Blame Taylor Swift 

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When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a famous singer when I grew up. My mom can attest to this. I drew pictures of myself on stage with a microphone, under the spotlight, being a superstar, alongside my best friend Courtney. Courtney and I would lock ourselves in a room and create some unbelievable lyrics (literally unbelievable… one of our hits was titled “Bugs”.) When we were finished with a new song & had perfected the harmony (two notes per song, tops), we would rush out to perform for our moms and beg them to record us singing our hearts out. Or we would make a music video. Unfortunately, we still have those videos to this day. It’s humiliating to watch, but at the same time, it’s so great to see how passionate we were about it. We absolutely loved music. Creating it, performing it, just having a blast with it.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a famous singer when I grew up. I probably always will (secretly). My mom was in a band for about 7 years after college with a bunch of other dudes. Traveling around the country, performing at all kinds of places. She was the lead singer, so you could say she’s got some pipes. Luckily, she passed some of her talent down to me, but I’m no Carrie Underwood by any means. However, I have had the privilege of performing several duets with my highly-talented, rockstar mom at church over the years, and even at my brother’s wedding this month, which was the most meaningful by far.

Where is this all coming from? Well, I saw Taylor Swift last night, and it was an unforgettable show. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve always dreamed of being on the stage, or if this happens to you all too, but every time I see someone perform at a place like Sprint Center, where the energy is just indescribable, I get tears in my eyes. Every time. Multiple times throughout the show. Watching the performer’s face light up while they soak it all in, even after so many years in the business; the thousands of screaming fans who are there solely for them. The thousands of fans who know every single word to every single one of their songs and will be scream-singing each one throughout the entire concert. When the crowd claps and screams and whistles and goes absolutely insane for 5 minutes straight and the artist can’t get a word in but also can’t help but laugh and smile in awe of that surreal moment. I get chills and tears in my eyes Every. Single. Time. I am even now just reliving it. Because I can’t even imagine that feeling, but it must be incredible. To do what you love more than anything and get to experience that energy in every venue you visit.

Yes, the stage is lifted, and spinning. Amazing.

Is there a point to this post? Maybe. Or maybe I just wanted to tell you how depressed I am about the fact that the whole famous singer thing didn’t work out for me. And how jealous I am of Taylor Swift. No, that can’t be it. My point is, we may not all be doing exactly what we dreamed about doing when we were little 8-year-olds writing killer songs about boys and bugs. We may not be rich and famous singers or actors or comedians or models. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do something we believe in that inspires other people too.

As a clinical dietitian, nothing makes me happier than hearing a patient say that I made their day, or when they are so appreciative that I did something for them, whether it was big or small. Or a family member stopping me in the hallway to thank me for taking the time to educate their sick father, daughter, or spouse. Even as a beginner blogger, I’ve been told that I’ve inspired some of you. I’ve encouraged people to try new, healthy recipes or tweak their lifestyles in even the smallest way. Even all that is enough to give me chills or tears in my eyes. Psh, who needs a stage and 13,000 screaming fans. 🙂

My mom said to me the other day, “no amount of money is worth doing a job you hate”, and I couldn’t agree more. Making bank wouldn’t be worth it if I completely dreaded waking up and going to work every day. Maybe you’re not currently doing what you dreamed of doing when you “grew up”, but who’s to say when we are “grown up” anyway? It’s never too late to chase a dream. Try something new. Feel good about what you’re doing. It doesn’t even have to be your career; it could be volunteer work or simply making a point to be that inspiring, helpful person in your everyday life. Go above and beyond for people whenever you can.

Working in a clinical setting can definitely be rewarding, like I said. But I’m also really looking forward to my newest job opportunity as well, where I will get to work with the employees of a large school district and be the face of their wellness program. I can’t wait to be a cheerleader for people who need that extra push, giver of advice & nutritional guidance for those who are unsure of what to do next in order to reach their goals. To be the one who practices what I preach and shows them that good health really can lead to happiness.

I may not be the next Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift, performing in arenas filled with 13,000+ screaming fans, but as a dietitian, I am doing something I’m so passionate about and I’m helping other people better their health and their lives. Which at the end of the day, helps make me a better person and better professional. I’m 23 years young and my career is just beginning. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me. And for all of you.

Bottom Line:

Find what inspires you.

Follow your dreams.

Do what makes you happy.

Make a [positive] difference any way you can.

Do something rewarding.

Spend your time helping others better themselves in some way and in the end, you’ll be a better person for it too.

It’s never too late; life is too short to do something you hate.

{Side note: if I ever do get discovered for my mediocre singing voice, you better believe I’m ditching this life and running with that. 😉 }


So if y’all didn’t know this, tomorrow is the official start of Autumn. Oh, Fall. I love you for several reasons, such as hoodie and jeans weather, football (tailgating) season, the start of the holidays… But mostly because PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. I’m more obsessed with pumpkin than the average girl, believe it or not. My family actually eats pumpkin pie all year round, as everyone should. Why people think that pumpkin only tastes good between September and December is beyond me. But I’m soaking up every second of this season and will be baking pumpkin goodies galore. My first pumpkin recipe attempt of the season was a hit with the fam and boyfriend, so I thought I’d go ahead and share it with all of you. It’s a nice twist on my weekly banana bread 😉 I found it on Pinterest and it’s from, but I made a few tweaks, as I always do. Here it is!

Pumpkin-Banana Bread


• 2 mashed, ripe bananas

• 1 cup Libby’s pumpkin purée

• ¼ cup canola oil (next time I may try Greek yogurt, although canola oil is a good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats!)

• 2 eggs (I used one whole egg and two egg whites)

• 2 cups flour (I used all whole wheat, but you could do half all purpose, half WW flour)

• ½ cup rolled or old fashioned oats

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 1/2 tsp baking soda

• ½ tsp salt

• 2/3 cup sugar (I subbed Splenda Sugar Blend, which came out to 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp)

• ½ tsp nutmeg

• ½ tsp ginger

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• Chocolate chips (to sprinkle on top- I made this addition for obvious reasons)

Not everything made it in the picture… I was a little too eager to get baking…


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans) with nonstick cooking spray. Place mashed banana, pumpkin puree, oil, egg and egg whites in a large bowl. Beat with an electronic mixer on low speed.

  • Place flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk.

  • Add flour mixture to banana and pumpkin mixture and beat until just moist.

  • Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips as desired.

  • Place in oven to bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. (I wish I would’ve checked my bread at around 50-55 minutes, so I recommend setting your timer for a little less than an hour so you can see if it’s ready. Every oven is different!)

Enjoy the delicious pumpkin goodness!!!

Have a great first week of Fall!

eat well. live well. be happy.

Shanna, RD


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