Dietetic Career Spotlight: Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on JUNE 12, 2012
Here is an RD who has co-authored multiple books such as the Calorie Counter Journal for Dummies and the Restaurant Calorie Counter for Dummies, by Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN. Read on to find out how Rosanne has married her passion for nutrition and health with her writing skills.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
As a teen, I had food sensitivities and colitis. I realized that what I ate had a huge impact on my immediate and long term health (of course as a teen, I was more motivated by the immediate impact). So, when my sister-in-law suggested a “food and nutrition” major in college, I went for it! It turns out, that my interest in science and how things work was a good fit. I really enjoy relating to people and helping them change negative behaviors to gain better health.
Your Job Title and Company you are with now?
NUTRITION COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT, SELF-EMPLOYED.
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you.
Writing, editing, and more writing:) Writing articles about nutrition and health; posting blogs, resources and comments on social media sites; developing nutrition lectures; doing radio or TV interviews or talk-shows; mailing out books for professionals to review. I don’t like doing the same thing day after day, so I love that my practice allows me to go from project to project, where I can intensely focus on one or two things for a finite period of time.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
It began in 1994 when I approached the local newspaper about writing a column for the health and science section. I sought advice from a mentor (a professor I had in grad school who also was a newspaper columnist), and the paper said, ‘yes’. I still write monthly columns for them (that’s almost 18 years now). I have always enjoyed writing, and one thing led to another. Getting that initial experience and exposure was important.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I guess I was born with the ability to see things differently; to notice what others do not (or that they ignore), and to see the “big picture”. I’m passionate about helping people really understand the facts too. The human body is complicated, and I enjoy helping people understand complicated subjects in simple terms. Nothing is a better teaching tool than experience. Over the years, I’ve learned how to come out of my shell and communicate my true passions, which has brought confidence. The only way to become a better nutrition counselor is to put in lots of hours. Effective nutrition counseling incorporates behavioral counseling, and this is something that you get better at doing, by doing more and more of it. As you experience more people and situations, you become more effective. My past experience in turn has made me a more effective writer because I’m in tune with what people struggle with and what keeps them “stuck” from being able to make changes.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
1. Do what you have passion for – you can’t be great (or happy) if you’re bored or frustrated.
2. Build experience – by taking every opportunity that comes your way, even if it’s not “perfect” (perfect job, perfect hours, perfect pay, perfect time in your life, etc) The more you do, the more you learn, and the more people you can meet with experiences to share. This builds confidence.
3. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF – Nothing can replace experience, but your mindset counts too. A positive self-worth supports confidence, and confidence leads to your true path to fulfillment. Your special skill set is probably a lot more valuable than you think.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Appreciation, and the news that what I’ve written helps someone feel better, get through the day, or overcome eating/diet barriers. My goal is to get people to that “ah-ha” moment.