for something nutrishus
Having worked in BC and Alberta, Robin recently moved back to BC and as an entrepreneur is of course always looking for new opportunities. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at the Dietitians of Canada conference in Winnipeg this year. I agree with Robin that our environment needs to be a focus is we're going to successfully change behaviours and support healthy habits. We're lucky this research-minded dietitian turned her back on microbiology and she's another interviewee that loves breakfast!
Why did you become a RD?
I was always interested in health and nutrition, what drew me to dietetics was my passion for learning and understanding how we can prevent disease. Genetics does play a role in our health, but it’s what we do, how we live, and our psychological health that can be the “trigger” that prevents, delays, or promotes disease.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I’m the founder of RADNUT, an online company offering support services for those struggling with allergies, weight management, diabetes, digestive and heart health issues. I also create recipes, enjoy food photography, write for Yahoo Canada and other companies, speak at health fairs and conferences, and I love developing specific, interactive, thought-provoking group nutrition workshops.
How would you explain what you do?
Hectic, exciting, challenging, nerve-wracking, messy, creative, and so much fun!
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
I’m often busy developing recipes and writing evidence based articles for RADNUT. I also contract services to write or develop recipes for other blogs or online platforms. Recently I moved back to beautiful British Columbia, and am in the process of developing unique RADNUT client services, so stay tuned because exciting things are coming!
What has been your career path?
In my younger years I thought I wanted to be a researcher and completed a degree in microbiology. After I realized that I didn’t want to be a microbiologist and was passionate about preventing disease through nutrition, so I fled to the Dietetics program at UBC.
When I became a dietitian, I first worked with a remarkable team at the BC Cancer Agency to support patients through their cancer treatment. Our team was also involved in exciting ongoing research looking into how nutrition can support cancer patients. I also enjoyed my time as an inpatient dietitian, especially when I covered the surgical wards. I’ll never forget my glossectomy and colectomy patients. To have parts of your body removed and then slowly regain normal function is an amazing progression to be part of!
Recently I worked with the Edmonton Southside Primary care network where I launched in-clinic diabetes and healthy eating workshops and also supported patients in managing heart disease, allergies, diabetes, gastrointestinal, weight issues and anything else you could think of!
Additionally, I’m the founder of RADNUT, and now I’m back in Vancouver, B.C. Life is an exciting whirlwind sometimes!
I have a degree in microbiology, which makes a lot of my practice heavily based in research. I’ve also attended allergy training workshops and have been lucky enough to work and train with some of the most highly respected and experienced oncology nutrition, weight management, and outpatient dietitians!
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
No more fad diets, self-love and acceptance, focusing on what benefits our bodies in the long-term. How about magical funding for nutrition research? Tighter restrictions on food advertising, maybe even promoting advertising for healthy food, and creating environments where healthy choices are the easy and normal choice!
What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?
RDs have been through a rigorous 4-5 year program involving a minimum of 1 year of internship (more about Internship Routes in Canada). We understand how the human body functions and changes over the lifespan. We do not encourage fad diets or unsustainable methods to get where you want to be. We’re realistic, share the evidence-based truth, and will support you on your journey for the long-run.
What is your favourite meal?
Breakfast! Specifically heuvos rancheros! I love beans because that’s all my vegetarian mother fed us, along with home-made salsa, eggs, and cheese...I’m already drooling!
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
If something feels off, wrong, or too difficult and extreme, listen to that feeling. Build a connection with your body to understand what nourishment it needs instead of ignoring it and following an over-restricted diet that makes you 'hangry' and miserable! Work with your healthcare team and family to figure out what is do-able, sustainable, and what makes you healthy and happy for life.