Nutrtion and Integrative Health
“I have been able to connect with patients as individuals and help move them toward their health goals, shifting away from traditional ideas of external models of change and helping them find the inspiration for change within them.”
What drew you to study nutrition as your healing discipline?
My personal journey through motherhood inspired me to seek the therapeutic effects of food. I experienced firsthand how what my family ate made a huge difference in their mental and physical well-being. I decided to turn my passion into a career when I realized the powerful impact that integrative nutrition offers where side effects are only positive!
Why did you choose MUIH for your academic program?
I choose MUIH because I wanted a master’s degree from an integrative university. I fell in love with the philosophy of the school and appreciated their chosen path of being the change we want to see in the world. From the delicious cafe to the challenge to "be the needle," I found MUIH to be both an academic home and a place that I could grow into a better person.
Describe your path since graduating:
I began working at the George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine prior to my graduation, which provided me with support from colleagues and the ability to collaborate on patients to achieve optimal health. I work out of my home which allows me to manage my family responsibilities alongside my work. It is my ideal situation! I have also joined the MUIH online learning community as a teaching assistant and love playing a role in the education of future practitioners.
What have you accomplished that is a result of the education and skills you received here?
I have been able to connect with patients as individuals and help move them toward their health goals, shifting away from traditional ideas of external models of change and helping them find the inspiration for change within them.
What has been your most exciting or fulfilling professional experience to date?
I was told by one patient that I was the best nutritionist she had worked with–and she had seen eight others before me! I often receive positive feedback like this and it is exciting to me because my focus is on connecting with people and educating them within the framework of the foundations of health and wellness. The skills I learned at MUIH have made this connection possible and I get a big kick out of seeing that in action.
Are you achieving your professional goals?
Yes! I wanted a flexible work environment where I could do some clinical work, some writing, and some outreach. I am working as much as I set out to and have achieved a work environment that fits me professionally as well as personally. It is so exciting to feel like I can grow into many different aspects of nutrition–the possibilities are endless and the opportunities are everywhere!
What would you like to do next, professionally speaking?
I would like to incorporate more writing into my work as that is a passion of mine. I would also like to start accepting insurance so that I can work with under-served populations.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
MUIH has been a spring-board for my work in the field of nutrition that provided relevant information related to the field but more importantly taught me how to think so that I could answer my own questions. This is so important when there are so many contradicting sources of information–being able to analyze research and form my own educated opinion is a gift.
Julie Wendt completed her Master of Science in Nutrition & Integrative Health in 2014. Visit her website at http://www.gwcim.com/people/julie-wendt/.