Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day 31: The End

My goal this month was to post a blog every day, and here we are, the last day of October! I am slowly trying to finish my 101 in 1001 goals as the end date approaches, so this is one more to mark off. I have never created so many blog posts in so few days (31/31). It took some time and planning, but I do love the sense of accomplishment. I just hope you don't expect it to continue (or that I bored/lost you).

I am grateful for: goal setting

I like to have direction and of course, my desire to accomplish things is easily met with goal setting. Years ago I was told to set challenging goals, not just make checklists. I also know that goals need to be realistic and achievable. Goals can change and evolve as we do. We're all working towards something different, and I'm not even sure what my end target is, but these little goals help me each day and bring focus to my actions.


I am of course also grateful that people read my words. This blog is an outlet for me, but also hits on my goal/passion to inspire others. It is just me on a keyboard. I am a registered dietitian, but I'm also a wife, mother, daughter, sister, dog owner, traveller, lover of books, baker, entrepreneur, etc. So here, I get to share those things with you. My work goals currently keep me focused on moderation, mindfulness, and minimalism. As my husband says, they may not be sexy terms, because people know they should eat balanced, but prefer to seek superfoods or extreme diets/cleanses/detoxes. However, I do think they can be a pathway to a healthy life and wellness. You may prefer other terms, conscious indulgence, sustainable eating, etc. but they are all subjective and basically mean the same thing. Many dietitians also talk about the 80/20 rule as a form or balanced, healthy eating.

Today I celebrate this goal, and of course Halloween. Since I live a balanced life, that likely means I'll enjoy a bit of chocolate today too.

I hope you're challenging yourself, meeting goals, or setting new ones.
I'm going to have to look at November and see what I have in store for myself (and you).

Steph Langdon, RD

Friday, October 30, 2015

Day 30: Pampering

I try to take care of myself. I am able to afford to take care of myself and I prioritize it so that I have the time. I know not everyone can afford such luxuries. Sometimes it is even our environment or our genetics that make it more difficult to be 'healthy'. I've seen a quote "don't find time to exercise, make time to exercise", of course, I feel the same way about healthy eating. We can often find excuses or reasons to rationalize why we're not being active or eating well. We put it off, we put others or other things first.

I aim to inspire wellness in others so that they can keep doing the things they love to do. We all have different goals, we all define health differently. I have mentioned various aspects of health on this blog over the years. Of course, I always remember that poverty and food insecurity exist, disease can be beyond what we can 'control' and a so-called 'healthy lifestyle' may not be affordable/achievable/attainable for everyone.

If you're able to, I suggest you take care of yourself though. For me, that includes occasional pampering, which could be a nice bath, a pedicure, even coffee with a friend can be a treat, and I know they all make me feel better. I actually scheduled time this week to get some work done in my office, to go for a run, and to go to the spa (kid-free). I haven't done that in 11.5 months since becoming a mom. I took a whole day for me, to get things done, but also to pamper myself.

I am grateful for: the ability to take care of myself (and treat myself every once in awhile)

I try to take care of myself each day, and some days are easier than others. Some days I don't succeed. However, if I'm not taking care of myself, who is?!

Sometimes you have to put yourself first, and I know that can be hard.
Cheers to you!
Steph Langdon, RD

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 29: Variety is the Spice of Life

I enjoy food (as most dietitians do) and I enjoy cooking. This means we're often trying new ideas, tools/methods, ingredients or recipes in our kitchen. We've also been introducing food to our daughter over the past 5 months, so that has kept us thinking about different things to have her try. We do also enjoy eating out and trying different restaurants. If we go out (which is less these days, now that we're parents), it would be for food that we don't make or don't make often, thus it's often ethnic cuisine.

I don't love every food, my husband has a few that he enjoys that I'm not as fond of (oysters, blue cheese, olives). I also don't always make great things in the kitchen, sometimes new ideas flop. We try to find recipes with comments and suggestions so that we can learn from others, but we don't all like the same things either.

I think it's great to have access to many foods. There are varieties in Saskatoon that I don't remember seeing as a child and some foods are now available all year round. We're able to buy fresh, frozen, or canned items and often the store has what we're looking for. I know not everyone has that luxury. I travel to some small communities with my work and see the lack of choices, or even the lack of a store, or high prices that can be limiting.

