As I approach my 1-year RD exam-aversary coming up on August 17 (which also happens to be Holly’s birthday, is this fate?), I find myself on the precipice of exciting changes in my career. On top of my wonderful job coordinating federal child nutrition programs, I’m preparing to turn my nutrition article and blog writing into a lucrative business and branch out into working with brands and corporate wellness.
Navigating a dietetics path in a post-COVID world has come with plenty of ups and downs. It’s led to a welcome discovery that there is a unique and rewarding flexibility in nutrition entrepreneurship which has inspired my innovation and imagination.
This journey has involved steps of all sorts of sizes, uncertainty about my choices, and wondering how one can do any sort of planning in a continued pandemic. But I have found that my solace has consistently come from another person offering kindness, wisdom, and support.
It turns out that many of the people who helped me get through the storm a little easier are my fellow dietitians. I believe that our desire to make the world a more compassionate and sustainable place is ultimately what draws us to this work in the first place. The RDs I know are incredibly resilient and make conscious and creative choices to rebuild when things aren’t working. These traits are the fuel for my boundless gratitude and appreciation for our profession.
We Are All In This Together
As nutrition entrepreneurs we may seem like we exist as our own islands because we’re working thousands of miles away from our clients, sitting alone creating newsletters and blog posts, or recording webinars as hours pass with little to no human interaction. Perhaps some of us get the majority of our socialization from our kids, our immediate family members, or our pets.
But the truth is that dietetics is a profession best served by community and socialization. COVID may limit the ways we can socialize and network with one another, but we are still able to assure one another of our inherent worth and create and share opportunities like jobs, clients, and mentorship.
In times when little is guaranteed and settled and we all struggle with how to move forward, it is important to focus on the meaningful connections we have with our fellow nutrition professionals.
Gratitude and Appreciation Help Us All Out
Expressing gratitude and appreciation for all the good nutrition brings to our clients, our communities, and our world is critical at a time like this. It is also a welcome respite to be grateful for those in your immediate life who make you feel supported and worthy. Whether that’s your longtime colleague who has shared a practice with you for decades, a client across the continent who was determined to keep seeing you, or a promising student you mentored, take a moment to reflect on the gratitude you have for this individual and how you want to express this to him/her/them. My own list of people I’m thankful for is long and full, but I’ll take a brief moment to share a little spotlight on three of my personal nutrition heroes in the hopes it will inspire you.
-My Dietetic Internship instructor Alison whose resilience, passion, and encouragement (from over 1,000 miles away!) helped me recognize my potential. It was my honor to return the favor by providing a letter of support for the award she won earlier this year.
-Geb from the SNEB Student Division whose thoughtful leadership is paving the way for a wonderfully diverse, culturally competent, and progressive nutrition education workforce.
-A special mention for the incredible podcast host Toni T. whose warmth, humor, and unwavering support for my writing and entrepreneurship has brought me such joy and confidence. I am especially grateful to Toni because she is ultimately the reason I’m here contributing to Holly Larson Writes (who knew where that BlogAlong invite would lead?).
So I’ll conclude by offering a simple exercise. Find a happy, funny, or nostalgic moment you shared with this special person (or group of people). Write down what you took away from that experience. Then, take the time to thank him/her/them for providing you with that very welcome light and joy. Hopefully as you do this, you’ll create a cycle of gratitude and appreciation that keeps us all feeling a little more positive.
Comment below: what gratitude have you received that was especially meaningful?
Alison Rosenstock, MS, RD is the Youth Meals Coordinator for Feeding San Diego and the founder of SDNutritionWriter.com specializing in nutrition and wellness article writing, blog posts, corporate wellness, and nutrition expertise for brands. She is passionate about food justice and equity, nutrition in public health, weight-neutral dietary approaches, and wellness for healthcare professionals. Alison is excited to be featured as a guest blogger for Holly Larson Writes and hopes to further connect with this wonderful community of dietitians.