Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What RDs Do: Amanda Hamel, RD

AMANDA HAMEL
RENAL DIETITIAN & 
NUTRITION TOUR LEADER
for something nutrishus


Intuition brought Amanda to the field of dietetics and she now works with clients of all kinds and in a variety of settings including right in the grocery store.  She is getting into the world of private practice, which more and more dietitians seem to be doing - hopefully it will help with the access that she mentions below. 

Why did you become a RD?

Have you ever had that ‘fish-out-of-water’ feeling? Imagine the feeling of being in a room full of people, and all the lights are off except for one hot, glaring spotlight that’s pointed straight down on you. That was me in my first semester of Pharmacy. I remember so clearly being in a packed classroom, with many of whom were close friends, yet I felt like I simply did not belong. It was a crushing, almost out-of-body experience, and I knew in that moment that something wasn’t right. I couldn’t tell you why or what, but my gut (always trust your gut!) was telling me that I needed to be somewhere else.

That ‘somewhere else’ was in the field of nutrition and dietetics! I always had a keen interest in health, wellness and disease-prevention, so I took a risk, made the switch, and have never looked back. Side note: I recently cleaned out my old notes from high school and found a career report I did in Grade 10 on none other than ‘The Dietitian’! It was a sign.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Like many dietitians I know, I wear many ‘hats’. I currently work in an outpatient hemodialysis and chronic kidney disease clinic. Once per month, I travel to a rural northern reserve, where I practice LTC (long term care) nutrition at their beautiful PCH (personal care home). I also have a contract position as a Nutrition Tour Leader with Save-On-Foods grocery stores. I am also dabbling in private practice on the side, just to shake things up a bit. I love that all of my current jobs cover different aspects of the nutrition continuum, enabling me to maintain and learn new skills!

How would you explain what you do?

Because I work in many different areas, my ‘go-to’ statement is, “I help people of all ages make healthy and balanced food choices”.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

In a nutshell - Renal dietitian by day, Nutrition Tour Leader by night! I work with an interdisciplinary team on the hospital dialysis unit and counsel patients one-on-one at the bedside. When I conduct grocery tours, I show people how to shop for healthy food to fit their lifestyle needs. Sprinkle in a few private practice clients, and I’d say it’s a healthy mix!

What has been your career path?

Another risk I took was moving far north, away from my friends and family, straight out of internship for a full-time, permanent position. I lived and worked for over two years in northern Manitoba in LTC clinical nutrition and menu planning for the regional food service system. I learned a lot and quickly embraced the small community feel. To rejoin the fam, I moved back to Winnipeg to continue working in a number of term positions in LTC. Fast-forward to today, and I have a part-time permanent renal dietitian position, along with my contract positions.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

Since LTC nutrition is near and dear to my heart, I have special training in dementia care called P.I.E.C.E.S training.

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

Like many dietitians, I dream of walking down the city streets and seeing stand-alone dietitian offices. I hope that people can have improved access to our services. I’d also like to see a greater focus on mental health promotion, as I think it greatly affects many people’s overall health and nutrition outcomes.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I love meeting new people and learning about their own food traditions and cuisines. While I am passionate about helping people make healthy and balanced food choices right in the grocery aisle, I believe there is so much to be learned from others. It’s one of the many reasons why I love being a dietitian!

What is your favourite meal?

Shakshuka. It’s fun to say and fun to make! You can throw in leftover items from your fridge for a quick and healthy meal.

Anything else you’d like to add that you feel would be valuable:

Stay positive and open-minded, as you never know where it may take you one day!

More about Amanda:

Twitter: @AmandaHamelRD
Instagram: @amandahamelrd


Thanks Amanda! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What RDs Do: Abbie Gellman, MS RD CDN

ABBIE GELLMAN
CULINARY NUTRITION CUISINE 
for something nutrishus


Abbie is a chef and RD that came across the series and reached out over facebook. It's exciting when fellow dietitians support the series and are excited to share the unique things they're doing in their careers. She is a second career dietitian and has the unique perspective of the hospitality world, plus if you follow her, you'll see all the amazing dishes she creates (yum!). In my mind we're lucky when such passionate people find their way to dietetics.   
Why did you become a RD?

I first became interested in nutrition when I was at Cornell University completing an undergraduate degree in the School of Hotel Administration as a finance major. I was so curious that I took the Nutrition 101 course my freshman year and was the only non-biology student in a class of more than 500 students. I had to learn anatomy just to keep up with the rest of the class, but I loved every minute of it! I stayed on track with my business degree and ended up working in hospitality/food and beverage consulting and on Wall Street, but nutrition was constantly on my mind. I kept coming back to it and wanted to figure out how to help people in a more impactful way.

In 2000 I earned a culinary degree instead of an MBA, but stayed in the consulting and financial arena. At least once a quarter I would look at nutrition graduate programs and try to get the nerve to make a change. Then, in 2007, I decided to go back to school for a master’s degree in nutrition. I was finally ready to take a huge risk and start over with a different career that would sync up with my passions: food and nutrition.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

My work is primarily “culinary nutrition.”

How would you explain what you do?

I have my own business, Culinary Nutrition Cuisine, and provide a range of services that incorporates my RD credentials and my culinary background. Typical work includes recipe development, menu development, foodservice and brand consulting, spokesperson work, private chef work (primarily for people with health-related issues), nutrition analysis, writing/blogging, and teaching.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

This changes depending on the day, client, and what else is going on. Sometimes I feel like I have “work whiplash,” but this makes it exciting and interesting! I have to be very organized and on point. Some “typical” tasks include cooking, recipe development, daily food/recipe social media posts, and researching trends.

What has been your career path?

I touched on this earlier…hospitality and food and beverage consulting, culinary degree, equity research on Wall Street, Masters in Nutrition and dietetic internship at NY Presbyterian, Culinary Nutrition Cuisine.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a culinary degree and a Masters in Nutrition

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

I would love to say people will finally understand the difference between educated Registered Dietitians and those who call themselves health coaches, nutritionists, etc. I would also love to see a more widespread health food market in the hospitality industry – specifically, restaurants and hotels. It seems to be taking hold in packaged food and retail food outlets, such as grocery stores, but restaurants and hotels seem to be lagging behind.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

I love food and love to eat! There are a lot of assumptions that I must eat “healthy” all the time, be a vegetarian, be super disciplined, etc. At the end of the day I’m still human and I prefer moderation with adequate amounts of indulgence every now and then.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

The most frequent challenge is that people don’t necessarily know the difference between a Registered Dietitian and someone with minimal or no credentials who is a “health coach” or “nutritionist.”

What is your favourite meal?

That is such a difficult question to answer, I love so many different foods! I’m a sucker for a homemade hearty piece of bread with cheese and fruit any day of the week. Right now I’m also loving hearty stews.

More about Abbie:

Website: Culinary Nutrition Cuisine
Facebook: Culinary Nutrition Cuisine
Instagram: @cnc_abbie
Twitter: @CNC_Abbie
LinkedIn: Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN


Thanks Abbie! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What RDs Do: Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN

KRISTA ULATOWSKI
KUCUMBER NUTRITION COMMUNICATIONS, LLC
for something nutrishus


It's March, which means it's Nutrition Month in Canada and the USA, so I feel even more excited to share what dietitians do! Krista owns and operates a PR/marketing firm where she helps RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionists) and food/beverage companies market themselves. As a second career dietitian, she is able to combine her knowledge and skills from the public relations world with her nutrition knowledge to have a very unique business. Since I dabble in communications and branding, I find her work very fascinating and like me, she's excited to see dietitians in an ever-expanding variety of roles. 

Why did you become a RD?

I was a “tech PR” guru, employed by a national PR firm, prior to realizing my love of nutrition. At the agency, I enjoyed strategizing how to ensure my clients were in the media spotlight, engaging with relevant influencers, planning events, writing content, conducting brainstorms…but I wanted to do this for nutrition and food clients instead of techie giants.

To make sure I had the necessary nutrition knowledge, I returned to school for my masters in public health and nutrition after 10+ years of agency life. Yes, it was worth every penny!

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I own my nutrition marketing and PR firm, KUcumber Nutrition Communications. I work with food clients, healthcare clients and dietitians who wish to grow their businesses, reach new audiences, and ultimately, sell more of their products and services.

How would you explain what you do?

