When I was younger, I used to think, “everyone has to eat, might as well make it good.” But my definition of “good” has changed over the years. Growing up as a kid and teenager, “good” meant things that tasted good: French fries, candy, burgers, candy, pizza and more candy! But now “good” has a different meaning to me.
In college, I was trying to discover what I wanted to be when I grew up. I took several science classes as this was always an interest to me. One day I enrolled in a nutrition course and everything just clicked. We are what we eat. Our bodies will function no matter what type of food, or fuel, we provide it. But through nutrition we can impact the degree to which our body will function. And thus, the phrase “everyone has to eat, might as well make it good,” changed for me that day.
I loved learning about how different vitamins and minerals affected cell function and about different calorie and protein needs for our bodies during growth. But what was most interesting is how the fuel requirements for the body differ when we are sick. I was surprised to learn that during illness, different “diets” can help the body to function optimally. I am now a registered dietitian providing medical nurition therapy to all types of patients, but my passion lies on oncology.
During my training, I completed a rotation on the cancer units, and again, something just clicked and felt right. I love being surrounded by such motivated patients who want to make an impact in their lives through nutrition. Every day I get to help empower individuals by providing them with nutrition knowledge that could improve their health and their quality of life.