Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What RDs Do: Cara Rosenbloom, RD

CARA ROSENBLOOM
WORDS TO EAT BY
for something nutrishus


I met Cara at a Dietitians of Canada conference, at which I also picked up a copy of her cookbook, Nourish. Hers is a name I have seen attached to numerous articles, and now I know why. Part of the reason for this series is to showcase our diversity and Cara's background in literature does just that. She has created a unique and valuable business out of her passions and expertise.

Why did you become a RD? 

My first university degree was in literature and I studied journalism. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about! I had a personal interest in food and nutrition, so I took one undergrad course in nutrition at Brescia to satisfy my “science” requirement in my “liberal arts” degree…and I was hooked. Nutrition was fascinating! After I finished the literature degree at Western, I applied to Ryerson to study food & nutrition full-time. I knew somehow I’d fuse writing and nutrition. I became a dietitian so I could write about nutrition as trusted source with true expertise.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

I run a nutrition communications company called Words to Eat By. I wear many hats under the umbrella of “communications and nutrition education.” I’m a journalist, blogger, recipe developer, professional speaker, cookbook author and content creator.

How would you explain what you do? 

I watch nutrition and food trends and follow the science, then I consolidate the most important nutrition information into articles, lectures, recipes, soundbites and blogs that the public can understand. My goal is to translate the complex world of nutrition into clear, concise and useful information for consumers. I’m a trend spotter, myth buster and reporter. I try to inspire people to eat better, even if it’s just through one small change.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

I work from a home office and spend most of my time developing content. I am a freelance writer/blogger with the Washington Post, Today’s Parent, Huffington Post, Heart and Stroke Foundation and others, so I’m always writing something! When I’m not at my desk, I’m in the kitchen creating new recipes or teaching cooking classes. I’m also working on my second book.

What has been your career path? 

During my internship, I spent a few months at Canadian Living magazine, and I knew writing was my passion. I worked in corporate marketing roles for seven years to hone my communication skills, then started Words to Eat By in 2007 when I was on maternity leave with my daughter. One of my first clients was Canadian Living, and I freelanced for them for six years. Words to Eat By now has a diverse client list and something new happens every day. I love it!

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I have a degree in literature and have taken university courses in journalism, freelance writing and public relations.

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

It’s a very meaningful time to be a dietitian. So many of today’s hot button issues touch on food – from climate change to chronic disease to sustainability to childhood obesity. Dietitians can be part of the solution for so many current issues. It’s important for dietitians to pick something they are passionate about and help change the world for the better. Every day. Every month. Every year. Five years from now, we’ll have made some inroads! With effort, dietitians can be seen as trusted leaders in the nutrition world, and the go-to source for reliable and accurate information about food.

What do people think that you do for a living? 

My six year old son just drew a picture of me for a school project about careers. I was sitting at my computer with a frying pan and spoon in my hand. He was pretty close!

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

I recently attended a wonderful lecture by author, activist and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. His words of wisdom resonated with me and are worth sharing: “It’s important to work on many different things because you don’t know where your successes will be. If you fight enough battles, you will win some of them!”

More about Cara:

Website: Words to Eat By
Twitter: @CaraRosenbloom
Instagram: wordstoeatby
Facebook: wordstoeatby




Thanks Cara! Find out more about What RDs Do.

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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What RDs Do: Sabrina Bovee, RD

SABRINA BOVEE
CARE HOME MANAGER 
& SENIOR ADVOCATE
for something nutrishus


I know Sabrina from my undergrad years, although we haven't stayed in touch; earlier this year she appeared in the post Where are they now - a special feature on my dietetics classmates. I've been aware of her passion for aging with dignity and elegance and am always happy to share non-traditional roles. I'm sure you'll see her dedication shine through her responses. 

Why did you become a RD?

