a Business Woman’s Coach, Professional Speaker, and Podcaster. I leverage my nearly 25 years as a senior business leader in corporate America to support women, primarily in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields including many RDNs. I coach professional women to help them achieve their goals of greater career, business, and communication confidence using telephone or Skype. I also speak to professional women associations and organizations on career advancement and have a podcast, Color My World Confident, that is on the topic of confidence.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

I have a very flexible and abbreviated work week working 15-20 hours. My time is spent primarily coaching clients who find me via my speaking engagements, through referral or by word of mouth. By batching my weekly podcast recording, I record interviews approximately two times a month and outsource the post production. I spend a modest amount of time on social media promoting my podcast.

What has been your career path? 

(See above).

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I have a MS in Food & Nutrition and an MBA. I am a graduate of the Advanced Coach Training Program of Coach U. I went from being a dietitian to corporate America where I spent the majority of my career as a business leader for four Fortune 500 Companies. I started my own business after I graduated corporate America and had stashed away a lot of money. I had early interest in my own wellness business but went into the corporate world instead because I was a bit risk averse. That is why I consider myself a ‘chicken entrepreneur.’

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now? 

I see a nutrition profession/industry divided down the middle into two major segments. In one segment is the Advanced Clinical Practitioner (no generalists) who is highly specialized in one of many areas (somewhat similar to the MD model of Cardiologist, Oncologists, Pediatrician, and the evolving Neuroscience, Gut, and Genetic Personalized Medicine fields etc.)

The second segment will be consumers facing health and wellness focused practitioners who are highly skilled in Communication strategies, Psychology and Human Behavior (including skills in coaching, motivational interviewing and psychology), Marketing and Self-Promotion.

Corporate wellness programs will become more in demand with a more comprehensive approach including mindfulness and other modalities that link the emotional and stress related aspects of health and nutrition. Only the more confident and assertive partitioners will thrive among the increasing competition from the evangelistic, self-proclaimed experts as well as MDs, RNs, Personal Trainers, and the countless other professionals and non-professionals whose opinion is heard and respected.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

That RDs are not well paid. Although true for some RDs there are countless RDs making six-figure salaries that reflect the value they are contributing to their organizations or their entrepreneurial endeavors. It is up to each individual RDN to take the necessary steps to assure they are paid what they are worth.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD? 

The RD still has an image problem. And personally I don’t think advocating for eating a hot fudge sundae or other decadent foods is the way to make them more human.

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

There are two areas that I have strong beliefs about: My professional passion is my campaign to boost the confidence of dietitians and help them think a lot bigger and play a much bigger game. Playing big will translate into true leadership at a very high level on the world stage.

What is your favourite meal? 

I’m sorry to report I eat to live and do not live to eat. That said, breakfast is my favorite meal. Bob’s Red Mill multigrain cereal with local blueberries and real maple syrup proceeded by a cup of strong, black coffee. Also, I love plain cheese pizza, African Peanut Stew, and fish I buy at the market in the afternoon when it was caught and cleaned that morning.

What tip(s) would you give to our readers? 

Believe in yourself. Anything else you’d like to add that you feel would be valuable:

More about Jean:

Website: Coach Jean Caton
Podcast:  Color My World Confident
Linkedin: Jean Caton
Twitter: @JEANCATON
 

Thanks Jean! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What RDs Do: Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

KELLY JONES
EAT REAL LIVE WELL
for something nutrishus


Kelly is another dietitian that I connected with at the 2016 SCAN Symposium in Portland (conferences are great for networking!); she also volunteers for both groups that I am a member of as an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics member (join up). She has a unique faculty teaching position, but has also created a business around her passion for sports. I love her responses and agree that it's tough, but necessary to learn to say no (I'm still practicing!).

Why did you become a RD?

When I was 13 years old my mom had symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and doctors prescribed her medications and recommended a hysterectomy. An elimination diet identified trigger foods and by improving her diet she got her health back on track. Seeing that, I wanted other people to understand the power of food! I began to notice how diet impacted my athletic performance as a swimmer and have been driven to maximize athlete’s potential ever since.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Higher education, sports nutrition, and wellness.