I am walking distance from groceries, which I love. I can go for a walk to grab a few items I need. I also don't have to eat the same things as my husband or daughter, if I don't want to. We don't have allergies or other dietary restrictions, so for us it's just a matter of preference. As she gets older and starts talking, our daughter may let us know more about her likes and dislikes, but so far we're pretty lucky, like us, she likes food and hasn't had a bad reaction to any of it.

I am grateful for: access to a wide variety of foods

As a Canadian I enjoy being able to eat Italian, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, East Indian, and locally sourced foods. I love to travel and part of that is definitely to try other/new foods.

Try something new or pull out an old favourite that you've forgotten about, explore the world of flavours available to you!
Steph Langdon, RD

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What RDs Do: Olivia Siswanto, RD, MSc, CDE

for something nutrishus

Today we are featuring Ontario based, Olivia Siswanto. She is excited and passionate about the profession, her work and research in diabetes, and the endless opportunities ahead. Olivia has advanced training and education in her role and is a certified Craving Change facilitator like me.

Why did you become a RD?

I learned about diabetes during a biochemistry lecture in university and I was fascinated by the story of the discovery of insulin. The Canadian researchers who discovered insulin decided not to patent their discovery so that people living with diabetes can be “cured”! Then I realized that food plays a huge role in the management of diabetes. After learning about the dietetic profession and the role of dietitians in preventing and managing diabetes, I was convinced that this is the career I want to pursue.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I work at a diabetes education centre.

How would you explain what you do?

Same answer as below

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I do different things every day – this is why I love my job. I provide group education classes for gestational diabetes, emotional eating, and weight management. I also see patients one-on-one, together with a nurse, or with one of our endocrinologists. I am also involved in practice-based research. We will be presenting our research findings at the World Diabetes Congress this December – I’m super excited for this!

What has been your career path?

This is my very first job as a dietitian and I am excited to see where this journey will take me.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a master’s degree in nutrition (MScFN) from Western University in London, ON, and I am a licensed Craving Change facilitator and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
I would like to see:
- More technology incorporated into our practice
- Most if not all Canadians have access to dietitians’ services
- A revamped food guide!

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

There are so many things you can do in this field, from working directly with patients in a clinical setting to starting your own business; the opportunity is endless! Sometimes we just have to be bold enough to carve our own pathways.

More about Olivia:
Twitter: @dietitianolivia
Instagram: @dietitianolivia

Thanks Olivia! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 27: Move to the Beat

I was in band from grades 6 through 12. I played the oboe, like my best friend. For an athlete, it may have been an 'unusual' skill. I also attempted to play the trombone for jazz band, like my brother; I attempted, but it wasn't for me. I enjoyed my fellow band members, had fun on band trips, and think it was a valuable skill and good for my education.

I haven't been to many concerts, maybe 3 or 4 in my entire life. The most recent one in Oakland, California, almost 2 years ago now, was a great one. We were able to hear a variety of groups/individuals and I still listen to some of them today (Lorde, Bastille, Phoenix, etc.). I'm the type of person that appreciates a mix-tape, because I don't know a lot of artists. When I'm on the road for work, I hope it's the morning or late afternoon and I tune into CBC Radio2 or I put on songza. I rarely remember who sings what, the name of songs, or the lyrics, but I enjoy music in the background.

My brother (and nephew perhaps) is quite musical, playing mostly guitar these days. My brother-in-law knows probably every artist and is a great resource to go to for ideas. Our daughter seems to have a little shoulder shake when music is on. We try to play a variety of types of music for her and introduced music at a young age to get her used to sounds. I now take her to the library for reading and songs/nursery rhymes and we're currently in a local zumbini class which is definitely music and instrument focused. I love being able to expose her to such things, especially when it's something I don't think I really have in me. I'm not one to burst into song and I'm still learning kid songs/rhymes.

Music can make such a big difference. We note the soundtrack in a movie, the mood we're in may help us pick an artist to listen to, or we might leave it to the 'experts' and listen to a playlist they created. It's rainy outside and my daughter is currently sleeping, so the house is quiet. I enjoy the quietness, but I also like to put music on in the background every once in awhile, and I know that today's cloudy/rainy weather will play a role in what I feel like listening to.