I grew up with European immigrant parents who highly valued nutritious foods. Although I had sometimes wished my parents would send me with the wonder bread and cheese whiz and fruit roll-ups that my class-mates had, instead I was sent with rye bread and European deli meat sandwiches with fresh fruit. I can now appreciate how it instilled a love for good tasting healthy food.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I am currently working as a manager of a 15 resident (and 1 respite bed) long-term care (LTC) home. So, I am in a non-traditional dietitian role. However, I am able to lead our 8 department team in excellent dining enhancement initiatives and potentially help flag resident nutrition concerns sooner than the monthly or every other month visit by the consulting clinical dietitian. I accepted this role with the desire to work towards improved life for seniors, and from a nutrition perspective, I want to prevent malnutrition and improve the food culture for our residents and communities. I found that with the regular nutrition assessments there were, at times, barriers to follow-through, or that when residents presented with what seemed like a lack of appetite solely based on a bad dining experience I could not change that with my recommendations. I thought that if the root cause was a poor life environment (unfriendly staff, lack-luster dining room etc.) no care-plan that I would create would really get down to the root cause of the problem. I was also not the one in charge of the “b” word- budget.

I began this new role a year ago, and since that time, one exciting initiative that we have started is a hydroponic indoor garden. Saskatchewan has a short gardening season so we have been fortunate to receive a donation of a 5 foot tall indoor garden unit that we will utilize to grow greens, herbs, strawberries and any other produce or plants that our residents feel like growing. We are able to allow our residents to give back (personal growth) via the nurturing and caring of these plants, as well as we are fostering partnerships with the school students who will be able to bring their science students over to learn about pollination (remember- there are no bees to do this for us in the care-home). Additionally, we will have a better variety of options for our menu, potentially the ability to sell produce to our staff and community and to raise money for the resident council. Lastly, we will be potentially reducing our food costs so that we can help to balance our over-all budgets and create a long-term sustainable health care system.

How would you explain what you do? What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I am a part-time manager and I manage 8 departments: laundry, housekeeping, food and nutrition staff (cooks), nurses, care-aids, recreation and maintenance. With approximately 50 staff in my portfolio, human resources- recruiting and retaining staff along with labor relation concerns and ministry mandated projects including safe transfers, hand hygiene, etc. take up the bulk of my time (and more!)

However, I have carved out time to work on building an engaged team and a vision for our community health center. I believe that only when staff feel valued, cared-for will they be able to work towards greater improvements for the residents. We have had organizational and learning events and I have taken a baseline survey, a few months into my position, to measure improvements in morale, support from myself team work. We are seeing significant improvements and measurements such as an 8/10 for happiness by most respondents, show our readiness to move into other important areas of change. Beyond the staff, and the most important area is creating a person-centered care-home. Since I began, we have been dedicated to regular resident council meetings. Residents and their families meet to discuss and plan on all areas related the care-home. Menu and food choices are often at the fore-front. Recently, we have changed the “cooks choice” on the menu to “resident choice” and we have gathered a variety of menu ideas to further our personalized menu to meet our dynamic resident needs.

What has been your career path?

I started my career in community dietetics- with a focus on diabetes management and weight management. Then I moved into long-term care and worked providing education to care-home staff, as well as individualized nutrition care-plans for residents.

On the side via The Grazing Goose, I have given some mindful eating workshops on my farm (we raise pasture-raised poultry, heritage pigs, and grass-fed beef; a whole other area of my life that I could speak to). Our future plan for the farm is on-farm stays so while only locals can purchase our products anyone traveling down the number one highway in the next couple years will be able to have the opportunity to vacation on our farm!

In the past 3 years I’ve also have the privilege of giving some public presentations to dietitians in Ontario (Gerontology network) and in British Columbia for dining enhancement work their multidisciplinary team is doing.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I don’t have any specialized management training. My main strategy for success and survival (some days such as a lay off or termination notice days are awful) has been to pick good mentors. I have one dedicated mentor that I connect with, even for 30 minutes every few months. I also surround myself with positive, individuals that support me and believe in the work that I am doing. Many of these individuals are not health care professionals. However, they have a vested interested (as do we all!) in changing the culture of aging.

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

In an ideal world, in 5 years from now, we will have solved all the underlying causes that lead to poor dining experiences for seniors. For example, staff will be happy, healthy, empathetic and engaged in their work so that they can truly be present and facilitate an amazingly satisfying dining experience for our well-deserved seniors. Basically, we will have created an environment where by which even a dietitian that walks into the home says “wow! I want to eat here!”.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

I am currently battling and challenging the misinformation in terms of the capacity of what a dietitian can do in management. Traditionally it has been Registered Nurses managing long-term care, and although there are now managers with a background as paramedics and social workers, a dietitian managing other health care professionals, at least in our province is extremely rare a thus new territory.