In short, I would say I hype healthy food brands. Much of what I do comes down to selling – pitching and landing a story with an editor, for example, or getting the attention of a supermarket RDN on social media who wants to stock my client’s product on his/her store shelves.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Every day is different – I may engage on social media channels on behalf of my clients, I may write a blog post for a client, I might be reading and flagging relevant healthcare news for a client, I might be helping a client with rebranding…I could go on!

What has been your career path?

I have been all over the map! I considered becoming a journalist and at one point I even considered becoming an attorney like my father. I worked at a law firm and endured the LSAT (twice!) but I quickly learned that was not for me.

If I look waaaay into my past, I took a bio class my sophomore year in high school and loved it. I took a nutrition class my freshman year of undergrad and loved it. Yet somehow the words of a high school English teacher directed my career path: “You should be a writer.” Thus I pursued a career that was a partial fit…but not the perfect fit for me until I completed it by pursuing nutrition.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

My undergrad is in journalism and business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!) and my graduate degree in public health and nutrition is from the University of Washington (go Dawgs!)

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

I’m thrilled to see RDNs in supermarkets, corporations and start-ups. It’s exciting to observe food companies understanding the value of having an RDN on staff or in a consultant role – whether that company is selling ice cream or a salad-making kit. In five years, I anticipate we’ll see even more RDNs in such roles.

What tip(s) would you give to our readers?

Explore your career and entrepreneurial options! Don’t ever settle. You’re never “too old” and it’s never “too late.” Go for it – the world needs your RDN expertise!

What is your favourite meal?

Sous-vide, seared salmon atop pea mash, made by my boyfriend, who should be a professional chef. Alas, he’s a techie!

More about Krista:

Twitter: @kucumbers
LinkedIn: Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN
Facebook: KUcumber Nutrition Communications


Thanks Krista! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What RDs Do: Melissa Baker, MHSc, RD

MELISSA BAKER
UBC MANAGER OF NUTRITION & WELLBEING
BLOGGER
for something nutrishus


I know Melissa through Dietitians of Canada and she's a dietitian in the series that I have met several times in real life! If you've been following the series, you may have noticed the variety of tasks dietitians do and that we often don't have 'typical' days or traditional paths to our current roles. I love that her current role has wellbeing right in the title, especially since she's passionate about preventative nutrition. I would say that my professional goals are in-line with Melissa's, so I'm glad we're on the same team!

Why did you become a RD?

I didn’t discover the profession until the third year of my microbiology degree at UBC Okanagan when I was looking at the list of professional programs available at UBC. I was feeling discouraged by the job opportunities available after graduating with a major in microbiology and wanted to explore other opportunities. Dietetics jumped out at me right away. I loved food, cooking and inspiring others to eat well. It seemed like the perfect match. So I switched majors to Food, Nutrition and Health and moved to UBC Vancouver to pursue it! 

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I do a bit of everything! My full-time job is with Student Housing and Hospitality Services at the University of British Columbia. I work as the Manager of Nutrition and Wellbeing. This job is varied in itself, but I also manage the Practice Blog for Dietitians of Canada, write for the Huffington Post and my own blog upbeet.ca, and volunteer for the Dietitians of Canada Board of Directors

How would you explain what you do?

With all my roles, my goal is to work towards bettering the health and wellbeing of Canadians by focusing on prevention and making healthy eating easier, while also promoting the dietetics profession. 

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I don’t have many “typical” days. But, some of the wide variety of things I do include providing one-on-one counselling with students living in residence at UBC, as well as education and training for students and Student Housing and Hospitality Services staff on a variety of nutrition related topics. I also co-chair the UBC Wellbeing Food and Nutrition Working Group, which some other awesome RDs at UBC sit on. I work with our culinary team to make sure we are offering healthy, balanced menu options, including many entrees with plant-based proteins. I do allergy training with staff so they know how to ensure our students with allergies get a safe meal. And I am working on a big labelling project to ensure we are providing accurate and accessible nutrition, allergen, and ingredient information to our customers. Outside of my day job, I spend some evenings and weekends writing and editing articles, testing recipes for my blog, and catching up on Board work. 

What has been your career path? 

