Dietetic Career Spotlight on Hope Anderson, Health with Hope
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on JANUARY 29, 2016
I originally met Hope Anderson, RDN, LDN, 200 RYT, through Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group where she attended one of our meetings. She was outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging. She has a great way of relating to people and making them feel welcome. These characteristics and skills truly shine in her career, too. Read on to learn more about Hope’s practice from journalism to pageants to dietetics. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
A lifelong fascination with nutrition science, the human body, and general health fueled my journey into the dietetics profession. The path by which I became a dietitian, however, was anything but typical. I first obtained a degree in Mass Communications with the intent of pursuing a journalism career; however, while serving a one-year reign as Miss Louisiana 2011, I addressed our state’s obesity epidemic at a conference for registered dietitians in April 2012 and underscored how we must continue doing everything in our power to resolve this health crisis. After speaking, a dietitian approached me and shared that she recognized my compassion for others and enthusiasm for nutrition. She encouraged me to pursue RDN credentials and to consider becoming a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This singular exchange caused me to rewrite the very blueprint of my life and future career. Rather than pursuing a Master of Arts in Communication at Johns Hopkins that fall, I launched myself wholeheartedly into the rigors of studying nutrition and dietetics; never once have I looked back.
Today I maintain that enthusiasm and am privileged to work with people and corporations, translating scientifically sound nutrition research into practical, easy-to-digest information.
Your Job Title:
Founder and Owner of Health with Hope; Associate Editor of Edible Nashville
Company you are with now:
Health with Hope, my private nutrition counseling/consulting practice and Edible Nashville, Nashville’s premiere food magazine.
Other Social Media links you would like to include:
– Instagram: @hopeanderson
– Twitter: @hopeandersonRD
– Facebook: facebook.com/healthwithhopeanderson
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
Every day is different (which I love!), but in some form or fashion includes writing, some sort of food or restaurant photography, planning new story ideas for the next Edible Nashville issue, interacting with farmers in one of our twelve Nashville farmers’ markets, interviewing a chef or attending promotional events for an up-and-coming Music City restaurant, developing new content for Health with Hope, and continuing to motivate and inspire my clients toward their own optimal health.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
As a self-starter and entrepreneur, I knew from the beginning of my dietetics career that I wanted to have a private practice that educated and inspired people of all ages, backgrounds, and eating preferences to eat, move, and live well. Through Health with Hope, I provide specialized nutrition counseling and consulting to individuals and groups, empowering them to listen to and honor their bodies, rethink their relationship with food, and take charge of their own wellness. I am amazed everyday that I get to do this for a living, as I feel great satisfaction and fulfillment in the daily interactions and exchanges with my clients.
As for my career in the magazine world, my AP English high school teacher recently reminded me of a paper I wrote on career ambitions my junior year (how she recalls something I wrote ten years ago is beyond me!). In it, I stated I aspired to write on food, nutrition, and health for a magazine. Apparently, the saying “Put your goals to paper and they’ll be more likely to happen” rings true because this past May (2015) that dream became a reality!
I was able to spend the final five weeks of my dietetic internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center completing a concentration rotation with Edible Nashville. Our Editor, Jill Melton, RDN and former Food Editorial Director of Cooking Light magazine, took me under her wing, allowed me to flex my food photography and writing skills, and taught me the ins-and-outs of what it takes to put a publication together.
Post-internship and upon passing the registration exam, I was thrilled to be hired on as the Associate Editor of the Edible. My current job responsibilities include everything from creating editorial content for the magazine and web, food photography, ad design, and managing our Edible Artisan Collective.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born to innately demonstrate leadership and think critically and analytically, as well as to interact with people of all ages, making them feel valued and uplifted. I believe one of my greatest strengths is that I am able to have a conversation with anyone, a friend or stranger, from ages 2 to 92. Some of the skills I have been able to hone are my public speaking skills and creative design abilities to promote nutrition and wellness in an innovative and impactful manner to reach various public audiences. Completing the Dietetic Internship program at Vanderbilt also provided me with an incredible new set of skills, including effective patient counseling through motivational interviewing and coaching techniques and inter-professional patient-centered care techniques.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
The science of nutrition is young and ever evolving, and it is paramount that we are not only credible, but also passionate about furthering this field. In light of our country’s deteriorating health, never before has there been a greater need for dietitians who will educate the public on the value of nutrition in the prevention of chronic diseases. As a registered dietitian, my intention is to devote my life to this cause as a leader, trailblazer, and caring practitioner. This vigorous passion and intention is what, I believe led me down a successful path. Success is truly when opportunity and preparation meet, and I would encourage dietetics students, interns, and professionals alike to maintain what the inimitable Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
If you can dream it and you possess the desire to achieve it, anything is possible within our field!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
If money were no object and the expenses of Nashville-living were miraculously covered, I would love to be paid in a limitless supply of groceries from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods! If that were the case though, I might never leave the kitchen…