3.5 Years in the Making

Hello friends!

Guess what? In case you didn’t already hear the news from Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram – I’m officially a Registered Dietitian!!!!!! :) 3.5 years ago, I walked into day 1 of my Chemistry 1 prerequisite course and really never thought this day would arrive. But it has, and I couldn’t be more proud.


As you know, I’ve been in Chapel Hill since last Monday studying for the RD exam with my grad school classmates Elle and Maria. Originally, I signed up to take the exam on February 20th in DC and I was just going to come down here to study for a few days (last Monday through Friday), then finish up studying on my own in DC. Elle was also thinking of taking the test in late February, but then Maria signed up to take the exam on the 12th (yesterday). And then she convinced Elle to sign up for the 12th too to go ahead and get it out of the way sooner.

…And then they set to convincing me to just stick around a few more days and take it with them down here, too. At first, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know if I’d be ready, and it was a long time to be gone from DC and Matt. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to just go ahead and get it all over with. Plus, I decided it would make so much more sense to finish this the way we started it at UNC – together. So I changed my exam from DC on the 20th to Raleigh on the 12th and forwarded the confirmation email to Elle and Maria with “eeek!” in the body. It was happening.

When I arrived on last Monday, we hit the ground running. Throughout the week, we worked our way through the Jean Inman study guide, which is a beast but definitely prepared us well for the test.


The test itself includes questions related to medical nutrition therapy (e.g. nutrition for complicated disease states – stuff we used in our hospital internships), food science (this was hard since we hadn’t seen it since our first semester of school), food service/management (also hard – lots of math and random theories to memorize), and biochemistry/nutrition basics, with some public health and epidemiology/stats thrown in there, too.

All I have to say about studying for this test is that I’m SO glad I didn’t do it alone. Not only did a learn everything a million times better by discussing it with the girls – if one of us was confused about something, someone else generally could explain it – but it made it a million times more fun and less stressful, too. Making sure we fit in some fun in the form of workouts, dinner dates, etc. really helped to keep us all sane. I’m actually kind of sad it’s over – I’m going to miss hanging out with these two all day every day!


I didn’t announce here on the blog when I was taking the test because Elle and I wanted to surprise you guys! We also figured that meant if we failed, we could at least have a few days to ourselves to dry our tears before announcing that we were going to have to take it again. ;)

By the time Monday rolled around, the girls and I were ready to get this test over with. We felt as ready as we could after studying for a week straight, and we were doing a lot better on the practice exams, too. Visual Veggies sent me some study materials to review and their practice test was great. The other practice tests we were doing were paper, but the Visual Veggies practice test is a CD program so it much more closely simulates the real test. You can select a short or long random test (e.g. what the real test would be like), or focus on questions from a specific domain (e.g. food science). I especially loved that it told you if you were right or wrong immediately, AND included an explanation of the answer, which was super helpful for questions we got wrong. Awesome program – highly recommended for any of you who are studying for this exam! Use the coupon code FANNETASTICFOOD to get 15% off the software. :)


Elle and I spent Monday night relaxing – we watched TV, did our nails, and went to bed early. The next morning, before the test, we were up bright and early at 5:30 a.m. to fit in a short HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout in her living room. We wanted to get the blood flowing before the test!

We were out the door and on our way to the testing center by 7:30 a.m. Our test start was 9 a.m. in Raleigh; we met Maria there. All of us arrived early and they let us start early, which was great. The test flew by! It’s 125 multiple choice questions and you have up to 3 hours to complete it, but all of us were done in 2 hours or less. Elle and I actually finished and walked out of the room at the exact same time and then sat, hearts pounding, waiting for the attendant to print out our results. When my paper came up on the screen before she printed it out, all I saw at the top was “Congratulations!” and a huge smile broke out on my face.

Elle and I literally ran into the hallway with our “Congratulations” papers and started jumping up and down and hugging each other. We did it! We were officially RD’s. Maria was waiting down at her car – she passed with flying colors, too! The three of us couldn’t have been happier. :) Our hard work paid off.


We spent the rest of yesterday celebrating! After a fun lunch and a little shopping, we met a bunch of our classmates and friends at a bar in Chapel Hill to continue the celebration.


What an awesome day – one we’ve all been working towards for many years. :) I’m so proud of all of us.

I’m off to get cleaned up and hit the road back to DC, triumphant. Have a great day, everyone! And thank you, as always, for your support, well wishes, congratulations, and love over the years. Knowing you all believed in me helped me to better believe in myself, too.


  1. 1
    Healthy Eater says

    Congratulations! You can be justly proud. Great accomplishment — and a wonderful culmination of 3-1/2 years of hard work, study, and focus. Well done!

