Rachel Begun, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and accomplished food and nutrition communications professional. She is a member of NFCA’s Scientific/Medical Advisory Board and an expert for NFCA’s Ask the Registered Dietitian. Learn more at The Gluten-Free RD.
July 2000: Simultaneously completing my graduate degree in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a dietetic internship program.
October 2000: Working at a boutique PR agency specializing in food and nutrition public relations campaigns and studying for the board exam to become a registered dietitian. Thoughts of owning my own business one day floating around in my head.
August 2006: Working as nutrition communications and public relations director for a natural foods manufacturer. Thinking seriously about starting my own nutrition communications company…one day.
March 2008: Working as public relations director for a food and wine retailer. Still thinking seriously about starting my own nutrition communications company…one day.
January 2009: Not feeling well for a while and starting to think something is wrong. Still thinking seriously about starting my own nutrition communications company…one day.
May 2009: Learning how to live gluten-free. Trying to get my arms around working in food and nutrition communications while needing to avoid gluten.
December 2009: Feeling better on gluten-free diet. No longer thinking about starting my own nutrition communications company. Signing contract with first client of Rachel Begun, MS, RD Nutrition Communications.
When I learned about this new blog and was asked to contribute my story, I thought “What a great idea for a blog, but how does it connect to raising awareness for celiac disease?” After putting my story to paper, now I understand.
I thought about starting my own nutrition communications practice for 9 years before making it happen. I learned valuable skills during this time, but it became evident after a while that I was making one excuse after another for why I shouldn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t start my own company…having a great full-time job; planning a wedding; getting divorced; being on my own after getting divorced; and so on and so on.
I don’t know exactly when my “I’ll do it someday” thinking shifted to “I have to do this, and I have to do it now,” but I do know it came after going gluten-free and reclaiming my health. Was it the new-found energy and clear mental focus? Was it the support and encouragement of my new partner…now my husband and best friend? Was it my realization that I could take my business and communications skills and apply them to helping others live healthfully and happily?
What I do know is that I have seen countless women overcome serious health issues to find their calling in life and kill it (contrary to its negative connotation, this is a positive term for being a huge success). We are all living proof that when you have your health, you can do anything!
I’m not sure I realized this for myself until writing this blog post. Thank you to everyone at NFCA for giving me the opportunity to understand and share my story. My vision became reality upon reclaiming my health. And I hope in some small way I am now helping others to do the same.