Are you an aspiring dietitian or interested in learning more about what you'll study as a nutritional science dietetics major? Well, you've come to the right place. Read on to get a glimpse into my life as a nutritional science dietetics student at UC Berkeley! I'm studying nutrition science dietetics because I aspire to help people live their healthiest life and nurture a positive relationship with food. Learning about the role of nutrients in our bodies and how they are metabolized is super interesting to me, and I love my major!  

What is a Registered Dietitian? 

So, what is a registered dietitian? As defined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, registered dietitians "...are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. They work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice."

Are registered dietitians and nutritionists the same? No. In short, all registered dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. To become an RD, there are specific qualifications—passing the national exam and completing an internship with 1200+ hours of supervised practice, among others—that nutritionists do not need.


It may be shocking that I am not a pre-med student, yet almost all lower division requirements for nutritional science dietetics are the same as those of any pre-med major: biology, two semesters of organic chemistry, biology and chemistry labs, and biochemistry. As you can see from these courses, becoming an RD requires a solid foundation in science. Other courses include Medical Nutrition Therapy, Food Systems Organization, and Management and Food Science.

This semester, I am taking two required classes for my major—Metabolic Functions of Human Diseases and Biochemistry—and two classes out of interest—Introduction to Data Science and Food and the Environment. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are still attending classes remotely on Zoom. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I have three lectures back-to-back. We don't have to attend synchronously because they are all recorded, but I prefer to stay on track and attend my classes live. In my Metabolic Diseases class, I learned about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and also had a midterm on Friday morning.

Megan Huff

For some classes, we have discussion sections of smaller groups, and we work on practice problems or talk about the topics covered in lectures for the week. Here is a snapshot from my Biochemistry discussion where we covered fatty acid anabolism.

Megan Huff

Midterm season is in full swing, so for a few hours each night, I studied for my upcoming Biochemistry midterm. I like to make outlines of the lecture material and color code my notes to help key words like "enzymes" and "pathways" stand out when I review them.

Megan Huff


I currently write evidence-based nutrition blog posts centered around the Mediterranean Diet for Olivaio, an olive oil company co-founded by registered dietitian, Kelly Powers. If you're an aspiring RD, it's great to have experience interning or working for an RD.  

Megan Huff

For my Plant Futures Challenge Lab independent study course, I'm working with a team of 3 students to solve a challenge for the Plant Based Foods Association. We meet as a team on Tuesday to do work and then debrief with our mentors every Friday. Our challenge is to close the gap in industry knowledge between plant-based, consumer-packaged good companies and suppliers. Currently, we're conducting interviews to create a comprehensive survey.

As an active member in my community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, I provide service to the chapter and broader community. On Wednesday, I volunteered at Berkeley Lutheran Church of the Cross, serving free spaghetti dinners to the community.

Megan Huff

Last but not least, a Spoon University meeting on Sunday. For virtual meetings we've had fun games, like pie-themed Jeopardy, and guest speakers including Sam and Wenter of Third Culture Bakery and Annie from GoNana's.

Megan Huff


Living in an apartment allows me the freedom of cooking my own food. I do not miss the days when I had to eat dining hall food. For weekday breakfast, my go-to's are fruit with oatmeal, avocado toast, or a yogurt bowl! I always top my oatmeal with coconut, almond butter, banana, and a rise bar for protein. On the weekends I'll make baked oats or gluten-free pancakes, or go out for brunch.

Megan Huff

Normally, when school is in-person, I will meal prep so that I can grab a container and head off to class, but since school is currently remote, now I have time to make lunch at home. My goal is to eat plant-based for lunch—I've been eating chickpea salad and Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi with their vegan kale and cashew pesto on repeat. 

For weeknight dinners, I've been obsessed with this gluten-free tofu teriyaki recipe and this sticky sesame chickpea recipe I found on Pinterest. I eat them with roasted broccoli and a Japanese sweet potato. Japanese sweet potatoes almost taste like dessert—they have a sweet taste with a hint of hazelnut. I highly recommend giving them a try. The best way to eat them is to roast them. I try to keep fish and meat consumption to a minimum, but I enjoy eating baked honey-mustard salmon with turmeric roasted cauliflower too. Lastly, when I need a super quick and easy meal, I'll make Banza pasta with sautéed zucchini, tomato sauce, and Beyond meatballs. On weekends, I'll order takeout, dine at a restaurant, or try a new recipe.

Last but not least, dessert! I love baking in my free time and am in love with these gluten-free matcha white chocolate cookies. A common judgement about nutritional science dietetics students is that we always eat healthy, but this is not the case. Life is all about balance, and you shouldn't restrict entire food groups—everything in moderation!

Free Time

When I'm not in class or studying, I'm busy shooting photos of recipes or taking photos at restaurants for my food Instagram—@sayimafoodie. This week I made chicken noodle soup with Taste Republic's fresh, gluten-free pasta.

Megan Huff

For exercise during the weekdays, I enjoy following along with YouTube workouts. I recommend MadFit and Sydney Cummings. Since the school gym is closed, it's safe, clean, and convenient for me to work out in my apartment living room. On the weekends I play basketball with my friends at a local outdoor court.

Megan Huff

Whether you're an aspiring RD or just interested in what nutritional science majors learn, I hope this week in my life as a nutritional science dietetics student was insightful.