Monday, May 30, 2016

What RDs Do: Ben Sit, RD

for something nutrishus

I am very excited to share a male perspective (and Ben speaks to being a male in a female dominant profession below). I 'know' him from our facebook Dietitian's Support Group (aptly named) and am amazed at everything he has accomplished in a few short years. I knew from the start that working in sport dietetics in Canada meant private practice for me (hence something nutrishus), but I think it's great that Ben has turned that need into positions within his practice and volunteer opportunities as well. I too look forward to seeing the expansion of jobs for dietitians in sport in Canada as it is a large gap and area of opportunity for us.

Why did you become a RD?

This is a bit funny because originally I didn’t want to be a Dietitian, I wanted to be a Pastry Chef so I started working in restaurants and hotels in Toronto with that dream. My family didn’t like the idea of me being a Chef and a Pastry Chef as they thought it would be too hard on my body and health later on in life so I was forced into a University program. I chose something at least related to food, which brought me to Ryerson’s Nutrition and Food program and I had every intention on failing in the first semester so I could justify going to Culinary School. Once that first semester started, I fell in love with nutrition and food, and before I knew it I became an RD to combine my passion for Culinary, Nutrition, Sports and Athletics. 

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I currently work in Sports Nutrition, which is a small field in Canada but has grown rapidly in the last few years. 

How would you explain what you do?

This is a bit difficult as my job description is so vast and things can change at the drop of a hat. The primary focus of my job is to work with people, professional and amateur athletes as well as celebrities to give them advice on their nutritional practices to help them be healthier and to perform better in their sport or their life. A lot of this has to do with finding exactly what works best for that client in regards to supplements, foods and timing in relation to the sport or physical activity. Everyone is different and responds differently to nutritional and athletic interventions. 

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

‘Typical’ no longer exists in my world, but a day can range between seeing some clients at one of my many clinics or online, doing nutritional education presentations, posting to social media, coordinating my volunteer team or completing a project. I also have to fit marathon or triathalon training into my day! For my weekly tasks I’ll compose the Evolved Sport and Nutrition (ESN) nutrition tip of the week, do recipe development, have business meetings, write for either my blog or my book, update my website and to constantly think of new and innovative ways to promote health and physical activity. 

What has been your career path?

When I started my career in Dietetics, I started in Long Term Care. This left me unsatisfied because I had always wanted to work in Sports Nutrition but when I started my career there were no jobs and there still aren’t that many. So when it was decided that I would leave LTC to pursue Sports Nutrition, I had to create my own job, so I started up Evolved Sport and Nutrition. Now that ESN is in it’s 3rd year of business, I’ve been able to grow it, create more jobs in Sports Nutrition, hire and train other Dietitians to work in Sports Nutrition and provide them with ongoing support. Now that ESN has partnered up with many amazing people and companies I’ve been able to provide sports nutrition services to not only the Greater Toronto Area but to all of Canada via an online counseling platform.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

Originally I trained as a Chef and a Pastry Chef before I became a Dietitian. During this time I also became an athlete by competing in runs, marathons and soon to be triathlons. Having really developed a love and passion for nutrition as well as athletics, I then trained with the Sports Dietitians of Australia to get my certificate in Sports Nutrition (*offered through the Sport Nutrition Network within Dietitians of Canada). I then became a personal trainer to combine those worlds together with my culinary background, allowing me to make physical activity recommendations in my practice. From that point on I acquired the ISAK level 1 certificate to allow me to perform body composition analysis tests to better serve my athletes as well as show people the difference between weight loss and body composition change. I also completed multiple Dietitians of Canada’s certificate courses, including the Sports Nutrition supplement course, vitamin and mineral supplementation course, mindful eating as well as some life coaching courses and advanced physiology and kinesiology courses. 

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

My dream for the industry 5 years from now is to have more Sports Dietitians working in gyms and athletic centers to collaborate with personal trainers and athletic coaches. Most people recognize that healthy lifestyle changes are approximately 70% nutritionally based and only 30% physical activity based. To me, it doesn’t make sense how people will pay for thousands of dollars of personal training and ignore nutrition when nutritional interventions are much more successful in creating sustainable healthy lifestyle changes. 

Another dream of mine would be that the role of a personal trainer is combined with the job of a nutritionist and the training would be completed in a college level program. The case files would be managed and supervised by a Sports Dietitian that is qualified in both nutrition and personal training/ athletics where the Sports Dietitian would deal with the highly complex cases. This combination of both these roles would allow for more effective lifestyle change and promotion, along with scientifically backed nutritional interventions. It doesn’t make sense to have these two fields that are so closely related for preventative health be so separate and poorly understood by each other, there needs to be a bridge between the two fields to be truly effective. 

