Hi friends and readers! Today I am so excited share my latest blogging venture on Just a Pinch: The RD to Be Series. I will be interviewing fellow dietetic students who are also career-changers to show you that following your dreams IS possible! The nutrition community is absolutely wonderful and filled with supportive, encouraging people who are all working to make the world a healthier place.
I’m so excited that Amanda, from Slimplify Life, agreed to kick off the series! I ‘met’ Amanda through my online biochemistry class and it turns out that she not only lives in Washington D.C., but she’s also my future classmate at UW! Our stories are eerily similar – Amanda also left the corporate world to pursue her dream career and I’m so excited to share more of her story with you.
So, let’s give a warm welcome to Amanda: nutrition lover, superstar runner, enthusiastic life-lover, and hilarious sidekick. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and feel inspired 🙂
Tell us three things we wouldn’t learn by reading your blog:
Woah, this is a tough one, I feel like I talk pretty freely and openly on my blog, but here we go…
- I am actually an introvert. I love to meet new people and try new things, but I also love me some alone time. I’ll never turn down a date night with red wine, popcorn, and my boyfriend, Netflix ;).
- I have a strong faith. But I practice separation of church and blog, so most do not know this.
- I am 5’8” so have never really worn heels (awkward tall girl) but my move to Seattle has encouraged me to embrace it and I just bought my first pair of wedges! I know, that was a really important fact.
Your perfect, easy meal is:
Roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli and wild salmon. I could live off of sweet potatoes, granny smith apples, oatmeal, popcorn, and red wine.
Favorite blog post you’ve ever written?
My race recap after my first marathon this past March.
It was such an amazing experience and having a blogging community of ‘reader friends’ behind me for support all along the way was just overwhelmingly wonderful
When did you decide you wanted to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) and what factors influenced your decision?
December 14th, 2013.
I used to sit at my corporate job, content but unfulfilled, and read blogs about nutrition, fitness, and healthy recipes, and thought ‘that would be my dream job’. As cheesy as it sounds, I then randomly stumbled upon this quote by David Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined” and in that moment decided that my dream life can be my real life. Life is too short but to do anything other than exactly what you want to do. December 14th, 2013 I told my parents of this (at the time) crazy plan to become a RD and with their unwavering support, decided to go for it. I have not looked back a day since and can truly say I have never been happier.
What were you doing prior to starting your career change?
Litigation consulting. I graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Economics and Psychology. Nutrition as a career was not even on my radar at that point.
Were people supportive of your new aspirations?
Beyond supportive…and I only wish they knew how much that support has helped me. I absolutely could not have done this journey without the support of my family and friends who never held it against me when the GRE or Organic Chem had to trump any weekend plans.
What was your greatest challenge or setback you faced in the process?
The hardest part for me was the waiting game between submitting applications and hearing back from schools. But you just have to remember to have faith in the process and that all your hard work will pay off.
How did you find balance during especially busy times?
This was probably the hardest thing. At one point I was studying for the GRE, taking Organic Chemistry, and Human Anatomy and Physiology, all while working full-time. I’m not sure I found a balance per say, but found sanity in making sure I scheduled time to relax or hang out with friends after finishing a big exam or a stressful week.
Describe your dream job.
This is a tough one. My dream job would involve educating others about the health benefits of whole, natural foods. I want to empower others through education, giving them the tools necessary to make the smarter choice.
For me, when I found a healthy relationship with food, I felt set free and my life became so much brighter. I hope to help others do the same – maybe by working with disordered eating, maybe by doing corporate wellness presentations, maybe by growing my blog and doing private practice, or maybe through a community farm-to-table avenue. I am not sure quite yet – but that is the next chapter to my journey :).
What advice do you have for aspiring RD’s/career changers?
If this is what you want to do, go for it. And if you go for it, be all in. My motto throughout the process was to leave no stone unturned. I gave it my all and it was worth every second. I don’t even know you, but I believe in you. The RD community is awesome, and know we are all already on your side, cheering you on.
What resources did you find particularly helping during your transition to a new career?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also is very useful for identifying Coordinated and DPD programs that I wanted to apply to.
Are you interested in being featured in the RD to Be Series?
Please send me an email and I’d be happy to share your story!