New Look: The Gypsy Dietitian

by Ashley on October 14, 2013

Hi friends! How are you today? Monday blues? Or Monday hoorays!? Or maybe a little bit better now that it’s Monday afternoon?!

I first want to thank you all for a super successful sweetpotato week last week. It looks like many of you were inspired to try new things, just like myself, like this Sweetpotato Gnocchi or this 5 Color Sweetpotato Veggie Soup. Keep it up!

Disclaimer: Today is a long one, so get grab a cup of tea, a glass of wine or whatever you need before I dive in. 🙂 

dream

Here we go. Just as my website transitioned over to The Gypsy Dietitian the week before last, sweetpotato week came and I never had a chance to explain my thought process and why I made the transition, so today, I want to take the time to do so.

Let me explain.

In January of this year (a couple of months before I completed my dietetic internship at the Mayo Clinic) I spent one week of my internship exploring any area of nutrition in which I chose, this was called my “Elective Week.” I decided to spend my time exploring the field of Nutrition Communications in order to explore a little bit more about what I could do if I chose to combine my Communications/Broadcasting/Journalism background with my Nutrition knowledge. Each day of that week I met with five different ladies, all well respected and well established in the Nutrition Communications field. The very first day I met with Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, director of nutrition for WebMD, the website that many of you get your health information from. Boy did she blow my socks off. She was everything you could imagine of a highly successful woman.  She was well-spoken, well-educated, kind, charming, and an expert in a field that I hope to be one day. She gave a lecture on Nutrition and Social Media, and needless to say, I walked out of there with over ten pages of notes and every single line read something that I never want to forget.

Long story short (or really, long story shorter), I left there that day with one thing clear: I had to have my own brand. Who am I? What is my purpose? What is my goal? What do you want from me? Why me? And how am I going to deliver that?

After hearing her talk, I decided it was time to think a little bit more about my own blog, at that time “Hungry for More.” If you are a long time reader, you might not even know that that was the sites “name.” Probably not because you never noticed it, but rather because I never brought it to your attention. I had no brand and I was slightly scattered. I knew I loved talking to you about nutrition, but that was about all.

So after much thought and much prayer, I reached out to a blog consulting company, and now my go-to blog guy, and in our first conversation he said to me, “What is your brand? Who is your target audience? You know nutrition is a huge field, don’t be one of the ones that get lost in the numbers. Don’t just be another RD telling people they need to lose weight.” And he was exactly right. I first had to find myself and my intentions for this blog. (Now that I’ve been writing here for almost four years now. Oops. Better late than never, right?!)

I spent a few weeks thinking it over. What is my message? Who is my target audience? Why would you all chose to read my posts over any other bloggers posts when there are a million to choose from? What makes me different?

guard your heart

{Photo Source}

I knew I wanted my passion for Jesus to shine through first and foremost and for nutrition to come second, and in an ah-ha moment (actually after much thought and contemplation), Guard Your Heart came to mind. I could use it in both a figurative and literal way. When Jesus tells us to guard our heart in the bible, he is by no means referring to guarding our hearts nutritionally (eliminating trans fats, limiting saturated fats, increasing our omega-3 consumption, limiting our salt intake, choosing fruits and veggies, etc), but that’s no reason that I couldn’t use it  both ways.

gyh03

But wait, I’m not a cardiac dietitian, at least not right now, and really that’s not the audience I’m purposefully trying to reach through this blog (specifically). As the number one killer of Americans, I’m sure that many of my readers do struggle with heart issues, but I believe that by choosing to follow the message of this blog, a healthy heart is only one of the benefits, kind of like weight loss, more energy, etc.

So there I sat, still confused about my own brand. Who am I? And how do I show you that? If anything, I want you to see exactly who I am through this blog: I want to share the journey of my life – my struggles, my triumphs, my joys, my weaknesses, my good times and my bad. I want you to first and foremost see that good health is possible for EVERY.ONE, not just a dietitian, not just a healthy food lover, but everyone: the busy mom, the stressed out dad, the collage student, the grandmother, the “I can’t cook,” etc.. Just like me, you can chose to eat healthy – regardless of your walk of life.

TGD Namaste

And speaking of walk of life, that’s when I finally found my brand, The Gypsy Dietitian. I looked at my life. That’s who I am, that’s what I do. It was so clear, why didn’t I think of it sooner? And with Jesus as my leader, I know He is the one that led me there.

If you know me, you probably couldn’t think of a better name for me. If you don’t know me, let me explain in the simplest way possible.

In the past (almost) five years, since marrying the man of my dreams, together we have moved twelve times and will experience our thirteenth in the near future. We have lived in tiny towns, big towns, one bedroom lofts, five bedroom beauties, basements, rough neighborhoods and in the finest of communities. I have followed charter buses for ten hours just to see my hubby at the end of the ride. This all sounds crazy… unless you know baseball lifestyle and then it makes complete sense.

baseball

For the first two years of our marriage, my husband, Dustin, played minor league baseball, until a career ending shoulder injury derailed our plans. Another move and a familiar town later, we went back to school together, where he finished up his college degree after leaving in the baseball draft following his junior year and I completed my second degree in Nutrition.

Not too long after completing his degree and a couple of moves later, Dustin decided regardless of his injury, baseball still had his heart and he took a job scouting baseball. Back to the baseball life we would go. He now travels on a regular basis searching for talent and since the completion of my internship in March, I try to go with him as often as I can. Hey, Starkville, Mississippi isn’t so bad when your exploring it with your best friend.

And that’s why I am The Gypsy Dietitian. We live life out of a suitcase, out of a car, out of a hotel, for now, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Despite this, we eat healthy, exercise, love life and it loves us right back.

gypsy dietitian

I want to share with you how you can do the same. Life throws us curve balls and we can handle them, but without our health we simply cannot. Life is fast and on the go, healthy eating and a well-fueled lifestyle is possible regardless of what your dinner table looks like; hey, ours looks different every night! I’m excited to continue and grow on this new journey and I hope that you will go and grow with me! While life is about to change yet again for us (more on that later), being flexible and on-the-go will always be apart of it.

Have an awesome Monday!

Good health!

Name

Heather @TheSoulfulSpoon October 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

This is a lovely post and I’m so happy for you!!!:) Thanks for explaining the change in the name. Hopefully you can teach us all how to live more freely when things change last minute- I know I could use help with that! Even as a healthy eater and Jesus as my guide, I still struggle with the unknown. Thanks for being a light in this area and I think you picked the perfect name!:) Good luck to you and I can’t wait to keep up with you the whole way! <3

Ashley October 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

Thank you Heather! I am excited for the journey! Isn’t life an incredible gift? Thank you for your thoughtful words, continuous support and present voice!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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