Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What RDs Do: Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN

LESLIE BONCI
ACTIVE EATING ADVICE BY LESLIE
for something nutrishus


I took a stab in the dark and reached out to Leslie on twitter to see if she'd be interested in taking part in the series, she graciously accepted and I am pleased to share her responses below. I've worked in sport nutrition throughout my private practice years, so to me, Leslie Bonci is a household name and I'm honoured to share her experience and expertise, as well as her infectious personality!

Why did you become a RD?

I majored in biopsychology as an undergraduate, wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with that degree but in graduate school my first class was a maternal and child nutrition course and I knew right away. I wanted to impact an individual’s health through their mind and plate.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I started in Cardiac and Pulmonary rehab, went on to general outpatient nutrition, and then specialized in sports nutrition, digestive disorders, eating disorders and weight management.

How would you explain what you do?

On any given day, I can be one-on-one with clients, doing media work, recipe development, teaching a class, or writing. I never have cookie cutter days which makes me very happy.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I never have typical days, but weekly I do both radio and TV, weekly I see clients on an individual basis, weekly I devote time to writing (working on 2 manuscripts), weekly I work on recipe development/ideas for pitches, and blogs on behalf of industry clients.

What has been your career path?

Untraditional.

Undergrad degree in Biopsychology from Vassar college- graduated in 3 years, went to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh graduate school of public health and obtained in a 3 year period a MPH (Master of Public Health) in Nutritional Epidemiology, took the undergrad nutrition courses and grad nutrition courses to fulfill the requirements for a dietetic internship, did the dietetic internship and also worked on a research study funded by the National Cancer Institute.

My first job as a RD was at a Cardiac and Wellness Center in Wheeling, WV where I had the opportunity to work with exercise physiologists and develop wellness programs. Moving back to Pittsburgh, I contacted the University of Pittsburgh department of athletics and they said yes to having me work with their athletes. I worked with Pitt athletics for 29 years. I also worked for the Pittsburgh Steelers (24 years), The Cleveland Browns (3 years), The Pittsburgh Pirates (15 years), Toronto Blue Jays (15 years), Washington Nationals (3 years), Milwaukee Brewers (3 years), Pittsburgh Penguins (5 years) and still work with the Kansas City Chiefs (going on my 3rd year). I also consult to the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, the WNBA and Olympic athletes.

I was also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 8 years and still do quite a bit of media: TV, radio, print, online and videos.

I have authored 2 books and co-authored 4 books.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have the CSSD credential- board certified specialist in sports dietetics.

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

Many more private practitioners delivering our counseling via cyberspace. Nutrigenomics will play more of a role so we can customize our recommendations as precisely as possible. There will be more nutrition “experts” in our space so we have to find the way to stand out, debunk the junk and safeguard our clients.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

We are not the watchdogs, we want to be eating enablers, not disablers. We are food and nutrition professionals. We eat and we want our clients/patients to enjoy food without guilt, fear or angst.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

We have fun, we are fearless, we are proactive not reactive and we can have an impact. We are the Real Deal!

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Trying to debunk the misinformation when my clients get their nutrition info from those that do NOT know. Trying to position science as sciensensational, and combat the scienciness that non RDs tend to preach.

What do people think that you do for a living?

I am often referred to as the nutrition lady, kind of like the Avon lady going door-to-door selling nutrition. Actually a door-to-door food truck would really be meals on wheels and give people the opportunity to taste and learn simultaneously!

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

The ability to compel and impel as well as dispel the misinformation. The excitement of taking the science and communicating in easily digestible bites while cultivating consumers’ interest in taking care of themselves for the long run. I am always thrilled when an eating disorder patient is actually able to eat without fear, or the Crohn’s patient eats without pain, or the athlete notices positive impacts on performance as a result of tweaks to timing, quantity or quality of his/her eating plan.

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


We bring the food and nutrition expertise, the clinical background, the counseling background, the understanding of the importance and role of cultural diversity on food choices as well as knowledge of nutrition needs throughout the lifecycle.

