Spotlight on: Veronica Lawen, BSc RD
Private Practice Registered Dietitian
Veronica currently works in private practice specializing in weight management and corporate wellness. She has worked in various fields of nutrition and has experience as a consulting dietitian with sports nutrition, chronic disease and weight management. Veronica has been an active member on NSDA for several years, including her current role as chair of the continuing competency committee. Veronica has been a licensed dietitian since 2003 upon completing her internship program at Capital Health District Authority. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Human Nutrition from Mount Saint Vincent University as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Dalhousie University. Aside from her professional career Veronica is actively involved in community and takes great pride in fundraising for various causes in Halifax. She enjoys many activities including spinning, playing tennis as well traveling and exploring different cultures. Veronica lives in Halifax with her husband and four active children.
What first sparked your interest in nutrition?
I have always been interested in the health sciences. After completing my biology degree I wanted a career that would be applicable and relevant in our changing world. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people by sharing my passion for health. Once I furthered my studies in nutrition I realized that the field of dietetics spans upon so many areas and provided several avenues to pursue in the field made it even more compelling to me.
What do you love about the work you do?
Being in private practice means I often get to work with people who are ready and motivated to make changes. The fact that a client has made an appointment and has walked through the door, tells me they are likely committed. Knowing this, inspires me to work with people to realize sustainable changes and pursue their goals! Empowering clients is such a rewarding feeling!
What is your next big project?
Currently, I am working on re-structuring my private practice in a complimentary setting and partnering with like-minded professionals. I will be launching a series of programs that will be delivered at the private and corporate level. It's an exciting time and I am looking forward to what 2018 will bring!
How do you unwind when you are not working?
As a mother of four active children, it is hard to find time to unwind! After many years of juggling and car-pooling, we have finally learned as a family how to balance and manage our busy lifestyle, which has offered all of us much appreciated time together. Truthfully, when I am away from my work and volunteer commitments, I love spending time with my children and cherish this as time to “unwind”. In my spare time, I enjoy helping them foster healthy lifestyle habits through sports and fun activities and see this as a way for all of us to unwind together.
What’s the best food adventure you have been on?
Last summer I was fortunate to experience the Boqueria Market in Barcelona Spain – a historic market dating back to 1836 that hosts more than 200 traders who offer local and international gastronomic products. I not only enjoyed several incredible prepared and fresh products, but was also able to enroll in a Boqueria classroom seminar. This included a chef taking us through the market and explaining to us the vendors, their products, history, and uses. We then first handily shopped for specific foods, which culminated into preparing local Spanish dishes in an educational seminar on cooking and gastronomy. The experience was unbelievable!
What is one tip you can share with future dietitians?
The world is changing and there are many non-traditional opportunities these days suited for dietitian and nutrition experts. Always be open to new ideas and think outside the box. Don't be afraid to ask. Be creative and innovative. Be confident and ensure to express your unique training, credibility, accountability, and competence at every opportunity.