about the RD

Hi and welcome to the Real Life RD, I'm so happy you're here!


I'm Robyn, a 25-year-old Registered Dietitian and soon to be RN and soon after Family Nurse Practitioner with a focus on women's health. In May 2014 I moved from Charlottesville, VA to New York City to begin a graduate nursing program at Columbia University. If everything goes according to plan, I'll graduate in May 2015 with a Bachelors in Nursing and then start the masters portion of the program and graduate in December 2016 with a Masters in Nursing. I can't wait to combine my passion for nutrition with my nursing education to provide comprehensive healthcare to women of all life stages. If you'd like, you can read more about my journey back to school here and my decision to attend Columbia here!


I started this blog in October of 2012 as a way to gush about about my love for food and hoped people might read it. In a culture flooded with diet fads, unrealistic beauty expectations and irrational ideals of healthy, food has more commonly become the enemy and something to control. When really, we should be finding joy in food as a way to celebrate, love others, and nourish our bodies.  


Backing up, this love for food and health turned into a career when I graduated from Indiana University in 2011 with a Bachelor's in Dietetics and Public Health. After graduation, I left Indiana and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where I completed my dietetic internship at the University of Virginia Health System.

Finally, in August 2012, I began my career as an RD at a private practice where I worked alongside two MDs to help people regain their health by ditching pharmaceuticals and instead heal their bodies with nutrient rich, whole plant foods.

In August 2012 I also started a private nutrition consulting practice, Nutshell Nutrition, to reach more people and spread the message of eating more, not less, and enjoying every bite without guilt. It hurts my heart to see women deprive themselves of delicious food and exercise themselves into exhaustion simply to maintain a number on the scale.

Life isn't about that. And being happy and healthy and feeling good in your skin doesn't mean subsisting off minimal calories.

I'm all about eating lots, not restricting and nourishing your body well.
Food tastes too good.


After less than 2 years as an RD, I realized my passion for helping others find true health and food freedom extended far beyond food. So I set fear aside and decided to become a Nurse Practitioner too.

And that's how I ended up in NYC.


A few things you should know...

I love Jesus.

I also really love nut butter. You can never have too many jars and you can never eat too much. If someone tells you different, they're lying.

I've tried a lot of times to kick my caffeine habit, but every time I fail miserably after only a few months. I just really, really love a strong cup of coffee in the morning. It makes me happy.

I never, ever thought as an RD I'd be working with women who either have an eating disorder, disordered eating, or a history of the two. But now I'm super passionate about it. I love helping women rediscover their joy of food.

I'm not a superhuman or anywhere near perfect. Much of what I write about on this blog is rooted in my own personal experiences. I'm actually more of a hot mess, just learning as I go and writing about it along the way.

I really like early mornings, exaggerations, eating out, asking questions and anything that gives me an endorphin high. And if you hang around me long enough I'll probably ask you if you've seen my ____? I'm functionally disorganized.

Lastly, eat the cupcake. Because if you don't, you'll keep thinking about the cupcake and then end up eating five and then you'll be mad at yourself. God made cupcakes so we could eat them.

33 comments:

  1. I am obsessed! Love you and this makes me miss you so so so much.

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  2. LOVE THIS SO MUCH!

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  3. Great site! Congrats on completing your journey & reaching your goal of RD! I can't wait to get there too (someday)! If you have any tips for me, I'd LOVE to hear them! :)

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    1. thanks for stopping by! i'm sure you will be a great RD one day, email me with any questions and I'd be happy to answer :)

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  4. Congrats on everything you have achieved in your first year being an RD!

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  5. Hi Robyn! I just found your blog and can't wait to follow! I'm on the road to becoming an RD, I'm in the midst of my internship. You're two steps ahead of me with a job so I look forward to reading more about your experiences!
    -Emily

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    1. thanks for reading! the internship is the hardest part so you are almost there and will be an awesome RD! hope you enjoy the blog :)

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  6. Hey there Robyn,

    You're literally a pillar of inspiration for me, and can't wait to get into your blog!
    I'm currently studying journalism, but have realised that my passion lies in health, nutrition and fitness- and i've been pondering whether nutrition and dietetics will be a better career for me! So I'm going to start looking into options to change to a course for that.

    Also, I've just started getting into running, and my next goal is to run a half-marathon!
    Except it seems I keep getting injured and side-lined, which is never fun :(
    Have you had any experiences like this yet?
    Congrats on all the amazing running achievements!

