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A Good Kind of Binge

You know that most binges – whether potato chips, booze or chocolate – lead to trouble and leave you no happier in the end.  So what’s a good kind of binge?  The kind I’ve been on for the last few days:  what branding expert Teresa Pangan calls a Gratitude Binge.  I was just honored with SCAN’s award for Excellence in Practice in Wellness Nutrition.

Karen Collins receives SCAN award for Excellence in Practice

Receiving SCAN award for Excellence in Practice in Wellness Nutrition from Carol Lapin, MS, RD, CSSD

Receiving an honor like this from my peers, and listening to the heartwarming tribute given by Carol Lapin, MS, RD, CSSD, has been truly humbling.  It’s an occasion for gratitude to the many people who have supported, taught and mentored me throughout my career and personal life.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with SCAN, it is a dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  This 7,000+ member group is made up of nutrition professionals who specialize in eating disorders and sports, cardiovascular and wellness nutrition.  I am deeply touched to be chosen by these colleagues, a group that truly sets the bar high for excellence in practice, and a group I hold in high, high esteem.

 “Tips from the Trenches”

As an award recipient, I was asked to give a short presentation with some “Tips from the Trenches”.  For a unifying theme, I used hints of effective gardening practice – not something you might necessarily seize as a metaphor for effective practice as a nutrition professional, but I think it worked well.  After I completed the talk, I realized that these tips represent my thoughts on more than just professional success.

Here was my final tip: Allow yourself to bloom by surrounding yourself with what nurtures you. Surround yourself with excellence. Dan Buettner, best-selling author of Blue Zones and Thrive, says that if you cultivate relationships with people who are thriving, you are more likely to thrive as well.

I talked about the importance of volunteering, which provides a chance to be nurtured while doing good.

I talked about surrounding yourself with people who live the example of whatever it is you want to do or be.

I talked about the value of people with a positive attitude who will help you keep focused on looking through barriers in your path.

My Gratitude Binge

It was reflecting on the ups and downs of my career for this presentation that kicked off my Gratitude Binge, as I realized that whatever I’ve accomplished, it’s been with the support of many, many others.

  • To my colleagues past and present from whom I have learned so much, and who add fun to our professional journey…
  • To my many patients through the years, who I hope learned half as much from me as I did from them…
  • To the organizations that have given me the chance to try a wide range of exciting projects…
  • To the staff of the American Institute for Cancer Research, for the many opportunities they have given me, and for the joy of working with a group so committed to excellence in their important mission…
  • To my friends and family, who believe in me and have always been there to support me in ways large and small…
  • To SCAN for awarding me this tremendous honor…

My heartfelt thank you, thank you, thank you!


What’s next? Watch for video interviews coming soon with some fascinating speakers from the SCAN symposium:

~ Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones noted above, with insights on what long-lived healthy populations around the world have in common and what we can learn from them…

~ Barry Braun, PhD, with what you need to know about how exercise and inactivity each affect appetite…

~ Lynette Craft, PhD, with insights on how exercise affects depression and mood.

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