It’s Official – Kacie Barnes, RDN

In case you missed it on social media yesterday, I passed my Dietitian exam!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am finally, officially, Kacie Barnes, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist!!!!

I can’t begin to tell you how excited, relieved, overjoyed, and grateful I feel. I filled these past few years with countless hours of studying, going to classes, 1200 hours of internship rotations, and a few breakdowns along the way. I am so proud of earning a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition and becoming an RD! (RD and RDN are the same thing, but more people are switching to saying RDN these days.)

Preparing for the RD exam has been a huge weight on my shoulders the past few weeks, especially since I knew I was on a major deadline. My 2nd baby is due to arrive October 4th, and I did NOT want to be taking the exam within a few weeks of my due date! No need to stress about going into labor while taking one of the most important tests of my life…seriously. 

My little sidekick and I celebrated after the exam with some cookies!

Passed RD Exam |

Now that it’s over, I can breathe a sigh of relief. And today, I wanted to share with you a little more about what made me switch careers in the first place and start down this path about 4 years ago.

Why I became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Back when I was in college, I wanted to eat the right things, but I had no idea who to trust. I spent years following the advice in magazines, tips from friends, and random things I read on the internet. At that time, I was convinced that fat (from food) was the enemy. Everything I read seemed to agree that eating fat made us fat, slow, and unhealthy. Looking back, I feel SO angry that I followed this advice. I got to a point where I really didn’t feel very healthy, despite following the info in all these articles that I thought I could trust. I had stomach aches every day. I went to a GI doctor, a Nutritionist at a gym, a chiropractor, a physical therapist, a licensed counselor…the list goes on. I was struggling with digestion issues, anxiety, and a nagging hip injury. The most frustrating part of all of this, is that despite KNOWING things weren’t right in my body, no one could seem to help me feel better.

I had always had an interest in nutrition, but after graduating college was when I really started doing deeper research in the subject. It’s when I started looking beyond whatever Cosmopolitan magazine had to say and started looking for information from experts. And I was addicted. I absolutely loved learning about how food affects our bodies and what we need to heal and nourish ourselves. I was so fascinated, and so uninterested in the career field I was in, that I knew I had to devote my life to learning as much as I could about nutrition, and sharing that with other people. So much of what I had been following for years, reading in magazines and on the internet, was flat out wrong. How could that be? How could there be so much bad information out there? I had to become a voice that could prevent other women from falling into the same accidentally unhealthy path that I had.

It became even MORE important to me when I became a mom, and had the huge responsibility of caring for and feeding my son. I always want to do the absolute best thing for him, and learning about pediatric nutrition is just one of the ways that I can care best for my family.

So what ended up happening with all of those health problems I was struggling with? Believe it or not, none of the doctors I went to for GI issues EVER even mentioned that my problems could be diet related. But when they couldn’t find anything wrong with me besides saying I had reflux, I knew deep down that there had to be something else I could do besides just take medication. I started experimenting with my diet and learned SO much about my body and my digestion in the process.

And that “Nutritionist” I went to see? Yeah, I went to see her after having bronchitis followed by a nasty stomach bug, and told her I wanted to put back on some weight in a healthy way and build up my immune system. You know what she told me? That I had too high of body fat, didn’t need to gain any weight, and that I was too “alkaline” and needed to focus on balancing my pH. Ummm, what? Luckily I realized that she was kind of nuts- but it really disturbed me that she could be telling other women the same thing- that they need to lose weight- when there is absolutely nothing wrong with their bodies. (For reference, I was probably at my lowest weight at this point and likely had a BMI of about 19, which is very very far from being overweight or needing to lose any body fat!)

So when I decided to go back to school and become a Dietitian, I did it because I want to help people. I want to help them find answers when no one else can. I want to use my expertise to help drown out all the bad advice and diet messages out there that give people the wrong ideas about food and their bodies. I want to show people how good they can feel when they nourish themselves in a way that is right for THEM – because diet is truly individual, and there are so many factors to consider when discovering what is right for you.


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