Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What RDs Do: Andy De Santis RD, MPH

for something nutrishus

I know of Andy because he's active online and I like to see male representation in our profession, so he stands out amongst the females. He has a great blog and loves bananas! He's still building his practice but is passionate about what he does, so I'm sure he has a great career ahead of him. I love his comment below regarding challenges we encounter as I've had similar thoughts of 'annual check-ups'.

Why did you become a RD?

I was the cliché unhealthy teenager who was able to use healthy eating to get my life back on track. By the age of around 18/19 I knew that I wanted a career where I was able to help others in the same way that I was able to help my self and dietetics was pretty much the only thing on my mind.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I have a master’s degree in public health and I used to work in public health (Canadian Diabetes Association) but moved into freelance/private-practice work. Currently I operate a general private practice three days a week and I am also a writer on the side for a web platform. I write articles on healthy living but also completely non-food related topics (home-renovation related). It helps support my private practice as it grows, which takes time. I am also a nutrition-blogger and I spread the message of health through my very active blog, which I hope you all will subscribe to!

How would you explain what you do?

Simply put, people come to see me with a goal in mind and I do everything I can to help them reach that goal. Because I work in private practice, those who come to see me are highly motivated to change and really a pleasure to work with.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I am either seeing clients, writing articles for myself for my freelance work, or putting in social media time (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and soon to be Facebook). I am also starting to break in to workplace wellness, presenting to the staff of large companies across the city.

What has been your career path?

Like I said earlier, I’ve completed my master’s degree in public health and went to work in public health before moving on to this current career of private practice and freelancing.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a master’s degree in public health nutrition.

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

I would like the dietetic profession to be much more well respected. It means something to be a dietitian and it is not easy to become one, so I do not want anyone out there thinking there are other people who can do our job as good as we can. I would like to see more and more insurance coverage for dietitians, so that finances are less of a barrier for people to come and see us and of course I want the public to know we exist and know what we can do for them.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

Any sort of notion that we are glorified personal trainers or that our main area of expertise is providing “diet plans”. Would also like to stop hearing the word “nutritionist”.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

I would like them to know that with only a modest amount of time together and a modest expense, we can help revolutionize the way they see and think about their food and heath.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

I would love dietitian’s to be seen more as dentists. Just like you go to clean your teeth, you come to us to clean your diet. That would also mean that most people would have as comprehensive insurance coverage for us as they would for a dentist, that would help a ton!

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Helping people live longer and healthier lives is a very big motivation for me. There are so many people out there working hard and doing amazing things for themselves and their families, it pains me to see they don’t take that extra bit of time to eat smart and take care of themselves.

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

I actually wrote an article on this topic for my blog and I believe the one thing that really sets us apart is our ability to connect and build rapport with people. The nature of our practice means we get to spend more time with our clients than other health care practitioners (generally speaking) and I think that is conducive to building strong and meaningful interactions.

What is your favourite meal?

That is a tough one. Probably breakfast, I eat bananas and either avocados or sunflower seeds for breakfast every day. I am not a vegan, but I am proud to enjoy a vegan meal once a day.

More about Andy:

Facebook: Andy De Santis - Registered Dietitian
Instagram: @AndyTheRD
Twitter: @AndyThaRD
Youtube: Dudes Talk Nutrition
Blog: Andytherd.com/blog
Website: Andytherd.com

Thanks Andy! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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