Many thanks to Kristina LaRue (Love&Zest) for wanting to do a Q&A with me for this blog post. For the future RDs out there, I believe it can be beneficial to know what others have done to succeed. Even though it is important to create your own brand for yourself as an RD, learning the steps others took to reach their success is both motivational and inspirational. The following are the questions I asked Kristina and her wonderful responses.
1. In a nutshell, describe how you got where you are today and how did you decide to pursue the career you are working in today?
When I was in college studying Nutrition & Dietetics at Auburn University, I knew I wanted to work with athletes, eating disorders and write. I was told that this would be a challenging road by my instructors because of the competitive nature and the job market. I did my internship in Orlando, Florida through the distance program at Oakwood University. During my internship, I started developing recipes and writing my food blog, loveandzest.com. Upon completing the internship, I started freelance writing, consulting with patients with eating disorders, and took on 3 month project at the hospital. When the project finished, I started working at the YMCA teaching their diabetes prevention program and doing private nutrition coaching. A month later I started my first full time job at the hospital where I worked in outpatient adolescents obesity treatment and lifestyle interventions. After working at the hospital for a year, I transitioned my full time work and got a job with Tara Gidus Nutrition Consulting where I work with athletes at the University of Central Florida and the Orlando Magic basketball team. I co-authored my fist cookbook, the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies in 2013 and appear regularly on our local Fox affiliate. I’m currently working full time with Tara, consulting in eating disorders, and have continued to grow my food blog which has turned into a great business by working with brands for recipe development, freelance writing and spokesperson work.
2. What do you value most about dietetics?
One of my favorite parts about being a dietitian is the variety of work that I get to do on a daily basis. It’s really fun to have my hands in a bunch of different areas of nutrition. I never get bored!
3. Are there any books you suggest is a must read?
Must read books— Start by Jon Acuff; Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole
4. What do you do to ensure you are continuously growing as a dietitian?
Stay connected with fellow RDs! I’ve learned so much from my mastermind group— a group of fellow RDs that are in similar industry were we meet virtually once a month to discuss business strategies and bounce ideas off of each other! Super helpful to talk with dietitians that are doing similar work you are so build off of each other.
5. What do you like to do on your free time?
In my free time, I spend nearly every second I can get with my husband Eric and our little furry feline, Pearl. I also love to be outside in nature walking or running or at the Farmer’s Market or a coffee shop on the weekend.
6. What are your success habits?
Success habits…. think and act quickly. I don’t like to sit for too long, instead I just start doing. Publishing new content, sending an email, following up and connecting. I know I learn best by taking action, so even if I feel like something isn’t perfect, it’s still important for me to put myself out there.
7. What do you believe is the most satisfying part about your line of work?
Some of the most satisfying moments in my work is seeing change in my clients. It’s a super rewarding feeling to see clients, athletes, and blog readers change their nutrition habits and make such an impact on their overall health and performance.
8. What do you do to live a balanced life?
I really really try to stay balanced. It’s one of my life goals. I try to do this through prayer, CrossFit, yoga, running/walking, cooking at home, spending time with family, and reading books.
Once again thank you to Kristina for taking time for this blog post, it means a lot to myself and all the readers!