I am grateful for: music and musicians (and the ability to hear and enjoy it/them)

I hope you have music and songs in your day.
Don't just stop and smell the roses, stop and listen to the silence or the music!
Steph Langdon, RD

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 26: Something To Look Forward To

We've been working to make our weekends feel more like weekends (whatever that means!?). Our weeks seem fairly full/busy, and it's a chance for us to be together. This comes with mindfulness and minimalism. In my attempts to have less stuff, we will eventually have less to clean and organize (chores that I tend to do on the weekend). I still have to figure out a way to get a few things done around the house and will always want to chip away at my to-do list.

However, we try to spend time together, not think about work, or even try to feel like a tourist in our own city. I do know that I'm better at relaxing when we're away from home. Also, like most people, I get excited and like to have things to look forward to. For me, that could even just be goals that I'm working on. Keeping that in mind, I'm not taking away from being present and content in the current moment, but I still like to have something on the calendar for the future.

We haven't really taken a family trip in awhile. With my work, we went to Quebec City in June and for my birthday in April we took a quick trip to Edmonton, so I can't say that we haven't been away from home. My generation seems to like to travel, which I am all for! I'd rather spend our money on trips and experiences. It's often just a matter of saving up and finding time to actually get away. The planner in me also likes to prepare for a holiday, but I try to be spontaneous and just enjoy it too.

We're lucky that we can afford to travel, but as I said, sometimes it's fun just to be a tourist in your own city or province; there's also lots of free things to see and do. It comes back to priorities and perspective. I have no problem saving up for a trip because I know we will create memories and get rejuvenated by the break from our sometimes hectic lives.

I am grateful for: the opportunity to plan and go on vacations

We have the luxury of being able to go to most of the places we dream of going to. It's also the chance to travel with my husband and daughter that makes me grateful to have them.

Do you have something planned, something you're looking forward to?

Happy Monday (and last week of October!)
Steph Langdon, RD

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Day 25: Sharing is Caring

Sundays are now 'watch Daddy play basketball' days. They will also be my long run days for a few more weeks (cross your fingers for good weather!). So, I could be thankful once again for the ability to be active and healthy. However, these are also things that we share/do with others.

My husband plays basketball with a few friends and I cheer/visit from the stands with other wives, moms, and kids. It's a nice little family outing.

As I've mentioned previously, I am also training for a half marathon distance with one of my friends. I think it's great that we're able to spend time with our friends and be active at the same time. It's also setting a great example for our daughter and shows that we have similar values to our friends.

We are lucky to have close friends that we can spend time with and share interests with. I am a tougher nut to crack and do enjoy my 'alone' time (as well as being more of a home-body), but I know that we care deeply for the people in our life, whether we get to see them or even talk to them often. Having a young child has changed our social life, but we have been able to get out or entertain a few times over the last year.

It's just great to have people to share our experiences, our joys, our excitement, and now our growing little girl with. Having relationships and a social circle is definitely part of being healthy and happy. It's great when you find people that are authentic and love you just the way you are. A book (audio book) that I enjoy is Shawn Achor's Happiness Advantage - he often talks about how happiness precedes (rather than follows) success, but also mentions the importance of social connections.

I am grateful for: friendships 

True friends are a unique and special thing,
I hope you were able to see or talk with some this weekend!

Steph Langdon, RD

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 24: Modern Convenience

I often feel that technology takes up a lot of our time. We watch television, check facebook, post to instagram, text a friends, send an email, etc. and don't always seem to actually be living the life in front of our eyes. The lives we see on-line are only snapshots and are open to our interpretation. I am obviously guilty, as I sit here typing this post. However, the other day, when my 'maid' was vacuuming the house, I was grateful for time to be with my daughter. I think of my roomba vacuum as my 'maid' because it cleans for me.

Since it's the weekend, I figured this was an appropriate post. I have been away for work for 2.5 days and 2 nights, so it's family time. My husband will be happy that I'm looking forward to relaxing. I do find the weekends are a time to clean and get ready for the week ahead, but right now I need to recharge and renew myself. That is why I'm thankful for things like my washing machine, dish washer, and vacuum. I can't imagine having to do more things by hand and still fit everything into my day.

We live in a 'busy' time, but we've developed that. It's up to us to decide where our priorities lie and if we're in the moment, perhaps we won't feel as busy. We could also free up a lot of time by not constantly checking our notifications and social media. The 24 hours we get each day can seem to go by really fast or really slow, so make them matter.

I am grateful for: technology that gives me time to do other things

I'm keeping this short so that I can unplug and live my life beyond a screen. I might not capture and share it all with you, but I'll be creating moments and enjoying it none the less.