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

I developed a mealtime educational tool for educating staff. It is free and available on YouTube or google “mealtime management video”. It’s a foundational educational tool for all staff working with seniors. The content is relevant to LTC, community and event acute-care.

I hope that you will join me in improving the future of aging for all of us!

More about Sabrina:

Website: sabrinabovee.com
Facebook: SabrinaBoveeSeniors
Email: sabrina.bovee@gmail.com 

Website: The Grazing Goose
Instagram: @thegrazinggoose
Facebook: The Grazing Goose



Thanks Sabrina! Find out more about What RDs Do.

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What RDs Do: Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RDN

JANICE NEWELL BISSEX
JANICE COOKS &
HOLISTIC CANNABIS CONSULTANT

for something nutrishus


I briefly met Janice in my home city of Saskatoon for Farm to Fork tours in 2015 (if I remember correctly). Like many of us, a college/university course ignited her passion for nutrition and dietetics and her career continues to evolve. I knew of Janice initially as part of the Meal Makeover Moms duo. She recently ventured into a new and somewhat controversial area of practice showing us once again the unique and non-traditional roles dietitians are qualified for. 

Why did you become a RD?

I was a microbiology major in college, but after my freshman year of micro classes and labs I decided that this might not be the major for me! When I was a sophomore I took Intro to Food and Nutrition and was hooked! My professor, Katherine Musgrave, was a passionate advocate for healthy eating and lifestyle. She took me under her wing and it is because of her that I entered this field. She was my beloved mentor, and we remained friends until her death at age 92.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I am a holistic cannabis consultant, recipe developer, and cookbook author.

How would you explain what you do?

I help people navigate the evolving and confusing world of medical marijuana to help manage debilitating conditions including chronic pain, insomnia, epilepsy, MS, Parkinsons, anxiety, nausea, PTSD, and more.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

There is no typical week. I’m just beginning my journey in the holistic cannabis field so I am spending most of my time learning all that I can about the science and business of cannabis so that I can better assist clients. I also do some recipe development and spokesperson work.

What has been your career path?

I have done a variety of things in my career, including cardiac rehab, nutrition software sales, consulting to the US Senate, and consulting to Boston Harbor Hotel. About 15 years ago I co-founded Meal Makeover Moms with a fellow RDN. Together, we co-wrote five books started Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen blog, and Cooking with the Moms radio podcast. About a year ago I decided that I needed a change. At the same time my dad was dealing with variety of health issues and had turned to medical marijuana to help deal with his pain. I was astounded at how it helped him without the unpleasant side effects that he dealt with from using other pain medications. I decided to switch gears and train to be a holistic cannabis consultant.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I completed my Holistic Cannabis Consultant certification at Holistic Cannabis Academy, and am now furthering my studies to be a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner.

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

In the ideal world, everyone would have legal access to cannabis to manage their health, and dietitians would be the go-to professionals to help people figure out the best way to utilize it.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

Haha, I guess the misinformation about cannabis I’d like to clear up is that you don't need to get “stoned” when using cannabis. In the past decade plant breeders have developed strains of cannabis that are very low in the psychoactive THC component and high in the non psychoactive CBD cannabinoid. CBD has potent anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-emetic, anti-convulsant, and analgesic properties.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

That RDNs practice in a wide variety of settings and have many different skill sets!

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I’m passionate about cooking, eating, and helping people attain the best health possible.

More about Janice:

Twitter: @JaniceBissex
Instagram: @janicebissex


Thanks Janice! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What RDs Do: Elizabeth Roark, MPH, RD

ELIZABETH ROARK
PRINCIPAL NUTRITION SCIENTIST
FRITO-LAY/PEPSICO
for something nutrishus


Elizabeth has been following and supporting the series for a while now. We both agreed that her work in the food industry makes her an important interview in this series, especially since there's a lot of misinformation and judgement around those types of positions. Dietitians are important in those non-traditional roles as you'll see in terms of Elizabeth's daily/weekly tasks and expert contributions. She works on a large scale (globally) as well as on numerous phases of product development and education/communication.

Why did you become an RD?


Well, I’m another one of those dietitians who didn’t initially start out wanting to be an RD. I was actually a math major as an incoming freshman at UCLA. After about a year, I switched to Spanish literature! I liked numbers, just not that much. My objective at that time was to become fluent in another language and eventually enter an MBA program. I had my eye on the international/global area of business management.

