Nutrition411: The Podcast, Ep. 10

An Overview of FNCE

Lisa Jones, RDN, LDN, FAND

This podcast series aims to highlight the science, psychology, and strategies behind the practice of dietetics. Moderator, Lisa Jones, MA, RDN, LDN, FAND, interviews prominent dietitians and health professionals to help our community think differently about food and nutrition.

In this episode, Lisa Jones interviews Peggy O’Neill, MBA, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, and Adam K. Lax, RDN, LDN, about the reasons why they attended The Academy of Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), their favorite sessions, and the key takeaway messages from the conference. 

Additional Resources:

Peggy O'Neill

Peggy O’Neill, MBA, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, is the Vice President of Nutrition and Wellness at Morrison Healthcare (Hallandale Beach, FL).

Adam Lax

Adam K. Lax, RDN, LDN, is the President of RD4U, Inc., where he coaches nutrition entrepreneurs in business and how to earn a sustainable, 6-figure plus income in “nutripreneurship” (Royal Palm Beach, FL).

Lisa Jones, MA, RDN, LDN, FAND

Lisa Jones, MA, RDN, LDN, FAND, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, speaker, and author (Philadelphia, PA).



Moderator: Hello and welcome to Nutrition411: The Podcast, a special podcast series led by registered dietician and nutritionist Lisa Jones. The views of the speakers are their own and do not reflect the views of their respective institutions or Consultant360.

Lisa Jones: Hello and welcome to Nutrition411: The Podcast, where we communicate the information you need to know now about the science, psychology and strategies behind the practice of dietetics. Today, my guests are Peggy O’Neill and Adam Lax. First, I will introduce Adam. Adam is currently is the president of RD4U, which is a private practice and he coaches nutrition entrepreneurs in business on how to earn a six figure plus and sustainable income program in nutripreneurship. At the end of the day, Adam's mantra is to leave his nutritional blueprint to the planet for all that seek health, vitality and prosperity. Welcome, Adam.

Adam Lax: Thank you, Lisa.

Lisa Jones: Is there anything else you want to share with us right now, Adam, about your background?

Adam Lax: Yes, I'd like to take that opportunity. Number one, I love being a registered dietitian and 30 years in the field is just the tip of the iceberg. Again, I just look forward to continue to share this message about our industry as well as the future of dietetics in entrepreneurship and in all areas around the world.

Lisa Jones: Thank you. And I love your mantra, and we appreciate you being here and sharing with us today.

Adam Lax: Thanks.

Lisa Jones: And next I want to introduce Peggy O’Neill. Peggy is the Vice President of Nutrition and Wellness at Morrison Healthcare. She oversees the training and performance of the company's clinical nutrition and food service professionals. Welcome Peggy.

Peggy O’Neill: Thank you Lisa. How are you?

Lisa Jones: I'm good. Is there anything else you want to share about your background with us or the audience?

Peggy O’Neill: Lisa, I think I might have failed to mention that I'm currently also the president for the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and in that role I serve the almost 3,000 licensed and registered dieticians in the State of Florida. And Adam actually serves on my board and between the two of us, we help direct the members and the districts within the state of Florida to ensure that all of our dieticians have everything they need to perform at the top of their license.

Lisa Jones: That's amazing. And I want to thank you both for your service. I know that is a tremendous undertaking, especially the president, it's almost like a full-time job. So in addition to your very busy vice president role, I'm sure you have limited time to do anything outside of what you're currently doing. So I hope next week you take some time and enjoy Thanksgiving and some time off.

Peggy O’Neill: That is the plan.

Lisa Jones: Yes. So I am excited today because I wanted to talk to both of you about FNCE because it was in your home state or your affiliate. And I wanted to just talk about your thoughts. And for those of us that are listening that don't know, the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, we abbreviate it as FNCE, is the world's largest meeting of food, nutrition and dietetics experts. So usually that meeting is in October every year. And this year again it was in Orlando. And the conference addresses key issues affecting the health of individuals and communities throughout the United States and around the world. So what I would like to know first, and if you want to answer this question first Adam that would be great, tell us the main reason why you attended.

Adam Lax: The main reason why I attended FNCE in Orlando is I get to see my family, I get to see my family of dieticians and friends I haven't seen in so long. And this was the first in person conference back since we went virtual. The last one was in 2019, in Philadelphia, where I got to see you, Lisa.

