This week the Spotlight is on Lisa Musician, a Northeastern Pennsylvania RD with expertise in the area of food allergies. She is the Founder and President of Food Allergy Dietitian, Inc. where she marries her personal and professional experience helping those with food allergies maintain a healthy and balanced diet while avoiding the food allergen(s) and a potential life-threatening reaction.
Lisa often speaks professionally to organizations, schools and support groups about the management of food allergies. She started working for a board certified allergist while earning her degree in nutrition and now has over 15 years of professional experience with food allergies as well as a lifetime of personal experience.
Lisa, did you always know you were going to become an RD?
No, but I always had a strong interest in nutrition. It wasn’t until my children were diagnosed with food allergies that I returned to college and earned a degree in nutrition. I was inspired to learn and understand as much as possible about how to cook healthy and feed my children all the necessary nutrients without causing a life-threatening reaction.
What made you want to start your own business?
A series of events lead to me starting my own business. I was working as a clinical dietitian full-time and had a car accident. Unable to return to my full-time position in a timely manner, I eventually found a part-time position, but shortly lost that job due circumstances beyond my control. Again, I found myself in a position where I needed to look for employment and felt vulnerable, so I decided to start my own company. I always wanted to go into private practice and I thought now is the time.
How long did it take for you to start seeing a profit?
I am not currently seeing a profit as my company is only one year in business and I am just breaking even.
Do you have anyone working for you?
No one works for me, however, I hope to hire other RDs and office staff in the future as the business grows.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
Learning the other parts of business such as technical, marketing and social media along with staying organized and managing my time to get the most important tasks done first.
Do you follow any certain diet?
Yes, I am allergic to peanuts, soy and legumes, so I do not eat these foods. I also avoid processed foods as much as possible.
Tell me about the book you have in the works.
My book is titled, “Parenting a Positive Reaction with your Food Allergy Child at School.” It’s parent’s guide to help manage the task of sending a child to school with food allergies. I hope to have it published very soon.
For parents who are sending their child off to school with food allergies, it can be a challenging and frightening time. Most parents are interested in the educational concept of their child’s school such as: teacher-student ratio, quality of curriculum and academic success. Parents of a child with food allergies consider other critical factors such as how far away the nearest emergency center is from the school or what types of polices are in place for someone with food allergies.
The book highlights practical solutions and suggestions on how to navigate the process for developing, implementing and managing their child at school with food allergies.
Did you schedule writing time in your schedule each day/week? How long did it take you to complete?
I scheduled time to write for several hours every day including weekends. The writing took about 5 months, but the self-editing is taking the longest. I am still editing and know I have got to stop so I can get it published after a professional editor reviews it.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in your career so far?
Having the courage to continue to move forward and trust this is where I am supposed be and what I am supposed to be doing.
How do you keep current on all of the trending topics and changing science of nutrition?
I am a member of NEDPG which is an excellent group for those in private practice and I highly recommend to join if you’re not a member already. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn also help me to stay current on trending topics.
What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Grilled salmon, roasted asparagus and wild rice made with broth. I also love to make homemade pizza.
What do you think needs to be done to further elevate our profession and gain respect in the public eye?
I think we need to raise awareness on what dietitians do and the value we bring with our vast services to the general public and to doctors in helping others live a healthier life.
Thank you Lisa for being part of the Dietitian Spotlight Series and congratulations on starting your own business! Be sure to connect with Lisa: