In this interview, we got the chance to speak with registered dietitian, Sydney Richards. She is a Health at Every Size © aligned practitioner and is in the process of becoming a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She loves to empower people to find their voice against diet culture and re-discover a way of nourishing, moving, and viewing their body that is enjoyable and sustainable.
Read on to learn more about Sydney!
1. What’s your favorite food today? What was your favorite as a kid?
I think I’m going to have to go with pasta. It’s a tie between mac & cheese and Pad Thai.
As a kid my favorite food was mac and cheese too. My dad would make me an all orange lunch and that included mac & cheese of course, so it’s a nostalgic food for me.
2. Where are you from? What is your favorite thing about that place?
I was born in DC, but I grew up in Maryland. I would say my favorite thing about Maryland is that you can do anything within the state. You can go to the beach or the mountains. There are also so many cool cities in close proximity like Baltimore, DC, or Philly. I love to spend time outside and do so daily while walking my dog!
3. How did you become interested in nutrition?
I have always been interested in nutrition and I think my mom played a big role in that. She was always cooking and interested in food. I was also a figure skater growing up so nutrition was important to me as an athlete too.
4. What brings you joy in your daily life?
My dog Tucker definitely brings me the most joy. He is a mini goldendoodle and I enjoy walking him and playing with him! Another thing that I enjoy doing is reading. For me, it can be professional or just for fun and I still find it to be gratifying. I really like fiction books. I recently finished the book Educated by Tara Westover and loved it.
5. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I am more of a dog person for sure, but I also grew up with a cat.
6. Tea or Coffee?
Coffee is more my thing, but I like tea too. I traveled to London after my junior year in college and had an internship in a British office. One of my jobs as an intern would be to get tea for the office so I drank a lot of it.
7. Do you have other aspirations outside of being a dietitian?
I love to travel and experience different cultures. So far I have traveled to London, Ireland, and Italy (lots of pasta). If I could re-visit any of those places I would love to go back to Italy, but London has a special place in my heart and I would always go back there too. Recently, I’ve been trying to go to more places in the US because I feel like there’s so much to see here too.
8. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned… In life? And as an RD?
As a dietitian in this field I’ve learned that food is an important part of life, but it’s not the most important thing in life. In my days of working in the “wellness” industry, food took a central role in my life and my client’s lives that I didn’t like. Now, working in the area of helping others to develop healthy relationships to food, I have learned that it truly doesn’t have to be like that.
The most valuable thing I’ve learned in life is that your value is more about who you are rather than what you look like. I’ve found that as I get older, I grow more confident in myself and my values.
Bonus Question: Tell me more about Tucker please
Tucker is almost 5 and I got him when I lived in Baltimore. He has taught me many life lessons, especially patience! He is a very willful little guy, but he is also a great companion, which has been helpful as I moved to Philly during the pandemic.
I am currently a student at the University of Maryland in the Dietetics program. It is my last year in the program and I look forward to graduating. The new experiences and opportunities awaiting me are what motivate me to complete my coursework so I am ready to serve as a knowledgeable dietitian in the future. I have had the pleasure of working with Alex and Bobbi for almost two years. During this time I have developed a deep appreciation for the models of thinking they base their practice around. I am able to create content and share about all things Health At Every Size ©, body positive, and even meditation to allow our clients and potential clients on their path to a wonderful, meaningful life without food fears.