Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I'm doing as I grow up...

March 11, 2009 is National Registered Dietitian Day. To commemorate, Monika at InCyst Network and I are hosting the first Registered Dietitian Blogfest. We have over thirty bloggers participating in this event, sharing about how we're living out our passion for nutrition in many different ways. Check out the links to other participants at the end of this post.

"Being a dietitian to me isn’t just a profession. It is very much a part of who I am (and so is being a wife and mother)."
That is what I wrote over two years ago, when I started this blog. I am part of the ~7% of dietitians who are staying home to raise a family. And when my children were born, I didn't stop thinking about nutrition, I didn't stop caring about the challenges that face people with limited incomes, and I didn't stop coming up with ideas to encourage people to live out healthier lives. But as any mother knows, I didn't have as much time and energy to devote much more than thought to it.

But that extra time has been my ally. I love being home to spend more time with the people I love and care about the most. Not diving in and doing all that I was thinking gave me time to think deeply about what mattered to me the most. This time has been a gift to observe and identify areas of need in the dietetic field that I probably wouldn't have paid attention to if I hadn't enough time to notice it.

I like to describe myself as a lifestyle dietitian. My interest isn't helping someone lose weight or prescribing a specific diet for someone to follow. As I wrote sometime ago, "a lifestyle change is the realization that our old habits and lifestyle is what is depriving us. Our quality of life has changed so that we see what we were really missing before."

And when I really think about it, relationships are at the core of everything I do. It is through several friendships that I was able to see dietetics from a different perspective. Their challenges helped me see what my role could be in meeting that need. Although I may take part in helping one make better lifestyle choices, I don't seek to give all the answers. Preferably, I seek to connect people to the proper resources so that they can find the answers that fit and improve their own and their community's lifestyle.

Here is some dietetics work I am doing as I (and my children) grow up:
  • I blog. Well, duh, you may say, but at one point, blogging was all I could do.
  • I am caring for my family by feeding them and encouraging them to eat healthy foods.
  • I am studying food allergies and intolerances so that I can assist people to adjust to the new lifestyle that has been imposed upon them.
  • I am a member of a local lactation alliance and the local food policy coalition. Currently, I haven't been as active in the lactation alliance as I would like, but as time permits, I will be increasing that involvement. I am more involved with the food policy coaltion right now.
  • I am developing cooking classes for middle-school aged children and hope to expand that to other age groups too.
  • I am developing classes on how to make more efficient time in the kitchen (actually, that is personal development that I hope to pass on to others)
  • I am organizing a community garden (I am preparing a blog about that too)
  • I am identifying resources for community members to increase the amount of fresh food in their schools. (This conversation started when I was picking one of my kids up at a summer program)
  • I am connecting with other RDs for support and encouragement, and especially so I can refer people to skilled professionals.
  • I am still dreaming, thinking, pondering about some other ideas...

Here's what other dietitians are doing:

Beyond Prenatals - Food vs. Supplements and Real Advice vs. Fake Advice
Annette Colby - No More Diets! A Registered Dietitian Shares 9 Secrets to Real and Lasting Weight Loss
Ashley Colpaart - Dietitians working in food policy, a new frontier
Diana Dyer - There and Back Again: Celebration of National Dietitian Day 2009
Marjorie Geiser - RD Showcase for National Registered Dietitian Day - What we do
Cheryl Harris - Me, a Gluten Free RD!
Marilyn Jess - National Registered Dietitian Day--RD Blogfest
Julie Lanford - Antioxidants for Cancer Prevention
Liz Marr - Fruits and Veggies for Registered Dietian Day: Two Poems
Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen - Family Nutrition ... It's our "Beat"
Jill Nussinow - The Registered Dietitian Lens I Look Through
Wendy Jo Petersen - March 11 is our day to shine!
Diane Preves - Registered Dietitians and the White House Forum on Health Reform
Andy Sarjahani - Dr. Seuss Tribute continued: Green Eggs and Ham and a Sustainable Food System
Rebecca Scritchfield - Big Tips from a "Big Loser"
Anthony Sepe - RD Showcase: Registered Dietitian Day, March 11, 2009
Kathy Shattler - RD Showcase for Nutri-Care Consultation
Sharon Solomon - Happy Registered Dietitian Day
UNL-Extension, Douglas/Sarpy County - Nutrition Know How - Making Your Life Easier
Monika Woolsey - Dietitians--Can't Do PCOS Without Them!
Monika Woolsey - In Honor of National Registered Dietitian Day
Jen Zingaro - My life as a Registered Dietitian


  1. Happy RD Day to you, Renata. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. Also, Thank you for the ist ever Blogfest Carnical.
    Have a great day,
    Anthony Sepe

  2. Renata,

    Thank you for your blog. I read all of your posts, and I'm learning. Our family has changed its diet (not 'gone on a diet') because of the influence of you and a few other people. And, we're noticing that we are healthier. Thank you!


  3. Dear Renata,

    Happy National Registered Dietitian's Day to you!!

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to not on the registered dietitian community, but also to all women who juggle life, family, career.

    In the midst of raising three children, you took time to examine who you are as person and what matters most to you. By placing yourself as a priority, you created a great personal life and brought the joy that you are into the larger world.

    Thank you for sharing your blog and your wisdom.

    With joy,
    Annette Colby, PhD, RD

  4. You are also inspiring a lot of colleagues by modeling support, generosity, and marketing skills! Kudos!

  5. Renata,
    Thank you for all you have done for our blogfest. I think it turned out great! I love your blog,and would like to know when you start blogging about your community garden experience. Thanks again!
    Cindy Brison, MS, RD, UNL Extension

  6. Thanks for a great post and insight into your life and life as an RD! Also, many thanks for spearheading the carnival.


  7. Renata, thank you so much for hosting the 1st RD blogfest! What a great idea!

    Also, thank you for sharing your thoughts on being a mom and an RD. I think this is something that a lot of people relate to.

  8. Hi Renata,

    Many thanks to you and Monika for co-organizing the RD blogfest. I can't think of a more enjoyable and educational (not to mention way hip) way to celebrate RD Day than connecting with other RDs through their blogs.


  9. I love how you illustrate the importance of nutrition in the home and with families. I have very few friends who find joy in the nourishment of their children and their own body. I often blog recipes thinking of them, and hoping that they try something so simple! I am glad you decided to stay home and work as a dietitian with a much more distinct role--impacting children's lives!

  10. Renata,
    I have recently become passionate about nutrition and I love your ideas for ministering to your community in this area! Especially the middle school age cooking classes :) I'd love to do something like that someday!

  11. Renata,
    Thanks for organizing this RD blogfest and finding my blog to invite me. I am amazed to read all you are doing as a service to your community. I hope they have an inkling of how lucky they are to have a passionate RD in their midst.

    Happy (late) RD Day to you. :-)

    Diana Dyer