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In Case You Missed It: May’s [NL] Limelight…Kat Lynch

June 1, 2011

Well, another month has passed and that means a new person will be featured in [NL] Limelight, Nutrition Lately’s special featured post on individuals in the field of nutrition. But before you check out June’s RD in the Limelight, be sure to take a look at last months featured person below!

May’s [NL] Limelight…Kat Lynch of Eating the Week

ABOUT KAT

Kat Lynch is a RD-to-be who will be starting an MS/CPD program this September at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. For more than a decade, Kat has worked in pharmaceutical market research and competitive intelligence for industry-leading companies like market intelligence vendor Decision Resources and biotech company Genzyme. Kat became increasingly interested in a more direct impact on patients’ health and wellbeing, and followed her interest in nutrition toward a new career.

Kat’s blog, Eating The Week, sprang from the intersection of this new career and her longstanding recipe-swapping with friends and family. With so many opinions on what you shouldn’t eat, Kat decided to focus on what we should eat and how to prepare those things in tasty, approachable recipes. Eating The Week tackles a food or nutrition topic each week, and features 5-7 recipes on that theme. Kat has found the blog is a great way to explore and demonstrate how nutritional science meets the stuff on our plates!

Spreading the word about Eating The Week also has helped Kat support one of her volunteer interests: the North Reading Food Pantry. Kat works the pantry several times a month, and saw how monetary contributions help address the immediate issue of food scarcity in her suburban community. Kat featured a contest to drive new readers to the blog, and in return, donated $1 for every new follower to the food pantry. The $40 raised in this effort is just the beginning, as Kat plans to repeat the contest in the future.

Even as a new kid on the block, Kat has been featured by several more-seasoned nutrition blogs. Kat is a Recipe Guru in thePlate community and she recently authored a guest post for The Healthy Apron, which will be posted May 5th, featuring simple ways to track your diet and achieve a balance of food in and energy out that matches your weight goals.

Kat is Head Nutritionist and Meal Planner at Lynch, Inc., whose members include her husband and their smart, sassy 4 ½ year-old Miles. She is also an avid runner, taking on her first ½-marathon at the beginning of this month. The challenges of work, family, fitness and everything else has taught Kat about how difficult “balance” can be for anyone, and will definitely inform her work with nutrition clients who are facing the same endless priority list!

THE INTERVIEW

What made you decide to switch career tracks and work towards becoming a RD?

My 13-ish years working in the pharmaceutical industry has been great – I’ve learned things across a spectrum that includes biochemistry, manufacturing, regulatory policy, customer management, data analytics and medical anthropology. But I want to remove some of the “layers” in between the work that I do and the people/patients who could benefit from it. I wanted to move into a more clinical role; and to build on my public health training, I wanted my work to help address some of the greatest needs for the most people (bang for the buck, as it were).

I initially considered nursing, to become a nurse practitioner and help fill the growing need for skilled primary-care practitioners. But through the pre-requisite coursework for nursing programs, I found I was enthralled with nutrition – the science, the sociology, and the potential to benefit a lot of people’s health. So I applied to several MS/RD programs and will start on my way at Framingham State in Massachusetts this September! 

There are so many avenues you can travel down as a dietitian today. Where do you see yourself focusing your future expertise?

Right now, my focus is clinical clinical clinical! I can’t wait for my first medical nutrition therapy course. I’m drawn to specializing in a therapeutic area like diabetes, inherited metabolic disorders, oncology, or others. From my current line of work, I have a good deal of experience in renal disease and I could easily see myself happily working as a renal dietitian. That said, there are so many avenues to explore, and who knows what else I might discover a passion for?

From reading your “About” section on your blog, eatingtheweek.com, you mention that you use your blog in part for research and learning. What have you learned so far working in the nutrition blogosphere?

This one’s hard – it’s been a mere 4 months but I feel like I’ve learned too much to describe in just a few short sentences! Probably two things have been the greatest lessons learned so far: nutrition nerds are incredibly social, in the digital sense; and the hidden agenda of Eating The Week.

On RDs and social media…

I’ve been amazed by how active dietitians are in social media, from blogs to twitter to webinars to Facebook to… you get the idea! I shouldn’t have been surprised, because everyone told me how passionate dietitians are about their work. Social media is a logical tool for them.

On Eating The Week’s agenda…

I’ve learned how my blog’s audience responds to different material. Some science-y nutrient-nerd posts that I just find FASCINATING were received to the sound of crickets, while the food-centric and life-anecdote posts have been very popular. It taught me that people are less responsive to “Don’t” and “Why,” and eager to hear “Do” and “How.” I’m already thinking about this distinction and how it will be relevant when I’m eventually counseling patients.

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