Tip of the Month

Welcome to the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Tip of the Month

3 Tips to Expand Your Twitter Reach

Is tweeting something you just do or does it serve a purpose for your brand and business? If you spend time on Twitter but don’t have a brand strategy now’s the time to rethink your position. Think of Twitter as another way to network. Get active on Twitter and expand your reach with these three tips:

1.  Make your tweets ‘pop’ by including photos, bright colors, videos or anything that catches the eye as someone scans their feed. Interesting images and videos speak volumes and help your tweets stand out from the noise.

2. Participate in the NE monthly Twitter chats and other chats too. Engagement is key and participation often brings interest and new followers. Be sure to use the designated hashtag for the chat such as #NEDPG so that your tweets appear in the chat feed.

3. Unlike Instagram, too many hashtags can have a negative effect on followers. Three is about the limit. Vary your hashtags instead of using the same ones over and over. This helps you to reach new audiences who are not familiar with you.

Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND

NE Specialty Chair of Social Media and Technology

What are you doing to maintain a healthy work-life balance?

The holiday season is often busy and stressful, so January is always a great time to take a breath, and regroup. What are you doing to maintain work-life balance? Think about these aspects of your life, and set a few goals early in 2017 to work on for each area.
1. Self management: As nutrition experts, we certainly know and understand the important of a healthy diet and regular exercise regime. Of course, we are also human, and sometimes get off track. Be sure to check in with yourself to reinforce how important it is to keep that exercise schedule, and eat well.
2. Stress management: What is the cause of your stress and what can you actively do to reduce it? Sometimes taking care of the other issues (self mangement, time management, and allowing yourself some free time) can be the key to managing overall stress. Also, be sure to get some good sleep. 
3. Time management: There are lots of ways to keep tab on time. You might consider creating a Monday morning list of goals for the week. Prioritize the “must dos” and sort your work out through the day or week, so that the essential tasks get done on time, and others stay on track. And if you have a home office, set hours, and an “end” to your work day.
4. Technology management: Email, social networks, and app notifications, can all be real time-suckers (and mood-changers). Consider scheduling a time-block that you will schedule posts, or check email each day, and then stick to it (perhaps an hour in the morning, and an hour at the end of the workday). Turn off notifications on your phone or laptop while you’re working. Put your phone in “airplane mode” when you are working on a writing deadline, or when you are counseling patients. You can then check on messages and respond during the designated hours you set.
5. Fun management! Everyone has a difference parameter for what “work-life-balance” looks like. For me - I think it’s vital to schedule some down time and days off where you can unplug and do things that you enjoy with people you love. Don’t underestimate the importance of fun free time. In this 24/7 world we live in, it’s easy to feel guilty about not being available at all hours, at all times - but don’t. Prioritize your free time as an essential component of your successful, productive life. When you step away from work fully, you return more energized and ready to be engaged. And people will get over not getting a response at 10 pm.
Rosanne Rust, RDN
Chair Elect, 2016-2017

Take a Break and Increase Your Productivity

Yes – you read it right, by taking mini breaks throughout the day you can actually increase your productivity. Research and studies have suggested taking 10 minute breaks every one to two hours can refresh your brain and allow you to think more clearly, focus on the task at hand, and optimize your efficiency.

Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Work Week, also suggests taking breaks to minimize the wasted time spent on distractions. Our minds are only good for so long before they start to wander to other activities or we get side-tracked easily. Taking a break can recharge you and help you maintain focus. Here are some tips on how to give yourself permission to take a break:

1.       Schedule tasks in one to two hour intervals.

2.       Set a timer in your clock after one or two hours in order to stretch, go to the bathroom, fill up your water bottle, or momentarily detach yourself from the task at hand.

3.       Turn off known distractions such as social media or email notifications.

4.       Constant emails can be distracting. Set aside specific times to respond to emails so you do them in chunks versus as soon as they pop up.

5.       Set aside specific times to respond to social media so you spend about 10 minutes in the AM and 10 minutes in the PM. This will save you loads of time during the day.

A break only needs to be five to ten minutes. Just that mini moment will create a new world of possibilities and release more creativity and productivity.

Gotta go. Time for my stretch!