Long story short, after obtaining a BA from UCLA, I worked for a few global corporations and found the business management side of things just wasn’t for me. Plus, I had since developed a love for running and all things food/nutrition. I returned to school to explore this passion and was hooked after Nutrition 101.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

It’s funny how things come full circle sometimes. Today, I am a Principal Nutrition Scientist at a large global food manufacturing company. I spend a great deal of time collaborating with my global nutrition science colleagues, which not only allows me to share and receive nutrition knowledge across many borders, but also satisfies my interest in working with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Although my Spanish skills are definitely not what they used to be, I have many global colleagues with which to practice.

How would you explain what you do?

Great question! My days are never the same as there are always new products being developed, new regulations, new science, new educational needs, and new consumer trends. One key area of responsibility is helping to ensure we meet PepsiCo’s portfolio transformation goals when it comes to product development and product reformulation. This means I’m responsible for contributing to the creation of global population-specific nutrition criteria, as well as ensuring our new products meet public health sensitive nutrient limits for things like sodium and saturated fat and incorporate meaningful amounts of positive nutrition (e.g. whole grains, legumes, etc.) when it makes sense for the product.

Another aspect of my role involves internal and external nutrition communications. This can involve providing nutrition education to our employees, working collaboratively with retail dietitians to educate consumers, managing social media messaging, as well as sharing our portfolio transformation history and progress at relevant conferences.

What are your “typical” daily/weekly tasks?


This can certainly vary but in general a typical day or week can involve participating in cross-functional innovation taskforce meetings for the development of new snack products, representing the U.S. on global Nutrition Science taskforces to discuss the creation of population and/or category specific nutrition criteria (e.g. snacks, women, dairy, etc.), working internally and externally to review/update/create new food regulations and policy, collaborating with my regulatory and legal colleagues on scientifically substantiated claim language, discussing in-store activation details with our retail RD partners, and contributing to just about any project that happens to require nutrition expertise.

What has been your career path?


As I previously mentioned, becoming an RD wasn’t my initial career goal. I definitely took the long way to become an RD! Oddly enough, I may have also taken the long way when it came to deciding on which specific area of nutrition I wanted to pursue.

I began working toward an MS in nutrition at New York University, which obviously included taking all the sciences I did not take as an undergraduate. At this time I was also working as a Dietetic Technician at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. Because of this experience, I decided clinical nutrition wasn’t my passion. Although a fantastic and incredibly important RD area of expertise, I was more interested in the preventative nutrition aspect of dietetics versus working with people who were already ill. So, I switched gears and headed back to California to enter the UCLA School of Public Health where I could focus more on the role of nutrition in disease prevention. After receiving my MPH degree, I completed my dietetic internship at UCLA/Olive View Medical Center.

My entry into global food manufacturing was as a Scientific and Regulatory Affairs associate. This role involved labeling, scientific substantiation for claims, as well as the external influencing of regulations and food policy. I was pleasantly surprised how impactful I could be in terms of shaping what type of products landed on store shelves, how nutrition was communicated on pack, as well as how food regulations were updated and implemented. I happily stayed in this role for 12 years.

Work relocation for my husband led me to change jobs. I landed at another global food manufacturing company, but this time, I was focusing more on the global aspect of regulatory compliance, which I really enjoyed. While I had certainly been leveraging my nutrition background as a regulatory expert, I decided I wanted to see what I could do with a role that was focused primarily on nutrition. This decision led me to my current role which involves nutrition education/communication and the setting/application of nutrition criteria for Frito-Lay/PepsiCo.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I have a graduate degree in public health nutrition – MPH

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

Wow, I’d like to see an RD head a large global food manufacturing company, such as an MBA, RD? While many global food manufacturing companies have a corporate culture that values nutrition, health and wellness, and are making positive advances toward creating balance and increased nutrient density, I think an RD in a CEO role could add a really unique and interesting perspective to a company.

We’ll have to wait and see if this becomes a reality. In the meantime, I’d like to see continued growth in the number of companies bringing on the expertise of an RD. As the true nutrition experts, we have a very important role to play when it comes to educating both employees and consumers, but also helping to ensure products align with dietary guidelines and are eaten in portions that allow for balance and moderation.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? 
What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Thanks for asking. I totally agree there is a fair amount of skepticism when it comes to RDs working for food companies, both within the RD community as well as out of it. However, it’s important to note that these RDs can definitely help ensure movement toward positive change. It can sometimes be challenging to gain complete alignment on why a product should be lower in a particular nutrient and/or higher in another, but I think this is when our nutrition education skills are best utilized. Having the RD sit at the table and be intimately involved in the product development process is how we add value and positively impact the foods that ultimately end up on store shelves.

