Before becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I worked for years in health and fitness. Actually, I used to work at a family-owned running store!
Honestly, I never thought that working there would have such a dramatic effective on my life. What started as `just a job,’ shortly developed into the catalyst for my passion in nutrition.
I met a variety of customers working as a sales associate. While a few were training for the Olympics, most were weekend warriors or former couch-potatoes, looking to better their health. I liked to make casual conversation by asking: `What are your training goals?’ It was a simple question requiring a brief answer, yet it often prompted a personal narrative. Customers disclosed diet and lifestyle choices, medical diagnoses, and even emotional struggles with food and body image.
It was eye opening to hear the discrepancy between intentions and actions. Many wanted to live healthy, but chose routines of inactivity and poor nutrition. I don’t recall saying anything exceptionally insightful, only listened and nodded with an empathic ear.
Over the course of three years, I found these interactions to be the most enjoyable part of my work. Their conversations were raw and candid expressions of successes and failures in-route to a healthy life. Even after I took an administrative role with the company, I made time to coach customers over the phone and email.
I discovered I had a passion for translating and communicating nutrition topics in an approachable and relatable way. I finally found my niche! With great care and consideration, I enrolled in a nutrition program to pursue a career as a registered dietitian.
After completing my undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, I was accepted into the Iowa State University Distance Dietetic Internship Program. As an intern, I gained extensive practical experience in medical nutrition therapy, foodservice operations, food science applications, management, and community nutrition functions in order to attain a competency level for eligibility to sit for the Registration Examination.
After completing my dietetic internship, I passed the RD exam and became credentialed through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. In 2017, I passed my speciality exam to became a Certified Diabetes Educator through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.
I love being a part of a diverse group of talented healthcare professionals. I feel a personal ownership for the successes in my career. As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, I enjoy meeting clients in similar situations as my customers at the running store, and feel confident that I have the skills to counsel them to better health.