Tip #7: Consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Today is the 7th annual Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which is the national association for dietitians, created this day to highlight the importance of the profession’s expert guidance on food and nutrition. It would be silly for someone to walk into a pharmacy without any background and start prescribing their own pills and other people's pills - wouldn't it? Nutrition is one of those areas where everyone wants to claim expertise. But RDNs do not just practice on opinion and common sense. They have an extensive knowledge in biochemistry and human metabolism - and they stay in the science. That is why there is RDN Day - to drive that point home. Get the facts about RDNs here. And after you get the facts about dietitians, seek all your nutrition facts from an RDN.
I became interested in nutrition when I was about 17 years old when I took a basic nutrition 101 class way back in 1990. This particular class was a 4 hour class that met every Saturday. Donna Israel, PhD, RD, FADA was my instructor. Besides being blown away how chemistry-based nutrition was, I was inspired by Donna’s passion for food. That set me on a course that included healthier eating and increased activity – an increased desire for overall wellness. I was very intimidated by the sciences, so I chose not to major nutrition at that time. Instead, I built my first career in marketing. I continued to read as much as I could on nutrition in magazines (pre-Internet era) and was baffled by the conflicting information from one article to the next. Looking back now, I really think I had a functional eating disorder by attempting to live out the various things I read. Finally, about 10 years after taking that nutrition class, I decided to leave a successful career in marketing and go back to school to pursue a career in nutrition. Fate had me pegged and it wasn’t going to let go! And wouldn’t you know it - I got straight A’s in science! The other surprising thing I realized in school was that many of the articles I read in those magazines were actually wrong. As I learned more, I was able to start differentiating fact from fiction. That grew my passion for the profession as a whole, and it set me on a quick course for public relations/media as a subspecialty. I guess my marketing background wasn’t for nothing!
Today I am proud to serve the 75,000 member Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as one of the 31 spokespeople alongside some of my most inspiring colleagues in the industry. I have the opportunity to be the voice of our profession in national media outlets. So, am I proud of my profession? You bet I am. Oh, I wanted to tell you through a very strange set of “uncoincidences” (I don’t believe in coincidences – I believe things happen for a reason as you are even connecting in this story) I got the opportunity to eventually work with Dr. Donna Israel in a professional capacity. She remains one of my closest dietitian colleagues and friends. I want to be Donna Israel when I grow up! I also want to give a shout out to my other mentor, Neva Cochran, MS, RDN. She has helped with me with so many things pertaining to nutrition media, but the biggest way I look up to her is that she stands by the science of nutrition even when it is not popular. We all need to have the integrity that Neva possesses in our industry. Neva is also an exemplary role model on giving back to the profession through monetary support and also the donation of hundreds of hours mentoring students. These are women that light the fire of passion under me to make a difference in my sphere of influence - for the greater good.
If you want to learn about more amazing people in my industry - check out the amazing blogroll of registered dietitian nutritionists currently blogging about National Nutrition Month. You can find the list - that keeps growing - here!
Last but certainly not least, I want to publicly report that I am one of the most blessed employers I know because I have the opportunity to partner with one of the most passionate, hard-working and selfless dietitians in the industry. Her name is Maria-Paula Carrillo. We used to work together at Children’s Medical Center Dallas several years ago – and honest to God – she was always one of my favorites because of her drive for excellence combined with great compassion for others. But again as fate would have it, when I put out the search for a dietitian partner here at Lemond Nutrition – who inquired about the job? Yep. Maria-Paula. Like I said, no coincidences. Maria-Paula, not only are you an amazing partner, but you are becoming a great friend. I am honored to know you.
Speaking of coincidences, if you happen upon this blog post and you are wanting to better your health – look no further! Consider a visit with a registered dietitian nutritionist. Your personal dietitian will enhance the quality of your life through practical food and nutrition solutions that are customized to your particular lifestyle. Find one in your area, by going to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website and do a search. If you live in the Dallas area, Lemond Nutrition would be honored to assist you.
To all my RDN colleagues that I have and have not mentioned – Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. Your work does make a difference in the lives around you. You inspire me every day.
March is National Nutrition Month! We have committed to do 14 blog posts that tackle an important topic in food and nutrition. To see all the posts we have done including some from previous years, click on “National Nutrition Month” under blog category.
No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.