Have a great Saturday!
Steph Langdon, RD

Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 23: A Breath of Fresh Air

We sometimes think of things as chores, and other times as privileges (the perspective I mentioned yesterday). I know it can seem like a hassle to get my dog, my daughter, and myself ready for an afternoon walk, but then I also remember how few people are able to get up from their work and get outside, stretch their legs, take their mind off things, and even get a little exercise.

Our weather also isn't always great, but it's still a break in my day and the flexibility is part of the reason I do what I do for a living.

I am grateful for: my daily walks

We share the dog-walking responsibilities more now that our daughter is in the picture. We also sometimes get to go for family walks. I am grateful not only for the walks I get, but the times where I get to stay in bed, stay warm in the house, or even just do something on my own while my husband walks the dog.

Someday we will have a backyard for him to run around in, but I hope we continue our walks, as I feel they're good for us in so many ways.

Have a break,
Steph Langdon, RD

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Day 22: Messes to Clean

Perspective makes a huge difference. I skim over social media as I try to not spend too much of my time reading status updates etc. I do of course try to stay on top of food and nutrition trends and current research. From time to time, a shared post will catch my eye. I recently saw one relating to gratitude, so it definitely made me pause (see below). It was so simple, but such a great reminder. I chose to share what I'm grateful for this month, as I know I can be a bit negative or complain about things in my personal life; when in reality I have a great life. Sometimes the little things we complain about exist because of the wonderful life we're leading.

This may or may not strike a cord with you, but I wanted to share it:

I am grateful for: a life where all my basic needs are met

How you look at things really makes a difference and we forget how far we've come. I am grateful for so many things and I hope I continue to be content with my life and not take it for granted.

Don't you just 'love' to clean?
Steph Langdon, RD

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Energizing Muesli {Recipe ReDux}

With seasonal changes and festive holidays, I have a lot of recipes in mind and a few new ones that I've tried lately. We often experiment in our kitchen (which can be a hit or a miss!). This month's Recipe ReDux challenge was A Nutty Nut Day: We had to take advantage of the fact that National Nut Day (October 22nd) falls on one of our ReDux monthly theme post days – so we can all go nuts! Share a healthy nut-filled recipe: Think whole nuts, chopped nuts, ground nuts, nut butter and/or nut flour. And Happy Nut Day!

So, tomorrow is Nut Day! There are so many food holidays to celebrate, and I do try to if I know of them. When I thought nuts, I originally tried to think of something my daughter could eat as well. She's only 11 months old and has two teeth. She has tried many foods and seems to love them all, which includes peanut butter. However, since nuts are a hard texture, I'm waiting for more teeth before I give her too many more varieties. Instead, I chose to go with a muesli recipe. We make granola from time to time for a quick breakfast with yogurt and fruit. So I figured I would mix it up and make muesli instead. It doesn't take much to make a hearty, nourishing breakfast since nuts, seeds, and dry fruit are nutritional powerhouses, but also high in calories.

I used ingredients I had on hand, as well as a few that I felt were right for fall. The recipe is also open to interpretation and can easily be altered. It is something that will help get us through the morning, is easy to put together, and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. I'll enjoy it as a form of overnight oats, simply with yogurt/fruit, as topping to a smoothie bowl, and I might try it warm as well (since it is getting colder outside).

Energizing Muesli
Makes 10 servings (1/2 cup each)

2 1/4 cups large flake rolled oats 
1 cup unsalted nuts, roughly chopped (I used 1/3 each almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
1 cup dried fruit, roughly chopped if necessary (I used 1/3 each apple, cranberries, and apricots)
1/2 cup seeds (I used 1/4 cup each raw sunflower and pumpkin)
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 Tbsp hemp hearts
1 Tbsp chia seed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Chop ingredients if needed. Combine in a bowl. Store in a well sealed container.

In continuing with my October gratitude theme, 
I am grateful for: being allergy free, so I can enjoy foods like nuts

Go nuts with the recipes below!
Steph Langdon, RD

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 20: Rub-A-Dub-Dub

With our hectic lives and mobile technology it can be really hard to be in the moment. I strive to find time to unplug and if you read the blog often, you know I'm trying to be in the moment. Becoming a mom has made this more apparent to me. While I have many things I want to accomplish, I need to be present for my daughter.

I have come to love her bath time. She didn't love the bath at first, then started to splash, and is now extremely active in the tub. I enjoy seeing her excitement, watching her crawl into the bathroom when she hears the water running, and playing with her bath toys.

