07 Dec How My Mom & I Became Dietitians….Together
Many folks find it cute or surprising when I tell them that my mom and I attended nutrition school together. So for those who always asked me, “What was it like?” or “How did you end up in school with your mom?”– here’s our story.
How It Happened
During my junior year at Binghamton University, my parents sat me down and asked “What do you want to do with your life?” I wasn’t sure, but I knew my mom was having a blast taking nutrition courses at NYU. I took a few nutrition courses at college and realized that I REALLY enjoyed the subject. I applied to several schools for my master’s degree in nutrition, but opted for NYU – after 4 years of being away at college, what better way to bond with my mom?!
During our time at NYU, we took several classes together, sat next to each other, and probably got shushed a few times for chit-chatting during class. My poor father and siblings got pretty tired of hearing all about nutrition at the dinner table each night.
Although we attended the same school with the same ultimate goal of becoming a registered dietitian, our paths were pretty different. During my time at NYU, I took on special projects like contributing to the 1997 release of The Joy of Cooking (under Know Your Ingredients) and went on to do my dietetic internship at New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
My mom decided to become a certified chef specializing in vegan cuisine and attended Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. Mind you, we taste tested many vegan recipes and even celebrated a few Thanksgivings vegan-style. Once she completed her culinary school experience, she went on to complete her dietetic internship at Stanford Hospital in Connecticut.
In 1999, we finally both graduated together (we have a picture of the school mascot buried somewhere in my attic). I graduated with a degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics while my mom received her degree in food and nutrition. My dad was very excited that we both graduated, especially since he had 4 other children to put through college.
After graduation, my mom I did a few consulting job together. But she ultimately went on to do private counseling at St. Lukes pediatrics department and then began her own practice at Briggs Family Pediatrics about 6 years ago in Bronx, NY. She speaks 5 languages including Spanish, which she uses daily in her practice. My mom is up to her knees in the obesity epidemic, counseling kids who are obese, with high cholesterol, diabetes and other such diseases that many of us just read about. A while back I counseling at her practice for about 1 year and saw things I hadn’t even read about. I saw kids 6 or 7 who were still on bottles or 12 year-olds who needed to be told they have high cholesterol.
My path was a little different. I ended up teaching for 10 years at a culinary school in Tribeca, New York. This gave me the opportunity to do some writing and interviews with magazines, newspapers, and on TV. I loved it so much that it led me to where I am today—a nutrition consultant for my own company, Toby Amidor Nutrition.