My Journey to Becoming an RD + Longer About Me

Already read my basic “About” page and interesting in learning more?

Here’s the long winded version of how I became a blogger and a Registered Dietitian – plus many of the big life milestones that have occurred since starting my blog!

Since 2008, I have:

Let’s back up, though.

I graduated from Dickinson College in 2004 with a BA in Sociology (interesting? yes. marketable?? …probably not.) and moved to the Washington D.C. area afterward, ready to begin what was sure to be a fast track to career success, money, and happiness.

A couple internships (newspaper writer and environmental org. press intern), three random jobs (office manager, PR minion, and government contractor), a really evil boss, and lots of long, boring hours in cubicles later… I decided it was time I cash in on my dreams of teaching English abroad.

It was now or never, and I didn’t know if I’d ever forgive myself if I didn’t have the guts to go.

So I went!

I left D.C. in the fall of 2008 and spent an amazing 9 months in Prague, Czech Republic teaching at a primary school, traveling, and meeting lots of awesome people.


It was the experience of a lifetime and I’m so glad I did it!

To read more about my experience, check out this post: Throwback: Teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic.

I returned from Europe in June of 2009 after some amazing travels in Italy, Ireland, Germany, and more, ready to move forward and embark on a bigger dream: becoming a Registered Dietitian. 

This was something I’d been mulling over for a long time, as I had literally zero science classes from undergrad and would basically need to start from scratch.

But I figured… why not? Why waste more time in cubes when I could be working towards something I might actually find interesting?

It was time to be brave and take action.

That summer I started taking prerequisites (Chem 1 and 2), and studied for and took the GRE.

In the fall of 2009, I got a job doing marketing writing and editing part time and continued taking prerequisite classes at a community college in Virginia while applying to masters programs for the following fall.

Much debate and acceptance letters later… I decided to attend UNC-Chapel Hill for their Masters of Public Health in Nutrition!

To read more about my journey back to school and decision to go to UNC, check out my “big announcement!” post. :)

And if you’re thinking of going back to school yourself, check out this page with all the nitty gritty details of how I did it: “How to Become a Registered Dietitian.”


I moved from D.C. to North Carolina in August 2010 and started my masters program a few days later.

It felt great to be following my dreams at last!


My then boyfriend (now husband!), Matt, moved with me!



Matt proposed on top of a mountain in Shenandoah National Park in October 2011. <3

Here’s our engagement story!


We were married on a beautiful, sunny day in October 2012.

Check out our wedding page for more details and photos. :)

!anne matt-774

!anne matt-734

I can’t believe how quickly our time in North Carolina went by!

Matt and I moved back to DC in the summer of 2012 (shortly before we got married) so I could complete my dietetic internships, and in December 2012, I returned to UNC to present my masters paper and officially graduate from the program with my degree.


In February 2013, I completed the final step in my back to school journey: studying for and taking the national Registered Dietitian (RD) exam.

At long last, I had accomplished what I set out to do 3.5 years prior. 


Shortly after getting my RD, I launched my own nutrition counseling private practice —, through which I work with both virtual and in-person clients.

I absolutely love working with my clients to reach their health and wellness goals — it’s so rewarding!

In spring 2017, I shared that Matt and I were expecting our first child – due in November 2017!

You can see all my pregnancy-related blog posts here, and read our daughter Riese’s birth story here.

In my free time, I love being active.

Nothing makes me happier than being outside on a nice day.

I love hiking, yoga, biking, swimming, and, especially, running. 

After completing 8 half marathons, in November 2013, I ran my first full marathon… something I always said I’d never do. (Never say never, right?).

richmond marathon

I have since gone on to run many more half marathons and two additional full marathons – the LA Marathon (March 2014) and the Marine Corps Marathon (October 2016, pictured below).

fannetastic food marine corps marathon

For more details on how I train for races, running tips, motivation, previous race recaps, and how I first got into running (I wasn’t always a runner!), check out my running page.

My other big passion is travel – especially if outdoor adventure and fitness is involved! I have a whole page dedicated to my travel adventures that’s about a mile long.

brooks altitude training camp