As the saying goes, the best diet is the one you will follow.
That means guiding people along a path they want to be on so they have the best shot at positively impacting their health. For WellSeek, we understand continuous inspiration is key to keeping people on the right track. And that takes a collective effort from experts who are already working hard to inspire others in leading healthier lives.
While there are many qualified nutrition experts out there, the ones who have undergone a nationally-recognized education and credentialing process are registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs).
WellSeek is creating ways to intertwine the conversations RDNs are having with one another with those of your own, so you can define the path you want to be on. With the help of our lead RDN, Sara Tindaro, we are working together in building a community passionate and curious about nutrition.
What brought you to your journey to nutrition and in becoming an RDN?
After graduating from UC Davis in economics, I pursued a career in finance that left me feeling empty inside. And what did I fill that emptiness with? You guessed it: food.
I was not only unhappy in my day-to-day work, but I soon found out that the foods I was choosing to eat left me feeling even worse. I soon became insatiable (no pun intended) for more and more information on the types of foods that are truly nourishing. Soon I realized I could turn this passion into a career by pursuing what was missing in my former career: helping people in a field I loved.
What is your philosophy in guiding others in their nutrition?
Nutrition has a profound impact on one’s health, but it’s only part of the puzzle. Although finding the foods that help nourish an individual is critical, the other aspects of one’s life are all connected to a person’s nutritional status. I strive to connect nutrition to the bigger picture of whole body health, a goal that I share with WellSeek.
How are RDNs different from other nutrition experts out there?
The terms ‘dietitian’ and ‘nutritionist’ are often used interchangeably, but they have very different meanings!
An RD (Registered Dietitian) or RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) has completed rigorous academic coursework and professional work in order to become credentialed. All RDNs have also passed a national exam and are required to complete a certain number of hours in professional education programs in order to remain an RDN. To give you some perspective, I took over a year of pre-requisite science classes at a community college in order to apply for an MS program in nutrition. Then I underwent three years of schooling that included about 1200 hours of supervised work. Finally, I spent the summer after I graduated to study for the RDN exam. The point is that with an RDN, you know you are receiving information from people who have completed the same requirements to be credentialed.
How do you want others to view nutrition and its broader impact on maintaining good health?
Nutrition should be both simple and pleasurable. I understand that this task is not an easy one, especially in a society where we are overwhelmed with a constant stream of conflicting nutrition news. It's especially hard for those who want long-term solutions to their problems, not just a quick fix. It makes you want to just throw your hands up in the air and have that cupcake (or five) after all. WellSeek really wants to solve that piece of the puzzle by providing tools that help people take charge of their nutrition and become an advocate for their own health.
How do you see WellSeek in the current nutrition landscape?
You know you are receiving sound nutrition information from credentialed experts when you use WellSeek. And if someone needs more individual guidance, they can be matched with and have an opportunity to check out which RDNs they want to work with.
But what really sets WellSeek apart are the resources provided to allow everyone to be in the driver’s seat of their own nutrition plan. People will be armed with the tools needed to verify the nutrition information received, dive deeper into the reasoning behind recommendations, and even question it if necessary.