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RD Exam Prep: Sage words from a Dietitian who passed the RD Exam!

RD Exam Prep: Sage words from a Dietitian who passed the RD Exam!

%Sage Nutrition Associates%

Willande Unelus, owner of Illuminate Cultural Nutrition and Wellness, LLC

This blog post contribution is a success story from Willande Unelus, MA, RD, LDN, CHN

Registered Dietitian and Cultural Nutritionist, who used the Sage RD Exam Prep Course to pass the RD Exam. Willande’s story is so inspiring to us because her hard work and perseverance led her to a second career in dietetics. And to mention on top of that, a mother of three children while making it happen!

  1. Tell us about yourself and your journey to becoming a registered dietitian

-My name is Willande Unelus. I am a wife and mother of 13, 11 and 9 yr old boys. My first degrees were in graphic design and art education. I am originally from Haiti, and I’ve always loved cooking my traditional Haitian food. 

When I had my first son, he suffered from food allergies and eczema. When my second and third sons were born, they too experienced the same challenges. I had to make a lot of visits to pediatricians, allergists and dermatologists because of their food allergies/eczema. It was during that time, I decided to do research on how to heal with food since I came from a culture that connects some plants and food with health. I became interested in nutrition and its effect on our health. When my youngest started preschool, I made the decision to go back to school to become a registered dietitian. It was very challenging to juggle family life and being in college again, full time. I spent my evenings doing homework and studied for exams after the kids went to bed. There were times, I had to take power naps before starting my assignments because I was tired caring for my family during the day. In the end, I graduated  with honors and got accepted to the dietetic internship of my first choice. After all that schooling and completing my dietetic internship, I felt prepared to become a registered dietitian. My goal of helping future clients was coming true. But wait, before it was all said and done, I had to study for and take my RD exam!

  1. How much time did it take you to study for the RD Exam?

I graduated from my internship at the end of June and passed the RD exam the first week of October. Initially, I barely studied for the RD exam and did not pass. After that, I buckled down and studied daily, two hours on average.

  1. What is a piece of advice you can give to people who are preparing for the RD exam?  

Work on comprehending the material you are studying over memorizing everything in detail. Try to grasp overall concepts in different subject matters. However, there are certain things that will be good to memorize.

  1. Do you have any words of advice for parents who are studying for the RD Exam? 

I would encourage parents to plan ahead and carve out time when the kids are sleeping, at daycare or at school to study. Even if you study for 30 minutes at a time consistently, instead of waiting for a chunk of time to open up before you can study. Work with the time you have until you are really ready to go take the test. 

5. What are you up to now? 

I am still a full time mom. When my kids are in school during the day, I work as a part-time dietitian contractor for an online nutrition company, providing telehealth nutrition counseling in Chicago, IL. I also started my private practiceIlluminate Cultural (I.C) Nutrition And Wellness LLC, on a part-time basis in the Raleigh, NC area, providing nutrition therapy, counseling and education services with a focus on cultural nutrition. I really enjoy helping people improve their health with food. In starting a private practice, I have learned a lot as an owner. One of the things I am happy about is being in network with medical insurances like BCBS NC, Aetna and United Healthcare. As clinicians, the impact we make in people’s lives is all worth it. “Dietitians just like doctors change and save lives.”

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Lauren & Laura of Sage

Welcome New Readers!

Take a look around to see what intrigues you. This is a great resource for RD2Be’s looking for some “sage” words of wisdom about the registered dietitian exam and the profession of dietetics. 

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