And for me, for FNCE to be in my backyard and I get to see all my friends and colleagues and new presidents of our academy paving the way for our future, it really was just an honor and a privilege just to be there. Especially with Peggy, because being part of the board of directors of the Florida Academy is an honor and a privilege. And to serve under Peggy is the understatement. It was in our backyard and we were just having a big party. And it was just great to see the inclusivity for everyone and much needed in our industry that the keynote speakers were appropriate and on point. And from a personal note, I definitely wanted to see Daymond John. He has been a mentor of mine and he was actually speaking right to me from the stage. So those are my highlights why I went to FNCE.

Lisa Jones: Oh, I love it. I wrote down family, inclusivity and then you didn't say it but you were kind of saying it, which was hugs, like seeing the people for the first time since 2019. And there was a lot of hugs.

Adam Lax: Hugs and kisses and fist bumps.

Lisa Jones: Yes. Peggy, how about you?

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah, I'm smiling because I'm right there with Adam. It's definitely, for me, is the connecting with people life again. So just like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics didn't have a annual meeting for the last several years, so did the Florida Academy. So we had our last live meeting in 2019. So when we had the opportunity to get back together in our home state in Orlando, we did throw, I'd say a big party. We were so happy to get to see each other again and connect. So we held a reception on Saturday night, which was very well attended. It was a great success. And then besides that, for me, it's just a great opportunity to network and recruit. So I do multiple recruiting things. So do you want to be part of the Florida Academy? Do you want to sit on the board? Do you want to work for my company?

So it's a great recruiting, networking, getting to meet new vendors. I also look for people in the industry that we can connect with who could be participating in our Florida Academy or participating in some of my work initiatives. So for me it's like a world of opportunities every year to meet with people live because looking at an email or being in a Zoom session, you're virtually, artificially connected. But to speak to people live makes a very, very different connection. So I was very excited to be there and meet everybody and I did a ton of recruiting and I think good outcomes are going to come out of it.

Lisa Jones: That's a win-win. That's fantastic. And I wrote down for you, world of opportunities. It's almost like that could be on a brochure for FNCE. Adam, what were some of your favorite sessions from FNCE this past October?

Adam Lax: As I said, I'm going to be a little biased, was the keynote opening day. That set the tone for me and the intentions for my purpose in being at the conference is to be in connection. And I'm going to be a little biased. And the other session that I attended was actually a double header for me. So was the session on negotiation that you were part of, and it was amazing. And from there, I got some really great analogies and strategies that I even use in entrepreneurship. So that was very key for me. And I'm very selective in the sessions that I go to now just because of my purpose and my intentions of where my focus is now.

And from there, before the session started, they had an awards ceremony or they were giving an award to this dietician. When I heard her name I said, "Oh my, she hired me at Sodexo. I have to say hi to her." Lorna Fuller. And when I reached out and she looked at me, she goes, "It's like old home week." I hadn't seen her since I'd left Sodexo. So you know what, just the networking and the negotiations session made it for me all the way around for FNCE as far as my participation.

Lisa Jones: That's amazing. So it's like you could have just went the two things and been happy.

Adam Lax: Well, I'll be a little more biased. We did have a member's reception for the Florida Academy that Peggy spearheaded and that in itself is more education than I can ever get at just sitting at one CEU. So that in itself really connected it all from the local level as well as the national.

Lisa Jones: I really like what you said in the beginning about how the opening session kind of set the stage for how the rest of the conference went for you.

Adam Lax: Yes, and it's all about the intentions that I set before I got in the parking lot because I was on a mission. I was on a mission. I was so excited. As I said, I am known as a promoter so I like being around people. So that's where I get my energy and my drive and through Zoom, to a point. And when I can connect with human beings, not human doers, then I really thrive.

Lisa Jones: Yes. And that was definitely ample opportunity. I know I ran into Adam several times over the course of the conference, so that was good. Very good. How about you, Peggy? What was some of your favorite sessions?

