RDN Day: 9 Questions with Jennifer Rodriguez Jaramillo RDN, LD

Jennifer Rodriguez (1)

Happy Nutrition Month! Today we celebrate National RDN day by hearing from two RDNs and one RD2B entrepreneurs. We sent them ten questions to get to know them, their careers, and of course hear their  advice for other RD2Bs! The Texas Student Dietetic Association loves our Texas RDNs and we admire all the hard work and love you put into the field!

1.What got you interested in the field of dietetics?

Since I was young I have always had a passion for helping others. I knew my career would involve science, wellness and passionately assisting communities in need. When I fell in love with dietetics, the power of nutrition and promotion of preventative health I was convinced that being a dietitian would allow me to do just what I intended. The desire to help and empower others to a healthy lifestyle was my ultimate driving factor that lead me to the field I am in today.

2. What/Who inspired you to venture out as a nutrition entrepreneur?

Seeing the need for nutrition education resources and my upbringing in urban Los Angeles, CA inspired me to ultimately pursue nutrition entrepreneurship. I knew I wanted to personally take action and do something to help others in need, provide services along the way and help make a difference. Many people also motivated me including family and friends, mentors, professors, advisers, etc. — all inspirational people I am very thankful for and cherish.

3.How did you get your idea/concept for your brand?

My company/blog ‘Food is Vida’ which translates to ‘Food is Life’ was created to inspire others to see exactly what the title explains, how food is life. However it can only be regarded as that if food is treated with respect, proper intentions and as our own balanced personal fuel. The goal of ‘Food is Vida’ is to provide resources to ultimately help encourage nutrient dense, yummy foods to promote the power of prevention (of diseases) and emphasize healthy lifestyle choices.

The concept of ‘Food is Vida’ rooted from my Latina background and knowing that nutrition education was needed in my own and many other bilingual communities. I wanted to combine both my dietetics expertise and my cultural background to offer ‘Food is Vida’ as a nutrition resource as well as reach out to anyone else interested in nutrition, cultural foods, health education and more.

4.What services do you offer as an entrepreneur?

Apart from Food is Vida being a nutrition resource I also offer services including: freelance professional writing or blogging for websites, magazines, print publication projects and other businesses seeking nutrition-based information from a nutrition expert. I am also a professional photographer and will soon be offering commercial food photography services and other dietetic related services to the public, e.g. personalized nutrition presentations for business or groups, grocery tours, etc.

 5.Are you part of any DPGs?

I have been a member of the Vegetarian Nutrition DPG due to my long standing interest in plant-based nutrition and am also looking forward to being a member of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG and the Dietitians in Integrative & Functional Medicine DPG of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

6.How do you advertise your business and why did you choose these platforms?

I am currently using most social media and website platforms available today, however I am also mindful of what target audience I am aiming for. If I strive to reach a younger crowd I would more so focus on Instagram for example. An abundance of platforms can make it overwhelming for many so it is important to sit down and establish target audiences/platforms most adequate for your business goals.

7. What do you attribute to your success?

My optimistic and positive outlook is one of my strengths and I have to give credit to my biggest support system which are my parents. My upbringing, my culture and the way I was taught to view the world was all given to me by them and it has given me the balance to strive for success and say “everything happens for a reason” if things go unexpected.

8.How would you describe your responsibilities as a business owner?

There are many responsibilities as an entrepreneur in the dietetics field. One must be aware of ethical standards, provide evidence based research, have a business plan and the list goes on and on. One of my personal responsibilities and goals as a business owner is also striving to inspire my audience, whether it would be via a blog post, nutrition article or a casual conversation.

 9.Any advice for nutrition entrepreneur wanna-be’s?

I have 5 tips for anyone wanting to commit to entrepreneurship in any field:

  • Take risks, in entrepreneurship you have to be willing to take risks, be sure to be informed, talk to experts, find mentors &/or credible resources.
  • Trust your gut. As a nutrition professional, we know why our gut is sometimes referred to as our “second brain” and why it can be a good guide during those times when we feel “butterflies.”  Be sure to trust your instincts when making important decisions.
  • Work passionately. Don’t just work, work and be passionate about what you are doing. It will be the propeller of your entrepreneurial journey.
  • Combine your talents, even if they are all different, bring them all to the table and create something beautiful. Like I mentioned, I am also a professional photographer, I was taking portraits of high school seniors and families all before dietetics came into my life. Already being an entrepreneur before dietetics, I knew it was important to keep my passion for photography and mold it into an offering combined in my dietetic focused field and it has truly already paid off. Anything is possible, so do combine your veteran talents as you grow.
  • Finally, empower others with whatever you do. Having a service or selling a product is great, but in the end your target audience will remember you when you give them something priceless. Inspiring others will ultimately keep your audience or clients coming back. Be mindful of the impact you can make.

Thank you Jennifer Rodriguez Jaramillo RDN, LD!

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