Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What RDs Do: Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RDN


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!