Under Construction.

Copy of Food Bank

If you’re visiting for the first time – welcome! You come at a transitional time and I invite you to pop back soon.

For long time followers – thank you for your ongoing support! 

After a long hiatus Let’s Talk Real Talk has decided to re-brand to ‘Real Talk Dietitian’ and there are lots of changes in the works. While we work through these changes much of the site will be hidden for the time being. But don’t worry! The old content will still be accessible once we’re back up and running. In fact, if scrolling is your thing, feel free to scroll for hours to find the old stuff. But if you have better things to do with your time (you prob do!!), we’ll have our post directory back up soon so I invite you to pop back then to easily find content that makes you laugh, changes your perspective, opens your mind, and makes you feel a little lighter.

We’re so excited to re-connect with you.

See you soon!

XOX

Blogging has gotten harder.. and it’s not why you think.

Hi friends,

I know, I’ve been pretty hot and cold lately, with months between posts. Truly, I’m not sure about the future of the blog.

Blogging has gotten harder. And no, not because I’m busy (or at least not ONLY because I’m busy), but for a couple of bigger reasons…

1. It’s lost its anonymity. Nova Scotia is small. And the dietetics world within Nova Scotia is even smaller. I never considered this when I was blogging from my teeny tiny apartment in the biggest city in Canada-Toronto. I started the blog there and felt comfortable sharing what I did on it, being open about my opinions and pretty easily hiding the identity of those involved in my stories. That isn’t so easy anymore. For example, I wouldn’t be able to post a blog like this without everybody knowing who was involved in the conflict. That isn’t fair.

I don’t want to start filtering what I share on here – that defeats the purpose. That isn’t REAL. How do I stay true to the essence of the blog while maintaining the privacy of others?

2. I don’t know what I can share.  This year I was involved in the dietetic internship application process in a whole new way. I was truly on the other side and once you’re on the other side, is it okay to talk about it? Working part time in the School of Nutrition and Dietetics at Acadia University, I worked with the faculty to write composite (group) references for several students. Essentially I sat at a table where all the profs spoke about each student personally. I learned what profs (and people in general) notice about others, what they value, and how several factors you’ve probably never thought about influence your career. I’ve learned great things from that experience and other hiring processes I’ve been a part of. 

I think students could benefit from hearing some of my learnings, but is that… cheating? Inappropriate? Deceiving? Of course there are obvious lines that I would respect so I wouldn’t be outright in the wrong – or would I, a little bit?

3. Am I crossing too far over the line between personal and professional? I mean, I’ve never seen a picture of my prof crying on the kitchen floor. I’ve never read about my prof’s past dreadful relationships. I’ve never heard their open, honest, unfiltered opinions on some of the toughest obstacles they’ve faced. But my students have, for me. Does that make me more genuine, more relatable, more human? Or does that make me more inappropriate? immature? “unprofessional”? I like to think the former, but I am questioning now how others perceive that, and what is truly the best way to behave. Part of the purpose of the blog initially was to challenge the power divide and to encourage more genuine human interaction, so again, I’m grappling with how to stay true to the essence of the blog.

4. I don’t want the blog to age with me. As I navigate through my career I will have very different experiences and concerns than I did as a student or intern. I don’t want the blog to follow my career exclusively and get so far removed from the posts that most people look for when they come to the blog – the internship application stuff. How can I continue to be a support for that process when as time passes I get further and further removed from it? Do I want to invest the time required to keep up to date and to keep connections with people who are in that process? (I mean YES, but is that realistic?)

SO, as you can see there’s been a lot more going on here than simple procrastination. I’m sorry to have this blog read so heavy, but thought I should share what’s been on my mind. But don’t worry, this isn’t a “It’s not you, it’s me” break-up conversation – I haven’t decided to end the blog. But I haven’t quite decided not to either…

Would love to hear your thoughts

XOX

RDs on Facebook LIVE Tonight

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Log into Facebook tonight to chat with Rebecca and I! We are taking questions in advance so if you have anything burning please comment below. Otherwise, join us LIVE tonight, ask your questions and have them answered on the spot.

