Tired of boring salads? Spruce up your salad with this Blood Orange & Freekeh Salad recipe.
Is anyone else as sick of the snow as much as I am? If you live in the northeast like me, you know what I mean..
Move over Winter, bring on Spring. My warm bowls of soup cravings have past and now my cravings have moved on to fresh colorful salads.
I typically always pack a salad for lunch. It’s a sure way I will meet my fruit/veggie quota for the day. Someone I work with noticed my salad routine and asked if I ever got bored of salad every day. Honestly, no! But it’s because I don’t pack a plain ole salad. The key is to pumping it up with various colors, textures, and flavors!
I always like to make sure I have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and plenty of fiber for the salad to keep me full through the afternoon.
Get adventurous! Find foods in your grocery store that you may not always pick up week to week. Blood oranges are fantastic and if you like navel oranges, you’ll definitely enjoy these too!
Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Part One covered Steps 1 & 2 of becoming a Registered Dietitian, about college courses and the dietetic internship you must complete in order to be eligible to take the RD Exam. In case you missed it, stop there first.
Today is all about Step 3 – Study materials to help prepare you to pass the RD exam. While completing the dietetic internship you learn so much, you really need to study to be fully prepared to take the RD exam.
The exam is broken up into 4 domains: Food & Nutrition Sciences, Nutrition Care, Management of Food & Nutrition, and Foodservice Systems.
The exam is always taken at a test center that must follow the regulations of the exam. It is computerized and you are provided with a calculator and a mini white board to work out answers.
The questions are not in any specific order. The exam gives a minimum of 125 questions. Out of those 125 questions, 100 of them count toward the exam and 25 of them are testing for future RD exam questions. I personally, did not like knowing this. When I got to a particularly hard questions I second guessed if it was a real question or a question for future exam that wasn’t counting toward my exam.
Also, 125 exam questions is the minimum. You could get up to 145 exam questions. As you are taking the exam it is being monitored of the difficulty level. If the examinee receives more difficult questions throughout, fewer questions are needed to be answered correctly to pass the exam. Personally, I had all 145 questions.
The exam has a time limit set for 2.5 hours. You must answer each question to move on to the next one. The exam times out once the 2.5 hours are up.
The exam costs $200 dollars. If you happen to not pass the first time, you unfortunately have to wait 6 weeks to take the exam again.
Before you take the exam, you have to fully prepare yourself. There are various study materials out there to utilize. I want to share the ones I have used and other resources that are available.
Jean Inman’s Study Guide
You could go to her two day seminar to go through all the material in full detail, or you can purchase the materials to study at home. While it’s a little pricy at $385, I believe it was 100% worth it and I valued this guide the most and felt like it prepared me the best.
The study materials include:
• Detailed, comprehensive Study Manual following CDR study guidelines, covering all Domains. We do all the research, so your time is spent studying, not searching for information!
• All lectures on CD. Listen as you study the Manual. Because most of what is discussed is printed for you in the Manual, note-taking will be minimized. Your time can be spent learning.
• Over 1000 sample test questions.
• Tips on how to study and how to take the computerized test.
• Individual support provided by mail, phone or e-mail. If you have questions after you have studied a section.
The study materials are very in depth covering the nitty-gritty details that will appear on the exam. I would listen to the CDs in the car or on my iPod and go for a walk. [Side note: An embarrassing moment happened when I just put my iPod on shuffle before teaching a spin class. On the the tracks from the study guide came on and was talking about anthocyanins and the gym go-ers were a tad confused. lol] Visual Veggies
Get the experience you need to prepare yourself for the Registration Exam for Dietitians. The RD Practice Exam is a multiple-choice quiz application that closely resembles the actual RD Exam. The practice exams contain questions comparable to what is asked on the actual exam. All exam domains and their subcategories are included with many questions in each. The practice exams are timed tests to simulate the pressure of test-taking with limited time. Beyond the actual exam, the RD Practice Exam provides immediate feedback on whether the selected answer is correct or incorrect. Plus, a detailed description for each question explains more about the topic for a full learning experience.
I really loved Visual Veggies. It was great to have a structure like the how the RD exam would be – a timed series of questions. While Jean Inman’s practice questions had an answer key to the questions, I preferred Visual Veggies practice tests, because it had an explanation for each question you got incorrect.
What is also great, is that you can download the software to your computer, iPad, iPhone, or iPhone touch so you can easily study on the go!
