Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Chenard.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Nicole. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started off as a runner and a gymnast from the age of 5. My older sister, Christy, loved to run and was always a positive influence on me, signing me up for road races and gymnastics classes. By the time I was in high school, I was fascinated with the human body, how it metabolized, how you could improve your athleticism by what you ate and drank and how you could prevent things from going wrong physically and mentally or ameliorate them when they happened. I knew as I was thinking about majors to choose in college that I wanted a career in the health fields, so I chose nutrition.
After I completed my studies at Simmons College, Northeastern University and the Wellness Workdays Dietetic Internship (the practical/clinical part of nutrition school when dietitians undergo 1200+ supervised hours in order to qualify for the national Registered Dietitian exam), I began individually counseling clients. Most of my clients are referred to me by personal trainers and doctors. Doctors usually have a specific medical goal for their patients. For example, they need their patient to improve his or her blood sugar levels in order to help prevent diabetes. Personal trainers usually send their clients to me after their client just hasn’t been able to get the weight loss results they have been looking for or their client has a medical issue they aren’t qualified to discuss with him or her. I get a lot of referrals from family members and work with couples or a parent and child dynamic. I also love teaching physicians and personal trainers about nutrition science including the latest research and validness for weight loss so that they can be more effective with their clients and patients.
Has it been a smooth road?
Definitely not! Along the path to becoming a dietitian I encountered many challenges. Nutrition is a very competitive profession, especially in the Boston area with many of the highest-ranked hospitals around and (last time I checked) a 40% match rate for qualified dietetic students to enter a dietetic internship program. I attribute my success today by going the extra mile, working three jobs at once for several years, volunteering to be the Nutrition Education Coordinator at the Boston Seafood Festival and maintaining and growing a strong network and support system. Of all the challenges along the way, my favorite one now is how to not double or triple book myself. I wish I could be in multiple places at once!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’ve learned a lot about health promotion and disease prevention from volunteering for AmeriCorps for a year in Texas on the Mexican border, working on three amazing obesity-prevention studies and creating nutrition programs for Post 9/11 Veterans as part of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Home Base Program. The first study I worked on was an innovative community-based obesity-prevention study for African-American and Caribbean-American women through Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, where I collected anthropometric data and did some teaching about cultural health behaviors. The second study was the Framingham State Food Study. I was hired by Boston Children’s Hospital to keep track of and report data to the study team and counsel study participants about their health behavior plans for after the study to help them maintain their weight loss. Since then, I’ve been a Health and Wellness Coach at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute helping women diagnosed with breast cancer lose weight in order to help prevent breast cancer recurrence. My specialties involve helping my clients and patients to help themselves promote their own health and prevent disease. To be more specific, weight loss, weight maintenance, special diets, disease prevention like heart disease and diabetes, improve a sports nutrition eating regimen for better performance and help the super-busy, crazy-schedule people like our incredibly dedicated and over-worked first responders!
- Website: www.nicolechenard.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/nicolechenardRD
- Twitter: @NicoleChenardRD