  2. 2

    CONGRATS lady! So proud of you. xo

  3. 3

    What an achievement! So happy for all you ladies :D

  4. 4

    Congrats my dear! This is a proud accomplishment, for sure! Hard work DOES pay off. :)

  5. 5

    I remember driving you to take the GRE in Florida back in 2009. What a journey you have been on since then! We are so very proud of you – congratulations on sticking to your plan and getting it all done! Anne, MPH, RD sure sounds great! xo Mom

  6. 6

    WE DID IT! Having you here to study and take the exam together was wonderful – I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! So proud of us! XOXO

  7. 8

    Woohoo once more congratulations!!!! Can’t imagine how delighted you are! Have a safe trip home!

  8. 9


  9. 10

    HUGE Congrats to you hun! I knew you would kill it but it still feels so amazing. Couldn’t be happier!

  10. 11

    congratulations anne!! you must be so proud – can’t wait to see what you do with your new letters!

  11. 12

    YAY!! Congratulations to each of you! So many years and hours of time went into that, so enjoy the moment:)

  12. 13

    Congrats! What an accomplishment!

  13. 14

    Big congrats, Anne! I bet that’s a huge relief! :)

  14. 15

    Congrats!! I’m studying to be an RD too – I take the exam next summer so I can relate to your years of studying!! SO happy for you – all the best :)

  15. 16

    Congratulations, Anne!

  16. 17

    Congrats Anne! I love your blog :) I’m in the middle of my MS-DI at University of Florida and can’t wait to get that RD!

  17. 18

    I’m so proud of you, Anne! Not that I doubted for a second that you’d pass, but I know how hard you’ve been working over the past few years, and I’m just really happy for you! Celebratory drinks or something when you’re back!!

  18. 19

    I’m so very happy for you!! Congratulations!

  19. 20

    Congratulations Anne! When I saw the news on Twitter I couldn’t have been more happy for you! :)

  20. 21

    Congrats!! What an accomplishment! As a reader, I’ve enjoyed reading and following your story along this journey. Kudos to you for following your heart and fulfilling a dream of yours — and, I think at least, inspiring others to do the same along the way.

  21. 22

    Yay! Congrats!!!

  22. 23

    Congratulations. That is just incredible. To see such a journey come to an end with the best possible outcome.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  23. 24

    I’m so happy for you! I’m a sophomore in my undergrad majoring in dietetics, so I still have a long road ahead, haha.

  24. 25

    Congrats Anne! I remember talking to you before you even went to UNC! Look at you now! Seriously, time flies! Woot, woot!

  25. 26

    Congrat dietitian!! I took my RD exam in July and was so happy to be done. I can imagine the excitement you must feel right now.

  26. 27

    Congratulations!!! I’m sure you are so excited and relieved that it’s over. Enjoy your celebrations!

  27. 28

    Congratulations! It’s been a long time coming and you’ve earned it! So happy for you!

  28. 29

    Congratulations Anne!!!

  29. 30

    CONGRATS!! I have to say, the day I passed my PhD defense was probably THE proudest day of my life. Although many, many people helped along the way, in the end it was my accomplishment, and no one could ever take it away from me. What a thrill. Well done, and enjoy :)

  30. 31

    CONGRATS ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT! I remember that feeling from defending my thesis…. the confidence to being not too sure, to wondering if I missed something simple…. to absolute celebration! Thanks for bringing it to mind for me and congrats!

  31. 32

    Congrats Anne! That’s so awesome:) Have fun celebrating with Matt!

  32. 33

    Congrats, Anne!

  33. 34

    Woo-hoo! Congratulations. My cousin just became an RD, too–I love talking to her about nutrition, as I kind of wish I had that idea for a career a few years ago when it mattered :-)

  34. 35

    Congratulations to all on all your hard work. Best wishes.

  35. 36

    Congratulations! All your hard work paid of off RD Anne!

  36. 37

    Congratulations. Also love your hair longer!

  37. 38


  38. 39

    Congrats, ANNE! That is so exciting. Great that you all passed. Studying as a group actually sounds like a lot of fun.

  39. 40

    Congratulations!! So glad all of your hard work paid off!

  40. 41

    Congratulations! You’ve only just begun….

  41. 42

    Super amazing congratulations Anne!!! Yay! It’s been so awesome following your blog on this journey and so nice to see you pass the exam! You’re such an inspiration. :)

  42. 43

    Yay Anne!! Congrats!!

  43. 44

    Wow Anne, congrats, you should feel amazing and its is inspiring to see your hard work paid off! Best of luck with what the next chapter holds for you.

  44. 45

    Congrats!!!! I am so happy for you. I cannot wait to hear what your plan will be with the new title.

  45. 46

    congrats girl!!! so proud of you! i used visual veggies for my DTR exam and loved it. i have a copy of the RD version ready and waiting for me to use to study! go celebrate!

  46. 47

    Hey, congrats! That’s unbelievable news. Hit me up if you’re ever looking for some “freelance” gigs – a lot of my clients love to use RD’s and nutritionists to talk about healthy eating and various products to the media, etc.

