Dietetic Career Spotlight on Monique Richard, Nutrition-In-Sight
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on FEBRUARY 13, 2017
Meet Monique Richard, MS, RDN, LDN, who has combined her clinical dietetic knowledge with an integrative twist and works in both private practice and as a yoga instructor. Read on to learn about her inspiring career path as an educator and advocate of our profession. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I was always interested in health, nutrition and was active in gymnastics, soccer, and dance but it became clearer when I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Both Type I are II are prevalent in my family and the doctors (saw several) were astonished (we’re very atypical) but never referred me to a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), they simply gave me prescriptions and sent me on my way. Since my family’s diabetes was so well controlled and they themselves were not formally educated specifically on diet, as well as being the youngest, it wasn’t something I really understood or was talked a lot about at home. I began reading books and teaching myself about how diet and blood glucose control were directly related, especially in systemic function and the positive influence of plant-based diets in disease and DM. The books I was reading were either written by dietitians or mentioned working with them…I knew then that’s exactly what I had to do- go back to school to be an RDN. I wanted to be the person that educated, advocated, encouraged and supported patients not only with chronic disease but any nutritional needs to enhance their health and inspire their lives. To use food as medicine, teach empowerment in contributing to one’s own health and be the person I wish I had in my life at an excruciating challenging and vulnerable time was my mission. I went back to school, have had an incredibly amazing journey (which continues) have not looked back since!
Your Job Title?
I am an Integrative Clinical Dietitian Nutritionist for two local primary care practices (outpatient) with over 75 physicians and 100 providers as well as have my own practice, Nutrition-In-Sight.
Company you are with now?
– Owner, Nutrition-In-Sight and
– State of Franklin Healthcare Associates
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monutrition
– Twitter: @moniquerichard
– Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/117416365727671335158/posts
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
I am at my clinic office on a daily basis, seeing patients throughout the day, returning phone calls, writing articles for a monthly column, blog, dietetic practice group (DPG) newsletter, book or other media, participating in conference calls, creating educational materials, presentations and lots more. I also teach yoga or see my private practice clients in the evenings and am the Immediate Past Chair for the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine DPG.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
A colleague told me they were hiring. I made an inquiry, had a meeting, and part-time turned to full-time.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Connecting and listening to people comes naturally to me and it was an ongoing joke at home during middle and high school that whenever the phone would ring it would be for me, for ‘counselor Monique.’ I think most dietitians are natural problem-solvers and I thrive on challenges and being able to use compassion and creativity together to make a real change or difference. I have a deep hunger for continued knowledge and enhancing my skills, but I have learned that sometimes my enthusiasm or expectations can be overwhelming for others. Diabetes (and yoga) has forced me to understand the tremendously important lesson of learning to ‘let-go.’ To let go of things like perfection (in blood glucose numbers, outcomes, expectations, of things being precise and perfect before moving into action—perfection paralysis), negative self-talk, judgment… learning to protect myself from the things I cannot control and so so much more, I am going to write a book for sure! Technological skills and our fast-paced society have been ongoing lessons along the way as well, simultaneously learning again to let-go of the overwhelm of it all and get back to basics, nature and nurture.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Follow your heart, be true to your own passions and beliefs and do things because you want to do it that way and believe in it, not because it is what is trending, the norm, or expected. At the same time, be open-minded and willing to see other perspectives and learn a different approach to what you may have thought you already knew.
Remember that we can only expect to receive back what we deliver, the more kindness, positivity and genuine effort you put out there, the more fulfilled and successful you will be. You have to find what intrinsically drives you, if it is money, followers, recognition or similar measures, ultimately, it’s not going to last or be fulfilling.
Learn, learn, learn– about food insecurity, integrative and functional medicine, biochemistry, supplements, sustainability, the power of plants, know you are the expert, keep feeding that knowledge pool. Get your Masters degree, take a writing or cooking class, learn from each other. Travel, travel, travel, and learn about the world outside of your own.
I am continually inspired by our colleagues who are changing lives, saving lives (humans and animals), nurturing our environment and shaping the future of health. We do have the power to change the world for the better, let’s do it!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Nourishing food and clean water to give to all the living beings on the planet.