It's the simple moment in our day, when my husband, my daughter, and I are all together, with no distractions. We (Kevin and I) try to be home for bath time so we don't miss our routine together. I just really love that we're together, content, happy, and not thinking about anything else. I hope this transfers to other parts of our life too!

I am grateful for: bath time!

I do enjoy the tub to myself, but it's my daughter's time that makes me grateful every day.

Stop to smell the roses,
Steph Langdon, RD

Monday, October 19, 2015

What RDs Do: Selena Devries, RD, CLT

for something nutrishus

We are so happy to have Selena Devries on the nutrishus blog today! Like me, she knew that private practice was her calling. As someone living with celiac disease, she has a special interest and passion for the clients she works with, even though she never envisioned that as her speciality.

Why did you become a RD?

I became a Dietitian because I have loved food, nutrition, and health and everything that encompasses it from a young age. However, the five years of school turned me off of pursuing it for a while. After taking 5 years off after high school and working through a variety jobs, I realized that going after my dream was going to be worth it. And, it certainly has been. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I work in private practice specializing in celiac disease and gluten related disorders. It certainly wasn’t the area that I imagined myself working in. I actually remember sitting in class learning about allergies, intolerances and celiac disease and thinking to myself "I couldn’t imagine how difficult it must be for individuals to follow these strict diets. I’m so lucky to have my health. But, this isn’t the area I want to work in." At that time, the area just didn’t spark my interest.

It was only a few, short years later that I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Living with celiac disease has certainly changed my view! Now, my passion for celiac disease is undeniable. When anyone asks me about it, my face lights up with enjoyment! I could talk about it all the time. I absolute love helping my fellow celiacs and those living with gluten related disorders reach their absolute best health.

How would you explain what you do?

Clients come to see me to optimize their digestive health. They may be newly diagnosed with celiac disease, struggling with IBS, have a diagnosis of crohns or colitis, or struggling with digestion because of a poor diet etc.

I work with them one-on-one to identify a protocol(s) that could help improve their digestion. This may include:

· Mindful eating/stress reduction
· Elimination diets such as FODMAPs
· Gluten free education
· Supplements for digestive health
· General healthy eating for better digestion
· Referrals to other health practitioners such as counselling or acupuncture

I also hold events in the community, which I love! I hold gluten free pop ups which are held anywhere in Kelowna. For these events, I have local, gluten free businesses that offer samples of their product and I usually will do a short talk on a gluten related topic, such as the top 5 food to include on the gluten free diet.

I also speak at conferences, give talks to the medical community and hold presentations and workshops within the community on the topic of digestive health.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Well, I probably spend more time than I would like on social media, email, marketing, and general business administration! I recently took on a UBC Dietetic student volunteer to help with social media management. I truly appreciate my newest volunteer, Sophia, and her social media skills.

Besides that, I am probably prepping for clients, preparing powerpoints, giving talks, developing recipes, taking photos of food, writing blog posts, developing handouts, facilitating/planning workshops and events, writing articles for the media, or interviewing with TV, radio or print.

What has been your career path?

I worked as a clinical dietitian for 6 months after graduation. However, private practice is where I knew I wanted to focus my efforts, so I left. It was a huge decision to leave, but I knew I had to do it if I really wanted to make a go of it on my own.

Private practice has certainly been a learning curve! Just hoping right into it without any insight on the business end of things has been interesting. I have to say I am lucky that my partner owns his own business too, so I get free advice ;)

Currently, I am focusing 100 percent of my efforts on growing my private practice.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I am a certified LEAP therapist which is an evidence based method to determine food sensitivities. I actually came across this training when I was researching ways to get myself better when I continued to have symptoms despite strict adherence to a gluten free diet

There are a handful of RDs in Canada that are LEAP certified. The certification is through the USA and so the majority of RDs with the certification are located there.

I have also taken additional, online training in integrative and functional nutrition with Susan Allen, RD, CCN with Next Level Functional Nutrition. There is so much to learn in this area. It is fascinating and I am learning more and more each and every day.

I have also done a lot of my own research, watched webinars, and have watched some Dietitians of Canada learning on demand when it comes to digestive health.

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

I would love for celiac disease to be taken more seriously in restaurants and for the gluten free trend to slow down. Although, the gluten free trend has done a lot in terms of expanding the gluten free items available, it has downplayed the severity of it when eating out.