How would you explain what you do?

I am a professor and teach primarily students in the nursing and exercise science programs. I co-created the latter with a colleague and still advise many students for nutrition and exercise science too.

My private practice is focused on sports nutrition and over the last year I began working in corporate wellness. In sports nutrition, I present to teams and athletic groups on a variety of topics from pre-and-post workout fueling, to hydration and nutrition for travel. When working one-on-one, I evaluate their schedules (training/school/work) and diet so we can individually optimize their energy and recovery. I present in corporate settings in person or via webinar on a wide variety of topics, some not quite as nutrition focused, such as ergonomics. I also oversee nutrition programs at a nationally known athletic club, and am working on their café offerings.


What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

No week is ever the same! This fall at the college I am teaching on Tuesday and Thursday. I also run a 13 week wellness program at the athletic club for two hours one evening each week and spend a few hours there a couple of other days. Speaking engagements, one-on-one coaching, menu development, recipe testing and blogging fill in the rest of my schedule. I am also the social media coordinator for the SCAN DPG (Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group) so, I approve and schedule posts that volunteers send me and interact on their twitter account. I have a couple of hours dedicated to my tasks for the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG (Dietetic Practice Group) nominating committee too.

What has been your career path?

After my dietetic internship, where I was able to create the sports nutrition internship rotation at the University at Buffalo, I stayed to complete my Master’s Degree. As a teaching assistant I realized how much I loved speaking and educating. I had always assumed I would work for a college athletic department or sports team but, realized I could reach many more people by teaching, speaking, and being in the community versus in a closed system. I then turned down a handful of clinical jobs after I completed my degree hoping the right opportunity would arise. I had to then choose between a job as a supermarket RD or as a professor. I clearly chose the latter. Two years later, I decided it was time to get back to my sports nutrition roots and share my passion to fuel the body with real food. I started my blog eatreallivewell.com, began networking with local teams, and my business has continued to expand since.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a Master’s Degree in Exercise Nutrition and also am a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD).


In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

The public would stop falling for diet and supplement scams and realize how valuable a dietitian is in weight loss and health. Physicians would always refer to RD’s for prevention and treatment. Our food system would be more sustainable, making healthy food more available to our clients. Finally, RD’s would be less competitive with one another!

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

RDs don’t eat lettuce all day long and we aren’t judging everything on your plate! I may have become an RD to spread knowledge of health and improve other’s performance and well-being but, I love food. That includes oats, Brussel sprouts, broccoli raab and apples but also pizza, pasta, chocolate, and frosting every once in a while! RDs want everyone to be flexible in their eating without feeling guilty about it.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

RDs are invested in not just your physical health but also your mental and emotional health. We aren’t here to prescribe you a diet or meal plan but help you to build an understanding of and better relationship with food so that you can confidently choose what to eat. This often means discussing a lot of details of your life that you don’t think relate to your diet but actually do.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

People not understanding the value of our services. The Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG has really helped me to stand firm on my worth and not settle for poor pay because someone doesn’t understand what I went through to obtain the knowledge I have. It is intimidating in the beginning but, we need to be confident in our background to convey the value of our services and walk away when someone isn’t willing to pay what we are worth. While I do provide a set number of pro-bono talks each year, they are for non-profits, community-based programs, and media only.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Optimally fueling people’s body and mind! I love when someone changes their diet and quickly understands how much it plays a role in not only their physical energy levels but also in their productivity, mood, and relationships.

What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?

Our educational backgrounds and passion for what we do.

What is your favourite meal?

I am so indecisive and love so many foods so this is a terribly hard question. I would say oatmeal with banana, blueberries, chocolate chips and hemp seeds. Or a broccoli and garlic omelet with Ezekiel avocado toast. Really, I could eat breakfast for every meal.

What tip(s) would you give to our readers?

Three tips!

There is no perfect time to do what you want in your life or your career so, just take the plunge now.

Being a yes person is okay to get your career started but, I was a yes person a little too long. Saying no to certain projects is what can build your confidence, decrease your stress, and give you time to do what you want to do in your career. Be a yes person when it comes to the things that will take you down the career path you want.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – reach out to other RDs (including me!). I still have to remind myself that it is okay to ask other RD’s or entrepreneurs for help and I am always so happy when I do!

