Biography – Part 2
Emilia’s Journey: Why I Became a Registered Dietitian
On the road to become a Registered Dietitian
A few years after I came to the United States, my American friend Paula died as the result of breast cancer. Crushed and bewildered by this unexpected loss, I became a voracious reader of anything published in the area of nutrition in an attempt to understand what had happened or whether this loss could have been prevented.
As I kept reading, it became clear to me that unless we take control of our bodies and practice prevention, we might not reach old age. Or if we do, we might not be in the best possible health since modern medicine does not have all the answers.
The readings also became a wakeup call for me. I realized that after a few years in this country, not only I was ignoring many of the healthy habits I grew up with in Spain, but that my diet could be described as reckless: fruits and vegetables were not part of my daily meals, my intake of saturated fat was way over the limit, and I was on the verge of becoming a sugar addict (on my trips to the supermarket my first visit was invariably to the cookie and candy aisles). In sum, a diet that eventually would have taken me where I fear the most: the doctor’s office.
As I began to recognize that the secret to enjoy good health lies in part on how we nourish our bodies along with adequate physical activity, I felt compelled to spread the “good news”. I was so excited about my findings that I became a full-time pest to friends and family, constantly lecturing them on what to eat or what not to eat.
It didn’t take me long to realize that for people to listen to what I had to say, I would need to have a formal education. Therefore, I went back to college and became a Registered Dietitian.
The first goal of this blog
My first goal on starting this blog is that the same way I felt driven to tell family and friends how to prevent disease, I want to share with you through this blog what nutrition science and centuries of experience in this field have proved to be a good course of action.
My second goal
A second goal of this blog is to help you lose weight and manage your high blood sugar, since this is the only way to prevent the terrible complications of diabetes.
My third goal
And last but not least, a third goal is to show you through this blog that a healthy life style does not have to mean deprivation or sacrifices. Is it really possible to enjoy a delicious, and at the same time, healthy meal? Of course! People in my country always do and for centuries they have been notorious for being among the healthiest people on earth. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel; let’s use the one that was invented for us.
Steps to become a Registered Dietitian
Because people ask me all the time what does exactly mean “Registered Dietitian”, I would like to give you a brief recap of how you get to become one:
- A bachelor in nutrition science in an accredited US university (I obtained mine at California State University, Los Angeles)
- 2. Nine months of practice at hospitals or institutions dealing with food (most of my practices were done at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles.
- Pass the test with the American Dietetic Association, which I did in 2006, right after I graduated having completed my 9 months of practice. Only after you have complete steps 1-3 you are legally authorized to use the R.D. initials.
After you become a Registered Dietitian, you need to go through continuous education in your field and renew your license every five years with the American Dietetic Association.