Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What RDs Do: Grace Wong, RD

GRACE WONG
MENTAL HEALTH & PEDIATRICS
for something nutrishus


I love that Grace connects food to each person's story. During October I helped with our Agriculture Month in Saskatchewan and the theme was 'Our Food Has A Story' and it truly does. Food plays a large role in our lives and I would enjoy sitting down to a bowl of soup with Grace, especially this time of year in Canada. She mentions the variety of skills dietitians and entrepreneurial dietitians require to succeed and support their patients/clients, we wear many hats and do lots of extra courses and trainings. 

Why did you become a RD?

I really did not know what to expect when I put in my application for dietetics. Fortunately, it felt right as I went through my training. I love stories, and I have always been curious about people's stories. Discovering the meaning of food to a person or a group (a family, a demographic group or patients who share the same health experience) is like reading a story. Every chapter and every detail matter. Being a dietitian allows me to connect with people through their day to day ritual - eating! And every client brings a new story!

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I primarily work in mental health and pediatric nutrition. Common diagnoses I work with include eating disorders, pediatric feeding disorders, mental health issues (addictions, mood and anxiety disorders), ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism spectrum and so on.

How would you explain what you do?

I work with many clients who do not fall into well-defined diagnostic categories. Many individuals and families start out saying "it doesn't make sense". Then we embark on a journey of making sense of their food/nutrition struggles, whatever they may be. Their situations may not have obvious nutrition implications; and often there aren't any standard practice guidelines, so I do a lot of detective work!

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I work in a hospital outpatient clinic as well as in private practice. My work days are mostly taken up by client appointments. Besides that, I am still learning the ropes of managing a private practice. Other typical tasks include talking to inquiring clients, booking appointments, accounting, managing resources etc.

What has been your career path?

My very first job was in public health/community development. I worked with various social service and mental health agencies on food security projects. That was how I started working in mental health nutrition. And life happens, I have since worked in 7 different positions in 3 provinces. While these jobs were all different, there were some peculiar connections. My clinical work eventually branched out to a diverse mix of mental health and pediatric nutrition.

My current aspiration is to be more creative in my work. Operating a small business is really out of my comfort zone, but it certainly has allowed a lot of freedom and creativity.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I completed a master's degree in Health Promotion Studies at the University of Alberta. My graduate work focused on the determinants of health in vulnerable populations including families living in poverty, single parents, Aboriginal groups and people living with mental illnesses etc.

Additional training I had: nutrition therapy for disordered eating, various model-specific trainings in eating disorders, group therapy facilitation, motivational interviewing, allergy & food intolerances, feeding therapy, parent-child relationship and feeding relationship.

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

This is a big question, maybe I would just touch on what's most relevant in my clinical practice. Dietitians are only working in a small subset of health care settings. It would be great to see dietitians working in more primary care clinics and specialized services. Over and over again, I hear other health professionals say "We need a dietitian on our team!"

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

Dear clients, we may assess your nutrition health for your well-being, but we do not judge you as a person based on what you eat. I sincerely mean it!

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Letting go of what I think is best for my clients and being patient with the journey they choose. Walking along with people is what I love about what I do, but it can be very difficult some days.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Make time to eat! Eat and hang out with your loved ones, even better! I am a huge believer that how you eat matters just as much as what you eat. It is my passion to advocate that eating is a self-care experience, not a chore!

What is your favourite meal?

A hearty bowl of soup is my all time favourite! Soups convey comfort and warmth, and you can pack a lot of nutrition in one pot!

More about Grace:

Email: gracewongrd@gmail.com


Thanks Grace! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What RDs Do: Lindsey House RD, LD

LINDSEY HOUSE
INSIDE OUT BEAUTY, ACCOUNTABILITY COACH
for something nutrishus


Lindsey and I seem to have a lot of similar interests and passions. Having worked in surgical weight loss and getting a personal training certificate along the way, she has now carved out a niche in her strength area, and in an area where her caring and motivating personality are a great fit. 

Why did you become a RD? 

I was heavily active in sports growing up and had a built in love of health and fitness. When I went to Miami University for college orientation, I learned about dietetics and thought that this could not be more perfect (good thing I did not fully grasp the concept of all the chemistry classes and tears ahead of me! Ha.)