More about Kelly:

Blog: Eat Real Live Well
Instagram: @eatreallivewell
Twitter: @EatRealLiveWell
Pinterest: EatRealRD
Facebook: Kelly Jones Performance Nutrition
Linked In: Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD




Thanks Kelly! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What RDs Do: Abiade Ogunsola MS, RD, LDN

ABIADE OGUNSOLA
RESTORING HEALTH NUTRITION 
for something nutrishus

Abiade is passionate about helping and empowering people; personality traits that I think draw many people to this profession (along with our love of cooking and food). She supports people in managing chronic medical conditions through self management. I agree with her that ideally we won't see such nutritional extremes in the future. 

Why did you become a RD?

I have a passion for helping people live a healthy life. I became a dietitian, because the field of Nutrition will help me to achieve my goals and passion.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I own and operate a private practice. I also teach group Diabetes Self Management class.

How would you explain what you do?

I teach a diabetes self management class and I encourage participants to take charge of their diabetes. There is a sense of fulfillment when I see participants being more knowledgeable and empowered in taking charge of their diabetes. I also provide them with useful resources in the community.

What are your 'typical' daily/weekly tasks?

My typical day involves taking care of my family, gardening, reading up on nutrition journals, and teaching diabetes class in the evening.

What has been your career path?

I have worked in community nutrition with a focus on children, pregnant women, postpartum women (both breastfeeding women and non-breastfeeding women).

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a Masters degree in Food Science with a focus on food safety.

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

In an ideal world, there will a reduction in childhood obesity and malnutrition.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

RDs are not food police.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

RDs are the nutrition experts qualified to help you navigate through all the nutrition misinformation out there and are qualified to provide you with sound, reliable, and science-based nutrition advice.

What do people think that you do for a living?

People think I cook and write meal plans.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I am passionate about people living a healthy life through real foods. I enjoying cooking, baking and trying new recipes.

What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?

RDs are knowledgeable in the field and do not follow the waves of fad diet.

What is your favourite meal?

My favorite meal is beans and plantain.

What tip(s) would you give to our readers?

When you need nutrition information, seek help from Registered Dietitians. Don’t follow the waves of fad diet, eat healthy foods, lot of fruits and vegetables and everything in moderation.

More about Abiade:

Website: Restoring Health Nutrition
Email: info@restoringhealthnutrition.com
Phone: 302-632-5260
Facebook: Restoring Health Nutrition
Twitter: @abiadeadekunle



Thanks Abiade! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

8 Dietitian Small Steps Towards Success

I often encourage people to take small steps. We want the large end goal, and we want it now. We think we can undo years or decades of habits overnight and we get upset with ourselves when we fail. As I continue to remind myself and learn, failure is a good thing. We can however slowly chip away and get to that goal (learning from those failures, or failing forward along the way), since each step is still progress.

I know change can be overwhelming, and these small, almost insignificant steps seem to be the ones we can stick with. Successful people tend to take small, smart steps and for a lot of us, the challenge is just to start. You may not even know where you're headed, but as Confucius (or Lao Tzu, depending on where you look) said:


Since dietitians support lifestyle/sustainable changes, I asked my colleagues for their "little things/steps/changes that make a big difference". See their responses below and let us know yours in the comments:



1 hour of food prep on the weekend for the week ahead!
Lindsay Livingston, the lean green bean

Start your day with protein!
Kelli Shallal, hungry hobby rd

Try eating with a smaller fork - it will force you to slow down while you're eating, which not only helps your body to realize when it's full but also helps with digestion!
Kara Golis, byte sized nutrition

Pause for a moment before you start eating. Rushed and mindless eating is a bad habit and a hard one to break, this is a small step in the right direction.
Lauren Fleming, savoured RD

Carry a water bottle around with you to stay hydrated--which may also help you eat less at meals. Amy Gorin, Amy Gorin Nutrition 