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

The public seems to think that RDs are pushing some sort of agenda created by the government to sell milk or something like that. I can assure you all this is not the case. Dietitians are trained to be objective, respectful of dietary preferences and practices. In fact, the only agenda we have is to educate people with the latest scientific evidence to help make healthier food choices to promote health. 

What would you like people to know about RDs?

That we’re not the food police. I hate eating with people because they will look at me and order the salad because they think I’m judging their food choices for some reason. Well I’d be the worst one to judge when I’ve just ordered fried chicken! 

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

I’d like to speak to some of the unique challenges I face as a Male Dietitian as we’re a VERY small percentage of Dietitians, in fact there were only 3 males in my graduating class at Ryerson and over 100 women! One of the biggest challenges I face is the automatic assumptions that I get because I’m male. These assumptions could range from not being able to be empathetic towards clients, me being super strict or not understanding/ caring. This really upsets me because it’s not only potential clients that have these assumptions, but other healthcare practitioners, including other Dietitians! I can assure you that gender plays no difference in my ability to do my job well, which is true with other professions as well. It baffles me that this kind of thing still exists in this day and age. 

What is your favourite meal?

Fried Chicken with a biscuit and Mac & Cheese or a Burrito, seriously.

More about Ben:

Twitter: @Evolved_SN
Thanks Ben! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Need Mustard? You Must!

One of my clients is SaskMustard, so I've been learning lots about this spice/condiment/ingredient and it's been on my mind more loately. I was fortunate to be the recipient of Epicure's new mustards, but that also means that two lucky readers/followers will be too (keep reading...).

On May 1, Epicure launched four certified organic, gluten-free varieties made with Canadian mustard seed - Sweet & Spicy, Honey Mustard (made with Canadian honey), Pale Ale Whole-Grain and Stout Stoneground. My home province, Saskatchewan, produces about 70% of Canada's mustard and is a world leader in mustards exports (we're not just the 'bread basket' or wheat province; pulses grow here too!). I also love being able to try products with Canadian ingredients and from my colleagues (thanks Epicure and Crystal!).

I of course had to try them all before I could post this giveaway!

We had the Stout Stoneground with cheese, arugula, and spinach on smokies, because I figured I needed to try at least one in a 'hotdog' type of situation.

I tried the Pale Ale Whole-Grain on a pita with leftover chicken and leafy greens.

My daughter and I enjoyed the Sweet & Spicy with tilapia and a side of roasted zucchini and potatoes.

The Honey Mustard was used as a glaze on pork tenderloin, served with mashed potatoes and salad.

There are many ways I plan to continue to try these products - on sandwiches, for vinaigrettes, and if I'm adventurous, perhaps even in baking! They paired really well with proteins and potatoes. I thought it was nice to have different textures and of course the different flavours add a little something different and a little punch. do you enter?

'Like' the image below on my instagram feed and tag a friend (my husband always says food tastes better when you share). The giveaway ends at 11:59pm MT today (May 26th). I figured since it's National Salad Month, National BBQ Month, and National Hamburger Month, you should enjoy these before May is over!

Two (2) lucky individuals (that's you and your friend), will win four (4) Epicure mustards to enjoy this Spring/Summer.

Best wishes!

*Disclosure, Epicure provided me with 4 mustards to try and 4 mustards to giveaway. I work with SaskMustard. Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What RDs Do: Pierrette Buklis, MHSC, RD

for something nutrishus

I am very pleased to feature Pierrette. She was happy to contribute, but aware that people are often suspicious of her since she works in the food industry (which I completely understand, as I work with commodity groups and brands too). This reminded me of a Practice Blog post from last year on embracing the role of industry dietitians.  I know where she's coming from in terms of trying to explain the broad scope of what she does - another reason I started this series, and I love how she answered the future focused question, so much good insight below - enjoy!

Why did you become a RD?

Honestly, being a dietitian wasn't on my radar through most of university - I was going to be a surgeon and join Medecins sans frontières. If I knew what a dietitian was, my understanding was limited to the clinical, in-patient area. I chose nutrition as my area of study because it was an amazing applied combination of biochemistry and physiology, both of which I loved. When I realized medical school was not going to work out for me, I was lucky to be in a U of T undergrad course taught by Dr. Magda Krondl entitled "Sociocultural Aspects of Nutrition", and I was fascinated. She opened my eyes to a broader world of dietetic practice that caught my interest and helped set my direction.

