Amy Corcoran, CT Academy Student Liaison Co-Chair
What inspired you to become a RDN?
I’ve always been a proponent of healthy living and wanted to study nutrition since I was 13 years old! My first job was at a health food store, and my high school allowed me to pursue credit for a nutrition-focused independent project. With rising chronic disease, a surplus of nutrition misinformation, and advances in nutritional science research, it’s an especially important and exciting time to enter the dietetics field!
Where do you work now and where have you worked in the past?
I’m beginning my second year of the undergraduate Dietetics Coordinated Program at UConn. This summer, I worked with the UConn Healthy Family CT SNAP-Ed team to promote fact-based food and nutrition information to individuals, families, and children. During my freshman year at UConn, I participated in Husky Reads, where I taught MyPlate-focused nutrition lessons to preschoolers in Hartford. I hope to support women’s and children’s health in my career, and I’m considering pursuing the IBCLC certification post-graduation.
What is your favorite recipe/food?
This is a bit strange, but I’ve always loved yams! Even when I was learning to spell my name, I’d jumble the letters and sign “Yam” instead of “Amy.”
How is food related to your culture?
Food, in my culture, is centered around family, tradition, and love. My maternal great-grandmother, Mimi, and great-grandfather emigrated from Italy to the United States. Mimi had a true gift in the kitchen, and we still use her recipes today. Tradition is important in my family, such as our Sunday night family dinners, Easter pies on Easter, cream-stuffed zeppole on Saint Joseph’s Day, and seven-fish tradition on Christmas Eve. Food brings my family together, and preparing meals is a way for us to share our love for one another.
What is your #1 tip for improving one’s diet?
A mindset of restriction is not sustainable! I typically encourage others to focus on what to add to their diet, such as a side of fruit with dessert, or replace, such as flavored water instead of soda, rather than what to take away.
What is one item that is always in your pantry?
I always have pasta in my pantry because it’s quick to prepare, versatile, and there are so many types! Chickpea pasta is my favorite.
What is your go -to exercise routine?
I love strength-building workouts and vinyasa yoga. I also love long hikes and walks with friends. It’s important to me that exercise is both enjoyable and functional.
If stranded on island-what one food or beverage you would want an unlimited supply of?
Almonds – I could make almond milk, almond flour, almond butter, or have them plain!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of being in dietetics is the breadth of opportunities available, and thus the ability to reach and to help a large range of individuals! There are endless opportunities to advance my knowledge, learn about new cultures, connect with other health care professionals, and engage with communities different from my own.
What is your favorite part of being a CT AND Member?
My favorite part of being a CT Academy member is connecting with professionals across a variety of work settings. Membership has opened my eyes to the countless avenues someone with a nutrition background can pursue. All the dietitians I have met have been incredibly kind and inspiring.
Where do you want to see the RDN/NDTR profession in 10 years?
My dream is that members of our profession gain more recognition as trusted nutrition professionals. Despite our rigorous education and supervised practice, the internet is full of misinformation that clouds our field and our messages, which is why legislation such as the MNT Act are so important for us to share! I think it’s especially powerful for students to familiarize themselves with nutrition-related legislation; we are the future of this profession and have the power to reduce health disparities and nutrition insecurity. On a larger scale, I hope that our health care system will shift to value preventative care.
Anything else you would like to add?
A big thank you to the RDN/NDTRs of Connecticut! As I’m gaining more dietetics experience in my rotations, I’m gaining even more of an appreciation for all that you do!