Today we chat with Blessing Mushonga, a registered nutritionist working in sports nutrition while also supporting Clinical Nutrition and Weight management. Blessing and I have collaborated in the past on his newsletter about COVID-19 nutrition and the Sports Nutrition Leap programme.
Blessing TF Mushonga, Registered Nutritionist
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your current role?
My name is Blessing TF Mushonga and I am a black African Registered Nutritionist with Allied Health Practitioners of Zimbabwe. I have a strong passion for Sports/Performance nutrition and I am currently consulting to the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee: Medical Commission, St John’s College and a number of professional athletes. I do not only concentrate on Sports Nutrition work, but I am also committed to Clinical Nutrition and Weight Management consultations.
When did you first know you wanted to pursue nutrition and dietetics?
The first time I realized I wanted to pursue nutrition and dietetics was in 2012 through my sister who had done some research about it, and I liked it!
What was your most interesting client encounter?
My most interesting client encounter was during my first consultation. I was tense and trying to do everything to the book and she picked it up. She asked me if I was her first client, and I knew something was wrong.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced moving into this field?
Back here in Zimbabwe Sports Nutrition is yet to be appreciated. It is a matter of creating the job opportunity yourself rather than wait or look for a job posting. A lot of work needs to be done to build the niche to ensure a more comprehensive approach in High Performance for our athletes.
What’s your favourite meal?
I know it is weird coming from a Nutritionist but my favorite meal is ribs and fries.
What are your thoughts on diversity in N&D?
Diversity in Nutrition and Dietetics is important. It allows the Nutrition industry to grow and give every individual an equal opportunity to employment. It opens the door for more ideas to nurture nutrition globally.
What’s your biggest pet peeve in terms of being a registered nutritionist?
My biggest pet peeve as a Registered Nutritionist is the rift between Nutritionists and Dietitians. Working together towards a common goal will make the world of nutrition a better place.
Black or Blue ink pens?
Black ink pens any day!
If you could summarise your career as a nutrition professional in 3 words, what would they be?
In the making.
What advice would you give to black youth considering nutrition & dietetics as a career?
Slowly the world is beginning to appreciate the power of nutrition to cure and prevent disease and to enhance individual performance. Like Thomas Edison said: “The doctor of tomorrow will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.