Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What RDs Do: Sulana Perelman RD, MHSc, Certified Master Coach in NLP, TLT, CHt

SULANA PERELMAN
PRIVATE PRACTICE & HOMECARE
for something nutrishus


Sulana is another dietitian with unique credentials, which is how she came to be part of the series (see her advanced education or special training response below). She is an award winning author and aims to help women free themselves from dieting and see themselves positively. I'm sure her unique background leads to interesting coaching sessions as well.

Why did you become a RD? 

Nutrition has always been a topic of interest in my family. I loved science, food and people and felt this profession would be a great fit for me. I also hoped to solve my own issues with yo-yo dieting.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

Private practice and a part-time job in Homecare dietetics. 

In my private practice I work exclusively with women who have identified as wanting to lose weight, to help them heal their relationship with food. We work together on their unconscious limiting beliefs, patterns, thoughts and strategies to help them get to a place of success.

With Homecare I visit senior clients in their homes who require support in the community. The health issues can include tube feeding management, cancer, diabetes, unintentional weight loss, dysphagia. 

How would you explain what you do?

In a nutshell, I help women get off the dieting rollercoaster and help them add joy and pleasure to their lives.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Visiting Homecare clients in the home; preparing for and running one-one sessions or group sessions with private practice clients.

What has been your career path?

I’ve worked at a Community Health Centre, Home Care, in Research, and have been in private practice for 3 years. I have written and published a book “It’s Not About The Cheesecake” which came out January 2017.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

That is a loaded question! After my dietetic internship I got my MHSc in Community Nutrition. After a while, I felt that there was something missing, which sent me on a path to becoming a Master Coach in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy (TLT) and a Trainer in Hypnosis (CHt). Recently I have also become a BARE Certified Coach, facilitating a program to help women stop dieting and love their bodies.

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

In an ideal world, Dietitians are the sought after experts in nutrition and extended health benefits include RD services.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? 

When at a party, I am not looking at what you are eating, and yes, I may eat the cake.

What would you like people to know about RDs? 

We don’t “only” prescribe diets and meal plans and follow the food guide. Dietitians are the best source for scientific-based and current information on nutrition related matters.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD? 

Potential clients wanting that magic bullet (i.e. perfect diet) to help them achieve what is at times an unrealistic weight loss.

What do people think that you do for a living? 

Prescribe diets for weight loss.

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

Helping my clients suspend negative judgment about themselves and their bodies.

What is your favourite meal?

Any meal that is surrounded by good company. Recently I’ve been loving truffle fries!

More about Sulana:

Website: Sulana Perelman
Instagram: @sulanaperelman



Thanks Sulana! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What RDs Do: Susanne Suchar RD, LD/N, CNSC

SUSANNE SUCHAR
CLINICAL, COUNSELLING & LONG TERM CARE
for something nutrishus


Susanne responded to my Facebook inquiry about dietitian credentials, since she has some unique letters behind her name. She has a very interesting career path, having worked in numerous settings, in numerous countries. Working as part of a team and collaborating comes through as a consistent theme and something that is important with regards to the unique knowledge and skills dietitians have to offer.

Why did you become a RD?

While weighing my options for an interesting major, having made some changes, I took a class in introductory nutrition. I loved the practical information, so useful in my daily life, as well as the inspirational teacher, who convinced me of the many opportunities the career offered.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I currently do not work, as my family relocated to Panama, where the profession can be practiced only by citizens of the country. I have spent the last several months on numerous online dietetics-related courses to reactivate my Florida dietitian license, and practicing my Spanish. I am also contemplating my future endeavours, which are likely to include certification as a specialist in gerontological nutrition (CSG) in 2018.

How would you explain what you do?

When I practice dietetics, I always strive to provide the best nutritional care possible for my clients and patients, whatever that implies for the person. You can say I assess the client’s nutritional needs and do my best to address them within the available parameters.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Depends on the setting.

What has been your career path?

