Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What RDs Do: Jim Seeger, M. Ed., RDN, LDN, ATC

for something nutrishus


Jim correctly pointed out the lack of men in this series, so I challenged him to take part! He also inspired me to reach out, and as you can see there is more male representation now. A love of food and a passion for working with people led Jim to dietetics. He has a unique set of skills and credentials which impact the nutrition education he provides. 

Why did you become a RD?

I went to the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park '93 and was cooking professionally. I worked as a chef and wanted to help provide food that was nutritious and "tasted good"! In the past food that was "healthy" always not very palatable. In addition, getting back to where food actually comes from was vital for health and nutrition.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I currently work in the area of athletics, providing food and nutrition expertise to athletes and physically active individuals either in the athletic training room or when I teach cooking to surgical residents.

How would you explain what you do?

I take care of physically active individuals as an ATC (certified athletic trainer) and as an RD. I use my cooking knowledge to help educated individuals on what food is, healthy food and how it can impact their performance. As one of my mentors said, "nutrition is never neutral."

What are your typical daily/weekly tasks?

I interact daily with high school athletes in the training room. I prepare the athletes for practice and games. This begins with my assessment, testing and making recommendation for rehabbing their injuries. I am part of the sports medicine team helping the athletes prepare for their work to improve.

What has been your career path?
I don't have the typical career path but have combined a series of professions that work well together. All this really starts with my love of food. There is "no good or bad food" just how we use it. I have obtained certifications and licensure so I can practice and help the populations I have worked with.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I earned a Masters in Education, then worked in professional sports in the marketing and sales side of athletics. I decided that dealing with people was my true passion and earned my RD and then ATC (certified athletic trainer) while having licensure in both disciplines.

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

Well, I don't live in Utopia, but we as the food and nutrition experts will still be fighting the misinformation about nutrition and trying to fight the "magic bullet" when hard work and eating food still is the key.

More about Jim:

Twitter: @JSeegerRDATC

Thanks Jim! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What RDs Do: Dallas Odgers, RD, CF-L2

for something nutrishus

As a fairly new business owner, we will have to keep our eyes on Dallas as I'm sure he'll do amazing things as he gets more into private practice. It seems that he has 'entrepreneur' written all over him. His is another story of a day job and a night job due to passion related to the field of dietetics and helping people with lifestyle changes. I love seeing the passion in our profession and it seems that Dallas has also come across that.

Why did you become a RD?

I grew up thinking Kraft Dinner and Pizza Pops weren’t THAT bad for you. Even though playing sports every day, my body did not reflect how athletic I was. After my first year of cross country and long-distance running, I was able to see the importance of modifying your diet to improve your performance. After having a really successful season (in comparison to the first year), I was hooked on my new healthy lifestyle. I kept the days of pizza pops and mars bars in the past. Later in high school I developed an interest in health care as a potential career choice because I thought it was something that could favour a guy who geeked out on science. I then found out about nutrition/dietetics and thought it was the perfect fit for me, but I was nervous about getting into a program that accepts less than 30 people.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

My ‘daily-grind’ is working as a community dietitian in the rural area around Maidstone, SK. I do mostly Outpatient and long term care (LTC) work in a bunch of communities around North Battleford/Maidstone.

My ‘night-hustle’ is working as a gym owner/private practice dietitian. Two years ago I opened up North Battleford Strength & Conditioning/CrossFit North Battleford, which gives me a great platform to work with people as a dietitian. With a large focus on developing our space, and fitness programs, I am ready to start working a lot more on private practice dietetic work and I am super excited about it.

How would you explain what you do?

I usually try to focus on describing the type of people I help and the value that I can bring them. For example, a common description would be that I help people manage their diabetes through education, goal setting, and accountability—this would be the majority of my clientele.

As my business grows, it will more likely be something like this: I am a private practice dietitian that offers strength and conditioning coaching, community, and nutrition education for long-term lifestyle change.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

It’s crazy.

