What are you studying? Why are you studying that? Is it going to benefit your career? etc. etc. etc. blah blah blah (I get asked these questions, a lot…)
A bit of background before I delve into the details. When I was in high school I wanted to take Culinary Arts for an elective because I have always loved cooking, but in order to get into the class, I had to take a pre-requisite of nutrition first. This was really my first preview on nutrition and how much food played into our overall health and wellbeing. I fell in love and ended up studying it for my undergraduate.
When I was about to graduate with my bachelors in Nutrition and Foods, I felt more lost than ever. I did not want to become a Registered Dietitian because I felt like that would consist of prescribing dietary advice to people who could care less (I was wrong!!). So I ended up working back in the restaurant industry at my alma matter’s dining hall as an assistant director. The hours were long, I had no social life, my fiancé was in California for military training, and this was not the direction I wanted to stay in. A few months later my husband and I eloped. Best spur of the moment thing I’ve ever done!! And to our surprise, we were expecting a baby a few weeks later. (It’s funny how everything aligned for us to finally be together because that was not in our plan at all!!!)
When we moved to Virginia with our 8 week old, I searched for so many jobs that would pertain to nutrition. I knew I wouldn’t be able to work in the restaurant industry due to the long hours combined with my husband’s military schedule and a newborn baby in a town where I knew no-one. Becoming a mom made me realized the disconnect between pediatricians and all of the nutrition that I had learned in my undergraduate and it made me extremely frustrated. ALL the dietary advice I received from then my 8 week old’s pediatrician was completely wrong. In fact, they were even surprised I was still nursing at 3 MONTHS OLD. Needless to say, I was fortunate enough to be able to switch pediatricians.
This compelled me into doing more research on food, and I stumbled across the local food movement, and benefits of organic food (not just for our health, but for the health of the environment, farmers and farmworkers), and knew I needed to learn more. I found the Master’s Program at Green Mountain College and fell completely in love.
http://www.greenmtn.edu/academics/graduate/msfs/. <–Check it out here!!
There is such a disconnect between health advocates, doctors, consumers, and agriculture advisors when they all have such a strong correlations to the wellbeing of humans and environment. What we eat can adversely affect so many different things, from the food worker picking and processing our food, to the farmer growing our food, to the policies and insurance subsidies that determine our food supply, and to those who may need help accessing food, etc.
We have all of these health advocates telling people what to eat (even when they might be using old data) and not enough of these professionals understand the barriers to accessing these healthy foods. Our current dietary model (My Food Plate) can strip away any bit of instinctive ability we have to feed ourselves. Counting calories and macros, eating low-fat is NOT intuitive. We also have “influencers” slamming certain dietary preferences down our throats when they don’t have a clue the cultural, environmental, economic, and social wellbeing of their audience.
I’m not here to specify any particular diet. I believe if the vegan, vegetarian diet, primal, diet is working for you than that is great but don’t do it just because your favorite Instagram influencer says it works for her. Also, your doctor does not have all of the nutrition answers either. Most doctors only have ONE nutrition class under their belt (unless they studied it prior to their Phd- ASK if they have had any formal training!).
Pt 2…. Facts & Statistics + Career Possibilities coming this week.
Cheers to conscious living,
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