Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Day in the Life of a RD

One of the biggest reasons I love being a Registered Dietitian is the vast opportunities that the profession imparts. A major reason why I chose to become a RD is my passion for nutrition (duh!). However, I was also in search of a career that would be flexible to my varying interest and allow a "change of scenery" without a change of career if need be. The relationship between food, health and quality of life is an all pervasive aspect of everyone's life and because of that, I figured I would have a variety of options to choose from in terms of actual practice and application as a RD. This variety and ability to adapt the profession to my interests is fun and keeps my motivation high. I absolutely love what I do and want to do more to share about it! 

In the past week, I've had three particularly fun experiences that I want to share about. First is my recent Food for Fuel talk on Healthy Snacking for our independent living residents! The group is growing steadily with each month, and I enjoy the opportunity to share on pertinent nutrition topics while expressing my creativity and passion for cooking through the recipe demonstrations. I also have this thing about making handouts... while they're a huge time-killer because I spend forever perfecting them, I just love making handouts! As the title implies, this I discuss the role of healthy snacking in meeting overall nutrition needs and healthy weight maintenance, them showed the residents how to make english muffin mini pizzas-- it's a delicious snack for kids, athletes, older adults and anyone in between! So click on the pictures below to enjoy two free downloads, because I'm all about sharing the love :)

Two days later, I did my monthly Chef Stage Center for our long-term care and assisted living residents. This is probably my favorite day of each month: not only does it fall on a Friday (I love casual fridays!), I get to start my work day jamming in the kitchen to good music, chatting with fellow employees and whipping up something fun and delicious. Step 2 is repeating those steps in front of our residents as part of a food-demo, then watching them enjoy something new, different and healthy to eat. They are quite an appreciative crowd, and my heart just melts receiving hugs and kisses and thank you's for my efforts. BEST.GIG.EVER.

This month the resident's enjoyed Quinoa & Black Bean Mini Sliders & "God Bless America" Sangria
Yesterday, I had the fortunate chance to delve into another passion of mine. I gave 60 min sports talk on performance nutrition,"Fuel Right, Train Hard," to a group of high school students participating in the High Performance Distance Academy at Virginia Tech. Speaking to a crowd of 140+ officially breaks the record my largest guest speaking gig, and while I was totally nervous, the kids were interactive and asked some great questions! My primary goal was to offer some evidenced-based sports nutrition fueling guidelines and examples of application, while "fueling" the students to have greater interest in their personal dietary choices and promoting a healthier lifestyle for both the achievement of athletic goals and lifelong health.

That's a big audience! Photo credit goes to J. Chang.
Discussing the importance of each macronutrient for physical performance and best dietary sources.
Many days at work, you'll find a student or intern following me around who is there to learn and gain hands on experience in preparation for becoming a RD. I LOVE that I have the opportunity to teach, share my passion for being a dietitian, and help others grow as professionals and I hope to share more about this sometime! It's pretty neat that as as a young professional myself to pass on knowledge to future professionals in the field and empower them to use that knowledge to make a difference.

That's all for today in "Edition 1" of "A Day in the Life of a RD." I hope to share more as I have time and as I continue to have fun and different opportunities! Next time I'll share my race report for the Colonial Beach International Triathlon that I raced this past weekend! It was a great experience and a lot of fun... but the longer distance and it being a Sunday race really made for a REALLY rough Monday morning! Here's one of my favorite pics and a preview of how the day began:

Waiting for my good-luck kiss :P


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