Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ending the Year With a List

There are all kinds of lists this time of year (best ____ of 2015, etc.). I thought it might be helpful to share a few recipes that I enjoyed making this year. I don't always use recipes, and we often enjoy things like smoothies (or smoothie bowls), salads (or as some people call then 'nourish bowls' or 'power bowls', etc.), stir-fries, soup, pasta, or a taco/burrito type of meal. These are ones that I found, I created, or someone recommended to me; either way, they are ones that I either have or will continue to make again. You can see more of what I'm cooking up on my instagram feed or Pinterest boards. Some are more of a treat and others could be staples in your repertoire.

Indian Spiced Oats with Coconut Milk
via @budget_bytes

Popeye Muffins (Banana Spinach Muffins)
via @TheGreenForks

Easy Tom Yum Gai
via @aboutdotcom
*we sometimes add vermicelli noodles

Freezer Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
via @LeanGrnBeanBlog

Asparagus Tart
via @tidymom

Tortilla Egg Cups
via @NutrishusRD (me!)

Beefed Up Hamburger Soup
via @NutrishusRD (me)

Kale, Barley, & Feta Salad
via @SweetPeasSaff

Bruschetta Salad
via @NutrishusRD (me)

via @AltonBrown

Jiggy Jiggy Greens
via @jamieoliver

Overnight Chia Oats
*I'm not actually sure where I got/adapted the recipe from, but here it is:

1 ripe banana, mashed
2 Tbsp chia seed
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla

Combine, cover, and refrigerate over night. Enjoy! Serves 2, feel free to add yogurt, fruit, nuts, etc. in the morning as well.

Happy cooking and Happy New Year!

Steph Langdon, RD

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What RDs Do: Sarah Remmer, RD, CDE

for something nutrishus

Sarah was a dietitian I reached out to when I was considering starting a private practice right after university. She is a busy mom of three and successful entrepreneur that has carved out a niche for herself.

Why did you become a RD?

I became an RD because I was passionate about food and health and extremely interested in nutritional science. When I learned that I could become a Dietitian—someone who counsels people on how to eat better, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I always knew that I would be in private practice--I wanted to listen to people who had the desire to change their lifestyle, and counsel them based on their personal needs.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Pre- and post-natal nutrition, pediatric nutrition, and picky eating.

How would you explain what you do?

I work with expectant moms, new Moms and families to help establish healthy eating habits from day one. My passion is helping parents navigate “the trenches” of feeding (starting solids, feeding your toddler/preschooler, picky eating, mealtime battles etc.). Although I counsel parents one-on-one both in person and virtually, the majority of the work that I do is media-related (blogging and freelance writing) and online education (e-courses). I’m the nutrition blogger for the Canadian award-winning parenting blog “Erica Ehm’s Yummy Mummy Club”, I contribute to my own blog regularly, I’m a regular contributor for Alberta Milk’s More About Milk blog and I do freelance writing for parenting publications such as Today’s Parent Magazine. I also consult for the food industry (brands that I believe in and use myself) and work with local business’s such as the Children’s Cottage (crisis nurseries) and daycares to provide nutrition education and menu planning services.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Right now, I’m just trying to keep up with blogging as I have a 6 week old at home (as well as my two other kids), but typically I work 3 days a week and would see one client max, write a blog post or two, do some consulting work such as menu planning, work on an upcoming e-course and spend time networking on social media.

What has been your career path?

I have always worked in private practice to some degree, but have also worked in the hospital, in gyms and in private clinics. When I had my first baby, I decided to focus exclusively on baby and kids’ nutrition (specifically educating parents on how to best feed their families and nurture a healthy relationship with food) as well as disordered eating patterns in the teenage years and adulthood (and how to prevent these behaviours from an early age). I discovered blogging and have slowly transitioned from in-person counselling to educating a wider audience through the creation of online resources, writing and blogging for parents of babies and young kids.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I was a Certified Diabetes Educator for five years prior to deciding to focus on pediatric nutrition, I have a very keen interest in intuitive and mindful eating as well as Eating Disorders and have trained under and worked with many Psychologists, Doctors and Dietitians who specialize in the area, as well as performed hours of my own research on the subject (and have years of my own counselling experience in Eating Disorders).

I have done specialized media training (TV, and radio) and more recently (the past 5 years) have been to several blogging/writing conferences where I’ve trained and learned how to be a better writer.

