Tip of the Month

Welcome to the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Tip of the Month

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

Three Keys to Powerful Networking

Your network is your net worth. @Portergale

Powerful statement isn’t it?

When you think about it, the networks we form as entrepreneurs really shape our career success.  The power to network successfully is certainly something every entrepreneur has inside of them because let’s face it, we rely on our own bread and butter to pay the bills.

Though I’m no pro, I will say the networks I’ve formed thus far in my career really helped to make the transition into full time self-employment that much easier.

Here are three key points I’ve picked up from past mentors coupled with lots of practice to really network like a pro!

  1. Know your audience (as much as you can).
    1. Do your research on an upcoming conference, trade show, etc. to see which potential clients or colleagues will be there you’d like to get to have the opportunity to get to know.
    2. Allow yourself the time to make a meaningful connection with at least 2 of the 5 names you came up with.
  2. Always say hello with a firm handshake.
    1. Set the tone by introducing yourself to strangers in the room with a firm handshake. No one wants their arm taken off, but showing you’re not timid is a great way to break the ice!
  3. Be genuine, be yourself.
    1. Be confident in who you are and what you’ve built in your business. Don’t under (or over) sell yourself, but rather develop a natural conversation with the other person.
    2. Try to pick up 1-2 non-business facts about the other person. Use this as a means to interact on a personal level when you send that follow up email saying how wonderful it was to meet them.

Sure, at the end of the day it’s our talent, passion and knowledge that will land us that client, but sometimes we all need that helping hand to get our foot in the door!

Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, Incoming Mentor Program Coordinator

Self-Promotion Made Easy

As a second career dietitian whose first career was in public relations, you’d think I’d find self-promotion easy. It’s not. It’s one thing to be an unbiased third party, it’s another thing when the business is YOU and you’re emotionally tied to it.

That said, once you’re used to it, self-promotion can actually be fun. Keep these following tips in mind:

1.       Know your audience. Where does your audience seek services such as yours? What do they read? What is their collective personality or sense of humor? I recommend using humor sparingly unless you really know your audience (and they know you).

2.       Don’t apologize. It bothers me when I see (often women) post things like, “Sorry for the self-promotion, but here’s a link to an article that quotes me about XYZ.” That’s the written equivalent of a child shuffling her shoes and not looking up to show pride in her perfect report card. Better to say, “I was so excited to be interviewed for this article on XYZ! Read what I have to say about it here: [link to article].”

3.       Enlist a friend or former clients. As the saying goes, “advertising is what you say about yourself; PR is what your mom says about you.” If you have something exciting to share, such as appearing on a television program, see if your colleagues will send it out to their networks. Client testimonials and LinkedIn recommendations also work wonders.

The most important tip is to be genuine and true to yourself and your business. Be proud of the work that you do, and don’t be afraid to show and share it! Indeed, your excitement and energy will carry through even written communications. If you’re not inspired by your business, then who will be?

Elana Natker, MS, RD, Director of Awards and Networking


Navigating the World of Health Care Payment

The scariest thing about being a nutrition entrepreneur is that you are entirely responsible for your income. That being said, information is power. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has lots of resources to help us understand how to get paid in the current health care environment.

If you like webinars there are two that provide info on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on reimbursement found on Eatrightpro.org under Advocacy > Disease Prevention and Treatment > Access to Health Care > Affordable Care Act. The titles include The Affordable Care Act (ACA): What’s in it for me? and Reimbursement: New game, new rules. The learning objectives include:

·      Identify provision of the ACA relevant to your practice.

·      Develop strategies for leveraging these provisions to enhance / maintain / expand your services.

·      Utilize Academy resources to support your efforts to capitalize on these new opportunities.

For a treasure trove of info on getting paid, the MNT Provider Newsletter is a must read. This little gem is located on Eatrightpro.org under the heading News Center (on the upper right of the opening page). The MNT Provider includes articles on topics such as billing, coding and coverage, CMS updates and releases, practice and business management, health care reform, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance reimbursement. The best part? It is free to Academy members!                                                                (           Click the month to go to the newsletter)

June 2016

            The future of Medicare payment: MIPS & APMs proposed rules - Five budget-friendly ways to reduce no-shows - Quality Payment Program website

May 2016

            Virtual assistant and the registered dietitian nutritionist - Recorded Webinar: "How to Integrate RDN in the New Primary Care"

April 2016

            Dual Eligibles: An Overlooked Revenue Source  - New HIPAA Audits to Target Healthcare Industry

March 2016

            Medicare preventive service utilization rises, yet still underutilized - Partnering with providers and payers to meet the needs of kidney patients

            CMS promotes MNT benefit during National Nutrition Month - New Medicare PQRS videos

February 2016

            Evidence mounts on effectiveness of medical nutrition therapy - Resources from the Nutrition Services Coverage Team - Tips for choosing a  

            professional biller - Medicare preventative services poster available - 2016 Medicare physician fee schedule now available!

January 2016

            RDNs in the New Primary Care: A Toolkit for Successful Integration - CMS announces new Accountable Health Communities Model

            Webinar: How to Integrate RDN Services in the New Primary Care - Alternative Payment Model (AMP) Framework, Final White Paper

Patricia Becker MS, RD, CSP, CNSC - Policy Advocacy Leader