Heather Caplan, RD
REAL TALK RD, HEAD OF NUTRITION - SPRIGHT
for something nutrishus
I was introduced to Heather in Portland for the SCAN Symposium. She's a consultant, even if she wasn't originally fond of the word (I get it and know that it describes the variety of things I do too!) and works in the health field which includes her dietetic roles, but also run coaching and teaching yoga. She has worked in a variety of positions and has unique skills (including one that might surprise you). I appreciate Heather's #RealTalk and passion about being a human as well as a dietitian.
Why did you become a RD?
My first college nutrition class never felt like work because I found the topic so fascinating. I almost went into architecture, but that felt like a lot of work (and math, and reportedly no sleep).
What area of dietetics do you work in?
My resume is mixed — I now work in tech, as the dietitian for Spright.com, but I spent a lot of time in corporate wellness and health coaching.
How would you explain what you do?
In a startup you do a little bit of everything! Some days I’m focused on marketing and growth, some on nutrition curriculum and content, working with our network of experts, and/or product development. It depends on what the team needs and where we are with certain projects.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
There’s rarely a “typical” day, but there are a few things I do everyday at some point: writing, coaching, and networking. On a weekly basis I try to keep my personal blog and run coaching active, and for Spright I work on marketing, with our experts, and developing content for the app.
What has been your career path?
I started in pediatrics with the Virginia WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program, switched course to do some marketing with Small Planet Foods, then into corporate wellness with Wellness Corporate Solutions, became a certified running coach, and eventually landed at Spright to lead their Nutrition content, strategy, and health programs. I’ve been blogging for over six years and coaching for four.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I’ve trained in motivational interviewing and health coaching, have run coaching and yoga teaching certifications. Oh, and at one point I was certified to use a chainsaw, which hasn’t proven too critical to my career.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
If the “industry” is the food system in America, the ideal world would be that fresh food is more widely available and affordable across socioeconomic groups. In the future, we’ve reduced our food waste, and increased individual’s confidence in preparing simple meals at home. We would see less “products” on the market making way too much money, and more people interested in what’s in their food. Dietitians are speaking up to clarify nutrition guidelines, and the other (food) industries are less powerful in shaping them with politics and money.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
A nonjudgmental, open-minded, and simplified approach to nutrition messaging; teaching consumers that nutrition can be pretty simple, but is far over-complicated by catchy news headlines that rarely get the facts straight. I’ve become passionate about being a dietitian and a human, helping consumers realize that no one has to, or should, eat perfectly (including RDs).
More about Heather:
Website: Heather Caplan - Fan of Real Talk
Facebook: Heather Caplan, Real Talk RD