Let’s just say that it wasn’t by accident that I landed a career in the health and wellness field. Growing up as the third girl (and last child) there was barely a time in my life that I wasn’t kicking, bouncing, shooting, or throwing a ball of some type. Many might say I was the boy my father never had, and I loved every minute of it. Meanwhile, I seemed to have a unique interest in how the body functioned as I disassembled my “Teddy Ruxbin” time and time again in an effort to learn how it talked. By the time I was finishing high school, an intense sports injury along with an increased interest in how I could heal myself in order to continue an active lifestyle, lead me down a path of combining these two interests. As I began my college career, it seemed perfectly natural to major in Food & Nutrition with the end goal of becoming a Sports Dietitian; that was of course until I was exposed to other areas of nutrition as well as other cultures. While studying abroad to hone my skills of the Spanish language (my minor in school), I was provided with a new outlook on helping those most in need. This unique experience allowed me to see the importance of educating and guiding the matriarch of the family who was responsible for the health and wellness of the entire household.
Fast forward through 10+ years of studying, training, and working in various facets of nutrition such as hospital care, food service, health clinics, and ultimately private practice, I found myself in a new stage of life becoming a mother. The ideas and theories once studied as a nutrition professional were now being experienced first hand as the time management involved in maintaining a house and a career, taking care of child, and keeping up a healthy lifestyle for myself became a whole new challenge. Years of helping other mothers design easy recipes, plan meals, incorporate time for themselves, and schedule regular physical activity was the foundation and motivation to start Mom-n-Tot Nutrition. I finally feel I have landed in a niche of nutrition combining my interests and passions into the field of prevention by helping families create healthier lifestyles. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, so let’s work more efficiently as a society to prevent the diseases that ail us starting with one of the most basic needs: food!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REGISTERED DIETITIAN AND A NUTRITIONIST?
Quoted directly from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
“A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has met academic and professional requirements including:
- Earned a bachelor’s degree with course work approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry.
- Completed an accredited, supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency or foodservice corporation.
- Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
- Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
The “RD” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Some RDs may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The definition and requirements for the term “nutritionist” vary. Some states have licensure laws that define the range of practice for someone using the designation “nutritionist,” but in other states,virtually anyone can call him- or herself a “nutritionist” regardless of education or training.
Individuals with the RD credential have fulfilled specific requirements, including having earned at least a bachelor’s degree (about half of RDs hold advanced degrees), completed a supervised practice program and passed a registration examination — in addition to maintaining continuing education requirements for recertification.”