  47. 49

    Congrats, Anne! :) Way to go! I have loved reading about your entire journey!

  48. 50

    Congratulations on such an accomplishment! You must feel so good to have that test over with. . Also an inspiration to me. I’m just about finished with one year of all the prereqs and hoping to start a masters program in the fall. It seems like its going to take forever to get to the end but it will be worth the sacrifice. Go celebrate!

  49. 51

    Congratulations! I graduated from UNC in 1999 with an MPH Nutrition and I’m also a RD. I remember taking the test in Raleigh so well! But back then we didn’t get immediate results. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It brings back great memories of Chapel Hill. I now live in Ohio and miss the South so much.

  50. 52

    Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment! I am not surprised in the least :)

  51. 53

    Congrats Anne! It’s so nice to have friends to study with and take a test like that with!

  52. 54

    huge congrats, Anne! I haven’t come by to say hello much lately, but I am reading – very happy for you!

  53. 55

    Congratulations!!! You did it after all of that! We are all proud of you :)

  54. 56

    Congratulations, Anne!

  55. 57

    Congratulations, Anne. Wow. I can’t believe it has been 3.5 years since you posted about you and your mother visiting different schools. My goodness, you even snagged a husband in those 3.5 years. lol Proud of you.

  56. 58
    mary matheson says

    Congratulations! You must feel great now! :)

  57. 59
    Pat Elsberry says

    Congratulations, Anne!!! What a journey!! I can’t believe 3.5 yrs has gone by already! So excited for you and your friends!!

  58. 60

    Just got a little emotional reading this post. So inspiring and lovely to hear about the team approach. So proud of you girls!

  59. 61

    Congratulations Anne! I am absolutely THRILLED for you!!! You are definitely a great role model for a healthy lifestyle and are sure to be a successful RD.

    I can’t wait to finish my DI and hopefully take the RD exam this July! We have the Jean Innman materials provided for us and I’m going to check out the Visual Veggies website. I had not heard of it until just now. I heard the RD in a flash cards were great too. Any tips, advice, or specifics feel free to write them all down and send my way. :) Major congrats again!

  60. 62

    Before the night is over I, too, want to send my congrats on your accomplishment !!! Now the fun begins as you move onto the next stage. You certainly have shown persistence and a love for your chosen profession…I know that you will be highly affective and be one of those people who enjoys going to work everyday (or most days!

  61. 63

    Congratulations! So exciting :)

  62. 64

    Congratulations!! =o)

  63. 65

    Congrats on all of your hard work!!! Feels great to be done doesn’t it : )

  64. 66

    Huge congrats to you and your pals, Anne! I really admire your tenacious, go-for-it spirit and have no doubt that will be your trump card throughout your career. Wishing you all the best for a rewarding professional life. Enjoy!

  65. 67


  66. 68

    Congratulations, Anne! I have enjoyed following your journey. You are a sucy great role model for young women as well as an inspiration for all.

  67. 69

    I could not be happier for you, Anne. I know all too well how long and daunting your road has been. Here’s to the start of your wonderful career. <3 you!


  68. 70

    Anne, congratulations!! Be proud of yourself!! Your blog crosses generations (I am your mom and dad’s ages) and you inspire me to get moving and eat better! Thank you.

  69. 71

    Anne!! Congratulations!! I couldn’t be happier for you! 3.5 years in them making…now that’s worthy of celebration ;). The exam sounds more intimidating than I had imagined, but I def plan on studying with my fellow classmates as well!

  70. 72

    Soooo proud of you! I can still remember how we walked around this lake in Füssen/Allgäu and you told me that you’ve decided to go back to uni. UNBELIEVABLE you are done now!! :-D You are my hero!! :-*

  71. 74


  72. 75

    Congratulations! I’m looking forward to hearing about your career.

  73. 76

    Congratulations Anne!!

  74. 77

    Congrats!!! :D

  75. 78

    I just started following your blog and was looking over all your wedding posts. I saw from Lindsay (Lean Green Bean) you passed and I am so happy for you :)

  76. 79

    First off, CONGRATS!!!!!! So exciting! Secondly, can you talk more about this study guide you used? Not necessarily the details of the study guide, but more about how you got it, what it was like, how it helped you prepare for the exam….etc. Like…is it a book? Video? Lectures? I’m curious because it sounds like a helpful tool when I need to prepare for the exam! Thanks!

  77. 81


  78. 82

    Congrats! I just started my dietetics program in New Jersey and just cannot wait to get there myself. Thank you for all your R.D. related posts, they really have helped me begin this process and know it’s exactly what I want to do.


  1. […] in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In February 2013, I took and passed the exam to officially become a Registered Dietitian and shortly after started my own nutrition counseling private practice (! Since I […]

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