My name is Andrew Wade, and I am a Registered Dietitian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I first dreamed of starting my own nutrition and wellness company at 15 years old. I grew up in York, Pennsylvania, located in south-central PA. In High School I ran cross-country and track with winter and summer training. This year-around running was my life and passion. It was a catalyst for my weight loss as a freshmen in high-school, and equally responsible for my sparked interest in Nutrition. By my Junior year of high school I knew I wanted to study Nutrition. All of my friends knew me as a nutrition expert, though in retrospect I knew very little at the time.
I chose the University of Pittsburgh for many reasons. The University’s very prestigious Nutrition Program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences was on the top of the list. Throughout my freshmen and sophomore year I took all the pre-med courses required, as well as some business courses out of pure interest. At the end of my sophomore year I applied and was accepted into the Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition program that brought me to Pitt in the first place. This program accepted 25 students, and was my first step to becoming a Registered Dietitian.
The coursework within the program in many ways replicated a generalized pre-med curriculum, with the addition of very specialized nutrition courses such as Medical Nutrition Therapy, Nutrition Assessment, and Micro and Macro-nutrient Metabolism. These courses, along with the research I did in my spare time, continued to fuel my interest in the world of nutrition. Throughout my studies I was always aware of my specialized interest in Human Performance.
I started working at GNC my sophomore year in college, right after a torn Acl, Mcl, and meniscus took me off the track and set me in the gym for 8 months. This event, and the time that followed enhanced my interest in supplements and weight lifting. I continued working at GNC for 4 years, all the way through my post-graduate Internship. This part-time job kept me up to date with the latest products, and paired perfectly with many research projects I worked on in school. One of my largest concerns while working in the supplement industry were the claims made based on little to no clinical evidence. This motivated me to become an expert in as many supplements as possible, so I can better help clients navigate the very confusing supplement world.
Senior year is the time for Dietetics students to select a post-graduate option. For those of us wishing to become a Registered Dietitian, there are two main options, a Coordinated Masters or a Dietetic Internship. Both included the combination of 1200 hours of supervised practice on and 600 hours of Didactic coursework required to sit for the RD exam. The Coordinated Master’s is beneficial in that it takes two years but includes the credits required for a Master’s Degree. Keeping in mind my interest in Human Performance and my desire to specialize, I chose the Dietetic Internship. From August 2012 through May of 2013, I worked within Adagio Health as a Dietetic Intern, logging my hours and gaining experience throughout the world of Dietetics. This non-traditional Dietetic Internship occupied my days and nights, but provided me with the education I needed in a very condensed format, with a twist of exposure to business management. I completed my Dietetic Internship and knew my next steps were the RD exam, and a Master’s Degree.
I passed my RD exam in the summer 2013 and became licensed to practice my passion in the state of Pennsylvania. I started Case Specific Nutrition in August of 2013 part time while working in the Food Industry. In January of 2014, I became a full-time Case Specific employee, and began devoting all of my time into this dream. In December of 2015, I completed my Master’s of Health and Rehabilitation Science, concentration in Wellness and Human Performance, at the University of Pittsburgh. This Master’s Program combined nutrition and exercise physiology, and helped me serve as a better resource for athletes, those interested in weight loss, as well as the role of diet and exercise in chronic disease management. It also offered additional coursework contributing to my focus in eating behavior, particularly in those struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating. In addition to creating and running CSN, I am part owner of the Pittsburgh Fitness council, sit on the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board as the Diversity chair, write for the Post-Gazette’s community voices nutrition blog, speak frequently throughout the Pittsburgh area, and remain active in mulitple professional groups.
For an extensive interview with me about CSN and the CSN mindset, please checkout the Two Knowbodies Podcast!
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