We’re so excited to connect with you!

XOX

 

Overwhelmed by the thought of job hunting? Here’s how I tackled it.

I’ve written about job and program applications over and over, so here are a few you should check out before you dive into this one:

Resume Tips

How Being Human Should Come Out on Your Resume – Part 1

How Being Human Should Come Out on Your Resume – Part 2

Does it Feel Out of Reach? Then Stretch.

So, if you’re fresh out of school, or an old job, and are totally overwhelmed by the thought of diving into job hunting, you are not alone. That shit is exhausting. Whenever I have a break from it for a while (you know, those precious moments in time where you are employed and aren’t eating Cheetos crying over where your next rent payment will come from) I never know quite how to step back into it. I almost have to orient myself to the process again. So if that’s how you’re feeling, you are in the right place! Since I’ve been on a roll with job applications (at the time of writing this), I’m going to share my process with you. This is what I’ve done to stay sane and on task. It could be completelyyyy opposite what you’ve done or what works for you, in which case, continue. You do you.

Steps:

  1. Make a folder for each application in google drive. I then created the following google docs:
    • The Job Posting + Research
    • My Drafted Cover Letter
    • My Resume
    • Q&A – Questions I have for them about the job and “answers” that come to me that could be helpful if they were to interview me.
  2. I used the comment feature to comment on the job description with examples of how I’ve met the criteria. Don’t waste time wording this properly or anything – just start to jog your own memory about what you’ve done that overlap with what they want. Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 8.18.05 PM
  3. Consider the parts of the job that don’t as naturally suit your experiences and skills. Think hard about them. Ask yourself, “What skills have I used in other jobs that would be helpful if I were to do X?”. Think outside the box a little and think about any possible common ground between the task listed and the experiences you’ve had. Sometimes you have to stretch and bend to make things work – don’t be afraid to do that.
  4. Research the friggen company. Guys, I shouldn’t even have to say it if you’ve gotten this far and are a nutrition professional, but read the company’s mission and vision and familiarize yourself with the work they’ve been doing the past year or so. Doing this will not only help you see commonalities between yourself and the company but will make you seem informed, prepared and INTERESTED in a potential interview.
  5. On paper, I write a list of things I’d love to highlight in my application if I could. I ask myself, “Why am I a good candidate?” and I jot down all my reasons/related experiences. Don’t worry about how big this list gets – you won’t be including all of it but it’s important to do this activity to make sure you don’t forget about something amazing you did a million years ago that is worth mentioning.
  6. Pick 3 things from that list, or make 3 categories from that list. These could be categories of skills, or categories of experiences. These ‘3 things’ become paragraphs. I.e. In one scenario I could choose to discuss my skills in communication, leadership, and partnership, and speak to various job experiences and examples where I’ve demonstrated those lately. In another scenario, I might want to discuss 3 recent experiences that are super related to the job I’m applying to, and speak about my skills within those. I never quite know what approach I prefer.
  7. The structure of your letter is coming along now. On a separate paper (I’m an old-school paper person, can you tell? ;)) I write Intro, P1, P2, P3 and Conclusion down the left-hand side. On the right, I jot the points I really want to make in each paragraph. Doing this keeps you on track and makes sure you won’t accidentally ramble on about something only partially helpful.IMG_7684.jpg
  8. It’s hard to part from everything else on your list in step 5 isn’t it? Don’t worry – now is your chance to pull from that again! I have a ‘highlight of qualifications’ section on the top of my CV. If you do as well, here is your chance to stick in some of those relevant pieces that didn’t quite make the cut in the letter. The dilemma: What if people scan your resume and don’t read the letter? I’m unsure. I keep this in mind even more-so when I’m applying to a company through their HR department, but for smaller-scale organizations, I have a little more faith they’ll take a closer look. (Wishful thinking perhaps?)
  9. Go back to the job description and now highlight every adjective. Notice the language used. The job description might say, “Must be willing to work collaboratively with various stakeholders” and your resume might say, “worked with people in various departments to XYZ..” Change it. Mirror the language as much as you can.
  10. Label your application with your name and what you are applying to. If an employer receives an attachment that says ‘Good Job Application FINAL’, that’s just awkward. Even if you label it with the job title itself, though that’s better, it could get lost in the 50 other applicants who called theirs the same thing.