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

I spent the last 10 years of my career in surgical weight loss. I fell in love with outpatient counseling and the idea of getting to follow my patients through their journey to health. Due to family needs and the need for flexibility, I left the hospital to start working from home. I now provide skype accountability sessions and lead fitness challenges at an amazing company called “Inside Out Beauty”. I work 100% virtually and continue to love the world of counseling.


How would you explain what you do? 

My accountability sessions are lead like health coaching sessions. My clients come to me with their own needs (most in the category of “I know what to do, I just need to do it”). We do anything from meal planning, fitness calendars, behavior goals…clients walk away with a game plan for the next week or two and then we come back together to review previous goals and adjust accordingly.

My fitness challenges are virtual as well. Clients choose a 7 day jump start accountability group or a 30 day group that will cover fitness, nutrition and behavior goal setting as well. Clients are placed in a virtual group where they get constant support and accountability. They set their own goals and are lead through their days with instructional and motivational videos.


What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

My schedule is currently light because I am in the process of building my brand and filling my coaching schedule. My daily commitment is to my “like” page on facebook and this is considered my business page.

What has been your career path? 

I started as an acute care RD in a hospital and I covered all floors, so I was able to get a taste of everything (bone marrow unit, ICU, cardiac, ortho). I was working PRN ('pro re nata' - as needed) and decided to interview at an athletic club as a consulting RD. The hours were sporadic throughout the day and they encouraged me to get my personal training license to fill the in-between hours.

I ended up loving personal training and it was a fantastic mix of counseling and being out on the floor. I then happened upon an opportunity to cover a maternity leave in a surgical weight loss center and I almost didn’t take it due to time restraints, but I knew that I loved counseling and this could be an amazing outpatient opportunity. I fell in love with this position and worked the next 10 years in our surgical weight loss center.

When Kindergarten was starting for my oldest I was struggling with logistics of my commute to and from work with kid coverage before and after school (I thought daycare was so much easier to work around!). I decided to take, what I’m calling, a sabbatical and build a virtual clientele to work from home. I worked with a branding coach, have built my niche and brand as an Accountability Coach (functioning more as a health coach vs. doing specific dietary counseling). I officially am loving utilizing skype and other virtual options to provide my clients with easy scheduling, removing barriers for cancellations and time restraints.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I would consider my personal training certificate as special training as well as 10 year knowledge base in surgical weight loss.


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

Oh boy, you just opened up my soap box!! In 5 years from now, I hope we are that much further away from “diet mentality”. I hope we have fully jumped into rewriting the rules of what success looks like… individuals are giving themselves credit for all of their amazing efforts that may have nothing to do with the scale.

I hope this generation can start to deemphasize the scale, reaching a specific weight and put emphasize on feeling good and working toward being the best “me” we can be. I don’t truly believe that we can fully change this generation, however the next generation is watching. If our young children are not jumping on & off scales, valuing their self-worth by what they weigh, not trying every new diet fad, look at food and fitness as a way to feel their best, fuel up for sports, etc.…then we are on the right track!

My favorite tags are: #progressoverperfection #rewritetherulestosuccess #smallchanges

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? 

I could be goofy and say a common misconception is that we all are amazing cooks! Ha. However, my serious response is that we are rigid and expect perfection. I cannot tell you how many clients of mine are floored that I’m not immediately taking away their diet cokes, alcohol or bread :). I let people set their own goals and choose their own battles… sometimes we are ready to increase movement and drink more water… but asked to omit soda could send you to the dark side.

What would you like people to know about RDs? 

Dietitian’s want you to succeed!!! Most go into the profession because of the love of people, health and fitness. We are not the fad diet, the fast track to immediate weight loss… however, we are the loving arms that will help you build life long habits that will let you live with energy, sleep better and minimize disease. Dietitians assess their clients from all angles, are thorough and take the time necessary to provide their client/patient with the best care possible.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD? 

Because I have existed in the weight management arena for most of my career, my biggest challenge is fighting the power of the scale! I can get clients to a positive place where they are finally giving themselves credit for the small changes (i.e. hit a step goal, slept 8 hours a night, decreased soda by 2 per day) and if the scale does not provide the expected number, I have to start back at square one. (I honestly struggle that MD’s put so much emphasis on the scale… their patient’s hang on their every word).

What do people think that you do for a living? 

Since I exist on social media and provide coaching… I do not get a lot of confusion. The confusion I stand up against is the person that looks at me and says, “people pay you to keep them accountable? Don’t people know how to workout more? How to eat healthier?”.