The practice exams also give you a breakdown of how you did with the questions from each domain. This was a big help to see which areas I was strong in and other areas that I was weak in and needed to study more. The software can take an average of all of your exams taken to give you an overall average in each domain as well. ** Other study materials my fellow RD friends have used: materials from EatRight.org, RDstudy.com, RD Exam Secrets Study Guide. I have not personally used any of these. If you have used any of these before, please share what you liked/didn’t like about these study materials.
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Tips for studying and taking the exam:
1. Give yourself a timeline.
I scheduled my exam the second my paperwork went through for completing my dietetic internship. Knowing when I was taking the exam, I scheduled the days I would study and planned what domains I would cover each of those days. 2. Get out of the house.
Studying at home, I would often get distracted. I became Starbucks best customers during those weeks of studying. I would be more focused when I was studying elsewhere. Plus, the perk was a a treat to a latte. 3. Practice!
Yes, you may have majority of the material memorized, but make sure you are able to apply the information to answer the exam questions. I personally felt the exam questions were great prep to apply the information studied. 4. Don’t overstudy.
Often times, overstudying can lead to second guessing the answers. Which brings to the next tip. 5. Be confident!
Be confident in your answers. What took me awhile to get used to, was that you had to answer the question to move forward to the next questions, and not able to go back to any questions. I would get super anxious about this, but remember you don’t have to get a perfect score. The questions I noticed I was taking a little too long on, I would try to eliminate as many wrong answers as I could and make an educated guess. 6. Celebrate!!!!
You just passed the RD exam. Congrats on becoming a Registered Dietitian. It is am amazing feeling after passing the exam. All the hard work feels like it has truly paid off! Disclosure: I received permission by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for use of NNM logo. I was provided the Visual Veggies software for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Join Julie at RDelicious Kitchen as she shares the steps in order to become a Registered Dietitian and her journey to becoming a RD.
Happy National Nutrition Month. In case you missed it, stop over to my blog post earlier this week to learn about what National Nutrition Month is and the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist.
So, how to you become a Registered Dietitian?
Every Registered Dietitian needs to complete the following in order to get those little RD credential letters after your name. [Step One] Complete a set of course accredited by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND). [Step Two] Complete a dietetic internship, also accredited by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. [Step Three] Study, study, study, and pass the RD exam! [Step Four] Continue to learn and keep up with the latest research with continuing education credits.
Today, we are going to learn a little more about steps 1 & 2. Step One: Complete a set of course approved by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND).
In order to move on to step two of completing a dietetic internship, you must complete at least a bachelor’s degree and ACEND-accredited coursework requirements (Didactic Program in Dietetics).
Now, where some colleges have nutrition courses, they may not be accredited by AND or cover the required materials to move on to completing a dietetic internship. Be sure to research schools before applying.
Find accredited nutrition programs here:
Step Two: Complete a dietetic internship, also accredited by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
After you complete all of the undergraduate course work, the next step is to apply to a dietetic internship, and get accepted!
AND provides another portal for you to see the various internship programs here:
Dietetic Internship programs are very competitive, so it is important to keep your GPA up during undergraduate course work and be involved in various activities and volunteer experiences as much as possible.
There is a common application called DICAS (Dietetic Internship Central Application Services) to upload all of your prerequisite course, resume, volunteer experience, etc.
You are able to apply to as many programs as you choose, but then you are ranked according to your application and matched to one of the internships that you applied to. For a better understanding of the matching system click here.
Often schools will also hold interviews for the applicants they are interested in.
Currently all DIs must provide at least 1200 hours of supervised practice. This is usually completed in 8-24 months depending on the availability of a part-time schedule or requirement of graduate credit. Individuals completing the program who are verified by the program director are eligible to write the CDR registration examination for dietitians. Read in more detail of the coursework completed during a dietetic internship here.
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“When you grow up, what do you want to be?” How many times were you asked that when you were younger. I don’t think many children really raise their hand and say Registered Dietitian, myself included.
I remember being a senior in high school with so many different ideas of what I wanted to do for a career. I just remember feeling so stressed with the feeling at 17 years old deciding what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I actually started at Cabrini College with a major in Health Promotion. Honestly, part of my interest there was that I could play field hockey, but as I was attending Cabrini, I realized that this school and this major was not for me. I still wanted to be in the health field, but unsure where.
