Americans surely have the market covered when it comes to weird or unknown holidays. Aside from National Potato Chip Day, Appreciate a Dragon Day, and Fight Procrastination Day, there are a few others I thought you should know about:
- National Goof Off Day is March 22nd. That’s next Thursday! You better hurry up and plan something or all the best do-nothing stuff will be taken!
- National Juggling Day is July 16th. No WAY. So weird!! That is also my BIRTHDAY. Clearly Juggling With Julia was written in the stars.
- National Beheading Day is September 2nd. No worries, I’ve already got a game plan. Plan to wear a steel-collared shirt and avoid all medieval-themed gatherings until the following day. Pay your debts. Apologize to your sister-in-law for poking fun at her prune and scallion frittata. And under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you accept a dinner invitation from anyone named Henry, no matter how kingly he may appear
- National Plan Your Epitaph Day is November 1st. Hmm. Who’s in charge of the annual calendar? Seems like they’re a bit out of order. Surely, this holiday should happen prior to National Beheading Day. Nonetheless, if you make it to September 3rd, go ahead and get a rough draft done. You just never know…
But enough about those silly holidays. TODAY is National Registered Dietitian Day; a day to give kudos to the nutrition experts who work to improve the health of the public. If you know any RDs (besides me), give them a hug, a high five, or a thumbs up. They deserve it! If you’re curious to see what the career path for an RD looks like, check out this link at the website for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics!
Did you know that I come from a family of RDs? The first dietitian I ever knew was my grandmother, Betty Johnson. She trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital back in the 1930′s, and spent much of her career in school food service. In fact, she started the school lunch program in my home town and was the director until she retired in the 1970′s. Not even once was I allowed to bring a bagged lunch while she was in charge
She was a master meal planner at home as well. I remember many Sunday dinners at her house with lace tablecloths, the best china laid out, and elaborate dishes (including calves tongue!) She was also quite fashion forward for her time and made efforts to improve my wardrobe as well. She took me shopping once when I was 10, with a plan to outfit me in a skirt and dress boots. Being more of a jeans-wearing, kick-the-can playing kind of gal, I protested bitterly. We eventually compromised and went with gaucho pants and boots. It’s a good bet she was chagrined that I did not inherit her fashion sense, and, thus, a shame she never knew I would follow in her professional footsteps one day.
Also in the family tree is my aunt, Elvira Johnson. She has been a constant encouragement to me since I decided to study nutrition in college. As far as role models go, she is absolutely tops. A diabetes expert, she has worked tirelessly at the state and national level to document the costs and benefits of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) and published groundbreaking documents and articles highlighting the positive clinical outcomes of MNT. In addition, she was a key player in the successful bid for licensure for dietitians in Massachusetts, something that generations of dietitians to come will benefit from. And, her diabetes expertise sure came in handy when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my third pregnancy!
In my case, I spent several years as an RD in clinical settings and then at the state public health department before finding my niche working for a dietetic internship. At the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston it is my pleasure to work with the best and brightest nutrition students in the country, helping them navigate the rigorous internship year, eventually guiding them towards their first jobs. Despite what my job description says, they teach and inspire me every day, and remind me why I love my chosen profession. Once they graduate from our internship, they go on to specialize in a variety of areas, such as critical care, weight loss surgery, pediatrics, nutrition education, long-term care, and private practice. It is a great job at a wonderful hospital and I am grateful to be there.
On this National Registered Dietitian Day, I am happy to highlight some of my favorite Registered Dietitians, who represent many areas of practice, from pediatrics to bariatrics, publication to supplementation, research to wellness. These ladies are just a small sample of the large network of dietitians whom I am proud to call colleagues!
HAPPY RD DAY!