I have also spent hundreds of hours learning and reading about kids’ nutrition and picky eating and working closely with experts in the area. I’m also excited to become certified as an SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Feeding Expert in the Spring of 2016 so that I can better educate parents and caregivers on how to healthfully feed kids with feeding difficulties.

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

I’m hoping that RDs continue to be recognized as the leading experts in nutrition and food and that we become better recognized (and compensated for) for the amazing work that we do.

More about Sarah:

Twitter: @sarahremmer
Facebook: Sarah Remmer, RD

Thanks Sarah! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

What RDs Do: Julia Besner, RD

for something nutrishus

Julia grew up in East Germany and has many food memories from her past. Like many of us, she didn't know what a dietitian did when she started university. I'm still amazed at all the different career paths we have available to us (hence this series!). Julia has worked from coast to coast in Canada and sees food as nourishing both our body and soul. Her work involves a lot of collaboration and advocacy and I can tell that she is caring and passionate about her career and clients.

Why did you become an RD?

I came to Canada to study so when I was picking a university and a field to study, it was important that I would chose a degree that would yield a job. I definitely always wanted to take sciences and choosing an applied science seemed the smartest step at the time. Even though I always had a great interest in nutrition and cooking due to being involved in sports, I definitely did not really know what an RD does when I started university. I am extremely grateful that I became very passionate about the profession and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I mainly work in Long Term Care (LTC) and Food Service Management in a Nursing home in Saint John, NB (New Brunswick). I also have my own consulting business on the side.

How would you explain what you do?

In LTC, our main focus is enhancing the quality of life of the residents. You constantly have to find that fine line between what is best nutritionally for the clients and what is truly best for the clients in terms of their quality of life. Often your most important job is to advocate for the clients and their wishes.

What are your typical daily/weekly tasks?

From a food service perspective, I am responsible for forecasting all of the meals on a weekly basis, and overlooking the food service operation in the nursing home. I collaborate with the chef and the kitchen regularly to ensure the quality of the food is satisfactory to our clients.

On the clinical side, I meet with all clients and their families upon admission to assess their nutritional status, likes and dislikes etc., and follow up with the them on an ongoing basis or whenever the need arises. I prepare individualized menus when necessary. I work closely with the other disciplines and clients’ families to ensure our clients’s clinical and personal needs are met. I am passionate about eating with dignity, and provide continuing education to staff. Advocating for my clients is very important to me, because food is comfort, food is memories and food is social.

What has been your career path?

I completed my university degree and graduate internship in Halifax. After graduation, I moved across the country to work as a sole Dietitian in a small town in BC. It was the best job a newly graduated Dietitian could have had. I learned so much in my first year as an RD due to the diversity of the job.

I then moved back to the Maritimes and worked in long term mental health for 3 years with clinical and food service management. From there, I took a job with a Nursing home and have worked there ever since. I recently started my own private practice to expand my skills in other areas.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I am a lifelong learner and enjoy continuing my education. I frequently just read up on research pertaining to my field of practice. I enjoy podcasts and the online education on the DC website. Following the Dietitian Support Group on Facebook is very interesting, You can learn so much about all the different areas RD practice in. I have advanced my education in dysphagia management which has been most valuable in LTC.

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

Ideally, Dietitians will be the most trusted resources for nutrition information, and we will be integral parts of health care and disease prevention in every province of this country. There is so much potential for our profession, and I think we don’t even realize yet how much influence we could have.

What do people think you do for a living?

Sadly, the majority of people think I put people on diets and make meal plans that contain only ‘rabbit food’.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

To add to the previous question; having this misperception of what we do also comes with the assumptions that RDs also only eat vegetables and salads. Of course I am being a little sarcastic here, but what could be more annoying than enjoying a meal somewhere and someone comes up to you and says “ I can’t believe you are eating this. I thought Dietitians only eat vegetables”? We are human after all, and I think that goes for our practice too. We are humans helping other humans to live healthier lives. We mostly understand all the struggles our clients have as well, and I think that makes us great RDs.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I am truly passionate about food; what it can do to our bodies and souls in a positive way. I truly think that in a world of processed foods, people have lost their connection with food, how to use it and even how to taste and enjoy it, let alone how food can nourish us in so many ways. I love food and cooking with it. I love watching my family eat and the memories we make around food and special occasions. As mentioned before I use my passion around eating with dignity in my job. LTC is the last step for almost every one of my clients. They have a life full of experiences and memories; a lot of them around food, so helping them bring back some of their memories and enjoying the last moments with personally acceptable foods brings me a lot of fulfillment in a setting where death is around us daily.

What is your favourite meal?

