Carolyn Berry BSc., RD
for something nutrishus
Carolyn seems to have found her spot in the dietetics world, although we know that careers evolve and change as we do - which is why we're lucky that our profession has a variety of areas to explore. I love her daily work goal and will be trying her overnight oat recipe (as we enjoy them too!). For those who like atypical days along with variety in their tasks, dietetics seems to be the way to go. I continue to be amazed at what we do in a day or even a week. Carolyn also brings up the notion of taste, as we know that's important along with the enjoyment of food.
Why did you become a RD?
I always knew that I wanted to be in a profession where I could help people. That, combined with an interest in food, nutrition and fitness led me down this career path. I realized this during my first year of college. What I didn’t realize was how science focused a degree in Dietetics is. That part nearly scared me off, as I struggled with many of these courses, but in the end, it made me stronger, and I’m sure glad I stuck through it.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
A bit of everything:
- Berry nourished is my private practice. I counsel individuals and couples, mainly in the areas of weight loss and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I also provide lunch and learn presentations for various businesses.
- I am a diabetes educator in an outpatient diabetes clinic with Fraser Health. I counsel patients 1:1 and teach education classes.
- I recently started a cooking class program within the Shapedown BC program. The program teaches families how to make healthy lifestyle changes, and I focus on the cooking aspect.
- I counsel executive clients at Medisys Preventive Health Clinic located in Downtown Vancouver.
- I lead nutrition tours at Save-On-Foods.
- I work with clients over the phone, as well as provide lunch and learn presentations for NDC - Nutrition at Work.
- I regularly contribute recipes and nutrition articles for Nourished Babe, a prenatal nutrition App.
- I am a contributing writer for Huffington Post BC.
How would you explain what you do?
Though my day-to-day tasks vary greatly depending on where I am working, my goal is always the same: to motivate, excite and empower all types of people to make the best decisions to improve their health. I aim to provide informative and practical nutrition advice with my food-first approach to health. I connect with people through food, and strongly believe that food should be both healthful and delicious.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
There is no such thing a ‘typical’ day or week for me. With all of the different roles I have, I spend a fair amount of time building my schedule for the next few months. For example, some days I will work only at the hospital, and other days I will work at the clinic, present a lunch and learn, and see a few private clients all in one day. I also spend a fair amount of time working from home, which usually involves writing up assessments for clients, writing articles, or phoning my tele-clients.
What has been your career path?
I have been working as an RD for almost 4 years now. I started my blog Berry Nourished (formerly Wealth of Health) 5 years ago during my internship. I knew right away that I had a passion for cooking, writing, and food photography. However, my first official job was working as an inpatient and outpatient clinical dietitian for Fraser Health. As great of an experience as this role was, I realized early on that it wasn’t right for me. I didn’t feel energized. So I made a few changes over the years and started seeking out other areas of work. As busy and hectic as my schedule is currently, I feel energized at the end of most work days, and most importantly, I have an incredible amount of job satisfaction.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I’m currently working towards getting my CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) designation. This involves obtaining at least 800 hours of experience working in diabetes education, and writing the Canadian Diabetes Educator’s Board (CDECB) exam. I write the exam this May.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
Ideally, the term “dietitian” will be recognized by the public as the profession to seek out for the best and most sound nutrition advice. We have come leaps and bounds promoting our profession, however we still have a long way to go. Continuing to make media appearances on tv and the radio; writing articles for various publications, and using social media as a means to communicate our expert opinions will continue to be important.
What is your favourite meal?
Overnight oatmeal – the perfect balance of protein, fibre and fruit! This has been my breakfast almost every morning for the past 3 years, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.
More about Carolyn:
Facebook: Berry Nourished
Pinterest: Carolyn Berry