Nicole Bodin has brought smiles to group exercise class participants for several years now; her latest accomplishment, certification as a Registered Dietitian, allows her to reach even more people in a whole new way. Learn a little about Nicole, her nutrition philosophy, and what it takes to be an RD in this interview. And don't forget to give a big welcome to her as she joins CAC's nutrition team!
AS: You've been a group fitness instructor for CAC and other clubs for around ten years now. What originally piqued your interest in fitness?
NB: Growing up, I was a dancer and performer. I loved performing but when I went to college I decided to put away my dance shoes. While at the University of Maryland, I found that I still craved performance but knew that I did not want to dance anymore. That is when I discovered that I loved participating in group fitness classes. I saw that the university offered a group fitness certification course and I signed up immediately. I immediately fell in love with the energy and knew teaching fitness was something that would always be a part of my life.
Now, with a Master's in Nutrition, you're able to see a whole new side of the Wellness Industry. Are there any fitness or nutrition myths that particularly grind your gears? Oh boy, this is a tough one. There is so much information about food (true and false) all over the internet. I'm a true believer that there is room for most anything in the diet. Unless there is an underlying medical reason, as soon as I hear a "diet" that promotes elimination of any sort, I become skeptical. Eliminating complete food groups such as fat or carbohydrates are fairly popular approaches, however, we forget that those foods serve a purpose and are key for promoting health.
Registered Dietitians have to go through a practicum and accredited internships to gain real-world experience before passing their licensure test. How did you choose where you completed these experiences? My undergrad degree is in Communication and so I spent a few years working in the fashion industry in NYC. I always knew I wanted to become a RD but also wanted to use the degree I already had. I started taking pre-med classes while working full time until I had to leave my job and go back to school full-time. For me, choosing where to complete my clinical experience was a little different than for most. I chose to do my Masters at Boston University because they had a program that would set me up to do my clinicals in the Boston area. I knew I wanted to be in a big city, and always wanted an opportunity to live in Boston so BU was the obvious choice. I did my clinical rotations in a few locations but was primarily at Lowell General Hospital. My clinical experience was thrown for a loop because Covid happened mid clinical. While it was not what I thought my clinical experience was going to look like, being in the hospital setting during a global pandemic forced me to learn fast and ultimately made me a much stronger RD.
How do you practice self-care? Quarantine has thrown us all for a loop, but do you always
make sure to brew yourself a cup of tea in the morning? Or never miss the Bachelor on Mondays? Coffee and Bachelor Mondays are both on my list. I also adopted the most adorable puppy, Olive, (I may be biased) over quarantine. Having her in my life has given me a whole new purpose. She brings me so much joy and is definitely a huge contributor to my self care routine.
What's your favorite meal to eat? Regardless of price or prep time, what would you eat all the time if you could imbue all the proper nutrients into it? Pizza. I love pizza.
I go through phases. I really enjoy greek yogurt and jam and fruit. Oatmeal is definitely a go-to as well. I like things that are quick and easy.
So... we heard you worked for Madonna after college. How was that?
Just in case she happens to be checking up on me and reads this, I'll say, ask me about it after class one day or during a consult :) It was definitely a learning experience. I got to create some really unique fitness experiences... bet you didn't know that stilettos and group fitness can go together.
If a member wants to get started with nutrition services, what might they expect during a consultation with you?
My philosophy is there is no one size fits all approach to eating. My job is to work with clients to find out what makes sense for them and their lifestyle. I like to focus on adding foods rather than eliminating. I think people avoid dietitians because they think we will tell them what not to eat and take away all of their favorite foods. I can promise, that is not my method.
Give us 3 Loves and 1 Dislike- the things you adore about your work, and something you don't.
1. The creativity. Every day and every client is different.
2. The people. I love connecting with and meeting people. Being able to share my expertise and passions with others is the best.
3. Flexibility. I love that I get to practice as a dietitian and continue to teach classes simultaneously.
1. There are a lot of people dispersing false, non-scientifically supported information about eating that can be really confusing to people who want to learn how to properly fuel their body.
What are you looking forward to in the near future?
Teaching more in-person classes! I miss seeing all of our participants!
Nicole Bodin teaches classes at CAC and is newly joining our Nutrition Team! You can follow her @nicole_bodin on Instagram. If you're interested in 1-on-1 nutritional consulting, you can reach out to her for a complimentary 30-minute consultation here. (We take most popular insurances!)