My journey to becoming a dietitian was not shaped by a single defining moment but rather by a collection of small events that unfolded over time. It was a non-linear path, filled with obstacles that presented themselves as opportunities to learn and grow. Through each challenge, I embraced the chance to evolve, and despite lingering doubts, I firmly believe that I am exactly where I was destined to be.
Growing up in Bosnia, my childhood was filled with delightful outdoor adventures, relishing the flavors of local seasonal fruits and vegetables and creating cherished memories with my grandpa in his garden.
The summers spent with family on the Adriatic coast hold a special place in my heart that still leaves me brimming with warmth and joy. However, life's unexpected turns can sometimes alter our path in unforeseen ways, as we all experienced with the sudden impact of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.
At the tender age of 9, a war erupted in my homeland and brought about significant changes. My carefree childhood came to a halt for the next four years. The challenges were profound, with moments of seeking shelter and adapting to a life with limited resources - minimal food, no water or electricity. Despite the hardships, these experiences have shaped me and given me a new perspective on life, ultimately leading me to appreciate its beauty even more.
When my family and I immigrated to the United States, we had aspirations of safety, stability, and balance in our new home. Little did we know that the journey ahead would not be an easy one. Adopting and assimilating into a new life in the US was difficult, and our family dynamic changed drastically. There was constant pressure to succeed and have a better future. Almost daily, I would hear my overworked, stressed parents say, "We are doing this for you so that one day you can have a better life." With that constant voice in my head, going to college and having an ‘easier’ life became a fixation. Due to language barriers and missed school during the war, I had to study a lot. It was during my college years that my anxiety got worse, and it was then that I turned to running to cope with stress and debilitating anxiety.
As I delved into the world of running, I discovered an incredible connection between nutrition, well-being, and physical performance. This journey awakened in me a profound appreciation for the transformative power of food - how it can nourish, heal, and invigorate my body. Running became a catalyst for my curiosity, and I began exploring the impact of food on my athletic performance and overall health. Growing up in a family where food was revered as a source of nourishment for the body and soul, healthy eating was ingrained in our daily lives. It was never about restriction but rather a celebration of nourishing foods that nurtured us from the inside out. My fondest childhood memories involve gardening, cooking with loved ones, and savoring the fruits of our labor - from fresh fruits and vegetables to homemade jams and pickled delights. However, my perspective on food shifted when I moved to the United States. The emphasis on calories and the negative connotations surrounding certain foods was a cultural adjustment for me. Yet, despite these new influences, my upbringing instilled in me a deep-rooted belief in the healing power of food. This realization led me changed my major and pursued a degree in dietetics, aligning my education with my true passion. I wanted to share the profound impact of nutrition on overall well-being with others. As a dietitian, my mission is to spread the message of nourishment, fostering a healthy relationship with food for those I have the privilege to help. Food is not just fuel; it's a source of joy, celebration, and connection. It's meant to be savored and cherished, fueling not only our bodies but also our souls.
My approach is characterized by empathy, kindness, and encouragement, creating a safe and supportive space for clients to explore their relationship with food and discover their unique needs. Together, we work towards finding balance and fostering a healthy connection with food and the body. I firmly believe in the power of nourishing the body and soul, fostering self-acceptance, and promoting a positive body image. Through personalized nutrition counseling, I aim to empower my clients to make sustainable changes that enhance their well-being.
It brings me immense fulfillment to be part of my client's journeys, and I look forward to making a positive difference in their lives through nutrition and self-care. I am deeply grateful for the path that led me to become a dietitian, and I am eager to continue this meaningful work of helping others find their path to health, happiness, and self-discovery. Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about me, and I am excited to be a part of your path toward a healthier and happier you.