Lisa Andrews MEd, RD, LD
SOUND BITES NUTRITION, LLC
for something nutrishus
Update: Lisa felt like updating her responses as a few things have changed since she first took part in the series in January 2017.. Her career has pivoted and she has some inspiring advice too!
It's great to see that a dietitian with so many different experiences and that has worked in a variety of roles, still sees the future as an opportunity for dietitians to be involved in even more areas of practice. As you've been seeing in this series, this is a career for you if you like doing different things every day or every week. Lisa also reminds us that although we're translating science, there is also an art to the work we do.
Why did you become a RD? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I became an RD because my parents were on modified diets while I was growing up. My dad had diabetes with multiple co-morbidities. My mom was always on the latest fad diet to lose weight. I enjoyed science as a kid as well as food, so this seemed like a good fit.
What area of dietetics do you work in? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I am a consultant now but was a clinical dietitian in acute care/nutrition support for most of my career. I did my business part-time for about 7 years before leaving my “day job”.
How would you explain what you do? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I think I have “RD ADHD”. No day is the same for me. I love the variety of work! It can be challenging to switch gears, but it is much more fun than doing the same work every day. I listen to people’s stories and provide simple, science-based tips on improving their food choices. I don’t believe in overly strict diet plans. I provide nutrition lectures and cooking demos to companies and do a little bit of freelance writing.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? (*updated May 21, 2018)
Typical daily tasks include writing or posting on social media, writing progress notes on clients, prepping or teaching a class, shopping for a food demo. I also attend community and professional meetings as needed.
What has been your career path? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I started in clinical nutrition and stayed at my first job for a LONG TIME. After I got my Masters degree, I worked part-time in a community agency before I had kids and also taught at a few universities as an adjunct instructor for several years. Currently, I’m providing health coaching at a corporate office and consulting for Kroger, a large grocery store chain. I’ve also started making food pun T shirts in the past 6 months and do some freelance writing for Food and Health Communications.
What advanced education or special training do you have? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I have a Masters degree in Education in Nutrition. I have a certificate in training for Adult Weight Management and may go for the Certification some time in the future.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I would love to see Nutrition Genomics come to fruition. How cool would that be to counsel people to prevent diseases based on their genetic profile? I’d also like to see more nutrition professionals involved in reducing food insecurity and food waste.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I wish people didn’t think RDs were militant about their diets. If we didn’t like food, we wouldn’t be in the field! We eat healthy most of the time, but also might love wine and chocolate. I’d also like people to know that we are not the same as nutritionists or “holistic health coaches”. We have much higher training.
What would you like people to know about RDs? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I’d like people to know we are highly intelligent and work hard. We deserve more opportunities in health care and other arenas that we are not currently offered (i.e. medical sales, health education or training in hospitals, marketing of food products for companies). It always bothered me that nurses were considered for promotions or management jobs, but RDs were not. I’d also like people to know that RDs are not the food police. We enjoy food and want others to enjoy what they eat, too.
What are challenges you encounter as a RD? (*updated May 21, 2018)
Biggest challenge is competing with non-RDs. It seems that everyone that eats thinks they are a nutrition expert! For me, it’s combating all the crazy fad diets and misinformation that gets spread by trainers, health coaches and other non-credentialed professionals.
What do people think that you do for a living? (*updated May 21, 2018)
People think I counsel patients on diets all day long and give out weight loss diets.
What are you passionate about in dietetics? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I’m passionate about sharing food knowledge and helping people make informed decisions their way. I like the variety of work we can do.
What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I think RDs have more training in clinical care than wellness professionals. We know in depth about disease and personalize our recommendations to people. We also know more about cooking and research. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are the “Real Deal” in nutrition because of our degree(s) and training.
What is your favourite meal? (*updated May 21, 2018)
I love Mexican food. It’s hard to beat fresh tacos with a side of black beans!
What tip(s) would you give to our readers? (*updated May 21, 2018)
Never underestimate the value of volunteering, networking and mentoring. I believe it’s vital that people stay connected and give back to others (whether this is to a student or colleague). What comes around, goes around. Never burn any bridges. The world is a small place.
Think outside the box. There are many areas of practice in dietetics. If you don’t like your current job/career, think of what makes you get out of bed in the morning. Find your fire!
Anything else you’d like to add that you feel would be valuable: (*updated May 21, 2018)
Believe in yourself and don’t compare yourself to others. We all have unique gifts and talents to share.
More about Lisa:
Blog: Sound Bites Nutrition
Facebook: Sound Bites Nutrition, LLC
Pinterest: Sound Bites Nutrition, LLC
LinkedIn: Lisa (Cicciarello) Andrews