I started out working in clinical dietetics for a health authority in BC, mostly working with patients with diabetes and doing outpatient counselling. After I decided working in this area wasn’t for me (I wanted to work in a more preventative focused setting), I went back to school to do my master’s degree at Ryerson University. Following that, I worked for the BC Dairy Association as a nutrition educator before starting in my current role at UBC. I also spent some time doing contract work on a variety of projects and working as a retail dietitian during my first couple years of practice. 

What advanced education or special training do you have?


In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

My vision for the profession for five years from now aligns well with Dietitians of Canada’s key priority: “Policy makers and the public acknowledge that nutrition is a primary contributor to improving health and that the dietitian profession’s unique body of knowledge and skills makes an integral contribution to health improvement.” We are definitely working towards that but we have a ways to go. 

I would also love to see universities expanding their programs to allow more dietitians to enter the workforce. This is vital if we want to keep up with unregulated nutrition professionals. 

What is your favourite meal?

Fish tacos shared with family and friends! (Or a traditional turkey dinner with lots of stuffing and Brussel sprouts!) 

More about Melissa:

Instagram: @upbeetrd
Twitter: @upbeetRD
Facebook: Up Beet


Thanks Melissa! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What RDs Do: Cassandra Golden MS, RD, LDN

CASSANDRA GOLDEN
NUTRITION NIBBLES CONSULTING, LLC
NUTRITION DIRECTOR ONYX ELITE
for something nutrishus


Cassandra's entrance into the profession is a unique one; I think it's great when a fellow dietitian can encourage someone to follow their path. Like most of us, she is anti-diet and doesn't just spend her days making meal plans. She encourages intuitive eating and lifestyle/long-term changes. Cassandra reminds us of the behind the scenes work that dietitians do as business owners and has complementary training in the fitness world. She lays out a tasty sounding menu below as well!

Why did you become a RD?

In the year 2010, I was sitting in my Personal Wellness elective class at the University of South Florida (USF) when Cynthia Sass entered. Yes, the Legend! Cynthia introduced herself as a Registered Dietitian and I was already sold. That class changed my life. She was so passionate about nutrition, it was contagious. From there, she helped me map out my path to becoming a dietitian.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I am the owner of the private practice, Nutrition Nibbles Consulting, LLC and the Nutrition Director for ONYX ELITE, which is a brand new performance facility based out of Richmond, VA. I specialize in intuitive eating and long term lifestyle changes. 

How would you explain what you do?

I take nutrition counseling beyond scheduled office visits for non-traditional approaches to nutrition counseling. House calls, movie nights with food-related documentaries, cupboard clean outs, grocery store tours and “walk & talk” appointments are on the menu! I also offer telenutrition services through secure videoconferencing in order to help clients with their food/nutrition related concerns across the nation. Outside of counseling clients, I do all the "behind-the-scenes" tasks, such as updating my website, two blogs and social media platforms. I also serve as a media resource for local publications and television networks as a food/nutrition expert. Finally, I teach kickboxing, pilates and Zumba classes which is more fun than work!

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

On some days I put the saltshaker in the refrigerator, spray pledge on my hair and pour water in my cereal. I wish this was the newest diet craze you haven’t yet heard of. But, it’s not. I’ll admit I have days where I don’t quite have a handle on things. Then I have those days where I’m a boss. Each day is different. Each week. Each month. Nothing is “the norm”, which is FUN! For the most part, I can be found planning and implementing one-on-one counseling sessions and community events. Outside of this, I also work as an independent contractor for one hospital and two assisted living facilities. 

What has been your career path?

I began my dietetics career as a supermarket dietitian for chain of family owned stores in the northeast. From there, I moved to the south to gain experience in the clinical field. From there I took the leap of faith and transitioned into full-time private practice, which has been a beautiful adventure. In early 2017 I will have the amazing opportunity to be the Director of Nutrition for ONYX ELITE: a performance facility which specializes in sports training, fitness programs and nutrition services to non-professionals and professional athletes as well as mid-sized corporations on the east coast. 


What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. I am also an AFAA group fitness instructor and Zumba Instructor.

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

In 5 years, Dietitians will be as sought after as doctors currently are. Food will be prescribed rather than most medicines. Fad Diets will be thrown to the wolves and Americans will fully adopt a diet that is majorly plants and encompasses intuitive eating.

What do people think that you do for a living?

