I'm starting a new series featuring other Registered Dietitians (RD/RDNs) to showcase the incredibly diverse career paths we can take and all the fabulous work they're doing. If you're a RD who wants to be featured, please email me at email@example.com. Carlene writes the fun blog, Healthfully Ever After, offers nutrition services for brides-to-be, and shares delicious recipes. I need to make this one - Fro-Yo Figs & Balsamic soon!
Name: Carlene Thomas RD, LD
How did you decide to become a Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN)?
I knew I wanted to help people feel healthy, but I pass out when I see blood, so a doctor or nurse were out of the question. I also grew up in a food loving family. When I finally found out there was actually a job that combined the two, I was totally set on making it happen.
What do you do as a dietitian?
I am a private practice dietitian and nutrition consultant. I'm hard to categorize, but I think you'll find there are more and more dietitians who fit in this same herd. I see private clients, specifically brides who are looking to get healthier, with a secondary population of high school girls. I am also the campus dietitian for a high school girls boarding school and a college. The other part of what I do is recipe development, content development for websites, and social media management.
What is your favorite part of being a dietitian?
Let me first say I am so in love with being a dietitian and people tell me all the time they think it's so funny how passionate about nutrition I can be. If I had to narrow it down, my favorite part is helping people have the 'ah-ha' moment with food...whether it be through a recipe, an article, or one-on-one.
What advice do you have for future dietitians (students, interns)?
It's okay not to take the 'traditional' dietitian path. I was told so many times that I 'should' or 'had to' go about being a certain type of dietitian, and it just wasn't right for me. Be innovative. Be an entrepreneur. Be a dreamer and then be a good slightly type A dietitian and plan how you can make it happen. Also, join NEDPG. [Lauren here: I agree! NEDPG = Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group is a great resource!]
What nutrition myth do you hear the most (or is just ridiculous)? What do you say to dispel it?
What was the last thing Dr. Oz said? I'm kidding. But the nutrition myth I hear the most is the latest study or celebrity promotion of a supplement or diet. I guess the good thing is people are interested in health and are looking for more information. But the flip side to that is we need to get more dietitians in front of this audience to share all that we have to offer.
What is your favorite meal or food?
My absolute favorite meal is a picnic style spread of cut up fruits, veggies, salmon, olives, cheeses, bread and a salad with balsamic.
How can you find & connect with you?
I love social media, so take your pick:
Blog: Healthfully Ever After