Our interview with Kaitlin Colucci RD
Kaitlin Colucci is a UK Registered Dietitian specialising in gut and digestive health, as well as general health and wellbeing. She is considered one of the leading gut health experts in her field and is the founder of the KC Nutrition online gut health clinic & The Mission Dietitian Instagram. In addition to her degree from The University of Nottingham, Kaitlin is also a British Dietetic Association (BDA) media spokesperson and over the past 5 years has appeared on shows such as BBC Countryfile, BBC Food Truth or Scare and Channel 4s Food Unwrapped and written for publications such as Women’s Health and The Daily Mail. Kaitlin’s favourite part of having built her business is being able to connect with people from all over the globe. She is a big believer that everyone needs to pause and take a deep breath from the crazy world we live in. To connect with Kaitlin, you can follow her on all social media channels at @themissiondietitian or visit her website www.kaitlincolucci.com.
1. Tell us about your career path, and how you got to your current position as Founder of Kaitlin Colucci Nutrition Ltd.?
Having studied at The University of Nottingham to become a dietitian, I first worked at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals, across all three of their main hospitals in London. This is where I gained a huge range of knowledge in different areas of dietetics and found a passion for gastro! At the same time, I trained to become a British Dietetic Association (BDA) media spokesperson, and started my Instagram page, The Mission Dietitian, to highlight the media work I was doing. Little did I know just how powerful Instagram would be to connect me to so many other professionals in the industry and get my name out there as a gut health expert. With growing demand, I was then able to launch my own online gut health clinic, and now run my own business, offering gut health consultancy, and work with brands and other companies on product development, PR materials and collaborations.
2. How did you transition to become the lead outpatient dietitian at HCA Healthcare?
After working in the NHS, I jumped ship to private healthcare working at HCA Healthcare UK, in The Shard. This is where I developed my skills of seeing patients one-to-one in an outpatient setting, dealing with those who suffer from IBS and other functional gut disorders. Over the next four years, I developed this role to become the lead outpatient dietitian of this service. I really enjoyed the different type of clientele, and the motivation of the patients to make change. I quickly learnt and developed my knowledge of more general gut health and general nutrition, having to deal with enquiries of fad diets and public health issues! This was so different from the clinical setting of the NHS, but I was able to use my knowledge and spread it to a much wider audience, especially as this type of information resonated with my following on social media.
3. How did you begin working as a media Dietitian?
For any dietitians wanting to work more with the media, I’d recommend signing up to the BDA Media Dietitians course. Otherwise engaging with journalists on Instagram and Twitter can be a good place to connect, and if you have a specialist area you work in, they may ask for comment from you. If you’re thinking of starting a social media page, my advice would be to just start it! I always wish I’d started sooner, but I have no regrets as to the amazing community it’s built. Always remember to stay within your area of expertise (for example we all dislike when we see other professionals giving out nutrition advice!), and if you don’t know something, own up and point people in the direction of who might be able to help. Remember to not give any individualised advice out over social media, especially without a full assessment.
4. What does a typical working day look like for you?
This can really vary from day-to-day, depending on the projects I’m working on. I always like to start the day with a green tea, yoga, and meditation, regardless of my schedule. I then block time to focus on projects, writing, content creation, recipe brainstorming and testing, or general admin tasks. I also have clinic days where I work one-to-one with clients over zoom. If I’m doing any media work, I’ll be travelling to set and filming all day. Filming days can be incredibly long, often for only a short amount of airtime, but I really enjoy sharing my knowledge in front of the camera and getting to work with a fun crew!
5. As a gut health expert, we’re dying to know what you do to show your gut some love?
I take a holistic approach to looking after my gut, with my tips and tricks being:
o Aim to eat 30+ plant-based foods every week
o Drink minimum 2L water every day
o Prioritise 8+ hours sleep (I cannot function on less!)
o Practice yoga and meditate as often as I can
o Set strict work/life boundaries to protect my mental health
o Make time for my other half, friends, and family
o Get out in nature as often as possible
o Look after our friends dog every week