Dietetic Career Spotlight: Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE, Enlightened Choices
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RD on MAY 8, 2012
Meet private practice owner, corporate wellness educator, writer, and speaker, Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE. Nancy knows how to enlighten people’s choices and give them the tools they need to make successful, lifestyle changes towards optimal health.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I started out in nursing and loved the science classes. I was fascinated by the effect of nutrition on cellular physiology. Nutritional science is simply “applied biochemistry.”
Your Job Title?
Principal Dietitian, Certified Diabetes & Weight Management Educator
Company you are with now?
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you.
Every day is different & depends on the setting: On the days I deliver MNT for a large physician practice in San Francisco, I begin seeing clients at 8 am & finish at 6:00pm.
I also have a private office in San Francisco where I meet with both corporate clients and individuals that are referred from physicians.
Some days I telecommute & write blogs or nutrition articles for food companies.
I teach community & corporate nutrition seminars about two to three times a month.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I started by paying attention to those professional activities that created joy for myself & those around me. I believe work should be fun, so I simply wanted to increase the time I spent doing those activities. Public speaking and creating engaging messages around nutrition is fun for me, so I focused on how I could be of service to those in the community and have fun at the same time. Then, I hired talent to build a website and began marketing nutrition seminars to corporations, nutrition/marketing articles to food companies and letters local MD’s.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I believe I was born to attract, engage and entertain those who are outside the “choir” of healthy eating. My favorite clients/audience are beer drinking, cigar smoking men. My mission is to translate nutritional science into meaningful visions that can change their perceptions about the role in their personal health. When I think about nutritional science, like nutritional genomics for example, I see it as a picture in my mind. Then I think about what is motivating my audience. Is it more vitality or more control over their destiny? Do they want to dance at their daughter’s wedding and how can I help them get there? Do they believe their health is their doctor’s responsibility or do they want to manage their health care with their fork? Then, I marry the pictures about nutrition in my mind with their goals. What messages will capture their attention and engage them to take an active stance in their health? Creating these messages is a craft that is ongoing challenge in my career.
Public speaking is a skill that I have learned through practice. Lots of practice. I’m still practicing & working on it :)
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Create a vision of what you enjoy doing. Believe in that vision and take a risk. As Eleanor Roosevelt on said “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”