I am a Registered Dietitian and I went to Johnson and Wales University and graduated with a degree in Culinary Nutrition. Then I received my master’s degree in Dietetics.
The reason I became a dietitian:
My grandmother inspired me to become a dietitian. For years I watched her suffer from uncontrolled diabetes. Unfortunately, my grandmother did not receive the proper nutritional guidance on how her food choices affected the course of her disease. My grandmother died from complications related to her diabetes. The inspiration is bittersweet because after years of learning and evolving within my field I realize the importance education truly makes when managing diabetes. My passion also ties into being culturally sensitive to others especially those living with diabetes. My grandmother was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and her diet was primarily rice, beans, plantains and meat. So, imagine being told you cannot have the foods you grew up eating. That can be devastating and leave confusion on what to eat. Allowing individually to connect the dots between their culture, nutrition and diabetes is life changing and my passion steams from that. I’ve watched numerous of times patients come to me after being told they can’t have this or that. There is so much fear and confusion within the diabetes community and that’s why I highlight my teaching on allowing individuals to truly understand food for what it is and understanding the why so they can make better food choices. I believe all foods fit while living with diabetes and that food should be enjoyed regardless of what chronic illness you have.
Although the percentage of RD of color is small, I’m happy to see that there is more awareness being spread and the importance of diversity inclusion within our field. I notice the difference when I work with patients of color and they feel more comfortable working with me. I know this will help make a difference because we can relate to those patients.