Health Care Settings
For much of my career, I worked in long term care settings where I addressed the often complex nutritional needs of residents. For over four years just prior to the birth of my son, I worked in a public health setting where I counseled pregnant women and mothers of young children, helping them to understand and address individual nutrition needs in those critical stages of life. I also taught community nutrition classes on various topics during those years.
After the birth of my son (when I was 31), my career shifted to teaching college nutrition classes. I loved facilitating the learning of both traditional and non-traditional students who were planning careers in health care. In my classes, I focused on how to apply the proven principles of nutrition to both their personal and professional lives.
When I covered the subject of weight management, I made sure to include the viewpoint that a higher BMI does not necessarily equate with poor health, and that restrictive diets frequently lead to long term weight gain, nutritional inadequacy, eating disorders and poor self esteem.
The classes I taught also covered therapeutic diets for various diseases and conditions (such as diabetes and gluten intolerance, for example) in addition to “normal” nutrition. My prior experience in healthcare settings had given me plenty of opportunities to work with patients on therapeutic diets, so my teaching was enhanced by that experience.