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah, very similar to Adam. I was very intentional in which sessions I was going to attend or able to attend. There's a lot of conflicting opportunities being at FNCE. So you kind of have to think through it ahead of time and be very intentional. Morrison Healthcare was very well represented through presentations and at the expo. So the one I really enjoyed the most, which was hosted by my national director of clinical support, was advancing malnutrition, quality improvement and health equity and opportunities to lead change. So that was a panel that she moderated and they talked a lot about the prevalence of malnutrition and they talked about the new global malnutrition composite score and all the work that the academy's been doing to get that on the books. And now CMS has approved it. So the opportunity is there for hospitals to measure and evaluate every Medicare patient for malnutrition.

And then Morrison Healthcare has a very robust and comprehensive program around addressing malnutrition, communicating around malnutrition and measuring outcomes. So it was great. We also had a hospital CEO at the table and talked about what they're doing to address malnutrition and how they develop the community outreach program that included food and nutrition. So that for me, in my industry, I see that as growing and developing opportunities because malnutrition is very prevalent, food insecurity is a very serious reality in the US. And so when we can find opportunities to capture who is malnourished, why they're malnourished and start that intervention at the hospital but don't stop there, really continue to provide food and nutrition outside of the four walls of the hospital, I feel that's where this is where hospitals and society and government is kind of leading and where dieticians really have an opportunity to make a difference. So I really, really loved that session and although everything I heard wasn't exactly new, it was sort of a confirmation for me, like yes, we're going in the right directions, here's where our dieticians need to make their footprint next. So that was really great.

Lisa Jones: Yeah. I love that you mentioned the intentionality again, from what Adam was saying. But that session was one of the ones I wasn't able to attend. But it sounds like it was fantastic. And the other thing for those people that weren't able to attend, I guess they can go back and see the recording somewhere for a fee, on the FNCE website. But then my other question was you had mentioned there's resources on your website. Can we put them in the link for people to go to? Because that sounds like a great resource for people, about malnutrition.

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely, I can get a couple of web addresses for you that would help with that.

Lisa Jones: Perfect. We'll share that and then keep sharing and working towards that common goal because it is an issue. So thank you for sharing that.

Peggy O’Neill: You're welcome.

Lisa Jones: Adam, you were talking about the strategies that you were taking, but from listening to some of the sessions that you kind of moved forward, what would you say would be some of your major takeaways that will help other colleagues who maybe weren't able to attend the conference this year or weren't able to attend that particular session?

Adam Lax: Sure. Great question, Lisa. So the highlights or the golden nuggets that were my takeaways is do your homework, have a goal, get messy and rinse and repeat. Because at the end of the day, we strive for excellence, not perfection. And when Daymond John was sharing his story from triumph to tragedy and then back to triumph, it's like wow, I'm just like him, or I've living that lifestyle and I'd like to go through those things that he's gone through as a business owner and as a thought leader and how can we change the industry. A guy who's coming from the garment industry and the clothing industry, what is he going to tell dieticians for the future?

Well, he did have a great story on how he believes in the health and he sought lost X amount of pounds. And you know what? He's not there just on the stage. He's a real true blue person that believes in health and what dieticians have to say. Now, I'm just a big amplifier. I'm the big speaker. It's like, hey, we're all playing small. It's time to go out there, blaze the trails, do something different and make a name for RDM. And DTR is on the planet, period.

Lisa Jones: Yes, excellent. My favorite part about that session was how he infused the rap music because it takes everyone back to that time. And it kind of also sparked other creative ideas within, I don't know if it did the same thing for you, Adam, but you kind of took it personally and how can I customize what he's doing to what I currently do?

Adam Lax: Yes. And I identified with his genre of music because I grew up in the '80s. The best time where the '80s for me when rap music was coming out. So I actually study rap music, I study rappers. And it's like, okay, what's the overlap? And I looked at his eyes from where I was sitting and he just loves what he does from the passion. And no matter all the hills and valleys, yes, I took it personally and I incorporate all those things because I'm going to get messy. I'm going to mess things up, I'm going to perfect things. And he's one of the best entrepreneurs on the planet, so why not put him in my pocket as a mentor?

Lisa Jones: There you go. It's a good way to put it. And then I also liked when you said rinse and repeat. Because that reminds me of as a dietician, we like processes and that kind of happens if you find a process, especially with the business that you're running, you want to make sure you're rinsing and repeating those processes

Adam Lax: That gives you the consistency. Correct.

Lisa Jones: Consistency is good. All right. Well thank you for sharing those takeaways with us. And Peggy, what would you say would be your major takeaways that will help other colleagues who weren't able to be there at the conference or attend particular sessions that you were in?

