Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nutrition and YOU with Joan Salge-Blake


I am extremely lucky to have a wonderful Nutrition faculty at BU. Our professors are experts in the field of nutrition and hold very interesting jobs in addition to teaching undergrad and graduate level courses. I had Professor Joan Salge-Blake for Community Nutrition last semester and I have never been so awake during an 8am lecture!

I sat down with her last week to talk a little bit about what she does:
  • Briefly, could you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do? Primarily I teach full time at BU as a clinical associate. I also have a small private practice, which I keep as a laboratory to keep me clinically sharp. I teach graduate level counseling, and if you teach counseling you have to to counsel. I like private practice to see what the Average Joe is interested in and stay on the public's pulse to see what they are struggling with. I am also media spokesperson for ADA and BU Nutrition and have once a month segments on Fox News Boston [here's a clip of her talking about Freshman 15]
  • What drew you to the field of nutrition? I’m Italian, and our world revolves around food and family. After highschool I had gained weight, and I put myself on strict diet. Anyone who has ever had a weight issue knows the feeling of accomplishment/success associated with losing weight. I have done a lot of things in my life, but this was one of best feelings of success. After that I took a nutrition class, and went into the field saying I was going to help people lose weight
  • What is your favorite part about being a dietitian? Taking nutrition expertise and fitting it into peoples lives I’m here to change lives.
  • How rewarding do you find your job(s)? Extremely and I help on many levels. I help college students, in intro nutrition, and I also help nutrition students to become professionals. I work with clients to make personal changes and help many people via media.
  • What's the most frustrating part of your job(s)? Sometimes juggling too many things, can be difficult. I have excellent time management skills, but I also put a lot on my plate. Also, Media work has deadlines, and because I give over 120 interviews a year, I have to prioritize and make other things more flexible.
  • I personally think you are an excellent professor, and you keep classes very engaging and fun! Is teaching something you anticipated doing in your career, and how do you like that aspect of nutrition? I always loved doing lectures, and it was easy to transfer over to classroom. Obviously I have to prepare more, but the delivery is similar.
  • Did you do a combined Masters/DI or did you finish your internship before seeking your Masters? I did a Combined masters here [at BU]. How has holding advanced degrees in this field helped you? Key, I could not have done without. Why not spend the extra half year doing a Masters/DI rather than a full year doing just the DI? I found that it was an effecticent use of time and it of allows me to write books, and be media spokesperson
  • Have you had some favorite jobs? I love them all. I loved coporate wellness, I love teaching I love writing I love counseling and I adore the media.
  • I know you are a Media Spokesperson for ADA and frequently appear in print and on the news. What role do you see traditional and social media playing for the field of dietetics. KEY. I think more people are looking at it social media, and traditional form of media are changing. Tv/radio stations are also on the web and twitter. There are 30 ADA media spokespersons around the country and credible news sources come to the ADA to find out the latest in Nutrition research.
  • How can we, as current and future dietitians, find more respect in the medical community and general population? Never say that you are a “nutritionist” We work hard for the Registered Dietitian creditials so it is important to make sure that you refer to youself as a RD!!!!
  • What is one thing you wish you could get every American to do to make our country healthier? Eat more fruits and vegetables. I would save a lot of lives if everyone did just that.
  • Another else you'd like to add? It’s a great field!
Thank you Joan for talking with me! Check out her blog, website and twitter. She's appeared on television and print many times, and there's list here if you are interested! I really love the piece she did on Fox about sugar consumption, check out those visuals!

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