Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What RDs Do: Patricia Chuey, MSc., RD, FDC

PATRICIA CHUEY
FOOD & NUTRITION MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS
for something nutrishus


Patricia, aka "The People's Dietitian", seemed like a perfect fit for the 100th interview in the series. She was named the 2017 Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Lecture Award recipient by Dietitians of Canada and is a well-known Canadian (and originally Saskatchewan) dietitian and mentor. She has had numerous roles and envisions many career opportunities for the future of dietetics. Patricia offers great advice below, including one of my favourite quotes and terms like happy, healthy and being your best self.

Why did you become a RD? 

I thought I might become a doctor or Home Ec teacher. Being a dietitian is the perfect combination of both.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

These days mainly in food and nutrition media communications. This involves TV appearances, writing, speaking, blogging, teaching cooking classes, recipe development, food product creation and consulting to the food industry. I’m also very involved as a mentor to both new and established dietitians in business. I’ve spent many years in private practice as a nutrition counselor. I also spent a decade working in sports nutrition with athletes and coaches from little league to professional and 9 years in the marketing department as a supermarket dietitian – a rapidly growing area of the profession and one with so much untapped potential.

How would you explain what you do? 

In a nut shell, I help create peace of mind for consumers on the subject of food in their lives. What should be a basic and fairly easy task of eating to fuel our busy lives get unnecessarily confusing in the endless sea of food and nutrition information we all sail on. My work is focused on equipping people with accurate and practical knowledge and skills to stay well nourished, enjoy what they're eating and live a healthy, happy life without constant focus on food.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

Like many of our dietitian colleagues, for the past 25+ years, I have enjoyed that there’s such a wide variety in my work and no two days are exactly alike. That said, examples of tasks you’ll find me working on are:
  • Preparing content and planning the set display for my next TV appearance
  • Working in my home kitchen creating and testing recipes I’m developing for corporate clients
  • Taking food photos for use in supporting my brand on social media
  • Speaking on the phone in a mentoring session with a colleague
  • Writing practical food and nutrition articles for a national corporate wellness newsletter I’ve written for since 1995
  • Speaking to a group of women, kids or local athletes about healthy eating
  • Preparing for a keynote address at a professional conference and then travelling to these events
  • Assigning and reviewing projects for a nutrition intern to work on 
  • Attending Board or Committee meetings for various projects
  • Traveling to attend various food and farm tours
  • Responding to magazine, print or radio interview requests
  • Dreaming and brainstorming about my next business venture – this is ongoing and constant.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

In addition to my BSc(Nutr) and RD designation, I’ve completed a Master of Science degree with a focus on adult education and sport nutrition. I’ve participated in many media and marketing related courses over the years. I’m also a trained cooking program facilitator.

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

A few random thoughts:
  • The public is clearly aware that for safe, practical and accurate food and nutrition information, they talk to a registered dietitian not just anyone attractive with an interest in the subject
  • There is more legal crackdown on food and nutrition information, programs and products that are not fact-based and can endanger the public
  • Grocery stores are smaller yet the square footage filled with fresh fruits and vegetables (and ideas for how to use them) is bigger 
  • Dietitians are employed in every single place that promotes, sells or serves food
  • Dietitians revolutionize meals for seniors and are employed in all facilities where seniors reside, whether the healthy elderly or those in care homes
  • Any TV or media program sharing nutrition information has a dietitian on the team
  • When the public sees that a dietitian is associated with the program or service, they get excited because they know the food will be amazingly delicious and good for them.
  • There is no sponsor funding accepted from any food company that makes unhealthy food or beverages. 

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

  • That we have sold our soul to industry 
  • That we count calories and want to put everyone on a bland, flavor-less diet
  • That we all follow a strict meal plan and rarely enjoy treats
  • That the food guide drives our entire professional life 

What would you like people to know about RDs?

  • That we love delicious, healthy food and are experts in helping people get more flavour in their lives while meeting their needs, feeling great and achieving optimal health.
  • That we know about every aspect of food and the multiple social, emotional and economical factors affecting eating. We’re trained and highly experienced in customizing advice recognizing that no two people have the exact same needs.
  • That Canada’s Food Guide is a very basic, general population educational guideline only. It is not intended to be the answer to every specific individual need.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?


Not many. I’m a believer in being aware of your competition and then doing the kind of work that makes them worry about YOU rather than you spending time and energy worrying about them.

What do people think that you do for a living?


Those who know me best think I have fun sharing delicious, creative, practical food ideas to boost their enjoyment in life while staying healthy. They’re correct.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Constantly reminding consumers how delicious and easy healthy eating actually is. I’m also VERY passionate about the future of our profession and supporting up and coming dietitians as a mentor.

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

Once you get to know an RD, you realize that EVERYTHING makes us different. Most of all, that we have the skill set, and one that is fact-based, to uniquely assess any eating situation and make very customized, delicious, do-able recommendations for improvements. We would NEVER EVER send a client out the door telling them to “eat no wheat, no dairy or sugar” without working with them on how to actually go about doing that safely, nutritiously and practically. 

What is your favourite meal?


