Ana Reisdorf RD | I quit my Dietitian practice!

[REAL ENTREPRENEURS] My Patients Were Draining Me…So I Quit My Dietitian Practice!

Welcome to post #8…the final guest feature of the REAL ENTREPRENEURS blog series.

I’ve been featuring Health & Wellness entrepreneurs who are at various stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

They’re sharing where they’re at right now! It will be real, raw and unfiltered – just as life should be, when you’re grabbing it by the lemons, that is 😉

All of the posts in this series can be searched under the CASE STUDY category.

A Dietitian’s Story: My Patients Were Draining Me…So I Quit My Practice!

Hi! I’m Ana and I am a writer – but once upon a time I had a thriving practice as a Registered Dietitian.

I have been wanting to say that for years, but it always seemed like a dream that would happen “someday”. One day I would write the next “Eat, Pray, Love” and hit it big.

Back in the day, I didn’t realize being a writer could be MUCH more than just writing a novel.

But, life happened, I became interested in health and nutrition, so I ended up going to school to become a Registered Dietitian. I have been an RD for 11 years now.

Ana Reisdorf, MD RD | A Dietitian's Story: My Patients Were Draining Me, So I Quit My Practice


I started out so excited to be an outpatient counselor helping people lose weight. I was so passionate about that job, at the beginning I said I would have gladly done it for free. How naïve I was!

After about two years, I was emotionally drained from outpatient counseling. I didn’t realize that I would be dealing with psychological problems, not nutrition problems.

Although I loved my patients, I wanted to help them TOO much. When they didn’t change or do what I said, it was devastating for me.

My job also had a lot of politics and in-fighting between the staff. It was exhausting for me, I kept dreaming of having my own business so I could get away from it all, but didn’t really know how or what.

Shortly thereafter, a position opened up in clinical nutrition within the same company, so I jumped to that, thinking I could get away from the drama.  It was a nice challenge at first, but after another two years, I was over it again.

I hated having to “clock hours” just for the sake of meeting a certain hourly requirement. Computer charting made the job repetitive, I felt like I was a monkey pushing keys all day.

(Not to mention once again the constant fighting among coworkers and general workplace drama I just couldn’t stand!)

I needed to get out, but I was just too scared.

I didn’t know how to make it work. Friends and coworkers encouraged me to step outside the box with my career, but I had no idea how to even begin.

In 2012, for several personal and career-related reasons, I took a three-month leave of absence…to Brazil! While I was there I did yoga on the beach, took long walks, and figured things out.

During that time, I was communicating with another RD I had met online who told me she was traveling all over the world, working remotely, and supporting herself with freelance writing.

I knew this was my way out. With her guidance, I was able to land a few paying jobs as a nutrition writer and I loved it!

Finally, reality set in and I had to return from my self-discovery tour in Brazil. Over the next few years, I wrote on and off while doing many other things in my career. I still had a dream of making writing a full-time job, but I needed health benefits and a stable income.

Ana Reisdorf, MS RD Quote | Making Lemonade

When my first son was born at the end of 2015, I finally had my “excuse” to quit my job.

It was the perfect time because some of the financial pressures had been removed, I had my husband’s income to pay for the basics of daily living. I was determined to make what my husband called a “hobby” into a real job.

My first month back at “full time” writing, I made $120. That’s it.

In January 2017, I was struggling. I applied for every job I saw. But, I kept at it.

I worked on my social media presence.

I networked with people on LinkedIn and Facebook.

I was determined to make writing work or else I would have to go back to a traditional RD job at some point, which I really didn’t want to do.

But by January 2018, I had built my business enough (while being pregnant most of 2017 and having a toddler) that I replaced my full-time RD income.

It took a year of hard work to get to where I could finally say it was no longer a hobby. I proved to my husband (and myself) that I could make real money writing. And now I can call myself a writer because I am.

Since then my income has grown every month. Now, I have a team of other writers that work for me. My business is continuing to expand. I don’t have to deal with in-fighting between coworkers or be bored doing the same thing every day.

My schedule is my own. I can take time off when I want and prioritize what is important to me.

In July 2018, I wanted to share what I have learned so far to help others get out of the 9-5 rut. I created a guide for other RDs and nutrition professionals to help them get started with freelance writing as a source of income.

(psst…grab it with the link below!!)

Yes, I work hard. Yes, it can be stressful sometimes to juggle it all. I am not always sure where the next job will come from. As a freelancer, I have to always be looking for work.

But, I wouldn’t go back to the security and boredom of a full-time job.

The entrepreneur life is the life for me. I became an RD because I wanted flexibility and the RD credential gave me the opportunity to create a career that was my own.

Ana Reisdorf, MS RD bio

Ana Reisdorf is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She shares her knowledge of all things nutrition as an author, writing for a variety of online publications.


When she’s not at her laptop, she can usually be found trying to wrangle her unruly boys and loving life in Nashville, TN.


Connect with Ana