Thanks for stopping by Wellness For The Win! My name is Shanna and I was born and raised in the midwest, Kansas to be exact, and I’ve never left! This place is near and dear to my heart, and it will always be home, regardless of the adventures life may take Ethan (my soon-to-be husband) and I on in the future.
I grew up in a very active family; my brother and I both played multiple sports, my dad covers sports on TV for a living, and my mom was the best soccer mom and support system any of us could’ve asked for. Needless to say, our lives revolved around sports and physical activity. However, nutrition was not a priority during my childhood years. We were always busy and on-the-go between games, practices and tournaments, and McDonald’s was consumed on a regular basis. As a kid, I wouldn’t go near most vegetables, especially green beans! Naturally, that started changing as I grew up.
I started becoming interested in exercise and really paying attention to the food I was putting in my body in middle/high school when I quit all of my sports and became a cheerleader. My curiosity and love for food and nutrition continued to grow throughout my college career. I attended college at Kansas State University and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life as a freshman (who does?), but I soon discovered the field of nutrition & dietetics, and realized that it didn’t just have to be my passion anymore; it could be my profession, as well.
After spending five years at K-State, including one whole year of dietetic internships, I finally took (and passed) the dreaded RD exam to officially become a Registered Dietitian. I now have the opportunity to motivate and educate others on how to live a healthy lifestyle, and most importantly, teach them the why.
I have been blessed with a very unique experience as a brand-new dietitian. After I passed my exam, I quickly accepted a part-time job in a clinical setting in the hopes that it would eventually turn into a full-time position. Not even one month after I took that job, another part-time position opened up for a Wellness Coordinator at a school district near me. Obviously, wellness is my first love, so I had to jump on this opportunity. I was so excited when I got the call on my brother’s wedding day that I got the job!
My two jobs could not be more different, which has allowed me to see health on all ends of the spectrum, and learn a ton. As a Wellness Coordinator, I work with people who are well, motivated, and want to make healthy lifestyle changes, and as a Clinical Dietitian, I see people who are ill, and most of them are wishing they had taken better care of themselves before they got to that hospital bed. Although these two environments are complete opposites, they have one very important thing in common — there is opportunity for education. It is never too late to teach or adopt healthy lifestyle habits, and that is my favorite part about my job.
I love seeing that “lightbulb” turn on when I am talking to someone about food and nutrition and they realize that good health truly is attainable, and it doesn’t mean that they have to completely eliminate all of the foods that they love so much. I believe in balance, but I also believe that it’s so easy to make healthy foods also taste extremely delicious.
I started this blog in May 2015, right before I started studying for my RD exam after graduation. If I’m being completely honest (as I usually am), I did it on the day that I was prepping for a colonoscopy the following day. I had nothing else to do but be miserable that day – why not start a blog? I always had thoughts of starting one, but I truly created Wellness For The Win on a whim that day, and I never imagined that it would become what it has over the past few years. I have learned so much since I started this site and my Instagram account (@wellnessforthewin) continues to grow each day. I have become extremely dedicated to sharing my health journey with others in the hopes that I can inspire them to do what I’ve done, which is make my health my number one priority by exercising often and eating all the fruits and vegetables. ; )
After you’re done reading this long description of how I got here, I hope you will stay a while and explore. I think you will find that I am extremely open about my past and current struggles, and I am far from perfect, although I try to be. I want to encourage you to read some of my previous posts to learn about me and my struggles with perfectionism, body image, digestive issues, disordered eating behaviors and more, as many of you can probably relate to my complicated journey to health and self-acceptance.
I hope that WFTW can be a place for you to find truth, facts about nutrition (from someone who went through five years of school learning about it), some laughs, and delicious recipes that your whole family will love.
I am so excited about some of the opportunities that have already started happening through my blog, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Wellness For The Win! Thank you so much for joining me. Follow me on Instagram @wellnessforthewin to get lots of healthy meal ideas and keep up with my daily eats and workouts! I love meeting new people and talking about food, so feel free to message me anytime with questions! 🙂 I can also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shanna Stewart, RD LD