PROLOGUE: When I created my Guilt-Free RD® name and tagline, and started sharing my philosophy, I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from other RDs and I knew I’d struck a cord with like-minded dietitians. That sparked an idea for a new way to interview, share and promote dietitians, their brands and their services. My traditional dietitian interviews are longer and more focused on sharing communications tips and tricks as well as the interviewee’s career journey. In contrast, these interviews will be shorter and more focused on the RD’s food philosophy and services. I hope you enjoy them and will contact me to share YOUR food philosophy!
MELISSA: What is your food philosophy and why?
ELANA: I’m an “everything in moderation” kind of gal. Why? Because life is too short and it’s too darn hard to have strict rules! Will a single chocolate bar cause obesity? No – and neither will a single apple make you healthy. It’s all about having a healthy approach to food, and having good, healthful patterns that set us up for success.
MELISSA: Tell us a little more about you and your brand
ELANA: I’m a second-career dietitian. I started out in the public relations field, working for PR agencies in Chicago and Denver before going back to school full time to become a registered dietitian. I did it because I love food and health and because I wanted to have an area of expertise to really focus my attention. In the PR world, I knew a lot about building insulation, home safety, the fast-casual restaurant industry, etc. I was a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. Diving headfirst into nutrition was a way for me to channel my passion for food with an earnest desire to communicate effectively with consumers about making healthy choices, while also being in a position to strategize with companies on their health and wellness efforts.
I’ve dabbled as a consultant, media spokesperson and agency team member, but it was recently that I decided to go all in and focus my efforts on building my own brand: Enlighten Nutrition. Through EN (which also happen to be my initials!) I can work with agencies and companies – primarily smaller ones which may have a need for a nutrition content expert or spokesperson, but not necessarily enough to keep an RD on staff.
MELISSA: What are your services?
ELANA: I can serve as part of an agency team, working with clients on their health and nutrition communications needs. Or directly with brands as a spokesperson, advisor and go-to nutrition expert. Specifically I can help with:
i. Strategic communications
ii. Coalition building and management
iii. Content development and delivery
I can also do speaking engagements and media spokesperson work.
MELISSA: Where can we find you and follow you online?
My website is www.enlightennutrition.com.
You can also follow my blog, which is called “A Sprinkle of Sage”
And/or follow me on twitter at @elanaRD
MELISSA: Do you have any resources and/or advice for other RDs to build their brand, boost their communication skills, start their own biz, etc.
ELANA: I started with a business plan. It’s a great way to wrap your head around what makes your business unique, what services you plan to offer, how you’ll go about soliciting new business and all the seemingly mundane but very important aspects of being a consultant/freelancer. The website www.score.org is a terrific resource.
To boost communications skills, it takes practice, practice, practice!!! There’s no shortcut. Start a blog. Write in a journal. Do multiple drafts until you’re satisfied. Don’t let speed get in the way of a quality product. I know many people who just want to whip off a client proposal without giving it thoughtful review. If you’re working on a broadcast interview, practice in front of your mirror, your spouse, your dog – whatever. You might feel silly talking to yourself, but think about how sillier you’ll be with a link to a live interview that lives in perpetuity online…and it’s an interview you didn’t adequately practice for!
EPILOGUE: Thank you to Elana for sharing her food philosophy, brand and services with us! I hope you have been inspired!