Right after graduation I worked at an acute care teaching facility in Miami, Florida, where I was exposed to acute care, rehabilitation, psychiatric care, and my favorite, intensive care. I took CNSD (Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian) certification to be able to work with the Nutrition Support Team, which consisted of the RD, a pharmacist, and a physician, writing most the of TPNs (Total Parenteral Nutrition) in the facility. I preferred working with this team, as it was evident that the team approach improved the nutritional status of the patients, and the RD was a respected part of the team.

After 4 years I transferred to a different acute care hospital, where I continued my intensive care and acute care path, in addition to outpatient care in the Cancer Center and the Diabetes Center. I obtained CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) qualifications and enjoyed witnessing the effect that my work had on the quality of life of my clients.

As my family relocated to Israel, I had the opportunity to work at a facility specializing in Complex Continuing Care, including ventilation units for adults and children and inpatient dialysis, in addition to rehabilitation for all ages. It was a great experience to practice in a very different type of setting and in an environment where the RD was highly respected; no nutrition related changes could be made without the say of the dietitian.

After some time, I also found my way to Home Health Care, visiting homebound clients and working on improving their nutritional status. It seemed that I was often the only health care worker visiting, and I felt that I addressed more than just nutritional needs. It was extremely fulfilling to see the impact my advice had on the quality of life of my clients and their caregivers, even though it was difficult to see the end of life cases that could not be saved with nutritional care.

After another relocation, this time to Toronto, Ontario, it took me some efforts of networking and volunteering before I was lucky to start Nutrition Counselling over the phone for an EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Program). While I was frustrated by cancellations and no-shows, I enjoyed those clients that really wanted my advice and saw positive changes in their health. One of my volunteer stints developed into casual employment at a combined Long-Term Care and Complex Continuing Care facility, where I enjoyed working with a diverse and experienced RD staff. At the same time, I did some work at a hospital-affiliated Rehabilitation Center, which I found through a nursing agency.

My most recent job was as a contract dietitian at a Long-Term Care home in downtown Toronto, overseeing nutritional care 3 days a week. Funnily enough, having always consciously avoided this health care setting, I found it remarkably rewarding, being part of the daily lives and seeing the direct impact of my work on my residents.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I am certified as a Nutrition Support Dietitian/Clinician (CNSD/CNSC) since 2004, a specialty I have kept current over the years. I certified as a Diabetes Educator (CDE) in 2008, but was unable to keep it up as I left the country and could not obtain the hours needed to re-certify. I also took the ADA (now AND) Adult Weight Management Certification in 2007.

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

I would love to see the RD being accepted and respected as the expert on nutrition, and that being reflected on salaries and job opportunities. In clinical dietetics, having Nutrition Managers that champion their RDs is a must in this respect, and not often seen in my experience.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Having a positive impact in the lives of my clients/patients and their families/caregivers. I have been lucky to find this in several settings over the years, and I look forward to finding my way back there in the future.

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

Regardless of the setting there is always a need to collaborate with other disciplines, including SLPs (Speech-language pathologists), doctors, nurses, OTs (Occupational Therapists), PTs (Physical Therapists), social workers, family members, and more. It took me a while to realize the marked improvement in the care given when everyone is on the same page.

Being on the same page also means that the client/patient must agree with the plan of care for it to be successful. I can recommend changes up and down the walls, but often see myself having to compromise for the sake of client buy-in and cooperation, and ultimately, success.

More about Susanne:

LinkedIn: Susanne Suchar



Thanks Susanne! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What RDs Do: Andres Ayesta, MS, RDN, CSCS, CSSD, LD

ANDRES AYESTA
VIVE NUTRITION
for something nutrishus


Andres had an interesting path to lead him to dietetics, but it seems that he has already accomplished a lot in his career, so I feel his goals are within reason. Like Andres, I was attracted to the profession due to prevention rather than treatment. He reminds us that dietitians (not dieticians) are continually learning and very passionate individuals; something this series continue to remind me of. 

