My RD Journey

From Undergrad -> Internship -> RD -> Private Practice!


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Reasons Why I Love My Job

I just realized it has been waayyyy too long since my last post. Whoops πŸ™‚ Today as I was driving home from work, I had one of those moments where I thought about my day and said to myself, “I really love what I am doing.” I always hear from friends or coworkers how much they hate their job or hate what they are doing in life right now. I feel really lucky to say not only do I love my field, but I also love working as a Retail Dietitian.

One of the first things I love is all of the connections I get to make with people. Even if it is just a passing by conversation with the same customer every single Tuesday, it is nice to think that they swing by my desk just to say hi. It is great to have other employees walk by and ask me nutrition questions or pick my brain about something. I feel like I am much more settled in my new job and people are starting to see that I really do know what I am talking about πŸ™‚ Today, I had one employee come by and tell me she lost 5 pounds since talking to me. Wooohoo!

Earlier at work, I did a food demonstration with hummus, veggies, and crackers. If you haven’t been reading my other blogs, part of being a supermarket RD is healthy food demos. Sometimes I will make a healthy recipe in the kitchen; other days I pull products from the shelf and try to match them with coupons I have. Today happened to be Sabra hummus in my heart healthy snacking demo. As I am giving out samples, I get the few people who walk by and make a face at the mention of hummus. I also get the people who never tried hummus before and love it their first time! I had this one mom come up with her child and asked if she could take one. I was like of course, thinking it was for her. She reaches down to her child and goes, “Here, it is hummus, your favorite.” It gets me all excited when kids are excited about healthy foods! Win!

Probably the most rewarding part of my day was a counseling session I had. It was a late in my shift and I was burnt out from working 10 hours already. My client was so motivated and already making lifestyle changes that it made me super excited to get to work with her. She got into some personal issues she had with food and used some of my listening and reflecting skills. We went on to talk about a few new nutritional changes she could make and I really encouraged her to keep up what she was already doing. So, as we near the end of her time, she goes on to tell me, “I just need to tell you I really appreciate all the advice you gave me. I feel like you covered everything really well. You truly listened to what I had to say and allowed me to get some things off of my heart. It feels really nice to be able to talk to someone about my health and I really appreciate you listening.” Day made. That is the best part of my job. Working one-on-one with people is so rewarding for me. I get into such a groove for a counseling session that I feel like I am walking on air when I am done (I know, it is weird). I love seeing clients for follow-up and tracking the progress they made. It is so awesome to be a part of someone’s journey to health.

There are a ton of other things I could go on and on about with why I love what I am doing; however, these were just the few little things that happened today that I felt the need to share πŸ™‚ Hope you had a great Monday as well!

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Top 5 Tips for Running a Food Demo

Part of my job as a Retail Dietitian is running food demonstrations. This is one of the parts of my job that I love/dislike. I love demoing recipes and having customers enjoy new foods that they never thought they would eat. I also love when I hear my recipe has become a family favorite! I am, however, not a fan of the recipe planning. I tend to overthink things, like most Dietitians I know. I worry about not choosing a recipe that goes over well with customers. After doing a few demos, I learned that you are not going to please everyone and not to take that personally. With that in mind, below you will find my tips for running a food demo!

Tip #1: Choose Your Recipe Based on Your Population
If you are serving a population of young kids, you wouldn’t necessarily choose a spicy or tough-textured recipe. You might, however, choose a healthy and simple snack or a common favorite dish with a healthy spin (like mac n’ cheese made with broccoli and chicken). Or if you are serving a group of seniors, you might go for softer foods versus nuts and crunchy items (since a lot of them have a hard time chewing). The population I work with is mostly families and health seekers. These health seekers want quick and easy recipes. I am not going to choose a recipe with 15 ingredients because even if customers like the recipe, they are not likely to make it at home. It is always best to assess your population first, then choose a recipe you think will go over well.

Tip #2: Add Options to Your RecipeΒ 
A lot of times, I will create or alter a recipe to make it healthier. I might cut back on the fat, sodium, carbohydrates, etc. I usually add to the bottom of my recipe ways to add flavor or ways to pair the recipe with something else. For example, I made a crockpot chicken fajitas recipe. I gave the option for people to add a wrap or rice for a carbohydrate source. I also gave the option to add extra veggies for more bulk. Another example is a cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe I tried. I used herbs and spices for the recipe, but gave the option to add parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Those who didn’t want to add the fat/sodium/calories were free to choose otherwise.

Tip #3: Taste and Prep Test Your Recipe Prior to Demoing
My first demo, I made an awesome sweet potato and acorn squash bake. The recipe went over so well; however, the prep was a disaster! I didn’t realize how long it would take to peel and chop 4 acorn squash (almost an hour). I was rushing and trying to recruit help for the prep with only having 1.5 hours before the demo start. It was definitely a stressful start, but you live and you learn πŸ™‚ I’ve also had a few ideas for recipes and taste tested at home only to realize I needed to add or change things to make it more palatable. You won’t always have the time to alter recipes the day of, so it is best to perfect it prior to demoing.

Tip#4: Make a List of Everything You Need
Usually, my demo days are hectic. I come in 1-2 hours prior to the event. I make the recipe, set-up the demo table, and merchandise the items I am using. Unless I make a list, I forget even the simplest things (like my tablecloth for 1 demo). Make your demo run that much more smoothly and have a list of everything you need, down to the napkins!

Tip#5: Have a Copy of The Recipe With Nutritional Facts
Almost every person who comes to my demos will ask me something along the lines of, “Is this good for me?” Or, “I have Diabetes, how many carbohydrates are in this?” Or, “I have to watch my sodium, is there a lot in this recipe?” I find it so much easier to just have the recipe with the nutrition facts on the bottom. Even if I know the recipe is healthy, customers still want numbers. Plus, if you have a entree heavy on the carbohydrates, then those people with Diabetes might need to plan some non-starchy sides to balance it out.

I hope these tips help you in your food demos as much as they did me! Stay tuned for more tips from the life of a RD πŸ™‚

Pomegranates I used for a Produce Pick taste testing!

Pomegranates I used for a Produce Pick taste testing!