Peggy O’Neill: I'm going to bring you a different perspective because I wasn't able to go to the opening session, although I really, really wanted to. But our Florida Academy reception was like right after that. So there were a ton of things for me to do including getting myself ready. So I didn't get to see it. But I still have a major takeaway from FNCE. And I really felt like what I see in the industry, I've been a dietitian for a little over 20 years, trailing right behind Adam here. And I see the start of a little bit of disconnect. I don't know if it's younger or if it was because of the pandemic. I see less people participating in academy activities, academy membership. And that worries me a bit because I think there is a true misunderstanding of the value that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics brings including this great conference.

So in my point of view, every dietitian that lives in the State of Florida should have been there. I feel if nutrition is your profession, you have to be involved. There is no way you can sit back and let somebody else do all the work and then say, "Oh well, I don't get paid enough" or "I don't feel like dieticians are recognized enough." I feel if you're a dietician, and that's your opinion, you have to get involved. And one way of getting involved is to come to these sessions, is to come to these conferences and meet your people within your state, within your dietary practice group, within your university, whatever it is. And we are not a profession that can just sit back and wait for other people to say, "Oh, you're a dietician, this is what you do." It is up to us.

There's a lot of misunderstanding about what dieticians really do because we can do a lot of different things to begin with. But it's also just not very clear in the industry. And there's a lot of other people who talk about nutrition. So there's a lot of noise. And for us to calm down that noise and be recognized, you have to be engaged. And this is how you engage. You have to come, you have to meet people, you have to talk, you have to sit on a board, you have to be part of a committee, whatever it takes. But that's the only thing that drives our profession forward.

So I'm a little bit worried about dieticians maybe not understanding the value of these conferences and the association at large because it will impact how fast we move our career forward because it is moving forward. Have you been around for as long as Adam and I? Then you can see the difference. You can see the difference from 10, 20, 30 years ago and it didn't just happen. Those things, they happened because we all played our part. So that's what my message is, is if you are a dietician, DTR, you must be involved to help shape the future for your own career and the ones that are trailing behind us.

Lisa Jones: Yes, I love what you're saying. You can't see me, but I'm raising my hands in the air. The third thing I'm thinking is, as dieticians, everything you're saying, we can sum it up and say, grab a seat at the table. Don't stay on the sidelines, sit at the table. Because if you're not going to sit at the table, someone else is going to sit there in your place. And going back to what Adam was saying is, do the homework, get involved, get your hands dirty, you can rinse them later. Be an active learner, participate. So these are all things we want to make sure that we're doing. Well said. Yeah, thank you. It's really good. Some great takeaways from you both, Adam and Peggy.

Adam Lax: Thank you.

Lisa Jones: The next question I have, what session would you have liked to hear at FNCE or what session did you feel you missed out on from attending? So Adam, which one could have been there but, you didn't see it on the agenda and you would've really liked to have seen something?

Adam Lax: The only schedule challenge was the Florida Academy member reception and the NEDPG reception, which I'm a proud member to be of. So that's part of my other family that I didn't get to see. I did reach out, prior to the engagement. So I would say just that networking of those professionals and catching up with their latest geniuses in entrepreneurship and business communications because I want to be current and support people in what they're doing. And that's where I really feel that there's a disconnect in the industry is everybody's out for themselves and we really don't have that coordination that I would love to see, as a leader, of cohesiveness and generosity and working together in collaboration versus competition. And we're moving slowly toward it and I want to be a catalyst for it.

Lisa Jones: Yes. And you are an excellent catalyst for it, Adam.

Adam Lax: Thanks, Lisa.

Lisa Jones: You should keep doing what you're doing.

Adam Lax: I'll drink to that.

Lisa Jones: Like I always try to say to people when they think about that competition, if there's only one of you and there's only one of you saying what you're saying. So there's only one Adam, you can only say it the way you say it. Somebody else can maybe try to say what you're saying but doesn't sound like it's not coming from you, it's not the same thing.

Adam Lax: Correct.

Lisa Jones: Yes. How about for you, Peggy? What session would you have liked to hear at FNCE that you maybe missed or wasn't on the agenda?