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

I have always worked in population health and health promotion, although my approach to it has changed with my different roles.

How would you explain what you do? 

The mission-statement/elevator speech evaded me for a long time because the scope of my area is quite broad, but lately I would sum it up by saying: I work to improve health through food for as many people as possible.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

One of the more exciting (sometimes frustrating!) things about my work is that one week can vary markedly from the next. Some weeks I address the theoretical, when I’m involved in health policy development, or the design and interpretation of research for policy development or for population education. Some weeks I’m more involved in communication to my peers – my business peers to help them understand the science, or my health professional peers, to share the insights I have from the global research and business communities in which I work. Some weeks I’m deeply involved in the more applied areas of crafting (hopefully effective!) health communication messaging to the public or providing nutrition-based guidance on the plans for specific food product development.

What has been your career path? 

I began my career in a public health department, and I have worked in public health, research, non-profit organizations and food industry.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

In addition to the undergrad requirements for dietetics, I also completed a Master’s degree in health policy & communication. To be fair, this sometimes feels like it’s not enough, for some good and not-so-good reasons. On the good reasons side, I feel that business or law education could help me be more effective at some of what I do. On the not-so-good side, I feel that a PhD (as specialized as it is) is becoming a more important credential for legitimacy in the areas I play. This is unfortunate because it appears to be less based on what the education offers to your perspective and capability, and more a way to screen “qualified” candidates.

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

I wish I could be more optimistic, but I don’t think a lot can change in our sphere in the next 5 years – 5 years is not long enough for the kind of systemic change I believe we need. So my 5-year ideal would be that as a global society we are making meaningful progress toward: responsible communication of research results to consumers; appreciation by the general public that good health is a beneficial tool, not a higher-order virtue; and a perception of dietitians as important enablers of personal and population nutrition goals. An important key to success will be improved collaboration among dietitians, including active support of one another in a professional sense, even those of us in less traditional dietetic roles. (This blog is a fantastic piece of that puzzle!)

What are challenges you encounter as a RD? 

Honestly, the challenge I find the most difficult is internal to our profession. Some of our colleagues question the ethics and professionalism of those of us who work in/with the food industry. I hope we can reduce the barriers between us to see how our work can be important in various segments of society. It has never been more important that our peers remain active in the food industry, and it can be incredibly rewarding when a dietitian brings unexpected allies together to make healthful things happen for the millions of Canadians who shop for packaged food every day. Yet, many days it is a thankless task to stand up for what we believe is right, in the face of both our professional group and our workplace.

What are you passionate about in dietetics? 

I love food and I love learning and I’m a very social person – I am so grateful that I have a profession that allows me to engage in all of that, every day!

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

Practice applied curiosity. It takes humility to admit you need to learn something new, or re-learn something old that has changed, or take instruction from someone who is not your peer or superior, but it demonstrates admirable professional integrity.

More about Pierrette:

Twitter:  @PiDietitian
LinkedIn: Pierrette Buklis

Thanks Pierrette! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What RDs Do: Ghazal Haghnegahdar, BSc, RD

for something nutrishus

Ghazal came across the interview series and was happy to share more about what dietitians (RDs) do. I'm also excited to share her responses since two of her positions are brand new! She's another breakfast loving RD (we should have a club or something!) that's passionate about educating others. I love that she says we're not judging what you're eating, but you also shouldn't judge us - another moderation dietitian too!

Why did you become a RD?

Food and nutrition is part of everyone’s daily life. One of my previous jobs was teaching kindergarten and elementary school children about food and where food comes from. During this experience, I learned the importance of educating others about food and its origin. I wanted to enhance my own knowledge to be able to educate the public about food and help them achieve healthier lifestyles and that’s why I pursued this profession.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I work as a clinical dietitian and have covered a variety of different clinical settings and populations from children to seniors. I also work in a private practice setting helping clients mainly with diabetes management, heart healthy eating, achieving healthy weight and overall healthy eating.

How would you explain what you do?

In the hospital, I assess patients and consult with other health professionals to improve patients’ recovery. I also spend time educating patients if needed.

Through Hearty Dietitian, I provide nutritional counseling sessions for individual clients as well as corporations and spend time writing blogs.

