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In Cased You Missed It: April’s RD in the Limelight…Robin Plotkin, RD, LD

April 30, 2011

Last month, [NL] introduced Nutrition Lately Limelight. This monthly featured post highlights the wonderful work being done by RDs, dietetic interns, students and volunteers. Our first RD to be honored was Ms. Robin Plotkin. In case you missed the post, you can read it below.

Tomorrow, we’ll be donning a new person in the limelight for the month of May: the wonderful Kat Lynch from Eating the Week. To find out more about her be sure to visit the [NL] Limelight tab at the top righthand side of the page May 1-31.

ABOUT ROBIN

Robin Plotkin has been in the business of food for over 25 years. Since her ice cream dipping days at Frosty’s in Peoria, Illinois, she has maintained her passion for food, the culinary arts and nutrition through her career in the food service industry. After obtaining degrees at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Texas Women’s University, she began her dietetics career in the kitchen at Zale Lipshy University Hospital on the University of Texas Southwestern campus in Dallas, Texas.

After stints at the North Texas Food Bank and HEB/Central Market grocery company, Robin launched her culinary and nutrition communications consulting business in 2000. Her unique niche of combining food and nutrition expertise with her background in speaking, writing, media work and public relations experiences have landed her a diverse client base including: Cabot Cheese, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, DairyMAX, Duda Fresh Farm Foods, Sara Lee, Bausch and Lomb, Unilever, Avocados from Mexico, Popchips, Sysco Foods, Fisher Pay Kel Appliances, the American Institute of Wine and Food and DMA & Associates, a produce industry boutique marketing group. She is also a creative advisor to Field to Plate, a visionary food education company, pioneering a paradigm shift in how we think, talk and teach Americans about food and food choice.

A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Robin is a pro at translating the often times confusing nutrition messages into realistic, fun and understandable terms for her audiences. Her high energy and enthusiasm is contagious and as a result, she is routinely asked back for additional speaking engagements! Audiences of 5-5000 will relate to her humorous, hands on approach to everyday living, eating well and staying healthy. Robin shares her knowledge and experiences with people across the US via traditional and technology based venues. You’ll find her reaching the masses via her interactive webinars and teleseminars for corporate clients in the US and abroad.

Robin, with kids, for Days of Taste

Robin is a sought after culinary and nutrition expert and appears regularly on TV, radio, in print and in social media. She was most recently quoted in USA Today, Prevention Magazine, Today’s Dietitian and Woman’s Day. She’s a regular blogger on the Dallas Morning News Mom’s Blog and utilizes social media as a means to get her unique messages across to the general population.

Robin is an advisory board member of the Art Institute of Dallas’ Culinary Arts program and an advisory member for the Dallas based Chefs For Farmers organization. In 2009, she was inducted into prestigious Les Dames D’Escoffier organization.

Robin is a Texas Dietetic Association Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award winner, the former president of the Dallas Dietetic Association and the co-chairman for the Texas Dietetic Association annual Food and Nutrition Conference in 2008. She is a past chair of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. She is also the recipient of the 2006-07 Dallas Dietetic Association Outstanding Media award. Robin recently served on the American Dietetic Association’s Task Force on Restaurant Labeling and is a current reviewer of the Restaurant Labeling Certificate of Training Program.

Robin spends her free time cooking and volunteering for such causes as Dallas Community Partners-Change is Good, the MS Society and the North Texas Food Bank. Robin resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband, son and 2 rescue Labrador’s.

THE INTERVIEW

As a leader in the field of nutrition, we at Nutrition Lately thought it would be a great opportunity to ask Robin her thoughts on the future of nutrition, her best advice for those who aspire to be successful dietitians, as well as other interesting questions. Take a look at what she had to say.

With food and nutrition becoming more and more of a topic in mainstream media and to people in general, it’s an exciting time to be a registered dietitian. What made you decide on this profession?

I agree-it’s very exciting. Dietetics is my second career. My first degree is in Political Science of all things! When family members began falling ill with major illnesses and I realized that so much of it had to do with food, I began studying nutrition and eventually went back to school and graduated with a degree in nutrition and institutional administration.

As a nutrition expert, what would be your best piece of nutrition advice to anyone reading this?

Learn about food first. Without basic knowledge about food, how can we truly help our patients, customers and/or consumers? Knowing about food, where it comes from, how it’s made and how to prepare it so it tastes good is the first step. Keep up to date with the latest and greatest products on the shelves, cook as often as you can and share your experiences. It’s an ongoing process. We can’t stop learning about food much like we cannot stop learning about the science.

The science behind nutrition is constantly growing and evolving—nutrigenomics, nutrition informatics, there’s so many new fields within the profession. Where do you see the focus on nutrition heading into the future?

I see more and more niche specialties in the field. These individuals will set the stage for the future of dietetics. We need to make sure that RD’s are the experts in that space and remain there for the duration.

In your opinion, what is the best part about being a RD?

Everyday is different in my part of the RD world. I can be working with a reporter on a nutrition/food related piece in the morning, evaluating recipes for a restaurant company in the afternoon, teaching a cooking class to Moms at night and blogging at midnight (if need be!) for Robinsbite! I must also say that the best part of being a RD are the relationships I’ve been lucky enough to develop with other RD’s throughout my career. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

Our field is continuing to grow, what advice do you give to those RDs-to-be and newly credentialed RDs about to enter the workforce?

Ask questions. Take on more than is expected of you. Deliver more than you promise. Be resourceful. Stay humble. Give back. Love what you do.

___________________________________________________________________________

Nutrition Lately Limelight is a monthly featured post highlighting notable nutrition related work by a RD, dietetic intern, student or volunteer within their community. These posts proudly offer professional information, commentary, and thoughts from featured individuals regarding today’s nutrition profession.

Want to be in the limelight? Know someone who should be? Please contact [NL] and let us know.

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