Fresh out of my dietetic internship, naïve, nervous, and excited, I was offered one of my two top job choices while I finished graduated school. There was a Registered Dietitian position opening with the Lifestyle Centre at one of the local hospitals. The Lifestyle Centre is a cardiac and pulmonary rehab and fitness facility. Outpatient? Fitness facility? Yes, please.
Some of my responsibilities included one-on-one nutrition counseling, nutrition education classes, interviews with local news outlets, community events, and nutrition classes for hospital employees. Because this was my first full time job as a Registered Dietitian, the majority of the experience was all new.
One of the most challenging events I was asked to host was a cooking demonstration. At first glance this sounds really fun, right? Maybe, if you have a kitchen equipped like Rachel Ray (or if you ARE Rachel Ray) and a staff to set up, prep, and clean up. Because I wasn’t going to be in an actual kitchen, I was at a loss of what to cook. And bonus, this dietitian doesn’t even enjoy cooking. So I chose none other than….wait for it…Poppy Seed Chicken. Yes, as a way to teach people one new healthy meal I chose: open a can of this and dump in a can of that and add some sour cream and another can of something else and top with butter and crackers.
Don’t get me wrong. I love me some Poppy Seed Chicken. And I do still cook and eat this as part of a healthy lifestyle today. But for a new, fresh, nutrient dense recipe for people to take home to their families?
Bless my heart.
Needless to say, I still had a lot to learn about nutrition. In my defense, I did the best I could at the time. As uncomfortable as I still feel when I think about what a letdown this “cooking demo” must have been for the employees, I can’t help but think that I grew from it and that I can still apply some lessons even this many years later.
I bet you could tell a similar story, one where you were pretty naïve and looking back you could have done things just a little bit differently. But the key to these experiences? You gotta grow from them.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put my childish ways behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
If you are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13, you know this as the “Love” chapter. Why this verse was plopped right in the middle of talking about love always confused me. As a child, my understanding of the placement of this verse didn’t make a lot of sense. Honestly, there is still a large portion of this passage that for whatever reason is hard for me to fully grasp. But this verse in and of itself makes sense: when I was young, I acted like a child. The more I learn and grow, the more I stop acting like a child and take on a mature view.
Like my cooking demo, I did the best I could at the time. But now having been a Registered Dietitian for many years, it would be foolish to take a 100% canned dish and teach it as one of the healthiest recipes to have on hand (Really, this makes me so uncomfortable).
Simple application? Become mature and put childish ways behind you. And do it now.