I am also a consultant for a start-up company where I provide feedback from a nutrition perspective.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

My daily tasks include looking over patients’ medical history and illnesses. I spend time speaking with the appropriate health professionals regarding the patients and then use my nutritional knowledge and provide suggestions based on the clients’ or patients’ best benefits. I make sure patients are on the correct diet and are receiving the appropriate nutrition based on their estimated needs. If need be, I provide education to patients that are being discharged to carry on a certain diet at home. I also find the time to read new articles and keep myself educated on any new research.

As a private practice dietitian and consultant, I keep myself up-to date through social media. I spend time finding new information that I can share with the public through different platforms. As a consultant, I am consistently researching for information that would benefit my clients and start-ups. 

What has been your career path?

After internship, I started working in a variety of clinical settings in the hospital and have continued working there. I enjoy the environment and the continued learning experience.

I have always been interested in reaching out to the public and increasing their knowledge in nutrition. So I started Hearty Dietitian a few months ago to share information through blogging and other social media platforms with the public. I also started seeing clients and assisting them in reaching their lifestyle goals.

A few months ago, I started working with a local start-up company where I provide different nutrition feedback based on the information they are looking for to help with their business.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health first. Then I continued and obtained my Bachelors of Science in Dietetics. I have worked mainly with adults so far, but recently I started being trained in pediatrics and will be expanding my knowledge in pediatrics.

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

I believe people and society have become more aware of their health and want to move towards a healthier lifestyle. Individuals are becoming more aware of their food and health. Dietitians are becoming better known by the public and the demand for dietitians to provide appropriate information is growing.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

Dietitians LOVE food! We are not here to judge what you eat. When you meet a dietitian, do not worry about what you are eating and most importantly do not judge us on what we are eating. We enjoy all types of food, even our desserts, as long as everything is in moderation :)

What do people think that you do for a living?

People think that my job is to help people lose weight. The patients and clients I see have different needs and those wishing to lose weight might be a fraction of those patients/clients.

What is your favourite meal?

Breakfast/Brunch! I love my eggs benedict.

More about Ghazal:

Twitter: @Ghazal_H
Linkedlin: Ghazal Haghnegahdar RD

Thanks Ghazal! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

9 Dietitians Tips for Finding the Time

As I said, time has been on my mind. I try to prioritize my time, spend my time wisely, not waste time, etc. but a lot of that is subjective and I doubt I'll ever feel like there's enough time for certain things. For example, I enjoy reading, yet it falls low on my list and I often run out of time (ie. my child wakes from a nap). I have prioritized certain things (ie. not cancelling workouts/exercise and home cooked meals) and I have cut certain things out when they no longer serve a purpose.

I talk about mindfulness and minimalism, but it's not just the clutter, it could be the groups, activities, etc. that take time and really are not helping you move towards being your best self. It's hard to say no or to 'define' yourself when society encourages us to be a certain way and do certain things. It's become 'normal' to be busy, but I don't want that to define me. I want to feel like I have time to do what I enjoy doing, because we only get so much time. I also think we need to reorganize/re-prioritize and take time for ourselves, be that to nourish ourselves, to relax, to de-stress, or to workout.

To help you manage your time (or perhaps drop the excuse that you don't have time for your health), I asked fellow dietitians for their time saving tips/tricks/hacks to help you break down the barrier.

1. Meal plan, but start "small, simple, and slow"... (read more: How to Simplify Meal Planning)
Dixya Bhattarai, RDN, Food, Pleasure & Health

2. "Free online workout videos are one of my favorite high efficiency ways to get a quick workout in on busy days, even with kids sleeping or playing in the next room"... (read more: 25 Free Full Body Workout Videos (15 Mins or Less)
Dena Norton, MS, RD, Back to the Book Nutrition

3. "If you're not already exercising chunk it down to 10 min at a time to make it easier to fit into an already busy schedule and slowly expand the time."... (read more: Find the Time: 10-Minute Exercise Routines)
Meri Asterino Raffetto, RDN, Real Living Nutrition

4. "Build food traditions that help you create a better attitude around cooking and making time for it"...(read more: BYO Holiday Food Traditions)
Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian 

5. "I make lunch and snacks the night before. I also make a big batch of granola and always make double dinners so that I have for leftovers and for the week. I can make soup and quick dinners also in half an hour using my food processor to chop veggies and herbs!!"
Madeline Basler, RDN, Real You Nutrition

6. "I love the quote that 30 minutes (for a workout) is just 2% of your day!"
Katie Proctor, RDN, Elevate With Katie

7. "Spend 30 minutes over the weekend planning out your meals for the week. That 30 minutes eliminates so much stress throughout the week!"
Allison Stevens, MS, RD, Chef,  Prep Dish

8. "Make extra portions of meals and freeze them. When you eat them weeks later, they'll seem new, and you will have saved time in the prep process. You can do this and have a regular rotation of 'new' meals."
Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, Amy Gorin Nutrition

9. "Take time out of your day, perhaps on the weekend when life is less hectic, and plan out your meals for the week. And fill out a supermarket shopping list, so when you go to the grocery store, you spend your time efficiently." (download her 7-Day Meal Planner and Supermarket Shopping List)
Liz Weiss, MS, RD, Meal Makeover Moms 

How do you find time for your health? Tell us below and enjoy all the time you've saved!

