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MHS Human Nutrition, Healthful Living

A few months ago I undertook the project of going through some of my personal items at my mother’s home in Dallas, Texas.  Although they all told part of my history—photos, name badges from the various jobs I’ve held over the years, my model horse collection from my childhood—nothing conveyed my personal evolution as much as my assortment of books and the vast majority of were related to health and nutrition, low-carb, vegan, raw food, fruit-only raw food, Paleo, dairy-based diets, dairy as toxic, fasting, juicing, detoxing; the list goes on and on.  “Introductory Psychology” brought a big smile to my face, and I just held it in my hands for awhile reflecting on this online course, the first class I took upon my return to college six years ago and in which I subsequently proved to myself that I could earn an “A”. I am not afraid of hard work, having held a job every year of my life since I was fifteen.   While I was not a good student in my younger years, I was accepted to the University of XXXX and began the Didactic Program in Dietetics in the spring of 2013—something I still view as something of a miracle.  Thus, there was a lot of progress to savor and enjoy when I graduated with honors nearly two years later.

I feel strongly that I am a good fit with your program to continue my studies in the field of nutrition at the graduate level.  Earning a MHS in Human Nutrition from UX would enable me to make my maximum long term contribution to my community. I want very much to attend a rigorous program such as yours so at to become the most effective nutrition professional possible with a cutting-edge understanding of the role played by nutrition in the overall well-being of the residents of our community as well as the need for implementation of public health nutrition programs, challenges, resources, creative ideas and models, etc. I have a special lifelong interest in the role nourishment plays in the wellness of the mind, in particular; I fervently hope to someday conduct and publish research in this area, at the intersection of nutrition and mental health.  I look forward to decades of service as a health care worker specializing in both research and treatment of issues where nutrition and mental health are related or intertwined. My ultimate goal would be to publish books for general public use as nutritional guides for patients and the families of those who suffer from diet-oriented mental health issues or challenges. 

Healthful living—especially in the area of nutrition—can be very intimidating to the lay person, so much so that many forego any attempt at making better food choices.  On several occasions I have overhead people at the grocery store lament that they do not have time to cook or the funds to spend on healthy food.  More than anything, I want to give the average tired, underpaid, overworked, overburdened, and overstressed American the tools to change this way of thinking.  I spent years in the retail side of nutrition and wellness; although it was rewarding to assist those in seeking ways to better their health, I also saw that there is much misinformation out there   and—even worse—nutritional “snake oil” which at the very least misleads the public and depletes their pocketbooks, while displacing correct habits and purchases.  Nutritional falsehoods—much of them fed by those seeking to profit from the sale of various products and diets or to elicit a headline in the news--have led much of the public to believe that obtaining a nutrient-rich diet in the optimal caloric range is complicated, expensive and simply out of reach for the average individual and family.  My favorite project as part of my courses at UA was one in which I taught high school students in a low-income area how to make the most of their food budget dollars.  Those of low socioeconomic status suffer disproportionately from nutrition-related diseases; I have observed the challenges faced by those struggling to make ends meet first-hand in several of my hourly wage jobs.  I highly empathize with them; the health of oneself and one’s family can easily take a backseat to managing the requirements of daily living.  Nutrition education empowers people to enhance the quality and duration of their lives and those of their families.

I wish very much to devote the balance of my life fully immersed in helping others to see the importance of eating healthy, breaking down the mystery and overcoming the intimidation posed by the challenge of pursuing a healthy lifestyle in the modern world. It takes a great deal of courage to eat right, get fit, and stay that way, especially in the face of other mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression that make it all the more difficult. I want to serve as a guide to help people make wiser decisions about food and fitness and inspire them to feel better and live longer lives.  Developing effective nutrition education for the masses is an ongoing process of research and trial and error; the benefits to be gained from the immense discoveries made continuously in the field of nutrition will be limited without real-world application. 

I passed the examination for certification as a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR).  I also currently work as a dietary aide under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian at a skilled nursing facility; my tasks include preparing trays according to resident meal tickets, thickening liquids, puréeing foods, assisting with food preparation, delivering trays and communicating with care team members. I thank you for considering my application.

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