This year the Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is celebrating 70 years of our Idaho affiliate! As part of our celebration, we would like to recognize what Idaho Dietetic Interns and Students are doing and where they would like to go after the completion of their dietetic program.
Today, we are recognizing:
Junior Student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at the University of Idaho
How did you become interested in nutrition?
I grew up in a family of medical professionals that never stressed the importance of a good diet, and so my eating habits had no structure. My interest in dietetics was sparked while working at Trader Joe’s. I was introduced to this whole new world of food and people that had a much better appreciation for it than I ever knew possible. I started experimenting with food and my diet, and soon realized how much better I felt when I regulated my diet with a variety of healthy foods. It was not long after that, that I decided I wanted to make it my life’s work helping others come to the same realization and guide them on how to take care of their bodies through their diet.
What has been your favorite experience from your dietetic program and/or internship so far?
My favorite experience from the program so far is the recipe development. I’ve always been a recipe cook and it was fun to be on the other side, where I was the one creating the recipe. We were given a holiday themed recipe development where we had to pair two foods that normally wouldn’t go together. My partner and I ended up creating a Rooibos Chai Jicama Pie, and I was so proud of our creation. It is my goal to become more savvy with food and cooking, so I like that this program is really food focused and challenges us to cook with foods that are unfamiliar to us.
Once you become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, what kind of work would you like to do?
When I become a RDN, I see myself eventually working in the realm of functional and/or holistic nutrition. I want to start out as a clinical dietitian to gain useful experience working with patients that require proper nutrition from factors such as illness, recovery, or diagnoses that demand lifestyle changes. I believe there are a lot of ways food and nutrition can change people’s lives in a functional way. I want to teach people how to create healthy lifestyles using food knowledge in way that is easily implemented in their daily lives. I also want to work with holistic nutrition and use food as medicine.
What words of wisdom would you share with students who are interested in pursuing Dietetics?
My piece of advice to fellow students is to never get discouraged. I struggled with my grades the first two years of college because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my college career. I was taking dead end classes and did not put the time in to finish them strong. When I finally decided that Dietetics was 100% what I could see myself doing as a lifelong career, I worked so hard to get my grades where they needed to be and educated myself on what I had to do in order to apply to my program. At times I found myself getting extremely discouraged and thinking there is no way, with my past grades, that I was going to qualify for this program. I constantly had to remind myself that I do deserve this and nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal. The day I got my acceptance letter, I knew that all my hard work had paid off and this is what I am meant to do.
What is your LinkedIn profile URL?
Thank you Samantha and see you at the Idaho Annual Meeting April 19th – 20th in Sun Valley!