Steph Langdon, RD

Monday, May 9, 2016

What RDs Do: Jessica Levinson MS, RDN, CDN

for something nutrishus

I've crossed paths with Jessica a few times online now. As I learned more about her, I actually noticed many similarities - we both started our practices right after becoming RDs, we both work in communications and with commodity groups, and we both have nutritious inspiration in our business names! Jessica creates delicious recipes and takes beautiful pictures as well; I know I'm going to try her family favourite recipe listed below.

Why did you become a RD?

What initially drew me to study nutrition and become a RD was the desire to help people learn healthy eating habits, but over the 10+ years working as a dietitian, my interests and work as an RD have changed to communicating nutrition messages on a larger scale through media and writing, as well as a focus on helping people feel confident in the kitchen and get healthy meals on the table that their whole family will enjoy.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Nutrition communications and culinary nutrition.

How would you explain what you do?

I own a food and nutrition communications and consulting business in which I am a spokesperson for food brands and commodity boards with a focus on culinary nutrition, recipe development, and writing.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Most of my days are spent between my kitchen and my computer. On any given day you’ll find me testing recipes and photographing them in my kitchen, sitting at my computer writing articles and blog posts for my personal blog and client blogs/websites, photo editing, and engaging on social media. There are times when I travel for work for television segments, SMTs (Satellite Media Tours), and/or shooting videos on behalf of clients.

What has been your career path?

I started a private practice immediately after I passed my RD exam and while trying to build up the practice I started working as a nutrition editor at an online publishing company, which was where I realized how much I loved to write about food and nutrition. I spent some time working for an eating disorder day treatment program, which was always an interest of mine, but I realized it wasn’t for me, and went full force into growing my own business, Nutritioulicious, as a nutrition communications and culinary nutrition focused business working with food brands and commodity boards as my primary clients.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a master’s degree in clinical nutrition.

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

I’d like to see a continued and improved acknowledgment by the media and public that registered dietitian nutritionists are the food and nutrition experts. I’d also love to see more dietitians become aware of all the opportunities that are available to them within the world of nutrition.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

That we don’t all wear white lab coats and work in hospitals.

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Now that I am a mother, I’m especially passionate about helping families feel empowered to get healthy meals on the table and meals that everyone will eat. I am a big advocate of parents making one meal for everyone – no short order cooks – and realizing that their kids don’t need “children’s food” – they can eat the same thing that adults do.

What is your favourite meal?

That is such a hard question – I have so many favorites! One of my favorite meals is one that my whole family loves and my children devour – Peanut Soba Noodles with Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

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

Enjoy food – don’t make it a choice between “good” and “bad” foods. All foods can have a place in a healthy diet and the most important thing is to eat food you enjoy and that tastes good. Food should be nutritious and delicious, or as I like to say, Nutritioulicious!

More about Jessica:

Website: Nutritioulicious
Twitter: @JlevinsonRD
Facebook: Nutritioulicious
Instagram: JLevinsonRD
Pinterest: JLevinsonRD

Thanks Jessica! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What RDs Do: Rebecca Lewis, MS, RDN

for something nutrishus

Rebecca saw the series and was eager to be a part of it, to showcase the many talents and areas dietitians work in. She is very passionate about health promotion, disease prevention, and kitchen skills so we can cook more at home. It's great to hear about a RD working for a meal-kit company, a job that came out of her internship. I love that Rebecca aims to 'change the world through food' and that she feels she has the best job ever!

Why did you become a RD?

My interest in food started when I was just a little girl. Both sets of my grandparents were farmers - everything they ate came from their gardens, they raised their own animals, and baked the most delicious fresh breads. Growing up, I can remember my mom setting me on the counter to watch her as she whipped up one of her traditional Serbian dishes. Moreover, it was customary in my family for us all to eat together at the dinner table every night. My family placed great value on preparation of our meals and the way it brought us together. To this day one of my favorite things to do for the people I care about, is to cook for them.

