Why I Am a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

I started college as a business major because I was going to climb the corporate ladder and be a #girlboss. But then I started getting sick. And then sicker. I couldn’t function and I was in an out of doctor’s offices for months until I was referred to a GI specialist (gastroenterologist or internist).

He figured out that I was severely lactose intolerant.

“Cut out dairy. You’ll be fine,” he said.

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That was literally the extent of it. Here I had been suffering terrible pain and upset for months and that was all the information the doctor gave me?

I had already been struggling with food, weight issues, and developing a positive body image. I felt like I was struggling to just be good enough ... and now I had to also deal with this severe intolerance.

Fortunately, I had learned how to learn and research while I was in school and I started reading. I started feeling better due to making changes in my diet and nutrition. But I always wondered, “How many other people are being told things like this but have no idea what to do next?”

And then while I was getting ready to go back to school, my parents divorced.

Even though I wasn’t close to my dad, it was hard on me. It was a tragedy for both my parents.

They were Type 2 diabetics, but my mom was a nurse and managed her diabetes fairly well.

My dad wasn’t as careful with his to begin with and after they split up, he stopped caring.

Just 2 years later, he passed away at 59 from complications of his diabetes.

It changed my life in so many ways. It wasn’t just hard losing my dad when I was 26, but one of the hardest parts was knowing that it was preventable.

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I had already returned to school and completed my undergraduate degree nutrition because of my own health struggles, so this only added to my determination.

After I received my bachelor’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from U.C. Davis, I completed a Master's of Public Health and a Dietetic Internship from California State University, Fresno where I was the Graduate Student of the Year in the Health Promotion program.

I conducted research with U.C. Merced and the results were published in Clinical Pediatrics. While at U.C. Merced, I was 1 of 3 students chosen to be a Fellow of the Great Valley Center.

I have served as a Legislative Ambassador for the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics- Central Valley District and am currently serving on the state board. I’m also a member of the Clovis Rotary.

In my free time, I love to travel, line dance, run, spend time with my family and gleefully, unashamedly eat cupcakes at parties. I also sometimes drink wine (shocker! Join me on Facebook for “Wine Down Wednesdays”).