Have you ever wondered what goes on in a day in the life of a dietitian?
Today we are going to dive into a day in the life of an RD who has paired their love of cooking and culinary skills with working with individuals in the community.
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This interview has been shortened to fit this blog post. Want to see the full transcript or prefer to listen? Check out the full episode, episode #121 of The Dietitian Success Podcast
Meet the Dietitian: Bailey Franklyn, RD
Bailey Franklin is a registered dietitian and the founder of Harvest Table Nutrition. Her mission is to empower busy non-cooks with the confidence to create healthy plant-based meals. She does this by:
- Offering one-on-one nutrition coaching
- Group in-person and virtual cooking classes
- Offering an online course, Plant-Based Cooking Made Easy
Bailey’s Dietitian Story
What was your path to getting to where you are today?
When I left high school, I wanted to be a vet, so I went to the University of Guelph because that’s what people do. I quickly learned that this wasn’t my path, but I took a nutrition course and I loved it. It was the first time I had learned about nutrition, which is kind of crazy. So I took all the courses I could. Guelph does have a dietetics program, but I was doing a Bachelor of Science and Biological Sciences, so I figured I would just finish that. And then I ended up going to Brescia, which is affiliated with Western, and I did an undergrad in Food and Nutrition there.
Then I applied for my internship, but didn’t get it my first time. So I did a year of resume building and then I got it my second time and did my internship through Brescia again. Then I graduated in 2016 and wrote my exam the same year and have been working as a dietitian ever since.
What did you do after graduation?
I graduated in June of 2016. In September I moved to Northern Ontario and worked in Sudbury part-time at a nurse practitioner clinic. I was part-time there for a couple months and then I also was working part-time in long-term care. I did those two jobs for probably three years. Then I got full-time [as a retail dietitian].
While I was doing all of those jobs, I realized what I liked about certain things and what I didn’t like about certain things. That’s when my whole private practice and business idea started forming. Although starting my own private practice was never something that I’d ever been interested in prior to that.
What types of services do you offer?
It’s expanded from what I originally was offering.
- Nutrition coaching virtually
- Private cooking classes [in client’s homes]
- Group cooking classes
- An online course
- Pop-ups [pop-up events serving food at local restaurants, cafes, breweries]
- Private baking and cooking for clients
What about the plant-based piece?
I’ve been vegetarian for like 15 years, to me it’s how I eat. I know plant-based and that has become my niche; teaching people and encouraging people how to eat plant-based as well as the culinary aspect.
I think people are interested in it. There’s more talk about it, about the benefits. I think people’s biggest misconception or barrier to doing it is they’re like, “I don’t know how”, or “I’m going to miss it on my favorite foods” or “I don’t know how to make it taste good” or “it’s boring”, or all of these things.
I’m trying to show people that plant-based eating can be delicious. You can still eat your favorite foods, it can be a balance of things. Showing them the benefits not only through the nutrition lens, but also: this is how you can buy it, this is how you can prepare it to make it taste delicious.
Day in the Life of a Dietitian
Tell us a little bit more about what a typical day in your life looks like.
Every day is different. I am still working in long-term care, I am not full-time in my business yet.
Long-Term Care Work Days
The days I work in long-term care, which is usually two days a week, I usually start my day between 5:30-6:00am. I work best in the morning. I am an early bird. I am the most productive during that time. That works for me.
I like to do stretching or yoga or something just to move a little bit.
If I’m going to one of my [long-term care] homes, I try to get 30 to 60 minutes of admin work done in the morning. Maybe it’s checking emails, responding to emails, maybe social media stuff.
If I had a client the night before, I usually do my charting and follow up stuff in the morning.
Then I’ll go to the [long-term care] home usually for six to eight hours.
When I get home, I try to squeeze in a workout.
Then usually I try to put in two hours of work in the evening. That might be again, emails writing my weekly emails to my email list, social media stuff. If I’m doing any cooking classes or popups, maybe it’s making grocery lists or planning out what my week is gonna look like and what days I’m prepping what, or other stuff on my Asana to-do list.
Cooking Class Days
If I have cooking classes, some are during the week. (I find if it’s local, someone that lives in the area, they tend to book during the week). The day might be:
- Grocery shopping
- Printing out recipes
- Doing a little bit of prep
If prep is involved, if I’m doing popups, that might be three to four days of prep ahead of time, including grocery shopping and then figuring out what to make and when. And all the marketing that would go along with that.
Fridays and Saturdays are for Baking
Fridays and Saturday mornings are for private baking clients because they usually drop stuff off Saturday mornings. I spend all of Friday and Saturday morning baking.
Days with Nothing Booked
If I do have a random day, that I don’t have anything booked, it’s admin stuff:
- Catching up on emails
- Planning social media
- Figuring out maybe new offerings or brands that I want to reach out to or local businesses or other small businesses in the area that I would like to partner with
- Email writing for my email list
- Planning new freebees
Working irregular hours
There are some days I’ll get home from long-term care and I know it is not a day that anything is going to get done. And I just accept that. When I do have the time and I can look at a computer again, I will make up for that time. But there are some days where I just know today is not the day. And there are days where I’m okay, or weeks that I’m okay working on the weekend. A lot of what I do just inherently happens on the weekends. But if I have a weekend off, I don’t mind working on my business for a couple hours on Sunday. I find that’s actually when I’m the most productive. So I assess based on how am I feeling and how productive am I actually going to be after I’ve just spent eight hours working for someone else.
Want to learn more?
Learn about Bailey’s private practice offerings, her journey to become a plant-based culinary dietitian, and how she markets herself in a small community. Check out the full episode, episode #121 of The Dietitian Success Podcast: Day in the Life of a Plant-Based Culinary Dietitian, with Bailey Franklin
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