Keep washed fruit on the counter at eye level so you're more likely to grab it for a snack. 
Nazima Qureshi, Nutrition by Nazima

I keep nuts, water, granola bars in my car to eat when me or one of the kids are hungry. We do so much running around for sports and activities that it keeps us from eating unhealthy foods.
Kim Melton, Nutrition Pro Consulting

Including fruits and veggies as a part of an everyday thing.
Dixya Bhattarai, Food Pleasure and Health

A few of the ones I do that I could think of include:
  • keeping healthy options in the house for the times that hunger strikes
  • purchasing small containers of ice cream (the real, good stuff), for automatic portion control
  • including vegetables with every dinner (working for half plate more often)
  • serving meals in the kitchen most times, to make it an effort to get a second helping
  • being active daily, even if it's just playing with my toddler or walking the dog, I need to at least do something
  • keeping clutter to a minimum and minimizing our possessions, something we continually work on, but a step I'm glad I made
  • having breakfast everyday
  • choosing water or club soda when out at restaurants

I'm sure there are more, but hopefully they've become a part of me or my day that I don't even remember when they weren't. Choose something small and simple; something you have a chance at succeeding at, but that is still a challenge, because every step adds up. You don't learn to run a marathon in a day, so go easy on yourself.

Cheers,
Steph Langdon, RD

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What RDs Do: Bronwyn Coyne, RD

BRONWYN COYNE
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE - CHRONIC DISEASE
for something nutrishus

(me outside Kingcome school, beside the health center, one of the communities I worked with)

One thing I find very interesting about our profession is that it seems to be more than a job. Many dietitians like Bronwyn have careers or are advancing their education and then try to find 'spare-time' to start private practices and share more of their knowledge, expertise, and passion. We seem to always be dietitians, whether we're punching the clock or not, but being a dietitian may mean being a 'counsellor' or myth-buster, not just a food and nutrition expert. We also see the value in preventative health care which will be very important as we look to the future and the burden on our health care system when it becomes time for treatment, especially when many of the chronic conditions people like Bronwyn work with have lifestyle and nutrition components involved in risk reduction.

Why did you become a RD?

I became a dietitian after starting university in creative writing and feeling very unsatisfied. I’d been interested personally in food and nutrition since starting long distance running in high school and discovering how powerful food can be in our health. I started taking science and nutrition courses and there was no going back.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I work in primary health care. The main focus of my practice is working with adults who have chronic diseases – everything from chronic pain or COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) to diabetes, heart disease and even eating disorders.

I am also trying/attempting – in my limited free time between work, school and social activities – to start some private practice work, but it’s slow going!

How would you explain what you do?

Simply put I usually say I talk to people about food and nutrition.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Typically my week is a mix of seeing clients one-on-one, creating presentations and presenting on nutrition issues such as label reading, or diabetes. In between is finding time for paperwork, getting a hold of follow up clients and things like that. I only work three days a week currently, and am working on a distance graduate program on my days off.

What has been your career path?

My first job was in a rural part of Vancouver Island, called the Mt. Waddington Region. I worked as the primary health and community dietitian; basically I covered everything nutrition related not in the hospital. On top of duties similar to my current job I also worked with a Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program creating healthy and yummy recipes for pregnant women and new moms while also trying to create fun activities that educated them on healthy eating for them and their baby. I also worked a lot with many Aboriginal communities; even flying into isolated communities on islands and the coast of BC. It was an extremely all around adventurous job! I tell everyone to take a rural position if they can because you can really make the job anything you want.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I’m currently doing a Master of Adult Education through St. Francis Xavier University. I love it! I never thought I’d go back to school, but this program is so fantastic.

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

Hmmm. I’d love to see more dietitian jobs being created in our health authorities, especially full time jobs. I’d love these to also be in the preventative areas such as primary health, or public health for example. I’d love for RD services to be covered by more extended health care programs so that RDs can have private practices and nutrition services can still be accessible to everyone. We know nutrition is so key to our lives and health, let’s show it through supporting the work of RDs!

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

I’ve seen so many folks write this but WE ARE NOT THE FOOD POLICE. I’ve had friends say they didn’t want to sit in front of me when we’re out to eat; where I’ve laughed and told them I am totally eating french fries so NO JUDGEMENT.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

We are all unique; yes we all work from a science and evidence based background but each of us has a different approach and works from a different food philosophy. Find one of us to work with that you get along with; want vegetarian or vegan nutrition? There’s an RD for that. Interested in improving your sports performance? There’s an RD for that. Not interested in being scolded for your weight? There’s an RD for that! We are a diverse group of people, with our own unique way of providing sound evidenced based nutrition information.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

It can be really challenging to fight the misinformation that exists out there. If I had a dollar for every nutrition consultation that began with, “Well I’ve been cutting back on bread…” no matter what their health issue I’d be pretty darn rich! It feels like a daily battle to try and fight the food fads, the fear mongering around food and health and the unscientific mumbo-jumbo that permeates our media these days.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I love helping people feel empowered and happy around food. I work with so many women (and men) who are chronic dieters, and are so sure one more diet will help them lose weight/cure their diabetes/end all their health woes. Sadly a lot of societal messaging reinforces this idea for them. Helping them break away from the eternal guilt and stress that surrounds their every food choices is what brings me joy in my work.

What is your favourite meal?

How do you choose one? I love all meals, I’ve never been able to understand people who miss a meal!

More about Bronwyn:

Twitter: @BronwynCoyneRD
Website: Bronwyn Coyne, RD
Blog: Baking on the Side
Instagram: @mzbronwyn
Linkedin: Bronwyn Coyne


Thanks Bronwyn! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What RDs Do: Jing Liu, MS, RD


JING LIU
NUTRIENERGY WORKS
for something nutrishus


Working in the hot topic area of mindfulness, I love that Jing focuses on health and happiness and the fact that she takes one day a week for herself (that & meditation are still on my to-do list!). We see dietitians working on interdisciplinary teams and having holistic approaches, here Jing really reminds us to be fully present and keep our mind aware when it comes to nourishment and health. 

Why did you become a RD?

I became a RD because I liked everything a RD can do to improve people’s quality of life.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I work in the areas of clinical nutrition, community nutrition and nutrition education.

How would you explain what you do?

I help people to understand different contributions to their health issues, gain awareness of results of their choices, and be empowered for new options to achieve healthier and happier journey in life.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

  • I counsel patients on an individual basis and teach group workshops in a community medical center two full days and two mornings a week.
  • I conduct mindfulness meditation sessions via Skype to help adults rejuvenate their energy level about two times a week. These sessions helped my clients and I to reduce intake of caffeine and sugar. They also helped to improve quality of sleep over the years.
  • I write an article on mindful nutrition care and lead a mindful wellness group once a month.
  • I rest, meditate, garden and do my chores every Thursday.

What has been your career path?

I started my career path in year 2000 with clinical nutrition (skilled nursing facilities & hospital). In 2003, I replaced SNF jobs with community nutrition (community medical center). Later, I replaced hospital work with nutrition education & consultation work. In recent years, I integrated mindfulness into my clinical/community nutrition education.

What advanced education or special training do you have?


In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

There would be a system in place for people to seek nutritional care before they are prescribed medication for many health issues.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

RDs services are not only for body weight problems.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

RD services can be for the wellness of a person’s whole body and wellbeing.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

People’s perception of RDs as judgmental, strict, and having unrealistic recommendations.

What do people think that you do for a living?

Before was just to help people lose weight, now is also teaching people of how to be calm and raise a calm child because of my mindfulness services.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Dietetics helps people to work on the foundation of their health. It enables people to be connected with themselves, their environment and everything they experience. Ultimately, live the most of their lives. That is joy to me.

What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?

RDs have the intense and comprehensive training to make connections of one’s health concerns to the whole body, experiences with the environment and food industries, and provide step by step guidance to improve one’s health through a process. Most nutrition/wellness professionals tend to have limited education and training, may offer solutions for results that do not last and often could not help people in gaining long term self-care skills.

What is your favourite meal?

Every meal is my favorite. I try to take my time and enjoy every bite I take in nourishing myself, as many people call it mindful eating.

What tip(s) would you give to our readers?

