We present to you, the wonderful dietitian, Rachael Hartley. She is the talented mastermind behind Avocado a Day Nutrition. Her personality and inspiring outlook on nutrition, fitness, and general healthy living shine through her writing and recipes. Let’s get to know her in this month’s Dietitian Spotlight!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do in the field of nutrition?
I’m a food loving dietitian on a mission to help people rediscover the joy of eating and heal their relationship with food. I grew up in a house full of foodies well before being a foodie was a thing. Yet despite that, I didn’t always have the healthiest relationship with food. Luckily, with my background in psychology, as a dietitian I was drawn to non-diet approaches to eating, like mindful and intuitive eating, and through my studies, gradually began to drop the diet mentality.
I started my blog almost four years ago as a creative outlet when I was feeling unsettled and unfulfilled in my job as an outpatient dietitian. A year later, I made the crazy jump into full time private practice and blogging – and I really mean it when I say crazy! I had just two weeks between when I decided to go on my own and turning in my two week notice. Since then, I’ve learned a lot and grown so much as a entrepreneur, but I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at today – working with amazing clients, running the online wellness program Joyful Eating with two other non-diet dietitians, and flexing my creative bone with my blog and freelance writing.
What’s your favorite part about being a dietitian?
Nothing gives me more joy than when I hear a client finally say something kind about their body or describe eating a previously off-limits food without shame or fear. Women especially, deal with so much pressure to look a certain way, so I view body positivity and food peace as part of a larger feminist mission.
Describe what your typical week looks like?
Typical – ha! My work week really varies. I’ve tried to get organized and have certain days devoted to certain tasks, but I haven’t quite figured that one out quite yet. I’ve had more success organizing a typical day, usually answering emails and working on freelance or blog writing in the mornings and seeing clients in the afternoon.
How do you find balance between work & personal?
By learning to accept the fact that balance is a myth. Running a business takes a lot of time which means giving up things you want to do in personal life as well as perfectionist work goals. I see balance as accepting the fact that there are times that you have to really focus on work, and your personal desires might take a backseat, then there’s other times when your personal needs take priority, and some work responsibilities might have to be let go of. For example, I try to limit my work week to 50 hours, but I also love to travel, so sometimes I have to work crazy hours so I can fully tune out on vacation.
Other days, I might really need a day to sleep in, time to catch up on errands, or a random lunch date with a friend. That might mean not answering an email on time, giving up an appointment slot or not getting a post out that day. All of those things feel uncomfortable, but it’s not like it’s going to sink my business, so I have to be okay with it.
What are 3 foods you can’t live without?
Cheese (specifically creamy brie-like cheeses and also stinky cheeses cause I’m unique like that)