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah, I'm definitely on the Adam bandwagon. I'm all for collaboration, wholeheartedly, 100%. Because together we can achieve a whole lot more. What I feel, just looking back and I think about it, what am I working on or what I'm seeing in the industry that I felt maybe wasn't at FNCE is technology. And not just like, "Oh, I have my diet manual online or my energy calculator online." It's really technology and tools to help a dietician track their impact. I feel this is where we're still not advanced enough. So there's tools and there's things that they tell you to do, but there are no tools to help you do them.

And this is what I mean with it. For example, when dieticians place nasogastric tubes, there's a cost savings there. When dieticians implement a malnutrition program, there's a cost savings there. When we reduce length of stay or readmissions, those things we have to measure. For the longest time, we've been a cost, we're an expense. Dietician costs X amount of dollars because we need to have them for regulatory compliance, oh, yeah, to make patients feel better and prevent potentially a heart attack or whatever. But those are very hard to measure. And I feel in today's world we have the ability to make a measurable impact, we just don't have enough tools to really help us present that.

And when dieticians say like, "Oh, people don't understand us and they don't know the value we bring," it's because we haven't had a real good tool to say if the dietician does X, the outcome is, Y, the cost savings or the additional reimbursement or the difference in whatever cost for medication is this. And that's what I feel like when I look at the whole industry and at FNCE, I say we need to be more vigilant in developing tools that measure our impact and put it into either patient outcomes and more specifically, dollars. That's what talks, right? A CFO of a hospital wants to hear, "Oh that's very nice that you talk to this person, you helped them lose some weight." But what does that mean to them?

And if you talk in dollars or specific outcomes that they're measured against, like those quality metrics that hospitals have to submit now, that's when we can showcase in real life, in real time, this is the impact we're making. This is why you need to have more dieticians. This is why you need to pay them more because this is the value. This is your ROI. We're not really trained or have the right tools to measure and share our ROI.

Lisa Jones: Yes, that is a fabulous idea. And I'm hoping that maybe somebody submitted something, the deadline was yesterday. I do agree with you. Listening to what you're saying, that was something like thinking back to the agenda, that wasn't on there. And that is one thing. Now, we're seeing more dieticians that are getting into, they have process and they're process improvement specialists or they're more positions like that where before they were only open to nurses. I like to see that. And I think we're making advances there, but not nearly enough. So I agree with what you're saying. Yeah, definitely showing the impact, the outcomes, that would be helpful. Because I feel like we're always like, "Why is there a dietician here?" You have to justify why your position's there.

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah. Morrison developed a tool, a software that measures the impact from our malnutrition program in additional reimbursement, but also other healthcare savings such as length of stay and readmissions. And we did submit and got approved, well, I haven't gotten approved, so we did submit something to the academy to showcase how this particular tool and program drives value for the hospital and therefore value for the dietician. So we submitted something, hopefully it'll get accepted. So we'll take it from there.

Lisa Jones: Yes, that is great news. Thank you for sharing that. And congratulations. Taking steps forward, right?

Peggy O’Neill: Yep.

Lisa Jones: So Adam, I want to ask you to share one story that would showcase one of your experiences from FNCE. And you already kind of said a couple, but another one that you may have not mentioned yet.

Adam Lax: So actually, I'll share with you. I had the privilege of having met three speakers prior to speaking at FNCE that were speaking at FNCE, that I was able to support. And that's what it's all about, is supporting others in their greatness, even if you have overlaps in what you do, because that's where it's collaboration. So for me, for this nutripreneur, dietician, it was all about the connection for other people, in essence, meeting Daymond John as my personal mentor, being with Peggy at her side. Just to elaborate, it's been a pleasure and honor to serve as district chair and I was always in service and I'm always in service when I'm with the Florida Academy. And then I'm always in service when I'm with the academy. So all in all, the story ends like Cinderella's slipper, like I have the golden slipper and I can't wait till the next FNCE, which I'm throwing my hat in the ring to be a participant and a speaker. So we'll leave it at that.

Lisa Jones: Nice. All right. Crossing my fingers, wishing you luck on that and your slipper. Thanks for that analogy. All right, Peggy, how about you? What would be one story that you would like to share with us that showcases your experience from FNCE?

