Greetings from Chicago, where I’m attending the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I’m with my peeps…. all 12,000 of them!
I’m often asked how I got interested in nutrition and why I became a dietitian. Like for many of us, parental influence was paramount.
I first became aware of the power of nutrition when I was a teenager. My father had kidney disease and was on dialysis for many years. Since I was the one kid (one of seven!) who liked to bake, I learned to make low protein bread for my dad, as protein was a nutrient that had to be controlled in his diet. My father died when I was a senior in high school and then my mother’s influence kicked in.
She was insistent that her daughters get a college education so we could always take care of ourselves. There was one catch; we had to have a useful college degree that would lead to real job. It was logical for me to choose nutrition and dietetics for my career path. In fact, my senior picture in the North Olmsted, Ohio yearbooks, says “future dietician.” (We prefer the spelling dietitian, but I didn’t know that in 1969 when I graduated from high school!).
So, I went to Kent State University to major in nutrition and it was the best choice for me because: (1) got a great foundation in nutrition science, and (2) I met my husband, Rob, at Kent State. After graduation I went to the University of Minnesota to complete a 12-month dietetic internship. I loved Minneapolis, but after growing up in Michigan, going to school in Ohio and spending a year in freezing Minnesota I was ready for a warmer climate. Georgia was it and has been for over 40 years.
Now that I am older and “retired” after 30 years university teaching, I am glad I became a dietitian and excited to put all the years of education, work experience, and personal insights into my new book Food & Fitness After 50. I still enjoy writing about nutrition, giving presentations, planning food influencer conferences, and talking to athletes, so that is why I say I am retired in quotes. I hope you get on a path to eat well, move well, and be well whatever your age.
Chris Rosenbloom and Bob Murray’s book Food & Fitness After 50 is available on Amazon