In three words: Make Meal Plans

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I am most passionate about the “anti-diet” way of eating. In simple terms, this is intuitive eating-which is the process of rejecting the diet mentality, making peace with food, coping with your emotions, and loving your body! I encourage fresh, whole foods with practical guidelines that can be followed indefinitely! 


What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? 

We don’t bite (pun intended!). We don’t judge what you’re eating. We eat more than celery and tree bark! Trust me, I’m not focusing on your plate when I’m over here crushing a quesadilla! Also, bananas ARE in fact healthy and I’m still searching for where the banana myth came from.

What is your favourite meal?

Breakfast: a tie between a Greek omelet and pumpkin whole wheat pancakes
Lunch: Ginger sesame marinated tofu & spaghetti squash salad
Dinner: Zucchini pizza boats
Dessert: A tie between white chocolate macadamia nut cookie or a cannoli

More about Cassandra:



Thanks Cassandra! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What RDs Do: Marissa Puleo, RDN

MARISSA PULEO
THRIVE NUTRITION
COUNSELING & CLINICAL DIETITIAN
for something nutrishus

 

I definitely share some similar nutrition perspectives with Marissa. She talks about rediscovering the joy in eating as well as finding the balance between healthy and happy (words I often use too!). Like many dietitians we've seen in the series, she is also involved in a wide variety of roles. She works in the challenging area of rehab and eating disorders, and thus definitely deals with diet misconceptions on a regular basis. She's another dietitian I would love to sit down to a meal with, we do love food after all!

Why did you become a RD? 

Growing up, some of my favorite memories are from being in the kitchen. I grew up in a family where food was a big deal! I’m 100% Italian so cooking wholesome meals from scratch was something that was very common. As I grew up, I noticed how differently others viewed wholesome meals and how often they were avoided. There were diet foods, fat free foods, and 100-calorie packs all around me. I dabbled with these items and found they simply were not as nourishing as eating ‘real’ food. My natural interest in food and health lead me to a career as a registered dietitian. My passion now is to help people enjoy food again and work towards a positive food relationship.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

My primary population is people with eating disorders and constant dieters. I promote intuitive and mindful eating to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

How would you explain what you do? 

My hands are currently in lots of pots! I started my own private practice, Thrive Nutrition located in Scranton, PA where I work with clients to reach personalized goals. In addition, I also provide nutrition counseling at Marworth Treatment Center to help addicted individuals recover from substance abuse and Marywood University to help students live healthier lifestyles while living at college. In addition, I am a part-time clinical dietitian at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. I know, busy, busy!

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

When working for my own business, I am either working directly with clients creating goals and steps to achieve these goals. Behind the scenes, I do a lot of work to communicate with the community by writing blog posts, sharing recipes, and doing presentations for different companies. I currently do all my scheduling and billing, so even when I’m not in the office, I’m working on something.

When at other sites, I also provide nutrition counseling for individuals, but also work with more small groups. I lead a nutrition process group to discuss the importance of nutrition in recovery when at Marworth and also provide a monthly presentation on Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning.


What has been your career path? 

I received my B.S. from West Chester University of PA and I completed my dietetic internship at Marywood University. When I first passed my RD exam, I became a part-time clinical dietitian at Regional Hospital of Scranton and part-time long-term care dietitian at Mercy Center in Dallas, PA. It was not long before I was laid off at the hospital and I decided to take the plunge at that time and start my own business. I have since focused on growing my career as a private practice and consultant RD by providing nutrition counseling.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I am planning to attend the Annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference for professionals to gain more perspective on helping those with eating disorders. I have attended several local seminars and trainings to remain current in the ever changing world of nutrition!

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now? 

Ideally, I think it would be amazing if there were more eating disorder dietitians. It’s such a growing concern for many as cases rise and where to turn for help is commonly a struggle. Food wise, I hope that more people can understand that calories are not always the enemy and to focus more attention on ingredient labels.

What do people think that you do for a living? 

I think people think I’m the food police and just tell people what to eat and avoid all day. PSA: This could not be more inaccurate and makes for a great opportunity to share what I really do!

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

I am mostly passionate about helping people understand they don’t need to diet to be healthy. My focus is to help people to trust their bodies and eat foods that are nourishing for the mind and body.

What is your favourite meal? 