What has been your career path?

I earned an undergraduate degree in psychology, traveled near and far to other cultures, explored many ways of living, and also watched my mother pass away far too early from the food related diseases that plague this country. My mother’s passing was the catalyst to change my diet and lifestyle. I read and devoured every Michael Pollan book I could get my hands on. I made a move from California to Colorado - where I helped build a huge front-yard garden, raised chickens, and got involved in our local food networks. I also decided to go back to school to learn more.

I obtained a Master’s degree in nutrition, and I focused my passion and energy for food towards health promotion and disease prevention. My thesis work focused on demystifying cooking; breaking the barriers to get adults back into the kitchen.

I stumbled upon HelloFresh and was intrigued by how a meal-kit company could solve the issue of work-life balance. I reached out to the CEO and interviewed him for my thesis. Then, what started as an interview with the CEO, ended up becoming my opportunity to intern with an extremely forward-thinking company! After graduating and becoming fully licensed as a Dietitian, I came aboard full-time with HelloFresh as their Dietitian/Nutritionist.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Food Service, Counseling

How would you explain what you do? What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I love what I do and I couldn’t image a better job that would provide the exposure and influence that working as the Head Dietitian at HelloFresh allows me. I am passionate about health, relish great food, love having a platform to talk about nutrition, and feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do every day! In fact, here are the Top 5 Reasons that I have the BEST job ever!

1. I help drive and support the HelloFresh mission of getting people back in the kitchen and enjoying cooking again! 

2. I have the opportunity to engage and enrich our customers on wellness & food-related topics via email, online resources, print, TV, and social media.

3. I work closely with an extremely talented and creative team of chefs; I get to taste and collaborate on innovative recipe ideas and contribute nutritionally needed feedback for any areas of redesign.

4. I enjoy conducting regular analysis of trends in the food industry and needs of our specific HelloFresh customers.

5. I flex my professional Dietitian skills every day in ensuring our recipes meet health goals - every recipe is subject to a nutritional analysis to ensure that it fits into our target nutritional goal ranges.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Nutrition. I am fully licensed as RDN.

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

In an ideal world, nutrition education including home economics will be required learning in school. While we emphasize the importance of learning to read and perform math – how we feed ourselves will be viewed as equally important to general health.

Moreover, Dietitians will be viewed as respected experts that help address food issues preventatively instead of just after the fact. They will be on advisory boards for any and all food companies to ensure that a triple bottom line is enforced so that the best interests of their customers are protected.

Lastly, as customers become more and more fed up with the lack of control the current food industry gives them – they will collectively raise their voices (and their votes) to demand transparency for what is in their foods. Of course, I hope to see that more people will embrace the art of cooking at home!

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

I am genuinely surprised by how little nutrition knowledge people have and how few actually feel confident in the kitchen. I empathize with people though - if you didn’t learn from a family member, and you never took home economics, where would this type of knowledge come from?! Cooking is like any sport or hobby, you have to do it frequently to get faster and better at it.

What do people think that you do for a living?

People think I am a walking encyclopedia of nutrition knowledge! They think my job is to tell them all the foods they shouldn’t be eating.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

RD’s struggle with the same food issues that everyone else does! The difference is that we use a background of knowledge to acknowledge those problems, believe that we can change them, and then take action to do so. It’s hard to make bad choices when you are well informed – ignorance is not bliss!

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

In the short term - I have a strong desire to put food and at-home cooking knowledge back in people’s hands, while teaching the skills necessary to execute that action. I want to help our customers feel self-empowered to take better care of their health and make better lifestyle choices instead of relying on fast food and restaurants.

My long-term goals are taken from a bigger picture perspective - it is my dream to change the world through food. Nutrition is more than just calories – it is our small everyday choices that eventually lead to an accumulated lifetime of good nutrition. I am extremely passionate about food and nutrition and am determined to be a part of a solution that can really make a difference. Accomplishing these goals is an achievement dedicated to my mother – the one who believed in me and taught me about the nourishing power of food.

What is your favourite meal?

I love roasting a whole chicken with lemons and herbs! My guilty pleasure is peanut butter – I LOVE it and have a spoonful (or two) just about every day!

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

Cook at home MORE – it empowers you to take control of your health and it’s a FUN creative expression we rarely get as adults anymore.

More about Rebecca:

Twitter: @rebeccalewisrd 
Instagram: @rebeccalewisrd

Thanks Rebecca! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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