There is a population that understands the importance of accountability, they succeed with it, struggle without it. I’m fine with people not truly understanding why someone would hire me, because I get to see first hand the success of individuals who invite me on their journey!!

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

I’m a broken record, but I’m extremely passionate about helping people settle into the mentality of “progress over perfection” when it comes to nutrition and fitness. We can aim for perfection in other facets of life, but it does not work in the health and fitness world.

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

I strongly believe that we are all in it because we care and when helping is coming from a good place, it’s hard to criticize or say that we all cannot make a difference. The only difference I would like to point out is an RD’s background. There is a reason for the schooling, the internship and it is because there is monumental learning and understanding being built!!! The ability to assess a question, a client’s history with great attention to detail and thoroughness. I’m sure there is an answer written better than my wording in a pamphlet somewhere :)

What is your favourite meal? 

I LOVE a full fondue meal, I think it’s not only the taste, but I like when eating takes a long time and it’s more about the social component vs the act of eating.

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

I would encourage everyone to find someone that inspires you! I have a client who calls her accountability team her “dream team”. She has built a relationship with a personal trainer, dietitian, physical therapist and at any given point in her life she pulls in a member or all members from her team!!

Do I think we all need a therapist, trainer, dietitian, chef, etc.? Do I think we all have the money for this extensive team? NO!! It can be as simple as following someone on social media that inspires you, listening to podcasts, grabbing a trainer during crazy seasons of life!! It’s truly about understanding your own needs and what has worked for you in successful moments of life!!

More about Lindsey:

Facebook: Lindsey House, Accountability Coach
Website: Inside Out Beauty
Facebook: Inside Out Beauty
Email: houselifestyles@gmail.com

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Thanks Lindsey! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What RDs Do: Mary Angela Miller MS, RD, LD, FADA

MARY ANGELA MILLER
KEEPSAFE FOOD
for something nutrishus


Mary Angela is a food service professional, but the uniqueness to her career is that she focuses on the important area of food safety. Dietetics isn't just about what or when you eat, but also doing it safely. She is another food loving RD that I'd love to sit down to eat with. Having done a variety of things in her career she is now focused on being an entrepreneur and navigating the online world to help people sort through all the misinformation out there.

Why did you become a RD?

I’d enrolled in college as an “undecided” major. I had two “loves” and two “gaps” which led to signing up for a nutrition fundamentals class. My Loves are Science and Food.

Gaps:

  • I experienced all those unpleasant symptoms (Feeling queasy? Then you know what I’m talking about.) and was worried I had food poisoning… realized I didn’t know how to tell if I did and, if I did, how I’d acquired it.
  • Although several of my six sisters inherited my mom, Angelina’s culinary gene, I did not.

I changed my major that quarter and never looked back. Being a dietitian combines the study of food and science. It allows me to hang with chefs and satisfy my appetite sampling their masterpieces and assures my conscience that the food has been prepared safely.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I’m focusing on personal food safety and my entrepreneurial side.

How would you explain what you do?

I offer guidance and information and products to consumers to help them practice personal food safety. KeepSafe Food’s goal is to provide the most helpful information in the most convenient way possible. Where food safety is concerned my motto is: Protect your Plate. I‘ll put the most critical info that you need to know right in front of you. A good example of this is chopping mats, which are like slim cutting. Both the information and tool are important in preventing the cross contamination of bacteria or other harmful organisms on one food or object to another and eventually in to your mouth. I offer chopping mats with a cooking temperature guide and other food safety tips right on them.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I’m developing skills on how to become viral in a virtual world. I’m still learning, learning, learning,
how to work outside of an institutional setting. Online classes, blogging practice, etc.

What has been your career path?

I’ve done many varied things from running the most successful weight loss program in the city to being the first critical care dietitian in one renowned hospital to overseeing foodservice in another.


What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have Bachelors and Masters in Nutrition, Certifications in Healthcare Administration and ServSafe Food safety. I’ve been a food safety instructor. In the past 25 years I’ve passed countless food safety inspections and can extract what is done professionally to take care of patients and customers so that they can apply it to home and family.

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

The retail restaurant industry would benefit from an influx of dietitian expertise. It’s amazing to me how basic the questions are that my restaurant colleagues raise. I answer, then tell them that if they hire a dietitian, it will be one of the best investments they ever make.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

When I dine with you I am enjoying your company and the food before us.

I am NOT judging your food choices… and please don’t judge mine.

