My Nutrition Journey
I remember being in a first year interdisciplinary class at Ryerson University and being asked to write a reflection piece about why we decided to study nutrition and food. My initial thought was that I liked both science and psychology and my guidance counsellor said nutrition covered both (and that was part of the reason). However, as I reflected further I realized that I love everything about food, from its role in our health to cooking and baking. I actually grew up in a 'foodie' family. My mom is a great cook and my grandmother is even better. My grandmother was a head chef and co-owner of two different banquet halls and still in her old age loves to cook and experiment with different recipes (she is one of my inspirations). In addition, my grandfather was part owner of a farm. I spent a lot of time over the summer months watering veggies and feeding chickens. Being around my grandparents and their love for homemade and healthy food is where my love for food and nutrition really started!
I completed an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Food at Ryerson University, where I learned from inspirational professors and made some great friends. I went on to complete my dietetic internship with Hamilton Health Sciences, where I learned more than I could ever imagine and truly fell in love with my profession. I always had an interest in research, so I decided to pursue a masters of science in applied human nutrition at the University of Guelph, where my dissertation focused on dietary assessment in preschool aged children. This was a great experience for me and I realized how much I love research (I also had a wonderful advisor and mentor).
Now I am a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and study coordinator at the University of Guelph. In my research roles I educate and support families with young children 2-5 years of age in establishing healthy habits and routines in the home and I coordinate a family food skill study.
While completing my masters I decided to open my own private practice (Eat Right Feel Right) and I am so glad I did. It has provided me with many great opportunities to work with clients and share my passion with others in various different outlets (e.g. workshops, recipe testing, media speaking/writing etc.) I am continually falling in love with what I do. My favourite thing about this profession is that I am always learning. There is always new and exciting nutrition research coming out that influences the way I practice. In addition, I love that I get to help people in so many different capacities. I truly feel like there are endless opportunities in this field.
Right now, my goal is to support, motivate, and inspire as many people as I can. Having a healthy lifestyle isn't always easy, but it is so worth it! I help people feel great from the inside and out, and being able to see that change in them is SO rewarding. One of my main goals when working with clients is working towards healthy relationships with food, food is not the enemy and it's important to feel happy about what you eat. I believe happiness around food intake is one of the key factors in having a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable over time!
Tips for nutrition students or anyone interested in this career:
1. Follow your heart. It might not be the path expected, but do what you love.
2. There are so many different things you can do in the nutrition field, find one or two areas that you absolutely love and run with it. For me, I love working with families and do a majority of my work with women, children, and young adults. I also love to write and research, so I focus a lot of my time in those areas as well.
3. Learn from others and stay connected. It's great to have a support network and others to learn from. I have many friends and colleagues I stay in touch with and learn from regularly.
4. Be open to change, as you grow in this profession you might change the way you practice, change the area you work in etc. It can be one of the exciting things about this career.
5. Take care of yourself, when helping others it is important to take care of yourself and practice self care and love. As a nutrition student, this is extremely important as well. I know it can be easy to get wrapped up in the stress of it all.
6. Always remember WHY you do what you do. This will help keep you motivated, inspired and ambitious.
7. Find a mentor, someone who is willing to share their tips and tricks with you and teach you more about your area of interest. I had some great mentors and love to mentor students now!
8. Network and get involved in your community. Join local and national agencies that connect you with like minded individuals. Help out at different local events, even if it involves spending some time volunteering.
9. Always be you and stay creative!
If you have more specific questions for me, please connect! I would be trilled to chat with you more or help you along your nutrition journey! I would also love to hear your journey, so please share! :)
Until next time,
Angela - Eat Right Feel Right XO