Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! 3 Speciality Sites Wrap Up!

It's Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day to increase awareness of "the nation's food and nutrition experts, registered dietitian nutritionists  who are committed to improving the health of their patients and community." I'm 8.5 weeks away from graduation from the dietetic internship and getting more and more excited to be joining a great profession. After I pass the exam of course ;).

As part of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, I would like to highlight 3 registered dietitians that allowed me to shadow them for a day as part of our dietetic internship. We were to select sites that we were interested, and I have to say I loved the sites that I had the opportunity to gain further experience at. A big thank you to Lesile Bonci-Steeler's and UPMC Sports Dietitian, Nettie Freshour-WVU Sports Dietitian, and Rita M. Singer-founder of RED Dietitians, LLC.

 Specialty Site #1-Leslie Bonci

My first specialty site was with Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD CSSD, RDN. She is the director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is also the sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Blue Jays, University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She is also a published author and has multiple radio and TV segments. It was a great experience to be able to converse with such a renowned professional in the sports nutrition field. I was able to sit in on counseling sessions, discuss fueling the athlete, career progression and desired experience for future sports nutrition professionals, and more. It wan an amazing experience for sure! It was amazing to watch a specialist counsel clients. The day went by so fast, it was over before I knew it. Another intern and I then were able to audit a lecture that Leslie Bonci was a guest lecture at. Again. A. Great. Day.

Is your plate winning?

In addition to shadowing her for the day, several other dietetic interns and I were able to volunteer with Leslie Bonci and Pittsburgh University Football team for a grocery store tour and food demo one Saturday. We each got 4 players to take on a grocery store tour to help give them tools for success for optimal fueling on and off the field. When we got back, helped the players make a fish taco and a rice bean salad.  Let's just say I would love to have a Saturday like that every Saturday that is filled with food, talking about food and time budgeting, and then talking about what food does for sports performance!

I like to think they can handle muscle on the field while I can help teach them muscle in the grocery store.

Specialty Site #2-Nettie Freshour

Nettie Freshour, MS, RD, LDN is the sports dietitian overseeing the nutrition program for the olympic athletes and the football program at West Virginia University. She had previously worked with the WVU, serving as the nutrition consultant for over eight years. During that time she was the Program Director for WVU’s Dining Services. She has developed her own sports nutrition class  (super cool!) that she has taught for the past 5 years along with her nutrition intro course. It's amazing shadowing again in the collegiate sports nutrition field. The day started with body comp measurements, one-on-one counseling, football training table, and an interview meeting. It was a packed day were I again was able to converse with another professional that was very open and receptive to my eager questions. I learned a lot about the multiple responsibilities that were similar and still different from the nutrition department at Virgina Tech. We capped the day with a food demo to 18 of the football players from a chef in demonstrating how to cook chicken, broccoli, and couscous on a budget. I have to say my belly was happy on the car ride home. I love the collegiate setting with the aspect of nutrition performance and this experience I am very thankful for!

Specialty Site #3- Rita Singer


My third and final specialty site was with Rita M. Singer, RD, LDN, CLT who founded RED Dietitians. It was another amazing opportunity to talk with a registered dietitian who founded her own company 10 year ago. Plus she's also the first certified LEAP therapist that I have been able to converse with! LEAP stands Lifestyle, Eating And Performance and this program helps to identify food sensitivities through a patented blood test called MRT (Mediator Release Test). I was able to see a first time assessment with a client that was interested in having the blood test done. Rita Singer has also recently partnered with Dr. Paul Nussbaum at the Brain Health Center, Inc which helps promote the importance of brain health. It was a day to be able to talk about experiences and how to get started in a private practice setting. You can't beat getting hands on experience with how to start your own practice then talking to a RD who has what it takes. She had a great wealth of knowledge that spanned from chronic disease states and management to corporate wellness. Plus, she's also a Virginia Tech go HOKIES!

Rita Singer and I at the Brain Health Center

I am very thankful for the registered dietitians above that allowed me the opportunity to follow my passion in nutrition. I'm getting more and more excited to join the profession each day.

HAPPY RD today to all the RD's and RD'stoBe!


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