A combination of events in Amy’s early years set the stage for her ultimate career goals. Having a sister, 13 months younger, and a brother, 7 years younger, would be enough to draw out the protective instincts in most kids.
For Amy, there was the added catalyst of knowing that her little brother was like ‘the bubble boy’ – with lots of major food allergies and very limited tolerance. And, there was the early introduction to the important role of nutritionists, as one was sought out by her mother.
Then, when Amy was about 13, she learned about carcinogens when she was searching through an encyclopedia for information about her father’s diagnosis of bladder cancer. Add her interest in nutrition for her own optimum performance in soccer and track and it almost seems serendipitous. When in high school, Amy had no hesitation in explaining her career goals to her parents; she was going to be a dietician.
The Career Path Was A Long Road
Amy’s Mom, working in the hospital system, arranged for her daughter to shadow a few dieticians. At that time, there were only a few schools in the entire country that offered the educational program that Amy was looking for. She attended Virginia Tech and graduated ‘Cum Laude’ with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise.
That wasn’t the end of the educational requirements. After completing those 4 years on the road to becoming a dietician, a diatetic internship was required. For this leg of the journey, Amy attended the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.
“When I graduated from my internship, I had $500 left on my loan and I went across country because I didn’t know where I wanted to work,” said Amy. That adventurous trek, in an Eagle Cat Talon, lasted for six weeks.
Returning to the East coast, Amy stayed with a friend in Northern Virginia and applied for jobs. She landed employment at John Hopkins as a clinical Dietician. She stayed for a year and a half before moving on to Washington Hospital Center, to work in a specific oncology wing.
The Perfect Match At Baltimore Sports And Social Club
Amy moved to Baltimore at the same time as Carl moved there from Minnesota. These two athletic people met while playing Flag Football. Amy, the team Receiver, moved once again, when Carl, the Quarterback, didn’t toss enough passes her way. She went to a different team. Once they started dating, he signed up for the same team.
It sounds like a movie review but it’s all real life and this highly competitive couple are celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year. They have two very active children. Michael, 7, plays baseball while Dad is busy coaching the game. Emerson, 6, will start playing soccer this year, much to the delight of her Mom.
The entire family keeps on the move with all sorts of activities, including biking and running. Although, Amy and Carl no longer play team sports together. They’re much too competitive for that.
Amy Made The Move Into Private Practice As Carl Cheered Her On
Amy has been a Dietician for 16 years and has been in private practice for nearly 5 years. She made the move as she found herself doing a lot of counseling and consulting on the side. “Nutrition is really my passion,” she shares.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there. The more I would listen to comments people would make or concerns people would have, I just felt that it was kind of my responsibility to educate the population a little bit more.”
Amy recalls sitting down with Carl and sharing her desire to leave her job and start her own practice. Her biggest cheerleader’s response? ‘All right, let’s try it. Let’s see if it works.’ Armed with a lot of contacts from her extensive involvement within the community, she began an independent practice at night while working her regular day job for a year. “I was lucky. It really took off!”
The Difference Between A Dietician And A Nutritionist
A nutritionist is not as regulated. An individual can take continuing education (CE) courses or take online tests and be considered a nutritionist. This doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they’re talking about but they’re knowledge isn’t anywhere near as expansive as that of a Dietician.
A Dietician’s background is much more structured. There are 4 years of a Didactic Program ‘which is largely based on organic chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy and all of the things that sound horrific.’
“Then,” Amy continues, “youhave to have about 750-1000 hours of an internship. You work in a hospital for a year. Then, you take a registration exam. You have to have 75 CE classes every 5 years or you lose your registration.” Whew! Is that all?!?
Who Seeks Help From A Dietician?
Dieticians assist clients for a wide spectrum of concerns. For some, it’s about weight management. This includes both weight loss and weight gain goals, eating disorders and associated health risks.
Anyone with health concerns stands to benefit from a consultation with a Dietician. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health issues are impacted by dietary intake.
Sports nutrition steers athletes in the proper direction for optimum fitness and competitive performance. A Dietician doesn’t write prescriptions but can recommend supplemental vitamins and minerals.
Whatever the concern, every client receives an individual plan that’s based on lifestyle, goals and feasability. “It’s pointless to give a plan that a client won’t be compliant with; it just leads to frustration,” Amy points out.
This Dietician Practices What She Preaches
“I practice what I preach. There’s not anything that I bring into Kindred Nutrition that I have not tried, or that I have not done, and evaluated. I really believe that there’s no good or bad food.” Instead, Amy believes it’s more about what’s eaten in an entire day rather than the type of food.
This is why the initial visit lasts a full hour. In addition to a physical analysis, new clients fill out a complete questionnaire and are interviewed in-depth about personal lifestyle and the makeup of a typical day.
And, every client can expect to give feedback during a follow-up visit two weeks later. This is very important in reaching the desired goals. As Amy notes, “They’re hiring me to help them make changes. If they come back in 2 weeks, we can tweak anything that’s not working and just make sure they still have that motivation.”
This is in sharp contrast to Amy’s work at the hospital. Outpatients were scheduled for one appointment per month and it didn’t seem like it was enough to sustain positive changes.
Success Is Measured In Smiles
When asked to give an example of a client who was in dire need of help, Amy didn’t miss a beat in recalling a female who first came to her last August. This client was morbidly obese and had several health concerns. Her doctor ordered a diet change and recommended a gastric bypass.
The lady was very hesitant and nervous. When she asked if it was possible to do it on her own, without the surgery, Amy became a great motivator with her confident and encouraging response. “Absolutely! Let’s try it!”
This client recently weighed in with a 97 lb. weight loss! She’s working out every day, wearing new clothes and walking around with a bright smile; the picture of success!
Some Facts Straight From The Dietician
Dieticians do a whole lot more than prescribe meal plans. In fact, they actually DON’T do that! They are trained to individualize plans and train people to make their own meals.
Most Dieticians do NOT believe in taking tons of supplements. “If you don’t have a deficiency in something, usually you’re just paying for a product that’s making very expensive urine. If you don’t need the product, you’re excreting it out,” Amy informs us in very candid terms.
As an added thought when it comes to supplements, she shares “There’s no magic bullet.” Amy suggests dietary supplements only after assessing the diet and any lab results and only if the need is clearly indicated.
“If there was a magic bullet, I would be creating it and replicating it because my job would be so much easier,” quips Amy. “And, I’d be retiring early.”
Amy Shares A Taste Of Her Personal Philosophy
As an avid reader who devours 3 or 4 books every week, Amy has one favorite that she reads once a year; Steve Jobs biography! Why? His vision, his brand and his passion speak to her.
And, you’ll find one quote all over her office. ‘Dream Big’ Why? “I’m a realist with big dreams. If you don’t dream big, you never know what you’re going to be able to achieve.”
Finally, always keeping her clients in mind, Amy’s professional philosophy includes ‘nobody waits longer than 2 weeks to get in. I’m currently interviewing for a 3rd Dietician to join the team, to keep this policy!”
If you’re dreaming of a new, improved, healthier you, reach out to Amy Goldsmith at Kindred Nutrition. It’s conveniently located off from 7th Street, right across from the hospital in Frederick at 700 Montclaire Avenue, Suite A.
kindrednutrition.com 301-580-0008 Insurances Accepted
Content Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast #005