What an honor to be Sarah Krieger’s first guest blogger! I think the only way to do her blog justice is to give an insight into what it takes to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). When I started on my path into the world of dietetics I was clueless. I loved the idea of learning about food, how it breaks down in our body, and how to make it healthier. Who wouldn’t want to learn about that?! My path started with going to school to become a registered dietetic technician. The more I learned, the more I knew that I didn’t want to be just a “technician”. After a 2 day, 1140-mile (give or take a few) road trip around Florida to visit 3 out of the 4 schools that offered the dietetics degree, I chose to become a Seminole. Their dietetic program, campus, and football made it an easy decision. Picking my school was the easiest part of the dietetic program.
At Florida State, I learned quickly that I would have to put in the hard work to get the result I wanted. It took retaking a few classes, time management, and hours upon hours of studying to finish the program. At times, I thought I wasn’t going to finish, but I never gave up. When I finally came to the end of the dietetic program it was time to apply for an internship program (which is mandatory to become a RDN). Navigating the different internship opportunities, applying and getting rejected was possibly the hardest part of my path. The bumpy road only made me stronger, and I realized that this wasn’t going to be the end. Knowing that there is another option I could take, I reapplied and got in! Eight months and 1200 hours later I am writing this blog to tell the beginning of my story.
Why does it matter though that I’ve succeeded in school and survived an internship? Nutrition affects everyone uniquely….including me. As a diabetic the foods I eat effect everything (sleeping, driving, working, walking, talking, thinking). With a degree in dietetics I get to put my knowledge to use on my favorite test subject, ME! I experiment and control (for the most part) how carbohydrates, caffeine and meal times effect my blood sugar levels. I know what works for me may not work for anyone else, but then again it just might. If my experience as a diabetic and RDN can help someone else then I have succeeded.
I’m wrapping up with one of my favorite nutrition quotes from Ann Wigmore, “The food you eat can be the safest and the most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”. I myself would like to consume the safest and most powerful form of medicine, but I want to enjoy what I eat. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I understand how to eat for medicine (while enjoying it) and the knowledge to reverse the poison. The best part of my career is that I get to share my experience and show clients/ patients how to reverse the poison and be the healthiest they can be. RDN’s are the best, underutilized tool that medicine has. So, was the struggle, stress, and time worth it? Yes, yes it was