“Where do I even start. I love a good background story so I feel like that’s where we should begin.
I have been interested in intuitive and mindful eating ever since I discovered it back in the Fall of 2017, right after ditching diets for good and putting my focus on something else. I always knew I wanted to work in a clinical setting, such as a hospital or outpatient facility, and then eventually start my own private practice (something I envisioned since high school, which is a whole other story in itself).
However, throughout my journey in the coordinated program in nutrition (masters classes + dietetic internships) at Georgia State University, I stayed open minded to different approaches to nutrition and the different areas registered dietitian nutritionists /RDN’s can work in.
Well, I finally got to the point in my program where I could choose where I wanted to intern at, we call this rotate. I knew I wanted and needed to work with a private practice dietitian, but couldn’t decide which one to work with after reviewing some potential options, all wonderful options by the way.
One day during our counseling class, Jennifer came in and gave us a presentation on mindful + intuitive eating and how she integrates it into her private practice.
I. Was. Blown. Away.
I knew immediately I wanted to intern/rotate with her. I talked to my advisor about it and she set everything up. I was thrilled. I mean private practice AND intuitive/mindful eating?? What could be more up my alley.
Jennifer and I connected on IG months before I started working with her and developed a classic social media friendship. Finally, January came around and I got to start my internship with her! The things I learned from her are pivotal lessons to keep in mind when I start my own private practice one day.
Out of all the things I learned, I think the best way to sum up what I found to be the most important, is this: You have to spend your time very, very wisely because some tasks/projects bring in money and others don’t but are necessary in order to strengthen your brand and offer more to your clients.
While having a private practice means your schedule can be all over the place and you might work really late same days, it is all 100% worth it because you’re doing it for YOU, for YOUR clients, and to make YOUR visions/ideas come into the physical world.
Wow! Dream job.
But what’s also important to keep in mind is you are literally doing everything for yourself. You are your own accountant (or you can hire one), own medical biller, scheduler, website content creator, marketer, recipe developer, and money maker! So while this is a dream job for some, it might not be for everyone.
Through working with Jennifer, I not only learned so much about what goes into owning a private practice, I also became incredibly inspired to eat more plant-based. I mean how can you not when she is always revved up on energy all day from drinking a huge glass of green juice! I don’t know about you, but that is goals- to feel so energetic and clear minded!
By the way, when I tried her green juice, my jaw dropped to the floor. It was SO much better than I expected (and I had low expectations). Trust me. It’s life changing. While creating the seasonal plant-based recipe ebook for Jennifer’s email subscribers, I practically drooled at every recipe and how nourishing they all sounded. Not exaggerating. I am so proud of the work we put into the ebooks and cannot wait for you all to see them.
Even though my internship is over, sadly, I will still keep in touch with Jennifer because she is such an inspiration to me and I value her positive, ambitious energy! There is always so much to learn and evolve from, not only in the practice of dietetics, but in any practice in life! I look forward to continuing to learn from Jennifer, as well as other RDN’s, during my journey as a student and as a future RDN.”
I remember the dedication and time that so many dietitians (aka “preceptors”) donated towards my future career path when I was an intern in Augusta, GA. Too many to name individually but I am forever grateful to Jeanne B. Lee, RD who was the program director at AADI (Augusta Area Dietetic Internship). The entire program was rich with experience both clinical and community-based.
Because of all the wonderful preceptors I was blessed to shadow, I knew that one day I would want to be a preceptor as well. Imagine my excitement when I went to speak to a group of aspiring dietitians at Georgia State University about my passion, mindful + intuitive eating and I inspired one so much so that she wanted to spend three full weeks with me in my practice.
That Sunday night before we were going to get started, I was so excited! Finally I could give back to the profession and really show a student the behind the scenes of a private practice. It is indeed chaotic. And dynamic. There is never ever a dull or boring moment. If anything, I have too MUCH to do and would work myself silly. But I absolutely LOVE what I do and helping people heal a funky relationship with diet behaviors, food and their body is my superpower. I have a deep understanding + lengthy personal experience about everything from the psychology to the day to day suffering because I struggled with being on/off diets for two decades of my life.
Some would say I wasted twenty years, and you can see it that way but I’m more of a “glass half full” kind-of-person. Instead, I recognized that it was an incredible gift with endless wisdom. That experience has created the ability to hold a tremendous amount of space for clients and the deeper work we do. I’m so honored to walk the path with them to food freedom and diet liberation. It’s hard work and it takes total courage, trust + surrender and a lot of reframing mental thoughts. But it’s worth it to be released from the toxic chains of dieting, body shaming, and weight obsession.
Casie was a fantastic first intern and the rest have some big shoes to fill. She was challenged, stretched and rose to the occasion. She expanded me as well and I’m excited to see her path blossom (hopefully with Nutrition Atlanta!).
My intention during my dietetic internship, almost a decade ago, was to start a blog called RD2B. Great goal, did HNAT happen. Because I was so wiped out after my daily rotations and had to prepare for the following day, RD2B never quite manifested. Casie and I discussed this: how blogging about the variety of each rotation for future interns to read about, prepare, and get the most out of their experience was my internship vision. Discussing this with her inspired me to create my own section of my blog for the RD2B’s out there and she agreed to write about her experience with Nutrition Atlanta.
To my future RD’s I say this, the world of dietetics is a dynamic field and the sky truly is the limit. If you dream of being your own (dope) boss, we are in world that supports whatever your dream job looks like. My recommendation: get a solid year of clinical experience under your belt and absorb as much as possible. Align yourself with a company or corporation congruent with your personal values and long-term goals. Every job offers myriad experiences that you will carry with you into your practice! I worked in a clinical position while building my practice until it demanded my attention full-time. Then I took that scary leap of faith, it’s a dream to be my own boss.
A heart-felt thank you to Casie for being such a hard-working, diligent intern who was unshakeable with the amount of projects I put on her task list, getting everything done and loving the experience! Check out my recipe e-books (1,000 clapping hands emoji’s for Casie’s dedication on these!)
Truly creating a mold for others to follow, if I accidentally call a future intern Casie, take it as a compliment!