More about Selena: 

Facebook: Healthbean Nutrition
Twitter: @Health_Bean
Pinterest: Healthbean Nutrition

Thanks Selena! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 18: So Much to Learn

In less than a year I have learned a lot from my daughter (too much to go through here). I thought I would be teaching her, but she is teaching me. Like my husband, she is also making me a better person. She causes me to slow down, drop what I'm doing and be in the moment; she helps me be mindful. She needs me to put her first. She teaches me patience, since things take longer when I need to get her ready, bring her along, stop mid-way through to help her, or completely abandon what I was doing when she wakes up. It's a new life! I do love it and I always wanted to be a mom, so I am very fortunate that I get to learn the role. I think it may be a lifelong lesson though.

Since I love quotes and don't have much time for this post, I figured I would include a few that speak to patience and learning from our mistakes. I have never really liked making mistakes (or asking for help), but I understand that they are learning opportunities. I hope I can help my daughter to see mistakes as opportunities or challenges to improve. We need to make mistakes to learn, so I am happy to have the chance to learn to be a mom (and learn to be a new version of myself). My perfectionist tendencies want me to succeed right away, but that isn't realistic, and sometimes good enough, is good enough.

I am grateful for: my daughter and all that she has taught me in her mere 11 months of life

What have you learned lately? (or what have you failed at and are attempting to learn from?).

Here's to personal growth and lifelong learning!
Steph Langdon, RD

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 17: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

I love photos, although I'm still very much an amateur photographer. We have decent equipment, which I can use, if it's all set up for me! Again, it's something on my 'to-do' list, learn to use the camera.

These days I mostly take pictures of food (for work and social media) or of my daughter. She is changing so much and there are times that I just want to capture. I do also try to just be in the moment with her and enjoy her.

I used to love scrapbooking, I still do enjoy it, but have started to make photo books instead. They fit nicely into my minimalist lifestyle because they don't require me to store a lot of supplies and they are thin, so they take up less room. I still cherish the scrapbooks I created and have a few to complete (that 'to-do' list of mine!). However, I have documented a few of our big trips with mixbook and have been pleased with the results.

Scrapbooking or working on photo books is something I can get lost in. I could spend hours on it, but it is definitely something that will always just be a hobby, because I wouldn't enjoy doing it as much for others, I wouldn't know the story behind the images.

I am grateful for: Time to create and be creative

I am currently working on a book for my daughter's first year. It's been hard to narrow down the pictures and I'm curious if we'll continue to take lots of photos of her as she ages. With digital images it is easy to keep them all, develop a few, and get creative with a few others. However, I do have too many pictures on my computer, so that will need to be tackled as part of my minimalist goals. I think finding time to be creative, whatever that is for you, is important. It's a good balance and likely good for your health since it is stress free and a chance from the everyday.

What's your creative outlet?
Steph Langdon, RD

Friday, October 16, 2015

Blog Action Day #RaiseYourVoice

Today is Oct. 16, blog action day! I have taken part in the past, and as usual, I like the broad theme that they chose this year: Raise Your Voice.

As an educated Canadian female, I have a lot of things going for me. Considering that we are in election time in Canada, I right away thought of our right to vote as a way to express ourselves. This blog is an outlet and a way for me to communicate (without regulation or censorship). The internet has expanded our online conversations and made the world a smaller place. It has also given people confidence and a voice. While I appreciate that, I also read uninformed or rude (etc.) comments at times and wonder if people would be as expressive in person (I doubt it, for the most part).

We all have a different story and different ways to express ourselves. However, in some parts of the world people are not able to have a voice. I try to use my voice to inspire others to wellness and create positive change; I try to use it for the betterment of mankind. I don't often speak about fringe, sensitive or unpopular topics, but I aim to help people sort through all the (mis)information on health and nutrition that exists online. I may not shout, but that isn't always the best way to spread messages either. With my new interview series, I am striving to promote my profession (Registered Dietitian or RD) and help people see all the diverse things we do and the unique background and skills that we have. 

If we don't say anything, nothing will change. However, as important as it is for us to speak, it's equally important to listen. I am still working on this skill, but we need to let others have a chance to express themselves so that we can learn too. I have heard sayings like "we have 1 mouth and 2 ears, so it is twice as important to listen". Check out the conversation happening today (and hopefully continuing).

I am grateful for: the chance to share my thoughts, knowledge, and experiences with others

Whose voice inspires you?