Well that’s all my rambling for now. If you have any questions please do get in touch. In the meantime, happy hunting!

XOX

My TOP 10 Starving-student-money-savers

In all seriousness all my life I’ve been pinching pennies. Financial stability has always been a dream, and just not in the mix for my mixed up family. At the time of writing this, I am on the cusp of breaking out of that, but for the time being I’m still pretty stuck in it so I thought I’d share some of the wisdom I’ve acquired. (When you make penny-pinching sound wisdom-ess it’s less painful, right? ;))

These are my tips & tricks for money saving on the journey to RD. The good, the bad, and the ugly, but 100% honest.

  1. Shopped at No Frills. No frills, no BS, no brand name, no fancy shit – just food. That’s all I ever needed – just food. I mean, I was tempted to shop with sunglasses on because that gawd-awful yellow is friggin’ BLINDING, but it was worth it to save tonnnns of money on food.
  2. Shopped the ‘Naturally Imperfect’ produce. This was readily available at No Frills but I know many grocery chains are jumping on board the imperfect produce train. And why not?! It tastes the same, costs a FRACTION of the price, and helps save the world, so like win-win-win, right?twinsfisch-uSPjZzYwXO4-unsplash
  3. Ate lots of beans. Beans are a much cheaper protein than most meats so I started playing with them in new recipes and ended up with much smaller grocery bills. Great tip: When I would make pulled pork I’d mix cooked red lentils in with the BBQ sauce. Cooked red lentils go down practically to mush so when I mixed it in with the meat and the sauce the overall texture of pulled pork wasn’t very compromised, it literally tasted NO different, and it gave me about twice the portion.
  4. Used a friend’s Netflix. Those who actually pay for Netflix are angels. Especially since the price got jacked up – thanks pals.
  5. Walked everywhere. I mean this was in part because I didn’t have a car, but I also skipped out on public transit a fair bit. Long story short if it was a 30 minute walk or less (and like a 2 second ride), I was walking. (Even with armloads of stuff in crazy heat…)IMG-8043
  6. Traveled only with carry-ons and wore a ridiculous # of layers in airports. Do I have any friends fans out there?
  7. Used Uber pool. Never have I ever had a bad encounter with a fellow pool-er. Even the non-chatty ones would give you a little half sided smile like, ‘Hey man, so you’re poor as shit too? Cool.’
  8. Went to events with free food, just for the food. _efpUkvS_400x400
  9. Got GF bread coupons
  10. Never bought coffee out. Ever. This is true even to this day. If you ever see me with a store bought coffee in my hands know that is out of PURE desperation and you should probably steer clear of me because I am likely to crumble at any moment.

 

Unemployed Life

Unemployed life. The bright side: sleeping in, staying out, and eating whatever whenever (no meal prep – woo!).  The dark side: Hardly being able to sleep from financial stress, avoiding friends in order to avoid bar tabs, and eating half-assed scrappy things because you can’t afford shit.

I’ve flipped and flopped into both sides. For many, this period comes right after grad – so if that’s you, stay chill – we’ve all been there! For me, it happened in between my first and second job. That must be easier because I would have saved money from the first job right? Mm nope. It was a part-time job so saving wasn’t really an option.

Let me take you on my unemployment journey, to shed some light on the dark side and talk about what most of us don’t – financial struggle and distress.

Firstly, Applying for jobs is a full-time job.

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A colleague of mine said this to me once and I kind of chuckled, half agreeing, and half thinking, “yeah, that’s cute”. Real talk: That is true AF. Most of my time ‘off’ (2 months) was spent in front of my computer. Scanning job ads every single day, searching out hiring managers and associates on LinkedIn, prioritizing applications based on their due date, and constantly re-wording EVERY SINGLE WORD of my resumes and cover letters to try to fit the mold created by a job description. That shit is exhausting. It took way more time than I imagined.

The time flew by.

