Dietetic Career Spotlight on Christina Moreno, Ascend Consultation
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on AUGUST 22, 2016
Meet dancer turned dietitian, Christina Moreno, MS, RD, LD, who has used her past experiences in dance to enhance her current job within the dietetic world as an eating disorder and performance nutrition specialist. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Growing up as a classically trained dancer, I spent most of my days in form fitting clothes and in front of a mirror. It wasn’t before long that the food and body image talks surfaced in the dance community. My desire to help others, interest in science, and love of food steered me into the field of dietetics after dropping my early university studies in theatre and dance. As you may have guessed, my life experiences led me into the unique field of eating disorder counseling and performance nutrition.
Your Job Title?
Intensive Outpatient Registered Dietitian, full-time
Company you are with now?
Ascend Consultation in Health Care. We specialize in intensive outpatient nutrition counseling for people struggling with eating disorders but also provide services for wellness nutrition, sport nutrition, weight management, and medical nutrition therapy.
– Twitter: @CMoDancingRD
– Pinterest: CMoDancingRD
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
I would say my workdays are a good 50/50; typical and spontaneous. The backbone is consistent: individual counseling sessions, leading group meal support/nutrition education, and collaborating with other health care providers. The spontaneity stems from having a slightly different daily schedule as well as all the “in-betweens” including: crisis intervention, mentoring dietetic interns, experiential outings, menu planning, etc.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
The honest answer: a wild coincidence and perfect timing. I was fortunate enough to hear about my current position through my fiancé (a PhD student) whose professor is also a PRN therapist with Ascend. I connected with the Director of Clinical Services, who is also an RD, and things moved forward from there! It pays to have a good network!
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Born with: ability to relate and connect with others, be open minded, creative, and a good listener
Learned: counseling skills including motivational interviewing, reflective listening, and therapeutic language, being less “in control” and more client centered, flexibility
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Network, identify an experienced mentor, and don’t be afraid to fail. I know, easier said than done; it’s a work in progress. If you’re interested in something, dive in and let those around you know what direction you want to move towards. You never know when a door can open for you!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Airline miles, live performance tickets (concerts, dance, theatre) or dance/aerial arts classes! Can I pick them all?