Sarah Ball, MPH, RD
THE CLEANER LIVING RD
for something nutrishus
Sarah wanted to share her unconventional career, knowing that her work with environmental toxins and personal care products is unique. Many dietitians have knowledge, expertise, and training beyond the importance of food for health and wellness (in areas like psychology, personal training, stress management, and sleep consulting), and Sarah is one of those. We're also seeing dietitians with beauty niches, looking at it from the inside out with a nutrition connection (such as Orly Wachter and Meg Hagar).
Why did you become a RD?
As a kid, my mother always placed importance on good nutrition and cooking. I think I understood from a young age the importance of food in how you feel and in how you can prevent disease. I because an RD because I LOVE food and believe it has the power to change your life.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
Education: Assistant Director of the University of Michigan School of Public Health Dietetic Internship Program
Research: Specialist in dietary assessment
Non-Toxic Living: In the beginning stages of building a business around how RDs can engage their clients in a health conversation around toxic living that includes more than the traditional “organic foods” conversation.
Direct Sales: Beautycounter. I educate the public on the benefits of safer personal care products, advocate for change in an unregulated industry, and help get safer products into the hands of people looking to switch safer.
How would you explain what you do?
As a dietitian I educate and empower people to make choices that better serve their health, so they can look and feel their best from the inside out. In addition, I educate those wishing to do the same through the lens of direct sales knowing that health and wellness is about more than just food, but also the full environment in which we live.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
Pretty standard “work stuff”! E.g. meetings with colleagues, education sessions with the public, prepping for education sessions, presentation development.
What has been your career path?
I started out in a BS program in nursing, but after 2 years, switched and got my undergrad degree in Microbiology instead. I worked as a Research Assistant for 2 years in HIV research and decided to go back to school for my MPH/Dietetic Internship combo degree. I then worked the next 5 years as a Research Assistant and Project Director on several obesity prevention projects with a focus on elementary school and child care environments. After moving to Chicago, I worked as a Consultant for several organizations and Universities and owned and taught for my own Jazzercise franchise. Upon moving to Ann Arbor, I joined the Clinical Research Unit in Michigan Medicine where I oversaw research projects utilizing dietary and physical activity assessment techniques. Three years ago, I joined the Department of Nutritional Sciences as the Assistant Dietetic Internship Director and 1.5 years ago I joined forces with Beautycounter as an Independent Consultant and Educator.
My current aspirations are to cultivate “The Cleaner Living RD” community and educate and coach other health professionals on how to talk about low-toxin living in support of optimal health with their patients and clients. In addition, I’m hoping to further develop and grow my Beautycounter team of consultants in the hopes of helping others add a sole or side business to their lives and grow the number of voices in support of a safe and transparent personal care products industry.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I have an MPH from UNC – Chapel Hill and hold a Certificate in Adolescent Weight Management
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
Less rigid, more focus on the person as an individual, more focus on food as medicine! More diversity in every aspect of the word.
What is your favorite meal?
Anything with kale or peanut butter!
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
Think outside the box when it comes to our profession. There is no ideal or guaranteed path, it is all what you make of it!
More about Sarah:
Facebook Group: The Cleaner Living RD