At Frito-Lay we have nutritional targets that were created with input from RDs and align with science. Further, we have a corporate culture that is receptive to the nutrition expertise of the RD. I don’t think this is unique to Frito-Lay but rather an industry-wide movement as many food companies understand the value of having RDs work within. This is good news for everyone!   

More about Elizabeth

Twitter: @ERoarkRD
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Roark, MPH, RD




Thanks Elizabeth! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What RDs Do: Jessica Coll, RD, IBCLC

JESSICA COLL
INTERNATIONAL BABY LED WEANING
NETWORK OF REGISTERED DIETITIANS
for something nutrishus


Jessica is another dietitian that stands out due to her unique credentials (IBCLC) and as you'll see, she has carved herself quite a niche. Having recently added a second child to our family, her area of expertise is definitely on my mind. It always inspires me to see the work dietitians do in areas that I don't work in and I love that she shares her expertise not only with parents, but also with other dietitians.

Why did you become a RD? 

I’ve always been passionate about food but the real reason is that the dietetics school was right around the corner from my house!

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

My work is quite specific. I’m the founder of the International Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Network of Registered Dietitians (RDs). I train RDs to give BLW workshops locally. I also have a BLW online course for new parents and a BLW recipe book. I currently have 60 RDs in my network, in 8 countries!

How would you explain what you do? 

I support the members of the network with questions about breastfeeding, infant nutrition or marketing their in-person workshops.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?


Every day I answer questions from the BLW online course for parents and from the RD members of the network. I offer webinars about BLW to RDs on a regular basis (please email me at jessica@jessicacoll.com for the next one). I strive to balance everything so work in short stretches and sprinkle yoga sessions and runs throughout the day. Since I work from home, I like to prep meals during my work breaks as well.

I’m currently recruiting new RDs across the world to give BLW workshops so I have several video meetings scheduled throughout the week. I’m often a guest on podcasts and Facebook live videos for various organizations and TV shows.

What has been your career path? 

After completing my dietetics internship in Austin (Texas), I worked there as a dietitian for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program at the clinic level and State level for a total of 4 years. The year-round hot temps and amazing rock climbing and running community was great. What’s more? I got to learn Spanish while working there. That’s also where I was able to get all my lactation-specific hours to become a lactation consultant. I decided to start a family back home in Montreal in 2012 and started my business when my daughter was one year old. I started by doing in-home consultations for both infant nutrition and breastfeeding but quickly realized that I needed something more. I started giving workshops about BLW and after giving sold out workshops for a few years and having another child, I founded the International Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Network of Registered Dietitians. Basically, I provide everything RDs need to give BLW workshops in their own city. I can now spend more time with my kids and still have a successful business. I support the RD members of my network by helping them with breastfeeding and infant nutrition questions and marketing their workshops.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I’m an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

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

In five years form now, BLW will be the norm for babies across the world.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? 

BLW is very controversial for many RDs. Some RDs are “for it” and some are “against it”. Since BLW makes sense developmentally with 6 month olds being able to grab large objects and bring them to their mouth, it’s all about making sure parents are doing it safely. The other myth is that BLW babies are more at risk of choking compared to babies being offered purees. This is actually backed up by recent peer reviewed journal articles.

What do people think that you do for a living? 

They think I’m a TV star!

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

I’m passionate about letting babies feed them selves so they can be stimulated from all their senses and learn to eat enough, but not too much. It’s amazing to watch them go!

What is your favourite meal? 

My favourite meal is sushi and yes, sushi can be offered to babies in a way that’s totally safe!

More about Jessica:


BLW Network for RDs: https://www.jessicacoll.com/BLW_network.html
free BLW cookbook: https://jessicacoll.com/
Facebook: Nutrition for babies
Instagram: @nutritionforbabies




Thanks Jessica! Find out more about What RDs Do.

