Becoming a Registered Dietitian – My Story


The number one question I get asked on my blog is WHY I chose to become an RD.  I’d love to be able to tell people the answer to this question in one short, neat and all-encompassing way, but the truth is I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life for a LONG time (Until I was 25 years old in fact). I dealt with this issue in the way any normal 18 year old would, I grabbed a backpack and bounced about the world for a few years, waiting for an epiphany.  When that didn’t point me in a direction I was satisfied with, I came home and worked in various sales-related jobs and tried to figure out what I wanted to do at university.  Eventually, while I was toying with the idea of a business degree, a friend of mine mentioned the field of nutrition.  To them it was obvious, I had a science background, I was always reading nutrition related books and I was super interested in the food I was eating for my health and sports performance.  Why not take my natural interest a stage further and make it my career?

Epiphany received

On paper, working in nutrition would tick many, if not all of my ‘career’ boxes.  However, once I started to try and find a nutrition course, I became confused. Initially, I was focused on finding a home-study course. I mean, how hard could it be?  I was pretty sure I was already well informed and the course would only be a formality…….Wrong. A quick search of the internet found So. Many. Courses. They were all different lengths, via different modes of study, with a zillion different companies and qualification names.  I had no idea how I was supposed to pick a ‘good’ well respected course from a bad one.  Eventually, I dismissed them all and decided to work from the top down.  Perhaps the only way I could be sure that I was getting a good education was to finally go to university.

What on earth is ‘Dietetics’?

The terms ‘dietitian’ and ‘dietetics’ were completely new to me, but once I started reading, it seemed like the only path to go down.   Completing a vocational dietetics degree meant I would be educated at degree level in core sciences (including chemistry and physiology), applied nutritional science AND I would leave a member of the only regulated nutrition profession in the UK. So, there was no ‘quick fix’ for a nutrition qualification. Luckily I already had the pre-requisite science A levels, but without a science degree, I wasn’t eligible for the shorter 2 year masters course and I was going back to school for 4 years.

To Now..

Fast forward through 4 years of study, 3 (sometimes stressful) clinical placements and a few years working hard in NHS hospitals and I’m sitting here in Bali, working on creating my dream nutrition coaching company.

I couldn’t be happier.

So I guess the answer to ‘WHY’ I chose dietetics isn’t straight forward, but I can tell you why I love it. I love working in an area which I’m passionate about. I love working to help people improve the quality of their lives. I love critiquing nutrition trends and fads. I love expanding my knowledge in an ever- growing field. But most of all I love whole, real, good quality food…and eating!


To read more about HOW to become an RD, check out this post.


Are you an RD?

What do you love most about working as a nutrition professional?

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3 Responses

  1. Lauren
    August 16, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Great story – I always love hearing how others got into the field! My favorite part is building relationships with clients & watching them grow, as well as working in the same office as amazing practitioners to support clients fully. So excited that you’ll be starting to coach too.

    • helen
      August 16, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Thanks Lauren! It’s a rewarding job for sure :) Keep up the good work!

  2. Annelie
    August 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Great post! I had a similar difficulty in choosing my career path in school and once I didn’t get the grades to study medicine I really had to question what I was naturally good at and interested in. Being brought up in an Irish family which has a huge social emphasis on eating/cooking and having a great baker of a granny – dietetics made sense. I got to help people the way doctors do but also do something I enjoy. The field of dietetics is so broad and it’s great to have a degree that allows you to have such a broad skill set that you can apply and adapt to so many industry’s apart from the health service!

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