    Keep running, and blogging;

    Kloe :) xx

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    1. thank you for your sweet words Kloe :)
      knock on wood I've only battled a small bout of achilles tendonitis, but I learned rest and recovery are so so important! and of course, good nutrition. I might be bias, but dietetics is such an incredible field of work with so many career options! You could definitely combine journalism with dietetics, I do some freelance writing and really enjoy it. I wish you all the best in your career path!

      Robyn

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  7. Congratulations on all of your achievements! I can't wait to reach success in my career!

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  8. I won't hold it against you that you went to UVA - I'm in the undergrad dietetics program at Virginia Tech ;) Seriously though, you must be one smarty because UVA is so hard to get into! We actually have a lot in common - I lived (most) of my childhood in Indiana!! Loved it there - the people there are so genuine!

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  9. I’ve awarded you the Liebster Award (for a great blog with under 200 followers)! Pass it along, or just enjoy being awarded. :)

    http://gracefulnutrition.org/2013/05/21/liebster-award/

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  10. Hi! You're officially my inspiration. I just started my Masters of Nutrition to get my RD and it makes me so excited to hear and read about other dietitians! Congratulations and getting your dream job! That's incredible. I wish you the best!

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  11. I'm so proud of you! Words cannot describe the weird feeling i have thinking of you as "coley" at IU in Zeta and looking where you are today. I'm so happy to see you living the dream :)

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  12. ahhh so happy i stumbled onto your blog today! love your posts girl

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  13. I love your blog- I subscribe to updates and read each post multiple times. Your message always seems to hit home and be that perfect point every time. I am following a similar path as you are moving towards, only reversed: after earning a BS in sports med and MS in nutrition science, I worked for awhile but realized I cant provide everything I want to my athletes without the RD credential... so I'm just an internship away now! I would love to talk some with you about your (fabulous) approach to nutrition and whole health!

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    1. hi melissa! how exciting that you are pursuing your RD- you will be such an incredible practitioner with your background in sports med! :)

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  14. LOVE your blog, girl. I always enjoy finding fellow RD/bloggers :)

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  15. AND THE WINNER IS… YOU!!!!

    CONGRATS! I have just nominated you for the prestigious (ok maybe not prestigious but pretty cool) Sunshine Award!!!!!

    Get all the details over at my blog! http://fooood4theheart.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/sunshine-award/
    I hope you have as much fun with this as I have!

    Lauren at Fooood4theheart :)

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  16. I just found your blog and I'm so happy I did!! I have been recoving from an eating disorder and all of your posts are very helpful ;)

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    1. welcome, I'm so glad you're here maddie :)
      thanks for reading!

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  17. You're soo pretty! and I love the concept of your blog :D Honest and realistic! amazing stuff :)

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  18. I just discovered your blog today looking for an oatmeal recipe with coconut oil. I'm now in love with it! I'm transferring to a university next year to begin working on my BS in Dietetics. I pray that I'll be as blessed as you are in finding your dream job, and thank you for the suggestion of Thrive. I'll be on the lookout for that book.

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    1. So glad your'e here :) Thanks for reading! I really hope you enjoy Thrive, it's one of my favorites!

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  19. Do you eat strictly gluten free? If so, why? Thanks.

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    1. no, but I tend to feel better if I'm not eating lots of processed wheat- the majority of the grains I eat are probably naturally gluten free like oats, rice, quinoa, corn etc

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  20. Robyn- I just love your blog and have been following avidly for the last month. So blessed to have found it! Your messages about food, body and grace are encouraging and life giving! Your approach to whole health continues to be a wonderful message that lifts me up every time I visit. Thank you for putting such positive momentum behind a much needed message in our culture! Best wishes and blessings as you transition in New York! :) Thank you again!

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    1. hi noel! thanks so much for reading and your sweet and encouraging comment! :)

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  21. Robyn-Your positive attitude about food and health is so refreshing! As a woman who has struggled with an ED for over 30 years, I love reading your blog and being reminded about what health actual means. I get so frustrated with how the media unrealistically portrays women, and the negative impact it has on girls. Thank you for being such a positive influence! The world needs more Robyn Coales!

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    1. you are so sweet Karen, thank you for your comment and thank you for reading!!
      keep looking forwards and taking each day as an opportunity to nourish your body well! :)

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  22. I just discovered your blog and am so glad I did -- I love reading blogs from fellow RD's! I also LOVE your philosophy about eating 1 cupcake so you don't end up eating 5 - so true!

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