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What RDs Do: Samina Qureshi RDN, LD

SAMINA QURESHI
CORPORATE WELLNESS &
WHOLESOME START
for something nutrishus


The theme of individualized, personalized, and not one-size-fits all really shines through Samina's responses. Like other dietitians in the series, she also focuses on her client's relationship with food as well as having a holistic approach. Yes, we as dietitians know the importance of nutrition for health, but we also know health is multifaceted and we understand scope of practice as well as referring to the appropriate experts (especially with all the misinformation we encounter). Samina has a great philosophy and valuable insights that influence the way she practices. 

Why did you become a RD?


One of the main reasons I became a dietitian was to help people learn how they can make food work for them instead of against them in restoring their health. During undergrad, I was a research assistant for a mindful eating based binge-eating study and quickly learned how your relationship with food can impact your overall quality of life and health. One of the participants of the study was a veteran and had never cooked a meal before, let alone been to a grocery store to shop for food, and had difficulty managing their health conditions. Basic nutrition education and mindful eating practices empowered them to manage their health. It was at that moment when I realized I can create a career providing people with the tools they need to achieve their best health through personalized nutrition counseling and positive lifestyle changes.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I work in corporate wellness and run my Integrative & Functional Nutrition private practice Wholesome Start, LLC in Houston, Texas.

How would you explain what you do?


For my corporate wellness position, I help our participants prevent, reverse, and/or manage chronic health conditions through health coaching in nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and other lifestyle techniques.

At Wholesome Start, I provide in-person, phone and virtual nutrition counseling sessions to help people discover the root cause of their health concerns, develop a healthier relationship with food, and unlock their healthiest self. I believe wellness is not a one-size-fits all approach and I celebrate body and cultural diversity. Through my integrative and functional nutrition counseling sessions, my clients honor their relationship with food and restore their health to live a happy and wholesome life.


What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

A typical day for my corporate wellness job includes assessing and reducing the participant's’ health risks through biometric screenings, health risk assessment questionnaires, and ongoing health coaching conversations. I am the head health coach so I also manage and train a team of health coaches, create content for our wellness blog, social media posts, and monthly handouts and challenges.

A typical day working on my private practice includes counseling my clients and providing them with nutrition recommendations to help them achieve their best health, networking in the Houston area, and connecting with my community via social media and the Wholesome Start blog.

What has been your career path?


I began my career in dietetics in the field of corporate wellness and health risk management. I have always practiced with a holistic mindset, encompassing not only nutrition but physical activity, stress management, sleep hygiene, and other areas of wellness to restore balance back into my clients’ lives. I help people discover the root cause of their health concerns instead of only treating or masking symptoms. Recently I opened up my own practice, Wholesome Start, to reach more people within my community.

What advanced education or special training do you have?


Recently I completed training in Integrative & Functional Nutrition and am studying for the Integrative & Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner exam to receive the IFNCP credential.

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


In an ideal world, Registered Dietitians will be the go-to food and nutrition expert that all health care professionals will refer their patients to help prevent, reverse, and manage health conditions.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

I am not the food police. I will not judge the way you nourish your body. As an intuitive eater, I am very flexible, I don’t set rigid food rules or restrictions, and I honor my hunger and satiety cues. I believe that all foods fit within a healthy diet. Food is much more than fuel, it’s a way for you to connect with and meet your physical, emotional, and social needs. There is no one size fits all approach to providing your body with optimal nutrition and working with a registered dietitian is essential to find an individualized approach that will work for you!

What would you like people to know about RDs?

You don’t have to be sick or want to lose weight to visit a RD! You can seek guidance from a RD if you have a simple question, would like to receive credible science based nutrition information, or would like to set up a fun group event for your family, friends, or coworkers. You can work with a RD at any time for any reason! At my private practice I am available to see clients on their schedule from anywhere through virtual consulting. With my services, you have the opportunity to have an RD in the palm of your hands!

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

One of the biggest challenges I encounter as a dietitian is busting nutrition and weight loss myths from the media. Clients come in with nutrition information from celebrities, fad diets, quack “doctors” and think that there is a magic pill that can cure all. Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill to help you unlock your healthiest self. It takes time to change health behaviors and adopt new habits. The most important lesson I’ve learned about living a balanced lifestyle is to be gentle with yourself, respect the process, and never compare yourself to other people’s journeys. Afterall, comparison is the thief of joy! Every body is unique and your individuality should be celebrated while restoring your health.

