Dietitian · Work

My Journey to Becoming a Dietitian

Today in remembrance of my ‘match day,’ which was two years ago to this date. It is crazy to think, how time has flown by and how far I have come to become a dietitian. And for those of you who just were accepted into a dietetic internship, congrats! As well as those, who are finishing up their internships…you are in the home stretch and one step closer to becoming a Registered Dietitian! 🙂

Let me just say, my journey was a tough one. Now many people can say it is not an easy path. However, for some (like myself) it takes a bit more determination and optimism. So with that being said, I’m going to share my story with you to serve as a little motivation for those who may have not gotten into an internship this time, or the next, or the next. Because listen, I know where you are coming from.

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It took me three attempts to get accepted into a dietetic internship. If you are into your junior year of college, I am sure your professors have already told you that the chance of getting into an internship is 50/50. I am living proof of that. Sure I had medicore grades but in all honesty, your GPA does not determine whether or not you get into an internship. It takes a lot more than that. Including, volunteer work and getting as much experience as you can in the field. To my disadvantage, I did not have time for anything because I was a competitive runner on my school’s running team. Basically my weekends were stuck on a bus or at a track meet (accompanied by my beloved nutrition text books, of course). But I figured, what was there to lose. I can say I tried and not get in…or not try and wonder if I could have gotten in.

To make a long story short, three years later…three attempts…I was finally accepted. Oh no, but it wasn’t that easy. After graduating from college with a nutrition degree, there weren’t many jobs to choose from. Let’s be honest, you need an internship to actually get a “real” job if you want to pursue a career in nutrition. I went from food server -> dietetic assistant -> dietetic technician -> dietetic intern -> registered dietitian. Oh and that third attempt…yeah, almost did not happen. I had to go through the “second round,” to actually finally be matched. But was it worth it, of course…because well look at me now…I’m a dietitian.

damnrightimadietitian.jpgAnd if you thought getting into an internship wasn’t hard enough (which by the way, you have to pay for, and not get paid for a whole entire year), think again. There’s a test! For some, it comes easy and for some it does not.

I was always one of those kids in school, that actually had to work for my grades. Just as well as for sports. I was never naturally talented at anything. So when I failed the test, I cried. But did I give up? No way in hell, especially after working so hard to where I came from. So I studied and studied, and studied until I couldn’t fit any more information into my brain. And I took the test again guaranteed I would pass this time. For those of you who are not familiar with the process, you have to wait 45 days until you can re-take. The second time around, I was pretty confident with how I did.

They said, “third time’s a charm,” right?

3 Years -> 3 attempts to get into internship + 3 attempts at RD exam = finally a damn dietitian!

Haha, but in all jokes aside…I am finally a Registered Dietitian.

And after that third time, let me tell you it was the best feeling ever.

Am I done with my journey? No.

What’s next for me? Well it can only get better with time and experience.

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Breakfast · Dietitian · Dinner · Lunch · Travel · Work

Dietitian Travels: Atlanta, GA

 

Hello again, friends!

This past week, I had to travel to Atlanta, GA for orientation. I have been working as a dietitian for about four months now, and it is mandatory for all managers, chefs and dietitians to learn about the company.

I do not want to bore you with the details, so I will just cut to the chase.

For those of you who have never heard of Compass Group, it is a large foodservice company which provides quality food to various parts of the community including nursing homes, restaurants, hospitals, schools, hotels, and more. Morrison Community Living (whom I work for) is a part of Compass, which commits to enriching the lives of seniors by ensuring quality care through nutrition and wellness.

So this week was dedicated to learning more about the company, and how we can play a big role on growing the business as managers. To say the least, it was a great learning experience and I met a lot of new people all over the country.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip without some good eats. When I arrived to the hotel Monday afternoon, they gave us a comp gift card to spend on food, drinks, etc. As a budget queen (I got it from my mama’!), I was able to utilize it very well.

I walked to a local cafĂ© near by called Sweet Tomatoes, which had a salad bar. I also had these Vegan Rob’s chips that I brought with me from home (picture left). After relaxing a bit, I worked out at the hotel’s gym. Then I decided to check out the mall, and grab some dinner and thankfully they had Chipolte. A Veggie Burrito Bowl with guacamole is my go-to (picture right).

The first day of orientation was the following day. Basically, it was dedicated to introductions, and an overview of the company.

Lunch was provided to us everyday by one of the chefs.

I thought it was very nice that they were able to accommodate to my vegan-diet. Lunch (pictured on the right) was salad, grilled vegetables, Brussel sprouts, and vegan fried rice.

After a long day, I still managed to do a workout at the gym. Then I enjoyed the salad bar at Sweet Tomatoes for a delicious dinner. I ended up getting a combo-deal that night, so I was set for dinner two-nights in a row. I even ventured out into the company’s van to get some ice cream. Uh yeah, never again. Vans are not fun when you are a tiny person.

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The second day of orientation was more interactive and fun. The Regional Chef presented a puree-food demo. It was interesting to learn how they actually made the food, and they even demonstrated different ways to present the food so it is more eye-appealing and tastier for the resident. I skipped on sampling the pureed foods because it was fortified with ingredients which were non-vegan (phew! I got off on that one easy)

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I am not posting the pictures of the pureed foods, your welcome 🙂 If you’d like me to share them, let me know in the comments below.

After the demo, they broke us up into our assigned disciplines. We met with our coaches, and they answered a lot of questions we had. They shared a lot of information with us, and I gained a lot of knowledge on clinical nutrition and the many services provided by the company.

Wednesday’s lunch was definitely my favorite.

Indian-style lunch. On the left, spinach lentil daal. On the right, salad, broccoli, curried cauliflower and potatoes, and mini green patty pan squash. I have never had this variety of patty pan before, but let me tell you it was delicious!

The remainder of the evening was dedicated to relaxation (except for a short run of course!). Okay, maybe not so relaxing – as of course, I am always the lucky one to have something go wrong. When I was taking a shower, I noticed the ceiling was dripping above me. It wasn’t too bad but I still had maintenance come. Nothing was done except I was given the option to change rooms. I didn’t bother since I only had one more evening, and as long as the ceiling didn’t fall through – I’d be okay! (P.S. I survived).

The next morning, I enjoyed my favorite breakfast at the hotel.

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You guessed it, oatmeal! 🙂

The last day was a bit of a drag, but in the end it was all worth it.

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I graduated! Besides gaining a ton of knowledge and CPE credits, I also had a new experience in a new place I have never been before.

But there is no place like home.

Dinner at the airport, before my last hurrah was a Mediterranean bowl.

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Salad bowl filled with falafel, taboulleh, red onion and cucumber salad from the Garbanzo Grill.

Of course, I needed a cocktail and a sugar-rush for my layover.

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