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah. I had a very pleasantly surprising experience. So because FNCE was in Florida, the Florida Academy was issued a booth at the expo floor, which usually you have to pay for. I don't know, the booths are around 1,000 for that little 10 x 10. So we're like, "Oh this is great, we'll do that." And you have to dress the booth, you have to buy the carpet or rent it, the carpet, the tools, whatever, the chairs. And so we set out a plan like, okay, we want to talk to people about legislative issues and how to reach out to their Florida legislators to tell them about nutrition and learning and teaching about how important nutrition is to Florida residents. We also did some recruiting for positions if you wanted to be on the board. And there's one other thing that I feel like I'm missing, nominations maybe.

I have been to multiple of these FNCEs and the expos. Usually, the state associations don't get a lot of visitors at their booth. I mean, what are you going to talk about? I don't give out candy, I don't give out tools or things or samples of anything. So in my perception, based on previous experiences, I thought we would have just some casual attendance walking by and saying, "Oh hi, you went the Florida Academy."

And we were so pleasantly surprised that we had so many people come up to our booth, talk to us, fill out whatever we asked them to fill out. We had a little poster, like a drop background that you can take pictures. They took pictures. It was just such a pleasant, busy experience without really having a tool or something or a giveaway to hand out. So that was really, really pleasant. And I never expected that we would have so many people come to our booth and talk to us and talk about Florida. And I think it goes back to we hadn't seen any of us in a really long time and we were just so happy to reconnect and get the show back on the road. That's what inspired me to keep up with this. And like Adam, I will go to every FNCE and every Florida Academy meeting that we have live because it's just so much fun to connect with people.

Lisa Jones: Yes. You didn't even need candy this year or any type of, like you were mentioning the candy or something, to give away. You just were so excited just to see the actual people again and be in their space and not a Zoom. Regardless of what they were giving to you, you just wanted to have that interaction. So it's a good example.

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah.

Lisa Jones: And that's nice that they had a booth. Because I remember when it was in Philadelphia. I don't think we had, oh no, we did have one, last time in 2019. I remember. But it was way in the back. Where was yours located?

Peggy O’Neill: So we were closer to the posters. The ones you select are not the premium booths of course. But within the 1,000 level, I picked the one furthest to sort the midsection and then it was not too far from the posters. So I figured people were on the way to the posters probably would pass by us. That's how I picked that booth. But yeah, I was very pleasantly surprised. A lot of people just came and said hi and talked and I met new strangers in Florida. A lot of people also moved to Florida. So people were coming to say, "I moved to Florida, now what do I do? How do I become your member? And what do you all do?" So there was a lot of newbies, Florida newbies, who wanted to learn about how to connect with us, which is great.

Lisa Jones: Very nice. That's a good example. Well, thank you for sharing that. So if you could say one bottom line takeaway for the audience, and I'll ask you first Adam, what should they be aware of or do? What should be their call to action?

Adam Lax: Emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence of a dietitian and an entrepreneur altogether, because it's not discussed in our industry and it's something to look forward to in creating new relationships, new opportunities with companies, and really stretching ourselves out there. For our industry to grow, we have to take risks. And as a field of 105 years, we are still at a slow rate. As I said, I am a catalyst and I'm here to speed it up. And one thing we can look at is how we look at each other from an emotional intelligence standpoint. It's very important. It's really primary. Because when we are responsible and step into responsibility for our emotional intelligence, no matter what FNCE we go to, no matter what meeting we go to, no matter what company we work for, whether we own our own company, we get to stand in our power as professionals, as a source of a transformed world, as the nutrition source for optimal health, for safety, moral and ethical considerations of the public. That's my biggest takeaway.

Lisa Jones: Yes. What a takeaway that is, Adam. When you first mentioned it, I don't know if you heard, I had a little chuckle because sitting right next to me at my desk is a book that I have. I read it before, around two years ago and I have to circle back to it. But it's Emotional Intelligence 2.0. So the coincidence is very interesting and I will leave it at that. So thank you for sharing that bottom line takeaway with us. Peggy, what would you say would be your number one bottom line takeaway?

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah. First of all, Lisa, that is one of my favorite books as well. And I've actually done some training sessions on emotional intelligence and being in my role as VP of Nutritional Wellness, where I see struggles in our industry with our dieticians is because they're just so gung-ho on what they need. They lack the emotional intelligence to understand that it's okay to ask for what you need, but you have to understand when you ask, how you ask, those kind of things. That emotional intelligence sometimes is just not understood. It's all about me, me, me, I, I, I. So love that book.