Food is one of life’s pleasures and eating well is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies… and there are many different ways to achieve this that could, on occasion, include a french fry or two.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

We are among the health professionals who most practice what we preach. Go to any gathering of dietitians and do a cursory visual assessment. We’re vibrant, in shape (at all ages), we’re up early for a walk or a run, we step outside to take a bite of fresh nectarine, not to take a smoke break. I’m proud to be an RD.

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

We are scientifically trained and our practice is evidenced based.

We know what a double blind randomized controlled study is and understand why legitimate research can yield conflicting results. If you seek our assistance we can resolve your confusion and explain how nutrition science makes sense for you.

What is your favourite meal?

Stuffed manicotti made with homemade pasta and red sauce and red wine, say a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. For dessert? Anything that contains berries, ice cream or chocolate, preferably a combination of all three.

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

Prioritize your nutrition goals. I have friends (who should know better) who angst about consuming minute particles of refined sugar yet don’t wash their organic cantaloupe before eating it.

More About Mary:

Website: KeepSafe Food
LinkedIn: Mary Angela Miller
Pinterest: Mary Angela Miller
Twitter: @mamiller56



Thanks Mary! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What RDs Do: Lori Gardiner, MS, RD, LDN

LORI GARDINER
PRIVATE PRACTICE IN WEIGHT MANAGEMENT, AUTHOR
for something nutrishus


Dietitians bring their unique personality to the work that they do, but I continue to see trends like our focus on small steps, personalized advice, attainable goals and long-term change. Food and nutrition are of course only part of wellness and Lori reminds us of the importance of being active and getting enough rest. Like others, she takes the approach of losing the diet mentality. I totally relate to the unstructured day of being a work-at-home-mom. 

Why did you become a RD?

I became an R.D. because I was interested in nutrition and learned about the field once I was in college. I started out in occupational therapy and switched majors to nutrition.

What area of dietetics do you work in?


I have worked in many different areas. My experience includes: clinical nutrition in a hospital setting (acute and long-term), research dietitian, instructor of anatomy and physiology, and nutrition at a community college, director of the nutrition dept. for a long-term hospital, director of a bariatrics program, magazine and newspaper contributor, private practice in weight management, and author.

How would you explain what you do? 

I presently do nutrition workshops, corporate wellness and "book talks". I also blog on my social media accounts. I do some weight management counseling by referral only. 


What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?


My weekly tasks include blogging for my website and facebook/twitter pages. It also may include writing an article for a local magazine that I contribute to once monthly. I also answer emails from previous clients regarding weight loss and weight maintenance issues. If I have any individual counseling sessions, I will do those. That is the part that I have really cut back on and I do not see anyone unless it is a follow up from a previous client or a new referral from someone that I know. 

I also do intermittent book talks for different events. I have one coming up for the oncology social workers on the pediatric floor at one of our local hospitals. I am also currently working on adding phone consultations to my website. So presently I am writing the promotional part of that. 

I am also in the process of becoming a provider for the Early Steps program. This involves completing the training modules for that, so I am completing the material and taking the exams. I work from home so my day is unorganized and I fit the work in when I can. Usually I squeeze it in between workouts and things I am doing to run the household. We still have two kids at home, one in college.

What has been your career path? 

I started as a clinical dietitian then became the director at that facility. While I was the director I worked in research, taught college and wrote magazine articles. After I had success with the bariatric program that I developed I started my own weight management practice.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a Master of Science in Nutrition and completed my internship at Texas Woman's University in Houston.

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


In an ideal world, dietitians would continue to be looked at as the experts in nutrition and be reimbursed accordingly. I would like for there not to be so much information on the internet that is NOT backed up by proper research.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

The challenges that I face is that nutrition is a topic that is not treated as a true profession. I often feel that I am giving out free advice that people are not willing to pay for. I also feel that it is very hard to stick to a time limit when you are counseling someone at their home. Part of it is my fault because I get very involved and do not know where to cut it off. Sometimes passionate and empathetic to a fault.

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

I am passionate about making changes in people's lives that are completely doable and specific to them. I truly believe everyone can lead a healthy lifestyle with the right tools. Any progress is good progress. I believe in baby steps that are real. 

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

RDs are unique in that we are true experts in our field. We have the knowledge and the ability to teach people a way to live that is backed up by research and can work in their individual lives. 

What is your favourite meal? 

My favorite drink is coffee. Iced or hot. Yes, decaf is fine. I really just like the flavor. My favorite meal is sushi or grilled fish with a large side of fresh grilled veggies. My favorite foods are nut butter (any kind), eggs, Greek yogurt, dark chocolate and seafood. 