Why did you become a RD?

I grew up wanting to be a doctor. I remember playing with toy stethoscopes and a lab coat since I was 5. When I graduated high school, my dream was shattered when I didn’t get into med school. In Venezuela, where I am from, Nutrition and Dietetics school was part of the same School of Medicine in the school I went to. I figured I would just enrol in that major, and then switch over since it was less competitive. Well I never switched. I realized that my job as an RD could have more value as I was providing people with quality of life, and preventing disease vs. treating it.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Sports Nutrition and Weight Management

How would you explain what you do?

I run a private practice that aims to provide tools and strategies to improve lifestyles via nutrition knowledge at the same time as working with elite and pro-level athletes at the Applied Science and Performance Institute (ASPI), aiming to optimize sports performance and overall athlete health.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

  • Create content for social media platforms. I started creating video recipes weekly on my Instagram back in November last year. I post every Monday.
  • Nutrition coaching with clients along with meal planning and other supportive materials required for them to have
  • Administrative work (Office supplies, accounting, etc.)
  • Research and Continuing Education. I try to read at least one nutrition article from a peer-reviewed journal weekly, and listen to one nutrition and fitness related podcast to stay up to date on the latest.
  • I make room to stay fit and exercise. I like to lift heavy things, and get my heart rate up pushing my boundaries. As an RD I believe we need to sell what we are, and taking care of yourself is a must for that.

What has been your career path?

I moved to the U.S. in 2009 from Venezuela to continue to dietetics degree at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, IN. In 2012, I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and was accepted to the University of Houston Dietetic Internship where I completed rotations at the Texas Medical Center. In 2013 I was hired as a sports nutrition coach at IMG Academy, a state-of-the-art athletic facility for high performance athletes. In 2016 I received my Masters Degree in Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition. I also founded my private practice Vive Nutrition in 2016. In 2017 I was hired as the Sports Dietitian for the APSI in Tampa, FL overseeing nutrition and fuelling for all-level athletes. My goals are to become a leader in sports nutrition, and possibly work with pro sports like NFL and MLB.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)


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

This is a great question. We (millennials) are in a time of progressiveness in health and fitness that is amazing. More and more people are starting to become more active and have geared their focus towards understanding the importance of healthy eating. In an ideal world I think we should leverage that interest to continue to grow as nutrition professionals defending our expertise to avoid misinformation provided by various media channels. We will live in a world where people will recognize our value as RDs to provide knowledge to lead healthier and better lifestyles, ultimately understanding that it is better to prevent than to treat medical ailments.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

All RDs are different. We have specialties just like doctors do. A lot of people don’t understand that not all RDs are able to help them if their problems go beyond their areas of expertise. When looking for an RD to work with, make sure you find one that aligns with your expectations and explain to them what you are looking for to make sure you can both work together.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

We are humans, we eat everything. I feel judged everytime I eat a slice of pizza or a cupcake lol. There is room for everything people, Geez!

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Finding yourself competing with Non-RDs “Nutrition Coaches” and “Nutrition experts” who grow their audiences in social media, and sell nutrition “solutions” and “shortcuts” for fat loss, with generic programs with little to no customization. People are different. It is a pet peeve to me to deal with misinformation out there. I also encounter the challenge of people spelling Dietitian with C instead of a T. That’s a NO NO.

What do people think that you do for a living?

Write diet plans all day long. I get asked for these even at late hours of social events. 

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

That smile from people when they tell me I have been an instrumental part of their lifestyle change. Knowing I am making an impact in the future of people even if they do not see it immediately. When working with athletes, seeing them progress in their sport and that feeling of knowing nutrition has a large impact in their outcomes and results. That fires up my passion every day!

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

The intense education and training we receive. Only those who have a deep passion to this field make good RDs.

What is your favourite meal?

Pizza all day!

More about Andres:

Instagram: @vivenutrition
YouTube: VIvenutrition (*for awesome weekly video recipes). 




Thanks Andres! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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