Hit the road at 6:30-6:45 AM to Maidstone SK, where I could then be traveling to Cut Knife, Turtleford, St. Walburg, Neilburg, Thunderchild, or Edam. I usually see 5-6 clients per day, typically a joint appointment with a Diabetes Nurse Educator. From there I could have a LTC client, on a referral basis. Weekly I will often have meetings with the Health Region dietitian team and often provide education sessions to staff in facilities.

At about 4:30 PM I hit the road again and arrive at my other job at 5:15 PM. Here I will jump in on a class and then coach 1-2 classes an evening. I will book nutrition clients as they come up and touch base frequently through email, phone, or briefly after training sessions. I also do a lot of non-dietitian work on the business end to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.

What has been your career path?

After internship I started working in an Outpatient and LTC maternity leave, where I started my first (unsuccessful) business. I started an organization called Wild Youth Sports Management that hired collegiate level athletes to coordinate sport camps/activities with youth throughout Saskatchewan. Our first summer had me employing over 15 Huskie Athletes and providing sports training for over 2000 kids in Saskatchewan.

I realized I wanted to open a training facility as I had become passionate about Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit in University. When I moved back home I had nowhere to train. I had worked for a couple years in conventional and CrossFit gyms, so thought I would give running a CrossFit affiliate a shot and it has gained traction quickly in North Battleford. Just a year ago having about 20 members has grown into a program with over 120 participants currently.

While opening the gym I also completed a pilot project to incorporate a Primary Care Dietitian into the Prairie North Health region, which now provides dietitian services in 3 medical clinics in the Battlefords Area. Now I hold a full-time community dietitian position, as mentioned before.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

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

Ideally, in my mind, health care overall would start placing more focus/energy and funds towards prevention rather than treatment, by having better access to exercise programs, diet education, and mental health support. I feel like the dietetics industry will start to see more and more private practice dietitians that are developing niches and specialties. I hope that this will continue to build awareness that dietitians have a huge and powerful influence to help people achieve their goals.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

That we only provide education on using Canada’s Food Guide (CFG). I have had doctors assume that I would just be giving out CFGs when I started to work in their office—something they apparently did not stand for. I don’t have an extreme hate towards CFG, and it does ultimately incorporate balance that the majority of people trying to improve their diets should work on, but it’s not a tool I regularly use in practice.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

They are relentlessly hard workers. I have met so many RDs with extreme work ethic. I have seen them shutting down the library as nutrition students. Now I see them addicted to learning and finding new online courses, books, and journals when they get into practice. I see them constantly networking and communicating amongst other dietitians and health care professionals. I have seen so many RDs become addicted to the process of working on becoming the best dietitian they can be.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

I find, with most of my clients I may identify a ton of things they could work on, but more than 1-2 actionable items are usually going to overwhelm them. I read a book once, The Compound Effect, which lays out a pretty simple formula: small/simple changes + consistency + time = success in achieving your goals. This is a good approach, where we choose 1-2 actionable items so that they can experience success and want to actually continue to work with me rather than avoid me because I laid out a plan that was very unrealistic for them.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Lifestyle change. I get just as excited about watching someone do their first pull-up or hitting a PR on their back squat as I do when someone drops their A1C to target from diet changes with my advice. I think that is one thing that keeps me going for my 12-15 hour work days is that I get to continuously see people make positive lifestyle changes that I have some small part in!

What is your favourite meal?

Greek chicken BBQ’d on a small charcoal grill, couscous, and veggies served with an questionable amount of Tzatziki on top.

More about Dallas:

Instagram: @crossfitnb
Website: North Battleford Strength & Conditioning/CrossFit North Battleford

Thanks Dallas! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What RDs Do: Steph Langdon, RD

hosted by Brooke Bulloch

What RDs Do Interview Series – TAKEOVER!

Hey, hey! It’s Brooke Bulloch here from Food to Fit in Saskatoon! I had the pleasure of being highlighted as part of the What RDs Do Interview Series back in October 2015. Today I’m taking over Stephanie Langdon’s What RDs Do!

With Stephanie celebrating 7 years in business this week AND her 100th What RDs Do interview coming up in August, I thought it was an opportune time to take over and interview the very creator of the What RDs Do Interview Series!