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

Find a healthy balance of the foods you eat, physical activity and adequate sleep. There is only one you, so do what works for you and what will work long-term. Consistency breeds results. Perfection breeds failure. When you make a mistake; own it, learn from it and move on. Change comes from discomfort.

More about Lori:


Thanks Lori! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What RDs Do: Gauri Junnarkar MS, RD, LD, CDE, LMT, BAMS

GAURI JUNNARKAR
AYURNUTRITION
for something nutrishus


Many unique dietetic careers come from combined specialties. Like Sapna Punjabi-Gupta, Gauri's unique specialty involves her background in Ayurveda, but she also recently added massage therapy. With this background it is obvious that she takes a holistic approach when working with clients. She mentions two of my favourite terms, moderation and mindfulness, which fit so well with the evidence based consults dietitians offer. 

Why did you become a RD?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda which is a holistic health science that originated in India 5000 years ago. Spices, herbs and foods are an important aspect of Ayurveda. I love research, and was always intrigued by the amount of research done in modern nutrition. So I decided to get a Masters in Nutrition, become a Registered Licensed Dietitian (RD, LD) and combine the two modalities to offer an integrative approach to nutrition.

What area of dietetics do you work in?


I am in private practice. I have an integrative nutrition practice called ‘Ayurnutrition’ in Dallas Fort Worth where I combine Ayurveda and Nutrition. I am also a Certified Diabetes Educator. I provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) for Diabetes Type 1, Type 2, Pre Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, Weight Management, Renal and Heart Disease.

How would you explain what you do?


I am very passionate about Ayurveda and Nutrition. I got my Massage Therapy license last year and also have started offering Ayurvedic Massage and Ayurvedic Bodywork therapies. In practice I combine all three modalities and offer an integrative wellness approach to health.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?


A typical day starts with getting to my office by 9 am. Next I log into the schedule to look at the appointments for the day. I take out the client files in order of appointments. Next I make arrangements to be ready for the client. If the client is coming for a combo session which includes consult and massage therapy, then I make sure I have everything ready for the consult and massage therapy session. A typical day may have 5-6 consults and combo sessions. In between sessions I finish documentation for the sessions. Lunch is usually between 12-1 pm. Depending upon the time and the next session I answer client emails and phone calls. I also take mini stretch breaks in between sessions. After my last session, I make appointment reminder calls for the next day and head home by 6-6:30 pm. So the typical days is busy, but as long as I am organized and on top of things it goes pretty smoothly.

What has been your career path?


I have a Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda (BAMS) from the University of Mumbai. After coming to the United States I did a Masters in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. I did my clinical internship, passed the RD National Board exam and became a Registered/Licensed Dietitian. I worked in-patient for some time and then worked in Outpatient Diabetes Centers for a number of years. I got advanced certification as a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator). I love to teach and have been teaching Undergraduate Nutrition at Tarrant County College as an Adjunct Professor. I also completed a 500+ hour Massage therapy course and got a Massage Therapy License.

What advanced education or special training do you have?


I have a Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda (BAMS) from the University of Mumbai. I have a Masters in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. I got advanced certification as a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator). I also completed a 500+ hour Massage therapy course and got a Massage Therapy License.


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

I see a lot of growth for the industry. I feel with the growing interest in holistic nutrition and Nutrigenomics. I feel that these two fields will become more prominent.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?


‘A dietitian will take all my favorite foods away’. A dietitian on the contrary is an expert Nutrition and Healthcare professional who will work with and educate the client on making better food choices.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

RD’s are expert Nutrition Professionals who have undergone a lot of training to become a Registered Dietitian. So if you have any nutrition or food related questions, RD’s are the best health care professional to seek advice from.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?


I am passionate about an Integrative approach to Dietetics.

What is your favorite meal?


My favorite meal is a Lentil Quinoa Khichari (casserole) with green beans sautéed in olive oil and cumin.

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

Mindful eating and everything in moderation.

More about Gauri:

Website: AyurNutrition
Facebook:  Ayurnutrition: Balance Nourish Rejuvenate
Google Plus: Ayurnutrition
Yelp: Ayurnutrition
LinkedIn: Ayurnutrition
Pinterest: Ayurnutrition
Instagram: ayurnutrition
Twitter: @gaurijunnar

Thanks Gauri! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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