  • Choose what you put into your mouth with your stomach and your mind.
  • Notice how you are being affected by what is outside of your mind and body as you make your choices.
  • Give yourself a chance and go talk to one or more RDs for your own information.

Anything else you’d like to add that you feel would be valuable:

A note to remember: Good nutrition is a major part of a healthy lifestyle and healthy lifestyle is the foundation for a healthy and happy life. Enjoy!

More about Jing:

Owner: NutriEnergy Works
Website: nutriNRGworks
Phone: (510) 336 – 6039
E-mail: jing@nutriNRGworks.com
Facebook: NutriEnergy Works
Twitter: @NutriEnergyWork
LinkedIn: Jing Liu
MeetUp group: Mindfulness Wellness
Thanks Jing! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What RDs Do: Lyndsay Hall, RD, CLC

LYNDSAY HALL
WIC, PUBLIC HEALTH
for something nutrishus


Working for a federal program, Lyndsay has a mix of hands-on counseling and management duties. Since obtaining her degree she has been moving up the ranks at the WIC Program and continues to pursue educational opportunities in her field. I too enjoy working with children/teens as we strive to support the development of lifelong healthy habits. 

Why did you become an RD?

I became an RD because I love food. I love the way it can create a sense of togetherness and happiness as well as the importance of it in every aspect of human life.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Public Health

How would you explain what you do?

I help families grow stronger and healthier together. I supervise and practice as an RD and
lactation consultant in the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program that focuses on educating low to middle income families on small changes they can make to help their children or themselves thrive. The WIC program is a supplemental food program that provides nutritious foods such as whole grains, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables to qualifying participants. We act as an expert resource in the community for both nutrition and lactation support.

What are your 'typical' daily/weekly tasks?

I work in clinic 2-3 days/wk providing high risk nutrition counseling to clients on various topics related to maternal, infant or child nutrition. In-between appointments and the remainder of the week, I manage staff scheduling, budget, ongoing QA/QI (quality assurance/quality improvement) projects, assign staff monthly duties (and monitor), practice as liaison between our clinic and the state WIC office, manage compliance investigations, outreach, and offer staff guidance as needed.

What has been your career path?

I graduated from Central Michigan University in 2011 with my BSc in Dietetics and was hired in as an hourly Community Nutrition Specialist at Public Health Muskegon County WIC in October of 2011. I was accepted to the part time WIC/Michigan State University Dietetic Internship where Public Health Muskegon County sponsored me to complete it while still able to work part time.

I completed the internship in Nov of 2013 and sat for my registration exam in Dec 2013. After passing, I was hired in full time as a Community Nutrition Specialist at the same employer. Nov 2014 I was promoted to WIC Quality Coordinator and most recently promoted in June 2016 as WIC Supervisor. I've been a practicing dietitian since Nov 2014 since the Community Nutrition Specialist title did not allow me to perform nutrition counseling at that time.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I am a Certified Lactation Counselor and will be taking the registration examination to become certified in pediatric nutrition (CSP) in November 2016. I will also begin graduate school pursuing a Masters degree in Health Administration beginning August 2016.

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

Dietitians will be licensed as the nutrition expert in all 50 states. Their input will be highly valued as a part of every multidisciplinary team in any health setting. More dietitians will be employed by larger companies to help promote workplace wellness.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

RDs do not believe that any specific diet is superior, it is very individualized based on situation. We are humans, too! We will not eat super healthy 100% of the time. We love food and want to help others enjoy it too. We are the nutrition experts - not 'nutritionists', not self proclaimed 'nutritionists', not doctor Oz.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Infant and child nutrition. Infants and children depend on the proper nutrition to grow and heal. It is crucial for their development and good habits start young.

What do people think you do for a living?

Make meal plans, eat healthy 100% of the time.

What makes RDs different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?

We know the science behind everything nutrition related. We know biochemistry, organic chemistry and are realistic when applying the knowledge. We won't make you partake in a restrictive diets and do not believe in short term fixes. WE LOVE WHAT WE DO!

What is your favorite meal?

Anything Mexican.


Thanks Lyndsay! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!