FEATURED MEMBER – February 2017

Martha McClurg MPH,  RD, LD

A few facts about myself :

  • My newest hobby is becoming a Master Gardener through Iowa State Extension. 
  • I’ve been a church pianist since I was 11 years old. 
  • I love reading nonfiction, with my current read being The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee.


How did you become interested in dietetics?
I first became interested in dietetics after attending a presentation by a local Hy-Vee dietitian at my hometown county library. As a junior in high school, I was intrigued by a profession that combined my loves of chemistry, food, health care, and people all into one career. After this presentation, I pursued job shadowing opportunities and quickly decided that becoming a registered dietitian was the path forward for me. My personal mission statement since high school has been to serve others with the talents God has given me, which continues to make a career in dietetics a perfect fit.

What do you enjoy most about being a dietitian?
While it probably sounds scripted, the best part of my job is helping individuals achieve sustainable lifestyle changes. Whether this is demonstrated through helping a child with autism discover new foods they enjoy or counseling a patient for weight management or simply answering a quick product comparison question in the aisles, it is so rewarding to be able to assist individuals and families on their health journeys in a way that helps grow their own self-efficacy.

Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the dietetics field?
In my own albeit-young dietetics career, it has been helpful to remember why I became a registered dietitian. It is so easy to become bogged down with stressful schedules, personal and professional commitments, and challenging work scenarios. However, remembering that I get to help people every day – with a smile on my face – reminds me that I have the best job ever. A joy-filled spirit is the best way to keep me motivated and engaged in my career.

What is your guilty food pleasure?
While the cliché answer would be to say that I do not have any food guilty pleasures (because, there are no such things as “bad” foods), I must say that I do feel the periodic guilt of consuming certain morsels. Such as peanut butter. I consume an entire 40 ounce jar by myself each month. My most current food guilty pleasure would be sugar-laden coffee drinks (but, don’t worry, I enjoy black coffee as well.)



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