Stephanie is a fellow Saskatoon-based Dietitian and entrepreneur who is doing incredible work for the profession. As founder of the What RDs Do blog and as part of Dietitians of Canada's Brand Ambassador team, Stephanie’s efforts to educate the public and promote the invaluable and diverse work of Dietitians is admirable. As someone who inspires me, I wanted to give the spotlight to her today!

Thank you, Stephanie, for all you do and for this incredible blog series. Happy 7-year anniversary!

Why did you become a RD?

I was pursuing a science degree, perhaps headed towards Physiology, but unsure what I’d do with it. I took an introductory nutrition course and loved the practicality of what I learned, so I decided to apply to the College of Nutrition. I was an athlete at the time, so I saw the obvious connections to performance and thought sport nutrition might be an end goal for me.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Private practice: consulting and communications

How would you explain what you do?

I try to balance being a mom with running my business (a work-at-home-mom). I work with many agriculture/commodity/industry groups helping with presentations, resource development, event attendance, media, social media and strategy. Like most dietitians I do many things. I curate/run this blog series, I do a bit of work for our Sport Medicine and Science Council of Saskatchewan, for our local Canadian Forces, and freelance projects. I am also on Dietitians of Canada’s Brand Leadership Team as the SK/MB (Saskatchewan/Manitoba) Team Captain.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

My day/week might consist of:
  • sport nutrition presentations for active 13-18 year olds
  • formatting blog posts
  • reading journals, books, websites, and media to stay up on research and trends
  • creating social media content
  • responding to emails
  • seeing the occasional one-on-one client
  • I am also sometimes working at events, creating content/resources, sitting in on meetings or listening to webinars

What has been your career path?

I have worked in private practice since I finished my internship. I initially planned to work in sport nutrition, and in Canada that was the path that made sense – self-employment. Prior to that I was an elite athlete (Team Canada and pro volleyball) and worked at Lululemon while finishing up my degree. Since then it has just been the evolution of my practice as different things have interested me, I’ve learned to say NO to things I’m not passionate about or weren’t a good fit, and I became a mom.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have my BSc. Nutrition as well as various certifications/courses/conferences/webinars etc. that I constantly take part in as continued learning in the various areas I work in (Craving Change, Motivational Interviewing, sport nutrition, agriculture, social media, etc.)

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

As someone who advocates for the profession, I hope that people come to know what dietitians do (which is varied) and who dietitians are, as well as the difference from nutritionists. I hope that health insurance plans cover dietitian services so that they’re more accessible. I am also intrigued by how the environment shapes our behaviours so I hope to see health promoting spaces and places so that healthy choices can be the default choices. With the strong influence of social media I also hope we move away from unrealistic ‘ideals’, can live authentically off-line and stop judging/shaming others, as there are many ways to be healthy.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

We don’t just make meal plans and take away your favourite food(s).

What would you like people to know about RDs?

We work in a variety of settings, not just in hospitals and we’re here to help with various nutrition/eating/food topics, whether that’s dealing with a chronic illness, a picky eater, preventative health care, policy creation, brand messaging, recipe development, or helping sort through all the misinformation out there. The list goes on and on (as you’ve seen in this series!).

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

The ‘personal opinion/celebrity’ type information that can mislead people and perhaps even be dangerous. It’s great that people are talking about nutrition, but there are so many promises of quick fixes and an obesogenic environment that we have our work cut out for us in years ahead.

What do people think that you do for a living?

I’m not sure, as it’s hard to articulate what I do. I think it took a few years before people realized this wasn’t my hobby, but my job, and was paying the bills.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Habits and prevention. We live in the moment and think about immediate enjoyment, not always the long-term consequences, we also have ingrained ways of doing things. I’d like to help people create healthy habits and be able to make informed decisions about food – whether that is choosing to have the ice cream or blueberries, there’s room for it all and there isn’t a single ‘correct’ way to be or eat healthy.

More about Steph:

Facebook: Steph Langdon, RD
Twitter: @nutrishusRD
Instagram: @langdonsteph
LinkedIn: Stephanie (Wheler) Langdon, BSc. RD
Pinterest: @NutrishusRD

Find out more about What RDsDo.

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