What do people think that you do for a living?

People think I make meal plans and tell people what to eat to lose weight. I help people learn how to nourish their bodies in a way that fits with their lifestyle and health concerns.

What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?

Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for wellbeing. So all dietitians are nutritionists but not all nutritionists are dietitians. The term “nutritionist” isn’t protected so anyone, anywhere can be a self proclaimed “health or nutrition expert.” To become a RD, you are required to get your B.S. in dietetics from an accredited university, complete 1200+ hours of supervised practice from an accredited dietetic internship that is often linked with a master's degree program, pass a national board exam, and maintain licensure with continuing education. With all of this education and experience under our belt, you can trust Registered Dietitians to help you make unique, positive lifestyle changes to improve your overall health.

What is your favourite meal?


One of my favorite meals is my mother’s homemade daal (lentils) with rice and curried beef. I encourage my clients to stay true to their culture and love making new recipes from all types of cuisines.

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


For too many people, food is commonly seen as the enemy. Mainstream media influences the masses to believe that you must eat “clean” and look a certain way to be healthy. Some people see food in a very dichotomous way, either good or bad and may associate their behaviors as such. I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “I am such a bad person because I ate dessert today.” But your food choices have nothing to do with your morality. I’ll say that again, what you eat does not define whether or not you are a good or bad person. I mean, come on, you didn’t just rob a bank! You provided your body with some food that you enjoyed eating!

More about Samina:

Visit www.wholesomestart.com to learn more about how Samina can help you feel your best!
Email: wholesomestartrd@gmail.com
Blog: Wholesome Start
Twitter: @WholesomeStart
Instagram: @wholesomestartrd
Facebook: Wholesome Start


Thanks Samina! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What RDs Do: Rosie Schwartz, RD

ROSIE SCHWARTZ
PRIVATE PRACTICE & 
NUTRITION COMMUNICATIONS 
for something nutrishus


I have followed many of Rosie's posts in the past as she has a strong voice for our profession. She was recently named as an awesome Canadian dietitian that needs to be followed, so I figured it was about time I featured her on the series! Rosie is a trailblazer for many of us in private practice and media and I'm sure you'll enjoy learning more about her and her career.

Why did you become a RD?


It was fate – a long story way before nutrition was a hot topic. I somehow ended up in the nutrition program at the University of Toronto and had planned to transfer out until I fell in love with the idea of combining science with my passion for good food.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Private practice, nutrition communications including writing and consulting.

How would you explain what you do? 

I try to enlighten people as to what healthy eating is all about, whether in my counselling practice or in my nutrition writing or other media work.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

My typical tasks can vary greatly from my regular nutrition counselling sessions to the nutrition columns that I currently write for various publications or freelance pieces for a variety of audiences and responding to the media which could include TV or radio interviews. I'm also active in social media and have a website where my posts might vary from clarifying myths and nutrition basics to rants and recipes.

What has been your career path? 

My career path has been a very long one! I was one of the first to start a private practice in Canada over 40 years ago. There were three of us that started at the same time. I started doing regular media gigs including TV and radio just a few years after I started in private practice. I had regular spots on national TV shows back in the 80s and had my first book, The Enlightened Eater, published back in 1987. I started a weekly newspaper column with the same name in the Ottawa Citizen in 1991 (which I had nightmares about writing!). It was syndicated across Canada for a number of years. I also had a weekly TV column on CBC Morning for a number of years. The National Post also carried my Enlightened Eater column for a number of years as well. I’ve had regular magazine columns.

Through the years, I’ve been a consultant and spokesperson (to food companies and the Heart and Stroke Foundation) as well as an advocate about various nutrition issues including successfully fighting the approval of the fake fat Olestra in Canada.

I’m also a speaker for both the general public as well as for various professionals groups which has taken me across Canada, the U.S., Europe and even on the high seas aboard cruise ships.

My writing contacts also led me into doing travel and food writing as well.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

As for advance education or a special training, I have learned on the job! I've also depended on networking and colleagues over the years. I was one of the founding members of the consulting dietitians group as those of us in private practice at the time were quite isolated.

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

In an ideal world, registered dietitians would be recognized as the experts and all these "nutritionists" peddling nutrition misinformation and selling worthless supplements would have disappeared!

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

Fighting misinformation is definitely a passion as is enlightening people that nutritious fare should be delicious.

