Studying Nutrition in a program sponsored by Splenda?
p until 2015, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was sponsored by Coca-cola. In early 2017, McDonald's sponsored and event for the CA Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Splenda is a current sponsor of the academy here in the United States. Meanwhile, one of the Academy's blog posts on their website leads off with "Processed foods can be beneficial to your diet."
I'm not here to go into how the government, nutrition, and big corporations can be connected, but I want to go into why the heck I'm supporting something like this by attaining higher education through this not-so-holistic field.
Some of you know I recently graduated with a degree, and have finally made the decision to go back to become a registered dietician. What you might not know is that this past summer spent working was also spent deciding how to tackle this in order to do the thing I love.
I love health, I love wellness, and I love food.
Science and the human body fascinate me, and I could learn about them all day long. I knew nutrition was right for me, but was caught between conflicting ideas.
I heard about Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is super compatible to how I feel about nutrition and overall wellness. The program seems outstanding, but I knew building a business and clientele with student loans, and not knowing where I was going to be living in the next year or so turned me away from getting this certification.
eanwhile, obtaining a nutrition degree might have more job opportunities, but was it worth going through schooling that teaches aspartame is safe, fortified foods are a great source of nutrients, or processed foods are okay to include in our diets?
When I put "Integrative RD 2" be in my bio on instagram, I got to connect with so many people who seem to be in this same boat of confusion between what to go for. Everyone's decision is unique to them and can depend on financial situation, family situation, beliefs, etc. so this is just one point of view. Here are the top 3 reasons I decided to go back to school to become a registered dietician, and how I maintain my integrative beliefs in a medical-based world.
. Remembering how the credentials can help me do what I love
Year-ago-me would have been mad at today-me for making this one of my reasons. I would have said, "you don't need a degree in order to do something you love! Dig deep into your entrepreneurial roots and create something yourself." In some cases, I totally agree. For me, I don't know where I want to live a year from now, and these credentials are recognized everywhere, so moving and traveling is more realistic. I also value the credibility of having these letters. In the future I will personally feel more comfortable helping people with their health issues with the science background I will have. That's totally me though (as seen in the next section), and isn't necessary for everyone.
2. By channeling my inner science nerd
Well for anything but the Krebs Cycle.. Can't seem to get that one down, but don't worry, every science class I've had to date seems to be keeping me accountable on that one!
But for real, I love science. I used to think I was weird when people asked what podcasts I listened to and I said all the sciencey-wellness ones instead of ones like Serial. I love reading books on different wellness topics, and I think it is so cool to know that there will always be new things to learn, as the environment and human body evolves.
It means so much more to me when I know why something is happening on a cellular level rather than just blindly accepting that something happens "just because." Even though I won't be teaching future clients each part of the Krebs Cycle (please don't ask me future clients!!!!), an RD program really does prepare you with the science, and the clinical work to help me with this.
3. By finding my people and communities
The event that made me take the leap to go back to school was finding two women online who claimed to be "real food dietitians." They are registered dietitians, but strive to free people from calorie counting and help them integrate a diet of real, whole foods.
NOW WE'RE TALKIN'.
Finally, this is what I wanted to do! And then I found https://integritydietitians.org/, which is a group of dietitians who advocate for responsible and ethical sponsorship within the Nutrition and Dietetics. A.k.a, let's be for the PEOPLE instead of for the DOLLA BILLS.
Once I realized there were was a community out here full of registered dietitians who are practicing in an integrative, holistic, and ethical manner, I felt that surge of passion ignite again. All of a sudden, the thoughts of wondering how I was going to go back to school for two more years, seeing my friends starting their professional lives and feeling a little behind went out the window. At the end of it all, I'l be doing something I love in the way I want to do it.
Most of the time, there are clubs in colleges dedicated to a holistic outlook. If not, shadowing a practitioner nearby that is practicing how you want to can help so much. I believe it's more about networking and experience. The letters can just get your foot in the door.
Would love to hear your input! Especially if you're in the healthcare field :) I totally believe that by reaching out to people who are doing what you want to do and a lot of research, you can find your niche in any field of work.