She's a younger dietitian who does it all-from working in corporate wellness to racing in triathletes. She has a Masters in Nutrition Communication from Tufts University, and is a blogger, freelance writer, nutrition counselor. She is very interested in social media, and a networking queen. Take it away Janel!
- Briefly, could you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do? I do nutrition counseling, corporate wellness, freelance writing and speaking engagements.
- What drew you to the field of nutrition?When I was 10 I got the chicken pox and then suddenly I became lactose intolerant. I had to start reading labels, and I met with the dietitian. After our visit I told her that I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. Growing up, it seemed like everyone else wanted to be a teacher
- What is your favorite part about being a dietitian?Seeing the lightbulb go off. If my client gets one thing out of our session, and makes a healthy change, then I’ve done my job. i look at it on a one-on-one basis. If I'm able to make one person’s life better then it was worth it.
- How do you use social media? Have you found that having a blog and being active twitter user has helped you find more clients/jobs? Definitely, my blog and twitter has brought in clients. We already have such a hard time being seen as nutrition experts, if we aren’t at the forefront with social media, we won’t seem current and connected with the public. My focus is communication accurate nutrition information to the public.
- I know you are vegetarian, do you advocate a plant-based diet to your client? I never tell clients I don’t eat meat unless they ask.I have many clients who don’t eat meat and appreciate my personal vegetarian tips.Some clients know I am and that’s why they come to me. But I don't try to push it. If a client wants to know the healthiest way to eat a diet with meat, then I will help them with that.
- How can we, as current and future dietitians, find more respect in the medical community and general population? I think we need to make sure that the people knows/cares that there is a difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian. For the medical community- we come from different schools of thought. Dietitians work on the preventative side rather than fixing a problem when it may be too late. You have to find a dietitian who works with your goals.
- What is one thing you wish you could get every American to do to make our country healthier? Pack lunch and have 1 serving of fruits or veg with every meal or snack!