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For the next few month’s, Elizabeth will be interning at Leah Kern Nutrition to gain experience in the private practice world and to learn more about being an Intuitive Eating Dietitian. This internship is part of her undergraduate practicum requirements for her dietetic program at The University of Vermont.

Over the next few weeks, Elizabeth will be guest writing some blogposts… we have some awesome content planned for you so make sure to keep your eye out on the blog!

I want to formally introduce Elizabeth so you get to learn more about the person behind these guest blog posts we have in store for you. 

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Name, where you’re from, where you’re currently at school

My name is Elizabeth Barton and I am from St. Louis, Missouri. I am currently in my senior year at the University of Vermont studying dietetics! I am super excited to be working with Leah to gain more insight into a career as a dietician and to be able to share some of what I have learned throughout my studies!

What inspired you to want to pursue a career path as a dietitian?

What first got me interested in dietetics was my love of food. Cooking and feeding the people I love is one of my favorite things to do and brings me so much joy. When I was little I wanted to be a chef, but I was also interested in science and so when I discovered dietetics I realized I could combine two things that I love into a career. My journey of what really got me sucked into the world of dietetics was,  like many, rooted in diet culture and intertwined with my own issues surrounding body image and a skewed definition of health. When I got to college, I was introduced to intuitive eating and the weight inclusive approach to dietetics and ultimately  realized that I had been consumed with diet culture for so many years of my life. My desire to prevent others from being exposed to the harm of diet culture is what has  led me to stay in this field and continue to grow my passion for the weight-inclusive approach to nutrition.

How did you get into intuitive eating?

My first semester at UVM I took “Fundamentals of Nutrition” with Lizzy Pope (yes, this is the famous Lizzy you may have heard about on Leah’s podcast) and she introduced me to the anti-diet approach. After learning about a different way of thinking about nutrition, I was inspired to start healing my own relationship with food. Last year I took another class with Lizzy called “Weight Inclusive Nutrition” and I learned about the deeper issues tied to diet culture such as the racism, classism, and bias towards others because of something they cannot realistically change. Now one of my main career goals is to make positive changes in the field of dietetics so that everyone truly feels they are able to get the nutrition information and care that they deserve.

What do you see yourself doing in your future as an RD?

I would love to go into a clinical counseling setting as an RD. My parents both work in healthcare so I practically grew up hanging out in a hospital. I also think that the healthcare field is a place where weight-inclusive practices need to have more recognition, as they can help so many people live healthier lives if they don’t have to worry about being discriminated against for their body size at every doctor’s visit. Recently I have been thinking about trying to work in pediatrics with kids because so much harm related to diet culture happens when we are young and the earlier that harm can be stopped the better.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love to hang out with my friends, and as I mentioned earlier, love to cook for others! I am a big fan of planning dinner parties (especially with a theme). Being able to feed the people I love is something that makes me really happy. I also love to take walks around Burlington, explore new places, and when I need a more low-energy activity I can definitely be found watching a TV show with my cat Pippa snuggled next to me.

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Favorite place in nature and why?

My favorite place in nature is the woods. My parents got engaged in the Redwoods in California and we have been vacationing near an area of the Redwoods Forest since I was little. This area specifically is really special to me but now when I take a walk in any forest it brings me back to memories of walking around the redwood trees when I was little (and in my bare feet because I hated wearing shoes). There is also a certain serenity to it that makes me feel safe with all the trees towering around me and so many different plants and flowers on the forest floor.

Something that makes your heart happy?

Having genuine conversations with people I love. Late night chats about anything and everything are my favorite and I always look back on those memories as something that holds a lot of value in my life. Especially when good conversation is held over good food it makes the experience even better!

Your favorite part about becoming an intuitive eater?

My favorite part about being an intuitive eater is the freedom to eat whatever I want whenever I want. I have the full and unconditional permission to enjoy things that make me happy. I can have a sweet pastry with my coffee and enjoy the full experience of sweet balancing out bitter. I can also enjoy all foods that I eat so much more. When I am craving more nutrient dense foods like broccoli or brussel sprouts, I enjoy them equally as much as any other food because I am honoring my cravings!

Did you hear the news? We launched a podcast here at Leah Kern Nutrition! Shoulders Down Podcast is a podcast designed to teach you how to harness your intuition to govern not just how you eat but also how you live. New episodes get released every Tuesday!  Click here to listen to our latest episode, “Weight Inclusivity, Self-Compassion, and Grieving the Thin Ideal with Mya Kwon.” 

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