Likely due to the point above, it did not at all feel like I had so much time off. I expected to be bored and stir crazy but somehow I kept busy – a happy busy as in I always had something to work on but could also ditch it and do fun stuff [almost] whenever I wanted to without guilt. So don’t assume time will drag on if you’re in this boat – still treat your time preciously and make space for what matters.

I needed creative ways to save money.

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The first time I wrote the sentence above it accidently said “I needed creative ways to spend money”. LOL what a joke. Anyhow, pinching pennies was nothing new to me after being a student for so long, but I actually came up with a couple new tricks.

  1. Buy bags of wine instead of bottles. Seriously, you can save over a bottle of wine by doing this! As in, by buying a bag you get a free bottle! HELLO.
  2. Instead of buying a new nightstand, a suitcase will do. LOL. To be honest, that suitcase still remains. It does pretty good at being a place to toss my phone, nasal spray (aren’t I the coolest?) and lipsticks. In all seriousness though, when you think you ‘need’ something before jumping the gun, sit back and ask yourself if you reeeally do, or if you could jimmy-rig something for it for a while.

Want to hear my other tips and tricks for money-saving I’ve built up over the years? There’s so many I made a whole other blog post about it – stay tuned!

The End was super hard.

I hardly had any money the entire time but of course there came a day when it was non-existent. When this has happened to me in the past I’ve ended up on my face. Thankfully I had my partner here to help pull my weight this time. Such a lifesaver. As happy as I was that he kept a roof over my head and food in my belly, mooching off of somebody (partner or not) still sucks. I racked up a ‘bill’ with him (my words, not his) that is still quite high so the truth is I feel that burden all the time (again, by no fault of his). Feeling like you owe somebody something just sucks doesn’t it? I mean, we all want to be strong independent women [or men] right? I was constantly tossing back and forth with emotions of gratitude and of helplessness.

In sum, I felt all the feels.

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Lucky, content, well-slept, energized, free, carefree, confident – worried, stressed, sleepless, helpless, defeated, exhausted, crappy. It really was a rollercoaster so if you find yourself in the same boat know that you aren’t alone in that.

My Advice

Chin up. Keep truckin’! Trust in the process knowing that this is all a part of the journey and we all have to sit through it at some point or another. If you aren’t getting call backs it’s likely because this field is COMPETETIVE and not because you’re shitty. So knock off with that self-talk and show yourself some love.

Let yourself sleep in if you want to, eat ice cream out of the tub with a spoon if you want to, but also stick with it and take every job posting and application seriously. Keep pouring that time in knowing that it will pay off someday.

Just hang in there.

 

XOX

Why hello there!

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Hi, it’s me! I’m a stranger, I know. My original plan was to have blog posts on hold until mid August… hello mid(ish) October. Woah! I never did intend to have it be this long but life happens. The blog often crossed my mind and that negative self-talk crept in from time to time..

“I’m not productive enough”

“I overcommitted”

“I’m letting people down”

etc, etc. You know the feeling I’m sure. But I’m happy to say that I let those feelings come and go and for the most part did not hold my absence against me, and I hope you didn’t either.

Did you know life can get BUSIER than it is when you’re a student? Hell, I didn’t. It’s a beautiful kind of busy though. At the time of writing this I am a part-time professor at Acadia University (again, yay!), I’ve accepted a promotion and will be moving into the role of Registered Dietitian, Program Development Coordinator at Nourish Nova Scotia tomorrow, I’m the lead advocate in Nova Scotia for Diabetes Canada’s Diabetes 360 Strategy, and I’ve been taking on community nutrition presentations here and there. Woah!

But as I’ve said before, this is not a space where I intend to blab and brag about myself, but I just felt like I owed you an explanation for my absence. I can’t say I’m back on my regular schedule, posting every Sunday, quite yet, but I can say that I have some posts in my back pocket that will be rolling out, some guest writers that are working on awesome shit, and a couple innovative ideas moving forward. 

Bare with me and as always feel free to reach out if you have any personal inquires. Reach out through our Facebook or Instagram pages.

& for now, check out my latest post here

XOX