And just to kind of on top of that, besides your emotional intelligence, I feel you just got to take ownership. I think Adam alluded to it as well. You have to own your profession. I feel sometimes we're too passive. Maybe that's why we're moving so slow. We just want other people to solve our problems for them. And I'll gladly tell you my problems, but I'm not really part of the solution. And you have to have ownership of your career wherever you work, like Adam said, for a company, for your own company, your own business, just in the advancement of the career. You have to be involved, you have to take ownership. Nothing's just going to happen, magically happen for you. And here you go, here's a raise. You're so kind and you have so much value. You have to constantly fight for your own career and a profession at large. And that is by stepping up to the plate, being involved and making the change where you can.

Lisa Jones: Yes. And I feel like I'm like Peggy's cheerleader in the back because every time she says something, I'm like raising my hands in the air.

Adam Lax: I'm raising mine too. Well said, Peggy. Well said.

Lisa Jones: Yes. Because I'm hearing make your voice heard. Be part of the solution. And it's so true. You can't just sit back and take a pass of, you have to be active. You have to get involved and let people know what you need. Often, we hear, "Oh, it's the academy. The academy needs to do this." Well, no, it's you need to be part of it. And if you don't like something, be part of the change. I hear you. Yes, great takeaway.

Well, thank you both for sharing all that knowledge with us. I want to end today with a fun lightning round. And these questions aren't related to FNCE or anything like that. They're more related to what's coming up next week, which is Thanksgiving. And my first question is, what are you most grateful for? Adam, what would you say the answer to that would be?

Adam Lax: Well, you just pulled my heart string. So I am grateful for the dieticians that are in my world. I'm grateful for my family, my sons, my daughter, my granddaughter, and my son-in-law. I'm grateful for my neighbors and I'm grateful for living in the United States and I'm grateful to be part of this podcast.

Lisa Jones: Thank you. We're very grateful you're here. Thank you. How about you Peggy? What are you most grateful for?

Peggy O’Neill: How do I top that, Lisa? I'm not sure.

Adam Lax: Come on, Peggy.

Peggy O’Neill: I am definitely grateful for my family and I'm very grateful for my husband because I have a very busy life and he never gripes. He helps me get to where I need to go. He helps me advance in my career. I did my MBA a few years ago and I'm telling you, when they say it takes a village, it does take a village to raise your family and to do what you need to do. And my husband is a very essential piece of that. I am a corporate female leader and I know other corporate female leaders and they struggle sometimes with spouses or partners being as supportive to them as my husband is. So I know I'm in a very fortunate position. I picked him well and we've been married for 22 years now. Almost 20, I would say. Not 22, 20 years. So it's important. So I'm very grateful for that because it allows me to do the things I want to do for me personally and in my career. And without that, I can only do half of what I do today.

Lisa Jones: Well, I hope you play this for him when it's published so he can hear all the great things you said about him. He sounds wonderful.

Peggy O’Neill: Well, he has to listen to the end though. That's going to be the challenge. Will he listen to the end? I'm not sure.

Lisa Jones: Well, maybe you can just say, "Just listen to this part."

Peggy O’Neill: Yeah, fast forward.

Lisa Jones: He doesn't have time cause he's taking care of you. Right? So my last question is, what is your favorite Thanksgiving food? I didn't want to say dessert because you can pick anything. So your favorite Thanksgiving food, Adam?

Adam Lax: I got to go with green bean casserole. Yeah, definitely green bean casserole.

Lisa Jones: Nice. Do you look forward to having that next week then?

Adam Lax: Yes, yes. In some way or form.

Lisa Jones: There you go. How about you, Peggy? What's your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Peggy O’Neill: It's definitely the honey-baked ham. That's my favorite part. If I would just have the ham, I'd be happy.

Lisa Jones: Yes.

Peggy O’Neill: And it's on the menu.

Lisa Jones: I know. All right. Well I hope you both enjoy Thanksgiving. Thank you both for being on the show today and sharing your insights with us.

Adam Lax: Thank you.

Peggy O’Neill: You're very welcome.

Lisa Jones: And to our audience, thanks for listening. Please tune in again and share your comments and feedback on our site. Have a great day and enjoy a healthier lifestyle with a 411 in mind.

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