We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Claire Shurina and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mary Claire, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
The biggest factor that keeps me going is my “why”. When I decided to pursue the path to become a Registered Dietitian, I knew I was lead by my drive to help others. I enjoy diving deep with patients and clients to learn about their background, culture, eating patterns, behavioral traits, and everything that makes them unique. Food is so much more than simply what we consume. Nutrition and wellness are elements of a much bigger picture that makes us up as individuals. My goal is to help clients and patients tap into their truest self to develop confidence to make the best food choices that serve them and help make them feel their absolute best!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Registered Dietitian (RD) currently working in an outpatient setting along with working privately with clients 1:1. The path to become a RD is long and grueling, but 100% worth it. It requires completion of a dietetics program with a BS in Dietetics followed by an accredited internship program involving 1200 supervised practice hours. Upon completion, the individual sits for a national board exam to become a RD. Starting in 2024, a master’s degree will also be required to pursue a RD credential. Nutrition science is still a new science, ever changing and evolving as the years go on. It is important to stay up to date on current research so clients and patients can receive the most evidence based recommendations possible. Much of what I research now in my free time was not even on the radar 5 years ago when I became a RD. Human beings are so unique in what we require from a nutrition standpoint, thus a ‘one size fits all’ mentality should never be recommended. Working with a RD can help individuals form healthy and sustainable habits that perfectly fit their specific lifestyle and needs.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question! I could write a very long list of things I love to do in Atlanta, but i’ll list some of my absolute favorites. Brunch at Sun In My Belly in Decatur, yoga at a Highland Yoga studio, walk around Piedmont Park, peruse shops and boutiques in Virginia Highlands neighborhood, dinners at Iberian Pig, Storico Fresco, Fox Bros. BBQ, & Tiny Lou’s, and cocktails on the rooftop at the Clermont Lounge. Atlanta has such a rich history, each neighborhood evoking a different vibe and culture. Some of my favorite days are walking around without a plan and taking it all in!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people, books, courses, mentors, preceptors, and more that all play a role in my story. From my very first nutrition courses in undergrad to working hands on with a Registered Dietitian in my internship program, each experience and person has shaped me and my practice. I am honored to have so many rich experiences that helped me along the way. Notable mentions include the dietetics program at The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and a special preceptor during my internship program (you know who you are!).

Website: www.redefiningrealfood.com

Instagram: @RedefiningRealFood

Linkedin: Mary Claire Shurina

Image Credits
Amy Beth Strang

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