Cabrini Field Hockey team photo
The next year, I transferred to Johnson & Wales University where I can say it was one of the best decisions of my life. For work, I recently spoke to a high school about going to culinary school and then how to become a Registered Dietitian after. I was reminiscing of all of the amazing classes and opportunities I had there that really made me grow in the profession as a Registered Dietitian.
Going to culinary school is not as the traditional route of undergraduate course studies that many nutrition students take in order to become a Registered Dietitian.
At Johnson & Wales you must complete an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts before going into the Bachelor’s Degree of Culinary Nutrition that contains the accredited DPD classes.
My first day at Johnson & Wales!
The Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts really covered all the basics of cooking skills, techniques, various cuisines, and cooking methods with classes like:
Then you have to apply to the Bachelor’s Degree for Culinary Nutrition at Johnson & Wales where you continue to take culinary classes, but with a heavy nutrition focus and cover all the academic nutrition courses accredited by AND as well.
(^ that was actually one of my Chefs when I was attending JWU!)
Some of the Culinary Nutrition classes include:
These classes were so valuable. I use so much of the material I learned from JWU today. With a degree in Culinary Nutrition, it really opens up so many doors for different careers in nutrition.
After completing JWU, I actually didn’t go on right away into a dietetic internship program. During the application process during my senior year at JWU, I ended up needing surgery and took a full trimester off from classes. I then had to finish my courses during the that summer after graduation.
I feel like taking the year off before applying was actually a blessing in disguise. It gave me time to really research and figure out that I definitely wanted to take the next steps to become a Registered Dietitian. I worked to save money and really improved my resume with more volunteer hours and various experiences to strengthen my application. Without that extra oomph, would I have gotten in if I applied right out of JWU?.. We will never know! Step Two:
I was accepted to the College of Saint Elizabeth for my dietetic internship!
By completing my dietetic internship at the College of Saint Elizabeth, I completed 1200 + hours of supervised practice in many different areas including: food service management, medical surgical inpatient care, enteral/parenteral nutrition, developmental care, school food service, diabetes outpatient care, renal outpatient care, community nutrition, long term care, and corporate wellness.
The 3 dietetic coordinators at CSE were absolutely amazing. They all had different areas of specialties which I really felt like brought the whole program full circle in helping prepare the students for success.
With covering so many hours of the dietetic internship, I was able to experience so many setting of where a dietitian can work and what dietitians do in these various settings. I learned a SO much more than what a text book could ever provide. I am a much better learner hands-on and this is exactly what the dietetic internship is.
With being exposed to so many setting of what a dietitian can do, also helped me figure out what I wanted for my career as a Registered Dietitian. Personally, for me I knew clinical wasn’t the setting that I was looking for long term. As I found it rewarding, I just think being in hospitals myself for various reasons, I wasn’t particularly fond of the environment.
While the dietetic internship prepared me a lot .. there was still A LOT of studying needed to be done before taking the RD exam. So stay tuned! Coming up: Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Part Two – Study tools and materials for the RD exam Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Part Three – My experience as a Registered Dietitian
Disclosure: I received permission by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for use of NNM logo.
Happy National Nutrition Month! Tune in all month for nutrition themed posts including: steps to becoming a RD, my personal journey to becoming a RD, featured RDs sharing their stories, plus nutritious recipes and more!
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health. (source)
This year celebrating National Nutrition month is a little extra special. This is the first National Nutrition month I am celebrating as a Registered Dietitian! Time flies when you are having fun.
This month I thought it would be a lot of fun to share my experiences of becoming a Registered Dietitian and feature other fellow RD’s as well.
Throughout my first year as a Registered Dietitian, I cannot even count the number of times I explained what the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist is.
The general populations is often confused about the difference between a “nutritionist” and a dietitian, but it is not accurate to use these terms interchangeably. Some registered dietitians (RDs) may refer to themselves as nutritionists, possibly to simplify things for someone less familiar with the term dietitian, but not all nutritionists are RDs.
The title nutritionist could be an array of different things. It is not a recognized credential and the definition can even vary from state to state. In certain cases, one may call themselves a nutritionist and may have some nutrition education and even obtained a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, but did not complete a dietetic internship and pass the RD exam. While others can still call themselves a nutritionist as well by taking a nutrition course without real pertinent education or training in the field of nutrition.
A Registered Dietitian has met specific academic requirements set forth by the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The credential RD (registered dietitian) is nationally-recognized, legally protected, professional title and it can only be used by those who are authorized by the CDR.
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