This is actually a difficult question. When I think of favourite meals, special occasions come to mind that I got to spend with family. I love enjoying meals with a big crowd. Often the best company makes the food most delicious. My mother used to make pizza for Christmas. I still have the greatest memories of enjoying this homemade pizza with my entire family. I grew up in a country without fast food and especially in the winter time the food choices were sparse, so enjoying a pizza at Christmas was the best thing a kid could enjoy. All my favourite meals are attached to memories from my childhood.

More about Julia:

Twitter: @FundyNutrition 
Facebook: Fundy Nutrition Consulting

Thanks Julia! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What RDs Do: Sue Mah, RD, MHSc

for something nutrishus

Today we have a well-known, familiar media dietitian. Toronto's Sue Mah says nutrition and health has always been a part of her life and with her communication skills she now helps train others through workshops. Sue has 3 businesses and 2 business partners; she definitely doesn't sound bored as a consulting dietitian! As we've seen in other interviews, Sue is also a dietitian that enjoys dessert.

Why did you become a RD?

My paternal grandfather was the first medical acupuncturist in Toronto and my dad is a chef. So I grew up eating wholesome food with a focus on health and wellness. As a competitive runner in my school years and then a certified fitness instructor during university and beyond, I knew first hand the importance of healthy eating and sports nutrition. I became a RD to help educate, empower and inspire others to eat well and enjoy eating delicious, nutritious food.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I like to call myself a nutrition entrepreneur! I have founded/co-founded three nutrition businesses in Canada:

- Nutrition Solutions Inc. – is my own consulting business which I started almost 20 years ago. I focus on nutrition communications, nutrition strategy, product innovation and media spokesperson work.

- Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists – was created in 2007 with my business partner Lucia Weiler, RD to advance the nutrition knowledge of food and beverage professionals.

- Media Training Boot Camp – was created in 2015 with my other business partner Gina Sunderland, RD so that we could share our media expertise with dietitians and other health professionals looking to build their media skills.

How would you explain what you do?

As President of Nutrition Solutions Inc., I write nutrition education articles and develop nutrition resources for consumer and health professionals. Media is a large part of my work. I was the nutrition editor for The Health Journal magazine as well as the dietitian columnist for Best Health magazine, and am the in-house dietitian for CBC News Network in Toronto. I’ve been featured across Canada in hundreds of media and social media features, including TV shows, Twitter parties and a dozen TV commercials. Some of my other interesting projects include speaking at conferences/events, creating media pitches, writing blogs and participating in creative nutrition education campaigns.

With Nutrition for NON-NutritionistsTM, dietitian Lucia Weiler and I train professionals across Canada including chefs, PR professionals, sales reps, marketing teams, advertising agencies, food service staff and sales reps. Our interactive workshops and courses have been proven to improve the nutrition knowledge of our participants on both a personal and professional level.

To help build a stronger voice for the dietetic profession, dietitian Gina Sunderland and I offer Media Training Boot Camp workshops and webinars. We share our real live experiences and secrets of success. It’s rewarding to see how much confidence dietitians gain after taking our workshops.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

A typical week usually involves a few writing assignment deadlines as well as communications with clients. I spend quite a bit of time on professional development by attending nutrition events, participating in webinars, and reading the daily nutrition headlines/research. I love to blog and tweet about the latest nutrition trends and news from recent events.

What has been your career path?

I studied Nutrition and Food Sciences as my undergraduate degree, followed by a Master of Health Science in Community Nutrition, both at the University of Toronto. My first job was as a Public Health Nutritionist for the Region of Peel Health Department. After four years into the job, I was feeling a bit bored and at that time started my nutrition business part-time as a freelance writer/consultant and media dietitian. A couple of years after that, I quit the day job and devoted my time to my own consulting business. So far, I’ve built three nutrition businesses/brands, and it’s been a wonderful journey!

What advanced education or special training do you have?

The Master of Health Science degree encouraged me to think critically about various issues and research. In my role as a Public Health Nutritionist, I realized that I loved to write and train others. I was also an internationally certified fitness instructor for 13 years, which further strengthened my communication skills. Being my own boss made allowed me the flexibility to choose the projects that fit my timelines and philosophy. When you’re passionate about what you do, it’s fun, not work!

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

I’m thrilled to see more dietitians in the media today compared to 5 or 10 years ago. This only helps to strengthen the visibility of dietitians as the food and nutrition experts. In the next 5 years, we’ll see more dietitians creating their own nutrition videos and shows. Some of this is already happening and it’s fantastic!