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN
Chair of Nutrition Entrepreneurs 2016-2017

Capturing Your Thoughts as a Writer

"First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination."
Napoleon Hill—Author of Think and Grow Rich

Have you ever drawn a blank trying to remember a name or a fact only to have the answer come in a flash hours later? The same can happen when you are writing a book.  Once you determine the vision for your book, ideas will percolate easier and will come at some of the most inopportune times. The last thing you want is to forget these great ideas because you didn’t record them in some way. Here are some suggestions:
1. Keep a notebook (or multiple notebooks in various locations) with you, even beside your bed. You want to capture those jewels of inspiration whether they occur in the car, waiting in line at the store, or in the middle of the night. Some of the best ideas I have had were written on napkins at restaurants or on the back of church bulletins. Write down everything that comes to mind—good ideas or bad. Just get them documented. You can sort them out later.
2. Use technology to record thoughts. Don’t have paper and/or a pen? Send yourself a voice mail, text message, email, or create a note on your phone. If you are searching the internet and come across something great, email the link to yourself. (I use a uniquely created and dedicated email account for each writing project.) Transfer these ideas to a more permanent document as soon as you can!
3. Capture other things you write. Participate in online message boards or use a blog to test ideas for the book. Newsletters can serve the same purpose. Finally, don’t forget to record your posts from social media which, by design, scroll away from view within a few days.
4. Keep a box or file cabinet to store hard copies of ideas. In preparation for writing, gather the books and magazine articles you used as references and keep them handy in simple banker’s box, dedicated file, or on a shelf in your office. For shorter documents, such as research articles, scan and email the PDF to your dedicated email account with a descriptive subject line.
5. Create your resource or reference list as you write. Keep an open Word document on your computer whenever you are writing. Update the document each time you touch one of your resource materials. It is always better to give credit to the least of your contributors than leave one out.
6. Finally, keep track of unrelated ideas that come while you are writing. Creativity begets creativity. You will likely find that your brain is on fire with all sorts of project ideas as you write! Keep track of those valuable tidbits in a different computer folder so that you can capitalize on that inspiration after you are done with the current project!
Julie Beyer, MA, RD
NE Authors and Writers Specialty Group Chair


Find Your Inner Chef

You went to school for nutrition and if your education was anything like mine, it lacked constructive information about how to prepare the great foods we, as dietitians, are always recommending. A disservice? Absolutely! Because how are you supposed to effectively communicate to your patients and clients the proper way to cook these foods if you aren’t comfortable preparing them yourself? Is all hope lost? Of course not! That’s why I’m here, to challenge you to find your inner chef!

Yes, it’s inside you! Are you the next Bobby Flay or Julia Child? Perhaps not, but that’s ok, because it’s not about how many sauces or terrines you know how to make, it’s about the basic skills you need to know. Most chefs start at the bottom of the kitchen hierarchy, and they’ve learned a lot from being there. They learned the most important skills - how to use a knife properly, how to be organized, and how to honor food by cooking and seasoning it just right.

And for those of us who want more training in this area, these three skills are great ones to focus on first:  

Chef Skill Worth Mastering: Using a Knife (the big one, aka Chef’s knife)

Intimidated by that big knife? It’s ok to be scared, but once you learn how to use a Chef’s knife, it will be your best friend in the kitchen. Google “how to use a chef’s knife” and you’ll find millions of videos on the best way to hold and use the knife. I like this one from The Kitchn.  Then - practice, practice, practice.

Chef Skill Worth Mastering: Organization

If you aren’t organized in your kitchen, your recipes will fail. Preparation and “mis en place,” the fancy French phrase for “everything in its place,” will help you successfully execute recipes, without anxiety or anguish. My recommendation for organization is to always read recipes thoroughly before starting and prep as many ingredients ahead of time as possible.

Chef Skill Worth Mastering: How to Cook & Season Food

This is a big one and one that many people fear. The kitchen has become foreign territory, filled with appliances and devices that no one seems to know how to use. My advice? Start watching cooking videos and reading food publications. Then just get in the kitchen. What’s the worst that can happen? Your food doesn’t taste good? Well, so what. That’s what life is all about, learning and then applying what you’ve learned. The more you try, the better you’ll become!

Now, what are you waiting for? Get in your kitchen and find your inner chef!

Sara Haas RDN, LDN, Incoming Director of Awards and Networking