We are happy to announce our Featured Student Member of the Month: Elizabeth Voyles
Which DI are you enrolled in?
I am currently enrolled in the combined Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietetic Internship at Northern Illinois University. I graduate in December of 2019!
What inspired you to have a career in nutrition?
Although I have always been interested in health and nutrition, my first undergraduate degree was actually a Bachelor of Science in Biology. It wasn't until I got married and had my first son that I really fell in love with the field of nutrition and dietetics as I taught him about the benefits of fresh, whole foods in fun and creative ways. Realizing the importance of nutrition, and the effect it has on the health of the entire family, I went back to school for a second undergraduate degree in Human Environmental Sciences (Food and Nutrition), and then onto the combined Masters and Dietetic Internship program at NIU. Now, I finally feel as if I am pursuing a career that I am truly passionate about!
Is there a nutrition-related topic you wish you knew more about?
I have had a few close family members who have been diagnosed with diabetes. I feel as if many patients with diabetes may have multiple misconceptions about how best to manage their disease with lifestyle changes and nutrition, and instead, often end up feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Diabetes care and education is an area that needs Registered Dietitians, and as a result, this is a topic that I look forward to learning more about.
What is a fun fact about you?
I was a Division I All-American in the 5,000m during my first undergraduate degree at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Although I don’t run as fast anymore, I still enjoy going for a good run.
I home-brew my own Kombucha. I have my SCOBY in a big glass jar wrapped in blankets in our furnace closet! I love experimenting with different flavoring ideas and combinations.
What is your best advice for young dietitians trying to balance demands of life as a dietitian, as well as demands from family or personal life?
Although I am not yet a dietitian, I can relate to this question, because it is not always easy to balance being a full-time student, mother, and wife, while still remembering to take care of me. Surprisingly, I actually feel as if being a mother has made me a better student. I am more self-disciplined and better at managing my time now, than I was before I had children. Planning family meals a week in advance, setting aside specific times each day when studying or exercising works best for me and my family, and not getting upset when all of that goes haywire in the end are key to ensuring my success at juggling multiple roles!
What is your favorite memory from your career thus far?
During my undergraduate degree, I got to volunteer my time at Kitchfix Foods in the city for a directed professional studies course. Kitchfix creates and delivers fresh, whole foods to busy people. Their food is delicious, and the people that work there are extremely kind and generous.
Name on thing an RDN can do to benefit the dietetics profession in general?
RDN’s can benefit the profession of dietetics, as well as the individuals, families, and groups we serve, by advocating for topics and issues that we are passionate about. Public policy affects the health and lives of our patients and clients, but it also affects our jobs! Letting our voices be heard greatly benefits the profession of dietetics.
What is your favorite food?
Apples! It may seem like such a cliché response for a health conscious person, but there are so many different varieties and flavors that I never get bored with them! I usually eat two per day! 🍏🍎🍏
If you could have one super-power, what would it be?
At this point in my life, the ability to get by with no sleep!