I envision more dietitians working collaboratively on multi-interdisciplinary teams. There will be a growing interest in integrative nutrition, nutrigenomics, sports nutrition, and food for positive mental health. Dietitians will be teaching/training other health care professionals.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

Dietitians work in diverse settings – hospitals, individual counselling, grocery stores, media, food sector, product research and development, marketing, educational institutions, administration, public/population health, research and policy. Our common goal though is to help Canadians enjoy wholesome food to prevent illness, manage health-related conditions and lead healthy, active lives.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

At my husband’s corporate dinner parties, people think I’m judging what they’re eating. I’m not judging anyone! In fact, I’m the first person to ask for dessert!

What is your favourite meal?

Since childhood, my favourite meal has been my chef Dad’s homemade soy sauce chicken wings!

More about Sue:

Website: Nutrition Solutions Inc.
Website: Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists
Website: Media Training Boot Camp
Twitter: @SueMahRD
Facebook: Sue Mah, Nutrition Solutions Inc.
LinkedIn: Sue Mah

Thanks Sue! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Reverse Bucket List

I discovered this concept awhile ago on Pinterest and thought it was worth checking out. I looked at a few blogs and it is pretty much what I thought it would be - not a list of aspirations or things to do, but a list of things you've already done. I did also find some people making lists of things they never want to do.

Since 2015 is drawing to a close and I focused on gratitude in October, I thought this would be a good exercise for myself. I was also reminded of the quote that I have next to my bed (see below) and a recent comment, "it's not the pursuit of happiness, but the creation of happiness".

This isn't meant to be a brag list, but a reminder to myself of the amazing life I've already had. Some things are big and some are small, but they're what came to mind when I created this (they're in no particular order) and they may help you to know me a little bit more. 

We tend to have high expectations for ourselves, yet if you're like me, you forget that you're already pretty great. This fits well with my own insecurities and need for accomplishment (because this is a 'to-do' list that's already done!). Read my list, think what you think, and then perhaps create your own reverse bucket list (nothing is insignificant), before you start making goals for 2016. I decided to aim for 50 as that's what I saw other people doing. 

Reverse Bucket List

1. Have a child/become a mother
2. Receive a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, with distinction 
3. Get married
4. Start a business 
5. Jump out of a plane
6. Backpack around Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama
7. Play pro volleyball in Finland
8. See the Pope's Christmas address live in the Vatican
9. See a NBA game live
10. Ski in the mountains in Canada and the USA
11. Play volleyball for my country
12. Get paid to play sports
13. Eat sushi in Japan
14. Walk through Red Square
15. Go up the Eiffel Tower
16. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
17. Visit the west and east coast of Canada
18. Ride an elephant
19. Own property
20. Go on a Napa/Sonoma wine tour
21. Try surfing
22. Shoot an AK47 and a glock
23. Dip into a lake in the middle of winter
24. Play 5 years for my university volleyball team
25. Swim with dolphins
26. Be debt free
27. Travel to Southeast Asia
28. Butcher a pig
29. Make creme brulee
30. Work a retail job
31. Learn to enjoy running
32. Learn to like wine
33. Rescue a dog
34. Learn to enjoy coffee
35. Inspire others
36. Fly first class
37. Go to an all-inclusive
38. Go across the Golden Gate Bridge
39. Walk through Central Park
40. See a live performance of The Nutcracker Ballet
41. Take a cooking class
42. Fall in love
43. Get a tattoo
44. Witness a Blood Moon
45. Smoke a cigar
46. Learn origami
47. Eat pizza in Italy
48. Learn to play the oboe
49. Be a bridesmaid
50. Receive an art award

...and on and on. 

Be grateful this holiday season,

Steph Langdon, RD

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

What RDs Do: Jennifer House, RD, MSc

for something nutrishus

Today we have Calgary-based dietitian Jennifer. She is a self-employed mom (something I'm still figuring out) and has done some unique things in her practice such as e-courses and co-authoring cookbooks. Like other dietitians, she's a life long learner and has chosen to focus on moms-to-be, moms, and baby nutrition.

Why did you become a RD?

I’ve always been interested in food and cooking. My mom didn’t keep a lot of processed food in the house and I eventually grew to appreciate that! I went right into dietetics from high school, and knew that nutrition would always be practical knowledge to have for me and my family, at every stage.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I have a private practice called First Step Nutrition, specializing in new moms, moms-to-be & their babies.

How would you explain what you do?