Speak up!
Steph Langdon, RD

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 15: The Land of Living Skies

My work sometimes takes me all over the province. While I love to travel, I didn't think I would be seeing so many parts of Saskatchewan. Due to our snowy and cold winters, I try to plan my trips to hit the best road conditions I can. Since it's my travel season right now, I thought about this post while watching the sun come up while heading to a new destination.

It's great to meet people all over the prairies. I'm a city girl, but Saskatchewan city people are still a little bit country I think. From the other places I have travelled, I do realize how friendly and polite people here are. I could be out walking the dog or jogging with my daughter and will get a friendly hello (although I must admit, not everyone in my neighbourhood stops for pedestrians, so I guess we've still got some work to do). I think I've also heard that we have some of the best volunteers!

I'm proud to be from Saskatchewan and even have a tiger lily in my tattoo. I always felt I had to defend our province when I would meet athletes from around the country. Saskatchewan is flat, boring, farm land they would say. I know I'm biased, and I know I'll complain a few days this winter and wonder why I live here when it gets so cold, but it's home and has a lot to offer.

I keep learning more about our agriculture and what we produce here. As a dietitian I've started consulting for some of our local commodities and it adds to my pride. I do of course also love our Saskatoon berries and am fortunate to be able to pick and enjoy them right behind our cabin. There are still many local sites that I've never seen and many places to explore. I hope we're able to take weekend road trips with our daughter to share what Saskatchewan has to offer and to #ExploreSask. We've already taken her to Beaver Creek, Pike Lake, and Wanuskewin Heritage Park.

It may be a hard word to pronounce, but we have a lot to be grateful here. It's home to me and still contains some of the best Northern Lights and sunsets I've ever seen.

I am grateful for: the flatness of the prairies and the sights that come with the landscape

If you haven't been, I suggest you visit, but probably in the spring/summer/fall when the air is warmer, festivals are happening, and river walks can be enjoyed along with the people and food.

Steph Langdon, RD

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Day 14: The People Who Raised Me

It's my Dad's birthday today, so an even more fitting day to show him and my mom gratitude. My parents are great. They're enjoying their retirement and being grandparents. They're always there with a helping hand and are definitely part of my support system.

I know many of my character traits come from them. We're 'busy-bodies' or do-ers. I think it's a great trait, as long as we also know how to be in the moment and relax (which I'm still working on). They do however value life, because they try to find ways to do the things they want to do and they live by their own rules. They chose to retire to live more now and enjoy it. They also try to take care of themselves with activity and healthy choices.

Now that I'm a parent (almost 11 months in), I value my parents and all parents so much more. To think of the sleepless nights, the confusion/frustration of not knowing what a baby wants, and putting another life before yours. To know how much I love and adore my daughter, I know how much my parents love me. It's also great to see them enjoying their grandchildren. 

Our parents play a large role in our lives. If they're biological, then they contribute to our genes and hereditary characteristics as well. They also shape our environment. They make us feel safe (or I'm fortunate that mine did). They cheer for us. They wipe our tears. They listen. They lend a helping hand. My Dad also likes to sometimes give what he calls 'mad money' - a bit of cash to spend on anything.

Birthdays are celebrations and I don't think we should fear getting old. It's going to happen. It's just a good reminder to enjoy each passing day, because we don't know how many birthdays we get. It's also a good reminder to be mindful and grateful for our health, and in my opinion, to work to preserve (or improve) it, so we can keep enjoying our days.

I am grateful for: the support and love of my parents

Happy Birthday!

I hope you all have the love & support you need,
Steph Langdon, RD

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What RDs Do: Crystal MacGregor, RD

for something nutrishus

We are very happy that Crystal found time to share her insights with us. She uses words that I love, like passion and inspiration, and you can tell how much she loves what she does, and she takes her knowledge across our great country. With epicure she aims to help people change their plates and how they think about food - it's all about being healthy, easy, and of course delicious. I would love to attend a tasting session with her and her team!

Why did you become a RD?

I became an RD because as I am passionate about everything and anything to do with food! I’ve always been curious by the science and artistic beauty of food by nature and find myself continuously perfecting cooking easy, delicious and nutritious meals using wholesome, real food by nurture. Cooking and sharing good food is an act of love, for me it was love at first bite! I followed my passion to help nourish a nation one bite and one step at a time helping other live life deliciously. As best put by Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I work in the fast paced, exciting world of business and industry and am thrilled to be the Director of Innovation Research & Development for Epicure.

