Let’s answer some of your burning questions about me, what a dietitian is, and how this blog came to be!
// WHAT IS A REGISTERED DIETITIAN?
A Registered Dietitian (RD) is an expert in the field of nutrition. An RD has completed a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree program approved by the accreditation body, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). An additional and required completion of an ACEND approved supervised internship is needed. This practicum experience is at least 1200 hours (mine was 1300) working in a variety of nutrition settings including, but not limited to, clinical, community, and food service management, under thesupervision of seasoned RDs. Lastly, a board examination and state licensure is required to gain credentialing, with required continuing education credits each year to maintain.
Is a nutritionist a dietitian? It’s important to note that a nutritionist is not an RD, but every RD is a nutritionist. Basically, there is no federal regulating of the term “nutritionist”, so anyone who has watched a webinar or has an interest in nutrition could technically call themselves one. When looking for a nutrition expert to help you make sure you are informed about their education and credentials before making a decision. This is not to say that everyone with the title ‘nutritionist’ doesn’t know what they are talking about – just do your due diligence when choosing the right practitioner for your wellness journey.
Interested in becoming a registered dietitian? Check out these popular posts about my experiences as an intern and figuring out my career path:
// MY EDUCATION
I have a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from New Hampshire’s Keene State College and completed my dietetic internship with graduate course credits through Sage College (distance track). I’m (slowly) completing my Masters in Integrative and Functional Nutrition with the hopes of graduating 2018.
// WHAT’S WITH THE BLOG NAME? I DON’T KNOW WHAT CHARD IS.
I’m hoping you’ve already caught on to the pun here….Charles in Charge, anyone?! Plus, chard is one of my favorite dark leafy greens and can be found growing beautifully in my garden May through September. It really is in charge.
// MY PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
I’ve worked with people of all ages, socioeconomic background, and all types of lifestyles. At the moment I work in Kansas City, MO as a
retail dietitian for a large local grocer, dietitian in long term care and sub-acute rehabilitation wellness dietitian! I focus on individual nutrition coaching, group cooking classes for the public and outside businesses, blog and brand development, and worksite wellness programming. Some other things I’ve done professionally include working in as culinary nutrition educator and full-time nutrition education volunteer with AmeriCorps.
In my free time I help coordinate my Kansas City neighborhood’s urban community garden and orchard. I also love to hike, camp, and read a good book. I might have an obsession with my pets and a slight houseplant hoarding problem.
// WHY PLANT BASED?
All of the recipes on Chard in Charge are heavily plant-based. I choose to eat and cook this way on a daily basis because – simply put – it makes me feel great. However, I wouldn’t label myself a “vegan”. In fact, I hate labels all together!
Food is not just nourishment but also a wonderful social experience with family and friends. So of course I’m going to enjoy an ice cream cone out with my nephews on summer vacation, or a plate of creamy pasta at an authentic Italian restaurant, or a decadent buttery home-baked pie at a holiday gathering. I listen to what my body needs to thrive, but enjoy meaningful indulgent moments in moderation.
// MY FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLS
I find the following kitchen tools to be useful for me everyday. However, you certainly don’t need the to make my recipes. Use what you have and what works best for you. These are some of that I highly recommend and prefer, but are not absolutely necessary for everyone:
- My Vitamix is essential for blending the smoothest of smooth smoothies (try saying that 5 times fast), blending soups, and making whole grain flours. I typically use this machine every day, at least once a day.
- Food Processor. I have a small 4-cup one and also bigger 11-cup processor. I definitely use the big one more often as it’s perfect for so many recipe needs and it’s easy to scrape every last bit out of (as opposed to a blender, even a good one). My small food processor is useful, but I find I fill it too much and it spills out the sides more often than not.
- Mason jars. For to-go containers, dried good storage, and easy salad dressing shakers. Buy 1 pack and they’ll last forever. I also like to save a variety of glass jars from store-bought salsa and preserves.
- Mortar and Pestle. My Mom bought me one for Christmas, upon my request, and it remained unused for over a year until one day we only had cumin seeds, when a recipe called for ground cumin. This might be a super old-school kitchen tool, but it’s one of the best…why else do you think it’s been around this long?! Great for grinding fresh herbs and spices. The flavors can’t compare to what you buy already ground.
- Stainless steel French wok…it heats evenly all over, every time.
- Cast iron pans in a large and small size. Not only does it add iron to your meal, but you can bake in it, and the clean up is easy. They also last F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Ours were actually found at a vintage flea market, cleaned up, and given a fresh oiling.
// OH, WHOSE THE DUDE IN A LOT OF YOUR PICTURES?
You might see snippets of flannel or handsome hands while here…that’s Greg, my boyfriend and best friend. He’s my (sometimes painfully) honest food critic, photography assistant, and hand model extraordinaire. That’s love, folks.
THANK YOU, DEAR READERS, FOR COMING TO MY LITTLE NEST ONLINE. ALL OF MY BLOG CONTENT IS CREATED WITH YOU IN MIND. LET’S CREATE HEALTHY, HAPPY LIVES TOGETHER!