I help families to nourish their growing families with confidence. Common concerns include pregnancy weight gain, postpartum weight loss, meal planning, starting solids, allergies and picky eaters. I offer e-courses, individual consults, meal plans and grocery tours, and will speak to groups.

On more of the industry side, I also do some menu plan creation for daycares. I analyze recipes for the nutrition facts table for Baby Gourmet foods as well as providing them with blogs.

I’ve co-authored two cookbooks, one with Wean Green and a new book from Baby Gourmet. In both cases they have created the recipes and I’ve reviewed them and provided the nutrition text.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

A large part of private practice includes booking clients, invoicing, website maintenance, blogging, emailing newsletters and posting on social media.

On a typical work day, I might write a blog, see a client and go speak to a mom’s group about starting solids.

What has been your career path?

After graduating, I worked for just a few months casual in a rural hospital before heading back to school for a MSc in Human Nutrition. I enjoy being a student! After that, I worked casual at the Calgary Children’s Hospital and for Healthy Babies, working on projects such as the folic acid project and Health Weight Gain. After having my first son in 2007, I decided I wanted a flexible schedule and was able to transfer my past work experience to start First Step Nutrition.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a thesis-based MSc from UBC. I also love taking any course targeted at dietitians, such as Stephanie Clairmont’s cooking classes and DC (Dietitians of Canada) Learning on Demand classes. I’m currently taking online courses on developing e-courses (ironic, I know!), and sales pages. I also take lots of social media and small business training, for managing my business (as our university training did not cover this)!

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

I would love to see dietitians seen more positively in the public eye. This requires dietitians sticking to our code of ethics, and not promoting or accepting funds from companies such as Coke and Nestle.

It’s great to see more dietitians in the media and getting the word out about evidence-based nutrition. I hope this continues!

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

I am not judging you for eating cake, unless you would like to pay me to do so :) In fact, I’m eating the cake myself!

What would you like people to know about RDs?

We have at least 5 years of university-level education. We definitely learn more than the food guide in our training, and many of us don’t even promote the food guide.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Mis-information about what a dietitian is, and what a nutritionist is. Lack of trust in evidence-based information. Many people choose to believe everything they read (which is scary these days!).

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I’m passionate about getting babies off on the right foot with breastfeeding, starting solids at the right time with good foods, and establishing a healthy feeding relationship. This will affect the child for their whole life!

More about Jennifer:

Facebook: First Step Nutrition
Twitter: @firststepnut

Thanks Jennifer! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Offline - On Purpose & By Accident

We went away for a quick family holiday mid-November. Since we left the country, I turned my phone roaming off and didn't use it for about 5 days. I was disappointed with myself that it felt 'weird' to not be checking my emails, texts, facebook, instagram, etc. Shouldn't it feel normal to not check your phone and be online?!

I have mentioned a few times that I feel it's good to unplug, to live the life in front of us. I make a conscious effort to be present and with my daughter while she's awake. I do admit though, sometimes I fall down the rabbit hole and am checking statuses, likes, updates, etc. Sometimes it's work related, sometimes it's personal, sometimes it's just out of habit.

Being away for a mere 5 days brought forth this revelation and realization as to how much time I must actually spend (waste) on-line/plugged-in. I was reminded of an image I saw recently:

This also made me think about habits. Often we're trying to start new habits or break old ones; often it's a choice. I felt like this was a habit change that was forced on me, for a positive reason. Once we returned home and I had my phone again, I tried to be on it less. I blogged less, I checked emails less, I posted on instagram less. Then I accidentally killed my phone (water damage beyond repair), so I was without a phone for another few days (while I tried to revive it). So here again, the world was showing me how much time I spend on my phone.

I now have a new, fully functioning phone, but I still want to live my real life, not my on-line one. I may not become internet famous, I may not have the most followers, but that's okay, I don't think I'd be a good celebrity anyway. I've also read accounts from people that became obsessed with social media, people that spend hours staging a photo to look like they just snapped it in a few seconds, and I know many successful/happy people that don't even attempt to keep up with the social media trends. This falls into my love of mindfulness (consciously using my phone less, consciously being present), minimalism (less use) and moderation (less use).

I still have a long way to go to be the best version of myself, but I do believe that unplugging more often is part of it. I am competitive, I expect a lot from myself, and I am a perfectionist, so I struggle to not compare myself to others online, even though it's just an image of their life, left open to my interpretation. Take this as you will, but the life I live beyond this screen is a pretty great one, whether you think that or not :)

I hope you find time to be with family and friends as the year draws to a close.
Steph Langdon, RD