Lots of local, in-season vegetables and fresh fish on the grill with pavlova for dessert.

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

  • An 80-20 approach to healthy eating works best. We don’t just eat for physical nourishment, so be sure to leave room for all types of nourishment
  • Without a positive sense of self-worth, continuing to work solely on healthy eating will not resolve the issues 
  • If we all exercised more, we could ease up a little on this over-focus on food choices
  • Be grateful for the amazing access to a fresh, healthy food supply we have in this country
  • Support local growers and providers of food to help keep our food supply sustainable
  • There are many entry points on the continuum of healthy eating. Listen super carefully to your clients and help them make improvements at the level they’re at and able to achieve
  • Avoid teaching people to do diet math and count calories. Teach them to appreciate wholesome food, stay active and get them excited about cooking more at home.

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

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Be your best self, not a version of you that is trying to compete or compare to someone else. Encourage your clients to do this too. Everyone has important gifts to share with the world. Get out there and share them!

More about Patricia:

Website: Patricia Chuey
Instagram: @PatriciaChuey
Facebook: Patricia Chuey
Twitter: @PatriciaChuey
Email: patriciachuey@shaw.ca



Thanks Patricia! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

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!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What RDs Do: Gina Sunderland, MSc, RD

GINA SUNDERLAND
PRIVATE PRACTICE & CLINICAL NUTRITION
for something nutrishus


Gina is a Canadian dietitian that I feel I know already, even though we have yet to meet in real life. However, there are many things about her that I think will surprise you. I've seen her in various media clips which is likely the reason she feels so familiar to me. She's also a fellow prairie girl and I love her optimism about the future of our profession.

Why did you become a RD?

After high school I was travelling in Scandinavia with an international musical group called Up With People. Part of our tour took me to Sweden. I became captivated by the Scandinavian lifestyle focusing on healthy food choices and physical activity. I knew I was not destined to be a travelling musician, and it became clear to me that with my love of cooking, a career in nutrition would be a perfect choice! I sent my application for Foods and Nutrition Dietetics to the University of Manitoba from a mailbox in Denmark, and I have never looked back.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I feel privileged to work in a few areas of practice, and love the variety!

I work in private practice and as a clinical dietitian three days a week at CancerCare Manitoba. I assist patients with their nutritional needs during cancer treatment, help them manage side-effects that impact on their nutritional intake, and answer questions about natural health products, vitamins, minerals, and herbal products. Oncology has been the most rewarding clinical area I’ve worked in.

After having my second child I decided to open a private practice to allow more flexibility with my work hours. Early on I was asked to appear as a guest on Breakfast Television, and I immediately fell in love with the creative aspect of media work. I enjoy coming up with TV segment ideas, key messages, recipes and food displays to tell a story. I’ve been fortunate to have grown my media presence over the years by partnering with food companies, marketing boards, and public relations agencies to represent a variety of food products and brands.

I am also a co-founder of Media Training Boot Camp with my terrific dietitian business partner Sue Mah. We provide media coaching and training to other dietitians at conferences, events across the country, through webinars, and personalized coaching. We want to ensure dietitians are the media’s go-to nutrition experts!

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

It’s difficult to describe what a “typical” week look like. Each week is unique and involves a variety of tasks including seeing private clients, oncology patients, planning TV segments, writing, and working on projects for food companies and marketing boards.

What has been your career path?

I started my career at the London Regional Cancer Centre working with oncology patients. I have also worked in rehab, gynecology, medicine, diabetes education, and internship coordination. Now that I am back in oncology, it feels like the perfect fit!

What advanced education or special training do you have?

After my Bachelors degree from the University of Manitoba, I completed my Masters of Science at the University of Guelph and my Dietetic Internship at Chedoke McMaster Hospital in Hamilton.

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

I see dietitians working in an even greater variety of practice areas by taking leading roles as bloggers, recipe developers, nutrition experts in grocery stores, food industry, media, agriculture, and health promotion/disease prevention. Ideally, every Canadian should have access to the expertise of a registered dietitian!

What would you like people to know about RDs?

RDs have unique skills and can work in a wide range of areas. You’ll find us working in wellness institutes, private practice, grocery stores, hospitals, fitness centers, in the media, doing professional writing, teaching at colleges and universities, and much more!

What is your favourite meal?

The first that comes to mind is grilled salmon, asparagus, roast potatoes and a crisp green salad.

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

I love the challenge and diversity of work that is available to someone who calls themselves an RD. It is amazing to see all the great work colleagues across the country are doing. We are a smart, capable, creative group of professionals, and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

More about Gina:

Facebook: Gina Sunderland, MSc, RD
Twitter: @gsunderland
Instagram: @g.sunderland
LinkedIn: Gina Sunderland
Website: Gina Sunderland - Consulting Registered Dietitian
Email: gina@ginadietitian.ca




Thanks Gina! Find out more about What RDsDo.


If you're a dietitian that would like to be featured, email mesteph@nutrishus.com for the details!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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

JIM SEEGER
SPORTS RD
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

DALLAS ODGERS
COMMUNITY - OUTPATIENT & LTC,
GYM OWNER/PRIVATE PRACTICE
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



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