The Essentials for a New RD2B

November 28, 2018

Starting out as an RD2B? Nutrition student? Prospective Dietitian? Well you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to my little guide on tips and tricks to what you need when starting out on your Dietetics journey! As you’re probably a student or about to become a student if you’re reading this, the items I have chosen are good quality, affordable products that won’t break your bank! So, shall we get started?

*This post contains affiliate links – this simply means at no cost to you, by purchasing my recommendations using the links on this post, I’m able to earn a few extra pennies to support my blogging.*

The Books

Now, when it comes to books there is NO need to spend a fortune. Reading lists can often be long and scary, but most of all expensive. Here, the library is your friend!! Your university should have most of the books you require on their shelves, but if they don’t, you can always request the book you need in. Whilst each university’s reading list is unique, I have had a few key books that have been staples to me ever since I embarked on my undergraduate adventure back in 2014.

This bad boy is the bible for anyone studying nutrition and dietetics. My edition is a little old now (as you can probably see from the broken spine), but newer editions are out there… and I can pretty guarantee this will be on your reading list! It’s full of DRVs, RNIs and standard guidelines on different conditions. Always back these facts and figures up with newer and more up to date research and guidelines, but this is pretty much the bread and butter for your studies.

You can purchase this lil gem with the link here!

A book labelled “for dummies” probably isn’t going to be endorsed by your lecturers, but honestly do not knock it until you’ve read it. Learning about biochemistry is a must both prior to and during dietetics and I’m not gonna lie, it’s a very confusing subject. When it clicks you’re like OMG IT’S LIKE A MAGICAL INTERLINKING MAP and it’s such a eureka moment. When you get there. Unless you’re a brain box or an Einstein, it’s probably not going to happen without a little bit of graft. This book puts it all simply. Not referencing. No confusing studies. Just plain simple facts what you need to know. Easy diagrams. Silly antidotes. It’s a great little purchase and has helped me get understand Acetyl CoA and those other little confusing words.

Pop it in your basket by clicking here!

So, this may look like a bit of a weird one and it will definitely not be on your reading list, but I think this is an amazing investment if you’re entering the healthcare professionals world! When you’re working in this industry, you don’t have to know the human anatomy inside out, but I’ve found it so beneficial to understand what our body is in order to learn different conditions and pathways. It’s labelled, diagrammed, easy to use. It’s SO good and has every bone, organ and limb you can think of. It’s helped me so much, especially on placement when people throw around terminology and facts and I’m like ‘oh yeah, I’ve seen that!’.

Go grab one here!

Whilst the handbook itself is very very pricey (you can probably find it in your library), the case study book is quite affordable and a worth while investment. It has helped me SO much during revision for my medicine exams. I know at my university library, there isn’t a copy of this to lend, so I recommend purchasing it for your course and early career.

Go order yourself a copy here!

A Diary


I cannot stress this enough, but keeping a diary and keeping organised is KEY! Not just in your career, but life too. But alas, Dietetics is a very very busy industry and studying is intense. I often get asked how I manage to keep SO busy all the time whilst meeting deadlines and attending uni. The answer? My trusty diary. I’ve kept one ever since I was 11 years old and it’s honestly always kept me on track. I sit down at the beginning of every week and plan the next 7 days ahead, but also add any important events and dates in as I go along. I even write all my lectures for the next year in my diary in September! It allows me to schedule in part time work, revision, but also my social life and self care too, which is equally as important as education. I just LOVE the Busy B diaries. I’ve always been a Paperchase girl, but these new diaries are just perfect. Simple. Pretty. You have month planners, week planners, to do lists, even pockets to keep lists and little bits of paper.

You can go grab my academic one here, but if you’re looking for something ready for the new year, THIS is my favourite option!

Subscribe to CN Magazines

Did you know that if you’re a healthcare professional or STUDENT, you can subscribe to CN magazines for FREE! The monthly magazine is available in print or online and is full of informative articles, up to date information, debates and new scientific research. It even has a student column for perfect tips on being the best you can be! I love it and I’ve been subscribed since the first day I started Dietetics. It’s so so worth it at no cost to you! Winner!

Subscribe here!

Placement Portfolio

If you’re embarking on your Dietetics course, then you’re going to be going on three different placements: A, B and C! Or even if you’re not doing Dietetics yet, you may be undertaking a placement year as part of your current course. Whatever you may be doing, you will have to create a placement portfolio for each placement you undertake. Now, unfortunately it’s not all creativity and fun, as you have to do A LOT of work to meet university requirements and competencies in order to qualify. BUT, you can make it a lot easier for yourself so you’re not rushing in the final weeks to get it all together. I’m currently in the process of making my second portfolio, but I found creating my first one pretty easy due to organisation and putting a little bit of me into it!

First of all, get yourself a LEVER ARCH rather than a ring binder – there is a lot of evidence you need to accumulate. You may not submit everything, but it’s important to keep everything safe and in one place, in case you get asked to prove anything during or after placement. I would also invest in subject dividers and label them with each competency you need to achieve, your personal information (such as your CV, health and safety forms and learning skills) and any appendix you may one to create. If you do this from the start off, then you can just slot them in (I recommend putting EVERYTHING in a plastic wallet, so you can read it like a book) and create your portfolio as you go along. I also like to use colours and make mine pretty. Not a necessity as much, but I learn in a creative way, so making things look nice makes me feel more enthusiastic about my project.

All my stationery is from Wilkos for this. Super cheap and perfect for placements!

Scientific Calculator

An essential as a student and professional. Dietitians do LOTS of calculations alongside the help of the trusty PENG, but equations are often hard to complete without a calculator. Yes, we have phones, but it’s not very professional whipping out your iPhone on wards and DEFINITELY not during exams either. If you don’t have one from school, INVEST! They often have 3 year guarentees too!

Grab yourself one here!

I hope this has been insightful and a good start to any of you embarking on your Dietetic Journey. If anyone has any queries, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me via and I will be more than happy to help!

Emma x

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