Chef Julie Harrington, RD, Culinary Nutrition Consultant
How would you describe your job in one sentence?
As a chef and dietitian, I translate science-based knowledge into recipes.
What is the most surprising thing for people to learn about being an RD?
First, it’s a long journey to get those two letters after your name.
As an RD, we don’t want to put everyone on diets! Whenever I tell anyone I am an RD they either start “confessing” their eating habits, or they want to know the best diet they should be following.
As a chef and dietitian, I believe all foods fit, and the last thing I want to do is tell you to eliminate foods or follow a restrictive diet.
How did you become interested in nutrition and dietetics?
Growing up, I was always in the kitchen. I went through a phase where I wanted to be a pastry chef because I loved decorating cakes (I still do!). While also being very active in sports, I noticed how food really affected my sports performance and overall health. My curiosity drove me into the nutrition and dietetic field, but I always wanted to do a little more. While I loved learning about nutrition, I wanted to translate this knowledge into something relatable to everyone – food! I decided to start my journey towards becoming a RD at Johnson & Wales University, majoring in Culinary Nutrition, where I took all my nutrition courses as well as culinary classes. It was the perfect mix!
Now, I can provide a mix of providing sound culinary nutrition communication to a large audience throughout my various platforms: blogging, media, cooking classes, presentations, etc.
Do you have any advice for dietitians thinking about getting into communications?
Find your niche and what you are passionate about. The quote “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” really speaks to me. I can talk about food and nutrition all day, every day, which doesn’t feel like work for me!
What are three things on your bucket list?
- Travel to Australia
- Visit every zoo and aquarium in the United States
- Write a cookbook
How do you find balance?
Totally unplugging at least one day a week. It’s refreshing to be completely disconnected and really be in the moment with family and friends.
Name a career accomplishment that you’re most proud of – and why?
Being awarded Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year through the State of New Jersey’s dietetic association. I left a steady full-time job to pursue my own business, which was definitely scary. Being able to work for myself I was able to really expand my work and be part of so many amazing opportunities and achievements.
One thing people are surprised to learn about me is:
I have torn my ACL and required surgery in both of my knees stemming from sports in high school, but that hasn’t held me back from completing 5 half marathons.
You can follow Julie here: