Issue #41


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2008 California Pro Photos and Results

2008 California Pro Review

2008 Contra Costa Photos and Results

2008 Contra Costa Review

20 Questions with IFBB Figure Pro and Cover Model
Celeste Gonzalez

Video Interview with IFBB Figure Pro and Cover Model Celeste Gonzalez

Ask Misty
by Misty Green

Celeste Gonzalez, Lesley Stamper, Kari Keenan Tiffany Widdifield, Melissa Johnsen

Video Interview with NPC Figure Felicia Bruno

Making Yourself: Career Transition into Nutrition!
by Jean Jitomir

Video Interview with IFBB Bodybuilding Pro Tonia Williams

Good Eating Habits
by Danijela Crevar

Video Interview with IFBB Fitness Pro Tonya Burkhardt

Making Yourself: Career Transition into Nutrition! by Jean Jitomir

Hi Jean,

I am looking to get into the nutrition field; I am currently an archaeologist that loves the concept of my job more than the actual job, unfortunately. My interest has always been food and archaeology. I want to study food as much as possible, and how we, humans, should be eating healthier. I also would like to start out with just a nutrition certification, to make sure this is what I really want to change to, but am finding the number of programs out there overwhelming, and sometimes unreliable. Could you offer any insight on what I should do to narrow my search? Thank you, any time you have is much appreciated!


            It's great to have the courage to follow your passion; too many people feel trapped in a career because it seems unwise to get a whole new education. My mom started going to community college as a high school drop out when I was 10. By the time I graduated from high school, she had earned her law degree from Cornell and now she has her own firm. It’s worth it to pursue your passions!

            That said, few "nutrition certifications" have credibility among other health professionals. In fact, it is illegal in some states to give diets or nutrition information without being a registered dietitian! The registered dietitian (RD) credential is a four year dietetics-specific nutrition Bachelor of Science degree and about a 1000 hour internship; the whole process takes five years, starting from scratch.  The benefit of going through this process, in contrast to a certification, is that you will be an official "expert" in nutrition.  As an added bonus, you may be able to accept insurance for some medical conditions (this helps a lot when looking for jobs in hospitals). Find more information at read more at:

            Another option is the diet tech credential (DTR), which is a two year credential, but you cannot do as much with it. Information about diet tech is available at above the link above as well.

            Alternatively, if you are a professional in a related field (like exercise physiology) and you are interested in sports nutrition, specifically, then you may want to look into the CISSN certification.  This certification requires a bachelor of science in biology, exercise physiology, or another field that is closely related to exercise and/or nutrition.  The certification may also help fill in gaps for nutritionists that are weak in the area of sports nutrition, as standard dietetics neglects this important area of nutrition study.

            On the other hand, it's smart to test out the new career choice first, so if I were in Bethany's position, I would start by taking an introductory nutrition class at a university. I would also peruse the professor’s evaluations on websites ahead of time ; it's a shame to be turned off to a good topic because of a bad teacher!  A college course in nutrition will provide more relevant and true knowledge than a short-lived nutrition certification class or book. As much knowledge as you may have in the area of nutrition or exercise, there is always more to learn!  Secondly, I would find someone in your area that has the job that you think you would like to do and ask to shadow them for a few days or intern with them.

            If your goal is to get a four year degree or graduate degree, graduating with mostly A's from junior college, along with community involvement, will make you stand out to top universities-- my mom is living proof! And to the moms out there, it is possible to follow your own dreams and be an excellent parent! Giving unconditional love, consistent boundaries, and taking charge of your own life is good parenting. My mom didn’t make bagged lunches or wake me up for, but she made her best effort to be home when I got off the school bus and demonstrated how striving for personal goals will completely changed her life!

            If you feel unmotivated, think about what would make you happy and follow that vision.  Many community colleges have career counseling and reasonable credit-hour rates; financial assistance is usually a possibility.  You only have one life, so don't waste it making ends meet!

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About the Author...

Jean Jitomir is a registered dietitian, Master of Science in Nutrition and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Exercise Nutrition at Baylor University.  She has experience as a private dietitian and cooking instructor. Jean has competed in figure at the national level and is qualified for national level competition as a light weight bodybuilder.


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