What is your favourite meal? 

A marinated heirloom tomato and basil sauce (from my garden) with a fruity extra virgin olive oil, over pasta.

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

As for advice for dietitians, aim for the stars, be true to yourself and love what you do and if you follow these rules, you will remain passionate about your career.

More about Rosie:

Website: Enlightened Eater by Rosie Schwartz
Facebook: Enlightened Eater
Twitter: @RosieSchwartz
LinkedIn: Rosie Schwartz
Instagram: @rosieschwartz



Thanks Rosie! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What RDs Do: Paula Wesson, RDN, LDN

PAULA WESSON
GERIATRICS - CATHOLIC SISTERS &
THE JUNK FOOD NUTRITIONIST
for something nutrishus


It fascinates me to learn why people were drawn to the dietetics field and of course the diverse and varied things we do and people we work with. We often go above and beyond nourishment and nutrition education to best serve our patients/residents/clients. Paula also bring up some of my favourite terms: moderation (although a controversial/subjective term) and prevention. 

Why did you become a RD?

I’ve always loved food, but I also really liked medicine and I loved playing “school” with my friends. I realized that being a dietitian was a combination of these things. I’m around food all the time, I’m around medicine all the time, and I teach!

What area of dietetics do you work in?


Geriatrics. I work mainly with Catholic Sisters. (They prefer not to be called “nuns.”)

How would you explain what you do?

I’m a jill-of-all-trades. I do anything I can for the Sisters, including many things that aren’t nutrition-related, such as pushing their wheelchairs and helping them find the numbers called in Bingo.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?


One of my main clinical duties is to perform a full nutrition assessment on new residents to the skilled nursing floors (there are also floors for Sisters who are aging but don’t need skilled care). I then have to fill out Medicare paperwork for residents on a regular basis, regardless of their nutrition status. I also attend care conferences twice a week to discuss the residents’ health conditions and care. Sometimes I provide nutrition education. Sometimes I recommend supplements or snacks. Sometimes I even spoon-feed them or go to the grocery store to look for a particular item for them to eat.

What has been your career path?


After college, I held nutrition-related jobs prior to working as a dietitian. After earning my degree, I worked as a summer camp counselor teaching cooking classes. While this was enjoyable, it was obviously temporary. Then, I started my unpaid dietetic internship, during which I worked part-time as a biology lab assistant and later as a dietary aide in a convent nursing home.

Another convent nursing home, operated by the same foodservice company, needed a new dietitian. I had a job offer to be their dietitian before I’d even completed the internship. Literally, the day after I finished my internship, I moved and 3 days later I started working as their dietitian.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

Not much. I have taken 4 graduate-level courses. I am planning to take the Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) exam by the end of the year, which is a certification in tube feedings and parenteral nutrition.

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

Nutrition services are still inaccessible for many people. Ideally, more insurance companies would cover our services and would cover them for more conditions than they currently do. I’d like to see one dietitian visit a year being a covered part of preventative care. Teaching people nutrition earlier in the disease process or before it even begins could help prevent complications.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?


People often think my job is to make strict meal plans. My facility has “liberal” diets. For example, we don’t force residents with diabetes to eat only 45 carbs per meal. Even when I was interning in inpatient and outpatient settings none of the dietitians provided patients or clients with a strict meal plan.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?


It’s hard to change people’s habits. I think this is especially true in the older adult population because they want to enjoy what’s left of their life and are concerned they won’t enjoy it as much if they change their diet.

What do people think that you do for a living?


Ha. I had one coworker who used to tell me all the time that my job was to play Solitaire because he often saw me on the computer. Other people tell me they think I’m the stock person or the “runner” who brings food from the kitchen to the serving area.

What is your favourite meal?


I have always loved rice and beans. It’s very versatile, because it’s not really just rice and beans. For example, Puerto Rican-style rice and beans includes recaito, a cilantro-based mixture, but Nicaraguan “gallo pinto” rice and beans doesn’t.

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

Why do you call yourself “The Junk Food Nutritionist”?

I came up with this name years before I officially became a Registered Dietitian. My family would tease me about the fact that I ate junk food even though I was studying nutrition and wanted to work in dietetics. I still do. I believe in everything in moderation.

More about Paula:

Website: www.JunkFoodNutrition.com
Twitter: @JunkFoodNutr



Thanks Paula! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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