What I Wanna Do When I Grow Up...
Thursday, July 18, 2013
On a spur of the moment this morning I did a little research and decided that I want to go back to school to get a Masters in Nutrition! I did a little more research and realized that I'd need to take 2-3 semesters of pre-requisite science classes, and that just got me all the more motivated. I sent a fax to my college to send over transcripts and I signed up for a direct admissions meeting at the end of July at my local community college in Queens. I'm kind of on a roll!
This didn't really come out of nowhere. For the past year or so I've wanted to enroll in the Chef Training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute. I've realized that what I'm really passionate about is food (for me, in particular, plant-based/vegan food) and sharing healthy foods with others. However, the more I thought about this the more that I realized that--even though I really want the skills that would come from a Chef's Training program, I know that I don't want to work in a professional restaurant kitchen. I was concerned about taking out a loan for a program that wouldn't open up specific career opportunities.
However, I realized that what I'm really interested in is working with people to help them plan the food that they eat to help build healthy habits or manage health conditions. When I went (98%) vegan in October 2011, I realized that the challenges that come with limiting the foods that you eat also call on creativity and thoughtfulness when preparing food that I hadn't experienced before. One of my favorite challenges was trying to think of a meal to bring to a friend who had just gone gluten-free and couldn't eat soy. She isn't vegan, but I really wanted to still prepare her a vegan meal. I ended up adapting a recipe from Veganomicon--Baked Pumpkin Penne with Caramelized Onions and Sage Breadcrumbs--to meet the guidelines of her diet. I really love working with food like that.
I think that one day I still would love to participate in the Chef's Training Program, but I'm really excited about having the qualifications to do meal planning for specific people with specific needs. Ultimately, I'd love to be like a healthy vegan Rachel Ray... making cookbooks with 30 minute meals, dinner recipes with coordinated shopping lists for each day of the year, that kind of thing. But I really love the idea that the underpinning of all of this will come from a really solid understanding of how to tailor truly healthful food to the health needs of an individual.
Thanks to the Spark People community for showing me how valuable a cheerleader and counselor can be on the way to making a healthy life change and helping me realize that this might just be the right path for me!
So that's what I want to be when I grow up!