I could go for pasta, penne to be exact, with meatballs and homemade sauce anytime ;)

More about Marissa:

Phone: 570-731-3200
Email : thrivenutriitoncounseling@gmail.com
Instagram : @thrivenutritioncounseling
Facebook: Thrive Nutrition
Website: Thrive Nutrition


Thanks Marissa! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What RDs Do: Nadine Fahdi Khoury MHSc RD

NADINE FAHDI KHOURY
PRIVATE OUTPATIENT CARE
CLINIC MANAGER, NUTRITION SERVICES
for something nutrishus



Nadine makes mention of the need for strong branding for Canadian dietitians, and I'm happy to be a part of the leadership team working on that with Dietitians of Canada! Through her role, Nadine helps to advocate for dietitians, which is always great to see in the profession. She also brings up the importance of our relationship with food, which I love.

Why did you become a RD? 

I chose the dietetics field because of my passion for health and cooking. I had a strong science background and always enjoyed helping others. I never knew how stimulating and perfect the role was for my personality and skills until I grew into the profession.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

I work in a private outpatient health and wellness company and my areas of dietetic practice include managing a team of RDs, advocating for the profession through support for RD services, ongoing training and education, development of nutrition products and services and client counseling and coaching.

How would you explain what you do? 

I am now clinic manager, nutrition services in a private health and wellness company. I also provide one on one outpatient nutrition counseling and coaching to individuals and families within a multitude of health concerns namely metabolic syndrome, digestive conditions, child and youth nutrition and sports nutrition.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

I ensure RD coverage is available and suitable for clinic needs by updating schedules and communicating with RDs and clinic teams, I communicate resources that may be helpful for the RD team and clinic multidisciplinary team, I attend leadership meetings to develop strategic positioning for nutrition products, I counsel clients and families on an ongoing basis to help them reach their health goals using evidence and practice based guidelines and recommendations, I ensure team performance metrics and indicators are in line with RD capacity and business objectives.

What has been your career path? 

I started my career as a dietitian in a juvenile diabetes summer camp and then went into private practice, long term and chronic care. From there, I provided coverage in various hospital units namely renal, burns, medicine, mental health and acute care. Following completion of my Master’s, I chose to switch back to private outpatient care where I now manage a team of 12 RDs within a multidisciplinary wellness company.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I completed a Master’s in Nutrition Communications at Ryerson University following 10 years of practice in dietetics. This program helped shape my interest in advocating for the profession, develop partnerships with a multitude of profession related stakeholders and fine tune communication skills targeting different audiences using different media. Through experience in my role as clinic manager nutrition services at Medcan clinic, I learned how to choose the right staff, advocate for RD services and develop thriving nutrition programs. I have certificates in behaviour modification and digestive health strategies and am working on an integrative and functional nutrition certificate.

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?

The industry will have some struggles to position itself as the leader in nutrition knowledge provision for the next few years due to a multitude of overlap between other professions. I think RDs need to distinguish themselves not only as evidence-based practitioners but also as credible and flexible health and nutrition providers which will have to include lifestyle and fitness coaching, recipe development, meal planning and cooking skills. I foresee the creation of a governing body that will facilitate specializations within chosen fields of practice beyond hospital specialties. I also think that in 5 years RD services will be covered by provincial health insurance plans or at least by most private health insurance plans (wishful thinking…)

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

Many confuse RDs with nutritionists and many think RDs only work with people for weight loss or only use Canada’s food guide or support the dairy farmers because of the financial support they provide etc. We need a strong marketing and branding campaign to clear many confusions related to misconceived perceptions.

What would you like people to know about RDs? 

Just like any profession, there are different types of RDs. I think it's important for clients to do their due diligence when looking for an RD to support their health goals. I would like people to avoid generalizing when judging RDs services. Some fits will be better than others.

What is your favourite meal? 

My favourite meal is one that I’ve had time to create myself with local, fresh ingredients while listening to jazz music and sipping a glass of Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.

What tip(s) would you give to our readers? 

A relationship with food is a lifelong journey without the option of separation or divorce. Reach out to a professional that you connect with to help you develop a pleasure for nourishing your body and soul with healthy fare.

More about Nadine:



Thanks Nadine! Find out more about What RDsDo.

If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email me for the details!