How would you explain what you do?

I am privileged to lead a brilliant team of professional chefs and an industrial designer while working closely with our dynamic sourcing team to create time saving cookware and expertly blended herb and spice blends that meet Epicure’s high quality, clean ingredient mandate without ever compromising on taste. Working with our masterminded President and CEO, who travel the world to bring trends to Canadians everywhere, together we innovate and change the way people think and enjoy good food experiences. We are all about inspiring healthy eating and make it easy to get meals on the table fast with our solution-based approach to cooking. Simply put we are modernizing cooking by inspiring and teaching others to enjoy Good Food. Real Fast™ through at home cooking classes.

Check out our new product innovations in our NEW fall/winter catalogue:

To find our more about Epicure which is one of Canada’s leading direct sales companies check out

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

What I love most about my job is that it is fast-paced; every day is different and offers a new set of challenges and opportunities to do great work.

My typical workday is strategically and project focused to meet business driven deliverables. I typically spend 50% of my time in BC and 50% working out of my home office in Ontario. And yes, my job could not be more delicious! When I am in BC it means multiple face-to-face meetings, hands-on working in our test kitchen with my incredible team, tasting new products, assessing cookware designs/prototypes, researching or presenting the latest trends our President and CEO find, and working collaboratively with operations, sales and marketing teams to inspire new opportunities to inspire healthy eating solutions and new product innovation to wow consumers. The only difference while I am in Ontario is the meetings change to conference calls or Skype and at times I may end up wanting to lick a computer screen instead of a tasting spoon.

Launching new products. Epicure’s National Conference 2015  

What has been your career path?

I have been lucky to live from coast to coast, literally (PEI, NS to BC, then SK to now ON) and had such fortunate opportunities to work in diverse dietetic positions with so many amazing people, building my skill set and knowledge along the way. After my UPEI Integrated Dietetic Internship I dabbled in private practice and then found myself working as the Provincial Coordinator for School Healthy Eating Programs in PEI. I then decided to work as a dietitian for the Atlantic Superstore where I could impact point of purchase, where it can really make a difference, the grocery store. There I counselled clients, conducted cooking classes, and provided numerous health and wellness sessions. I was then recruited to fill a temp maternity leave position as the Community Room Marketing Manager, working in Atlantic Superstore’s head office, marketing division. Next, I met my loving husband and moved to Victoria BC. There I worked as a clinical dietitian in various areas. The people and clients were amazing although part of me longed to follow my passion and focus my efforts on chronic disease prevention and empowering consumers to change the way they think and enjoy good food. I was lucky to find myself at Epicure working in various positions and am so fortunate that as I moved (the happy life as a military wife) I was able to keep working for Epicure. I am honoured to have been working with Epicure for the past eight years now and I love that I am working with a business that is as passionate about healthy eating as I am and together we are on a mission change plates everywhere! Taste buds get ready.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I am an avid learner and pride myself in always learning ways to improve, learn more, grow, inspire and adapt. A few years ago, I did complete my Personal Training Specialist certification, as I wanted to expand my knowledge of how to positively impact others and motivate them to move more.

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

I think the industry will continue to be a goldmine of opportunity offering diverse opportunities for dietitians willing to seek them. The world needs more dietitians who can share our love and passion for good, wholesome, real food, while staying up to date and providing evidence based research to empower consumers to change what is on their plates and how we think about food.

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

Follow your passion, continue to seek out opportunities to grow and challenge yourself. As recently inspired while attending The Art of Leadership Conference in Vancouver a few quotes resonated with me as I hope they do you.

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. – Dr. Liane Davey

“There is nothing that you can’t make worse.” - Chris Hadfield

“If we just create, preserve and don't eliminate we can never change.” – Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

“You are stronger than you think.” - Captain Phillips

And most relevant to us as a dietitian community of talented RD’s,

“Change yourself, change your organization.” – Dr. Liane Davey

It all begins with you, and with me. We can drive positive change and it starts with each one of us. It is important that we constantly improve- learning and adapting to the world we live in now and together we can change what people think of RD’s, good food, and health. Together we can make the world a healthier place and positively impact our planet.

More about Crystal

Twitter: @crysmacgregor
Facebook: Crystal MacGregor
Linkedin: Crystal MacGregor
Instagram: cmacgregor
Epicure Website:

Thanks Crystal! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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