Dietetic Career Spotlight on Tori James, Designer and Nutrition Data Specialist
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MARCH 2, 2015
Tori James knows how to combine nutrition and design where she develops educational video animations to teach nutrition in a fun, out-of-the-box-type of way. Read on to learn more. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I am fascinated by the way the human body works and I like helping people.
Initially, I wanted to be a doctor and was a pre-med major in college. My nutrition classes were my favorites and I ended up going to graduate school for nutrition.
Your Job Title:
Owner at Tori James Nutrition, LLC
Nutrition Data Specialist at Ingredient1
Company you are with now:
Tori James Nutrition, LLC
I work with a variety of clients – general wellness and disease prevention, food allergies and sensitivities, celiac disease, IBS, and cardiovascular nutrition. I also give nutrition-related presentations. Currently I am developing educational video animations to teach people nutrition in an engaging way.
Ingredient1 enables shoppers to personalize food shopping for their tastes, needs, and mood, saving them time examining labels while seamlessly providing recommendations that can be shared between friends. We focus on natural and specialty foods – for each product, you can see the ingredients, allergens, nutritional info, certifications, and claims. With ingredient1, you can easily recommend products to clients through the app and empower them to find foods to fit their needs.
Instagram: @torijamesrd or instagram.com/torijamesrd
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
Each day is a combination of both companies and every day is different. Typically in the earlier part of the day I work on Ingredient1 projects; I help manage food product data, verifying that ingredients in our database are accurate. Later that afternoon, I may meet with a client. In the evening, I often work on animations.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
My first job was as an outpatient dietitian at a local hospital where I got great experience working with patients and teaching classes. In my free time, I started learning animation and design from one of my talented friends. As I started learning more and my skills improved, I started doing freelance design work (graphics, animation, web design, video), while still working at the hospital. I enjoyed my job at the hospital but after a few years, decided I wanted to try working in design full time. I worked as a freelance designer for about a year and realized that I missed nutrition and needed to find a way to combine my passions for nutrition and design. This realization led me to the two companies I work with now. They both are a great combination of nutrition and technology.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Born with: independence, entrepreneurial spirit, passion for helping others, creativity, drive
Skills I have learned along the way: animation, graphic design, web design, time management, public speaking, how to not let fear and doubt take control of my thoughts and decisions
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
-If you have a dream, go after it, have faith, be patient, be persistent. It takes a long time to get to where you want to be and there are many sacrifices along the way. Don’t get so focused on the destination that you miss out on enjoying the journey. Don’t give up, even when you really, really want to.
-Be open to new opportunities.
-Never stop learning. Learning new things opens new doors.
-Find ways to network with like-minded individuals — national and local dietetic organizations, practice groups, etc. For me, Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group (NEDPG) is an incredible resource. It is a great group of RDs that are extremely helpful and inspiring.