Amy Plano, MS RD CDE CDN
What inspired you to become a RDN/NDTR?
Food. Just kidding! Well not entirely. Growing up my Mom was a big cook and I loved to get in the kitchen with her. So when I was deciding what I wanted to do for a career – I knew I wanted it to include food in some shape or form.
I was also an athlete my entire life – going on to play soccer and lacrosse in college. So I found nutrition and dietetics to be the perfect marriage between my two loves.
Where do you work now and where have you worked in the past?
Currently, I work for myself as a full-time private practice dietitian (www.amyplano.com). I run a group nutrition practice and I am super fortunate to have two other fabulous dietitians who work with me. I have a general practice and we see all types of patients. My speciality though is working with patients who suffer with PCOS (www.thepcosdietitian.com). My sub speciality is actually on the opposite end of the spectrum – athletes! A large portion of my practice is dedicated to crossfit athletes. My office is located in Orange, CT. I absolutely love being my own boss.
I also lucky enough to teach as well. I teach nutrition courses at Quinnipiac University in The Health Sciences Department in Hamden, CT.
My roots though are at Yale New Haven Hospital. I completed my dietetic internship at Yale and worked for many years there as a outpatient dietitian. I really feel in my hearts of hearts that my awesome training there is partly responsible for my success as a private practice dietitian. I really enjoyed my time working there and can honestly say I learned SO much!
What is your favorite part of your job?
Such an easy question – working for myself! Ever since I was an intern I always knew I wanted to open up a private practice. Back then I had NO idea how I was going to do it – but it was always a dream of mine. I pinch myself every day that I get to do what I love on my own terms. It is such a crazy good feeling.
As everyone knows becoming an RD is hard. Really friggin’ hard. You have to jump through what seems like a million hoops. Opening up a practice is equally as hard but in different ways. But just like when you finally become a dietitian – the feeling of satisfaction that comes with that accomplishment is like no other. I feel that about my practice. My practice represents YEARS of my blood, sweat and tears. But in all sincerity I would not have it any other way.
What is your favorite recipe/food?
Geez. That is a really hard question! That is like asking a mother to identify her favorite child. I am a chick who loves food but I would have to say I really like Mexican inspired recipes and foods. After all, what is not to love about that cuisine? Cheese, guac, tomatoes, sour cream – I heart you all. In my house we do a lot of low-carb quesadillas with lime infused cabbage salads as sides. Taco salads are also a personal favorite!
What is one general tip you would give to someone looking to improve their diet?
I would likely tell them to think about the quantity of carbohydrates they eat. I often tell them to think about the fact that carbohydrate intake should be energy dependent. Most people walk around SO over carbed it is crazy. Their carbohydrate intake does not match their output. So getting people to really become self-aware of this I find to be super critical.
If stranded on island-what one food or beverage you would want an unlimited supply of?
Man. All these tough questions. So many food choices. Hmmm … maybe good New Haven style pizza. A good pie always makes me smile 🙂
Where would you like to see the profession five years from now?
I would really, really, really like to see more dietitians taking the leap and going into the private sector. It is so rewarding both mentally and financially. Dietitians are such a bright group of people! I mean like really smart people. They have the education, determination and critical thinking skills to do pretty much anything they want. But so many RDs are just settling for what is easy and safe. This makes me sad as they are literally and figuratively leaving so much on the table.
In March of this year I will be launching a business called The RD Boss. My website will be devoted to sharing awesome tips, tools and resources to help dietitians create the private practice of their dreams. My goal is to help other dietitians successfully navigate the private practice arena. Through personal engagement, authentic business practices and over 20 years of experience (yup! I am that old) running a highly profitable nutrition private practice – my objective is to instill a level of confidence in dietitians they never knew they had.
It is time for dietitians to take back their power. Because some else does not get to tell them who they CAN BE — they deserve to be the hero of their own story.