Nutritionist Close-Up: Leslie Jefferson, MS, CNS, LDN from Giant Food
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
What's the story behind your experience in retail and your position with your store?
I am a second career Nutritionist. After completing my CNS credentials and attaining licensure; I applied for the posted position with Giant Food. This is my first job outside of private practice and I LOVE IT!
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a nutritionist working in the retail industry?
I love food and believe food is medicine. Combining the business of retail with nutrition education always keeps me on my toes. Helping 'clients' become 'shoppers' that fill their carts with healthy foods is an important part my retail responsibilities.
What is one thing that you wish you would have known before starting your career as a retail nutritionist?
My workouts have been invaluable! We have to pack and carry a lot of items, boxes and documents for events! I have to workout harder to keep up!
What has helped you move forward in your retail role?
The need of community nutrition education is huge. I am driven to reach as many people as possible through public events and individual consultations.
What have you done to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the retail industry?
I ask a lot of questions to learn as much as I can about the retail industry. I ask vendors, managers and associates about their roles in store. I love to bounce ideas off of my colleagues. We are very supportive of one another and we are all doing our best to make the Giant Landover program a success.
Tell us about one of your programs or initiatives that you are most proud of and why.
I am very proud of work I've done to get my program off the ground. In a very short time I've made great strides to establish myself and my store as a resource for nutrition education in my district. I still have a long way to go but I am happy to be on this journey. I love being a part of helping Giant Food to be a better neighbor to our community and customers.
About Leslie: Leslie Jefferson is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and completed her Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health followed by an internship at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in December 2013. Leslie enjoys motivating others to find their way to optimum health using a functional medicine whole foods approach. Leslie’s background as a massage therapist and previous career as a manager with an MBA allows her to assist others in making mindful and positive lifestyle choices. Leslie is passionate about providing nutrition education and solutions for weight management, cardiovascular, sports and cancer support. As an In- Store Nutritionist with Giant Food Leslie is available to provide lectures, classes and one on one consultations. She is a native of Washington Metropolitan Area and loves to line dance, travel, cook, exercise and participate in organized race activities. When it’s time to relax she hangs out with her coloring book, walks her dog or searches out a new restaurant to enjoy with her husband.