Sharon Palmer, RDN
THE PLANT-POWERED DIETITIAN, AUTHOR
for something nutrishus
I am pleased to introduce Sharon, a registered dietitian with 16 years of health care experience. She is right in there with important messaging around increasing our consumption of plant-based foods and environmental issues such as sustainability. Her book The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today (July 2012) was a critical success, and was followed by her second book Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps & 125 Delicious Recipes in July 2014. I was excited to see that Sharon posts interviews on her blog as well, In the Studio with Sharon. Below she shares her thoughts on dietitians and trends as well as un-paid work and creating her dream job.
Why did you become a RD?
I always loved food and cooking. I used to make granola for our family when I was 12, and dinner for the whole family most nights of the week. We had a large vegetable garden and I helped my mom can and make jam. I read diet books for the fun of it. I met a dietitian when I was a teenager and I thought she was the coolest person. It was a no brainer for me to choose this career path.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I work in journalism and communications primarily.
How would you explain what you do?
I am an editor of two publications, freelance writer, blogger, author, speaker, and consultant. My specialty is plant-based nutrition. Every day I write about food and nutrition for some sort of media format.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
I edit content for my publications, plan my blog content, and write for a particular project according to my assignments and commitments. Sometimes I might be developing recipes and taking food photographs for a project. Other times I might be doing a dining guide for a magazine. And other times I might be writing a power point for an upcoming talk. I also travel a fair amount to food and media events.
What has been your career path?
I graduated with my Dietetics degree and completed my internship, thus became an RD quite awhile ago (more years than I’d like to admit!). I worked in so many various RD positions: clinical dietitian, food service director, consultant to health care facilities, nutrition software company, and then journalism. I’ve had my own business for the past 15 years. Now I have my dream job!
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I took some writing courses to improve my journalism skills, and I’ve taken some culinary courses over the years to improve my knowledge in that area. I also attend several nutrition and food conferences each year to stay on top of my skill base.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
I hope that RDs continue to be thought of more frequently as THE nutrition experts. There is so much confusion in the nutrition world, and much of it is because people with little understanding of nutrition speak out the most loudly on the topic. We are so good as a profession at communicating responsible, reliable nutrition messages, and the public desperately needs to hear that. I also hope that we can play a bigger role in helping secure a sustainable food system for our country.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
That we are the “food police”. I believe, as do most RDs, that healthy food is delicious!
What would you like people to know about RDs?
We have the best set of skills and education level to provide nutrition information. We can be trusted. Don’t rely on your personal trainer or favorite (nonRD) blogger to give you nutrition advice.
What are challenges you encounter as a RD?
People often think that we are not up with the trends, whether it’s swilling bullet proof coffee or eating like a caveman. The fact is that we know about those trends, but we can tell what a fad looks like, so we want to give you the best nutrition advice for an optimal diet. Sometimes it’s not that exciting or sexy, but it is reliable and science-based.
What do people think that you do for a living?
They don’t realize how busy I am as a dietitian and journalist. They may think I “sell my books all day”, but I do so much more. Often people don’t realize how much we give as RDs just to get good information out there. I do several media interview, answer readers’ emails, and mentor students just about every week. There’s no compensation at all for taking my time to do this, but it’s what RDs do every day.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I am passionate about the power of plants to heal the body and protect against disease.
What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?
We have the education to back up our knowledge base, we can differentiate between fads and good science.
What is your favourite meal?
I love a salad with greens picked fresh from my garden, topped with chickpeas, herbs, good EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), other fresh veggies, a sprinkling of nuts, and squeeze of lemon juice (from my tree).
More about Sharon:
Website: Sharon Palmer, RDN
Blog: The Plant-Powered Blog
Youtube: Sharon Palmer
Pinterest: Sharon Palmer