As a student athlete through middle school until the end of college, I always loved being active with my body.
I suppose at a very young age, I was destined for a career that combined my love of science and the human body in motion.
When I learned about biology in middle school, I thought a career as a marine biologist would be perfect for me because I loved animals.
When I learned about human anatomy in high school (1996-2000), I thought that medical school would be perfect for me because I loved the human body and helping people.
When I learned about human physiology during exercise in college at Transylvania University (2000-2004) while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science and a Minor in Psychology, I thought that strength and conditioning would be a perfect career for me because I loved helping a body get stronger in order to perform better.
I felt accomplished, disciplined, energetic and healthy despite the volume that I was putting out to prepare my body for so many endurance events within an 8-month time-span.
I can't believe it but one of my very first articles (one of the very few that I was paid for starting out as I tried to get my words out) is still on the internet from 2007. - Eggs, Meat and Milk...whey too many proteins!
Throughout that time, I used my sport nutrition credential from the ISSN to start writing articles relating more toward sport nutrition, nutrient timing and fueling a body in motion. Fueling the engine was one of my first articles to write on this topic and not too much later, I had my first article in Triathlete Magazine on that same topic. I still have that article in a frame for it was my very first article in print (there's nothing like seeing your name in a magazine for the very first time).
After giving the thought some consideration, I realized that I needed to put my education to good use.
I started to give local talks to triathlon clubs on sport nutrition and on the side, I would also provide consultations with athletes on nutrition. As a personal trainer, I was always asked about nutrition so that part came naturally to help others as I worked in the YMCA.
While I was in graduate school, I remember two specific things that I heard from others, when it came to figuring out what my life would bring in the next few years:
1) I would never be successful as a vegetarian in endurance sports (21 years later and 7x IM finishes - I think I proved a lot of people wrong)
2) I needed to have the R.D. credential behind my name in order to be successful with nutrition.
I wasn't sure of a time frame as to when I would become a RD so I stayed as patient as possible for the next three years. And oh boy, was that extremely hard!
Becoming an RD was one of the most expensive, time-consuming and stressful experiences of my life.
After receiving a verification statement from UNCO, my desire to become a RD shifted from "needing" the credential to be more successful as a writer/speaker to "earning" the credential to be more credible as a nutrition expert.
Only one more step to go and I would become a RD!
It was a very long journey but I knew that becoming a RD would not only open doors to a fun career of writing and speaking on a national level but as a licensed dietitian who works part-time as a clinical RD, I would have never found myself feeling so fortunate to be so successful with a job that doesn't feel like work (don't get me wrong - we work hard and non-stop).
I have also been able to Contribute to many articles online and speak at many local and out-of-state events.
-Earn my CSSD - Board certified specialist in sport dietetics - be eligible to work with Olympic athletes
-Expand my plant-strong culinary skills