In addition our background in food service and food science enables us to put the nutrition into the kitchen!

What is your favourite meal?

Seafood bouillabaisse, crusty Sourdough bread and a wonderful Pinot Noir.

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

Try everything. Be willing to go out of your comfort zone. Be humble and don’t be afraid to stumble. Be assertive and take chances. Put yourself out there because if you don’t someone else will!

More about Leslie:

Website: Active Eating Advice by Leslie
Twitter: @lesliebonci #ActiveAdvice
Instagram: @boncilj
Facebook : Leslie Bonci
LinkedIn: Leslie Bonci
Google+: Leslie Bonci



Thanks Leslie! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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



Monday, June 19, 2017

Dietitians Credentials, Certifications & Designations

Since there are so many things that dietitians do, I figured it was also useful to share the additional certifications/credentials/designations that they may have. I will continue to add to this list, include links, and give a bit of information on each. For now, let me know what I've missed. Do you know what any of these stand for?

RD
RDN
LDN
APD
MBA
MPH
PhD
RCC
CDE
CNSC
NM/CNM
RSSW
SCOPE
IBCLC
MPP
CEDRD
CTDP
CSSD
MSc
MEd
MPH
CPT
CSCS
CSG
MHSc
MScA
MHS
MAHN

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What RDs Do: Sally Twellman, RDN

SALLY TWELLMAN
LIFE & WELLNESS COACH
for something nutrishus


Like many dietitians, Sally focuses on health and happiness. This reminds me that we're not aiming for restrictive, but sustainable ways of eating and as Sally brings up, our relationship with food. Once again, she wants to clear up that we're not the food police! Where does that come from anyway? With experience in nutrition and coaching, it seems fitting that her blog looks at the 'pursuit of wholeness'. Her private practice came about due to changes in life circumstances (aka kids), which I can relate to.

Why did you become a RD?

To be honest, because I was obsessed with food; Eating it, controlling it and restricting it. But during my journey towards becoming a dietitian and after in my career, I healed my relationship with food and my body and now help others do the same.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Private Practice: Health and Wellness

How would you explain what you do?

I help people change their relationship with food, love their body and create a healthy, happy life.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

My days changes, but typically I see about 2-5 clients in a day, create content for my blog and social media channels or do other administrative work.

What has been your career path?

I worked as a clinical dietitian for 5 years before deciding to stay home full time with my children. I stayed home for about 3 years, then decided to start my private practice, which is primarily online or phone consults.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

Besides getting my RD, I became a life coach to give me extra habit modification skills.

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

I want to see more RDs killing it in the online space. We are the experts in food and health and we should be leading the nutrition and wellness conversation.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

That we are the food police.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

That we are the most qualified nutrition and wellness experts.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Not having a flexible mindset about helping people make real changes in their lives. When I first started my practice, I was stuck in the old expert mindset of change, aka telling my clients what to do. Then I found that my clients really started making more fundamental changes when I asked them questions, met them where they were and helped them make small incremental changes in their lives.

What do people think that you do for a living?

Help people lose weight.

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

We have a scientific knowledge and background.

What is your favourite meal?

I love having Pizza on friday nights with my family!

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

Start where you are now and focus on making small changes and build on your success. Whatever your goal is, become aware of one small thing you can change, and change that consistently for 1-2 weeks and then add to it. Also, every change must happen from a place of self love and self-respect, when you start there, the actions that will get you to your goal will fall into place.

More about Sally:

Website: www.sallytwellman.com
Facebook: Sally Twellman - Coach
Instagram: @sallytwellmanrdn
Pinterest: Sally Twellman



Thanks Sally! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What RDs Do: Dara Gurau, RD & Erin Macgregor, RD, PHEc

DARA GURAU & ERIN MACGREGOR
CLINICAL & HOW TO EAT
for something nutrishus


It's great to feature a team or dynamic duo and I know these two are doing some great things. Not only do they work together in private practice, but also in a clinical setting, where they're also part of a team. I've seen their Facebook videos lately, so I sort of felt like I already knew them and they were excited to be part of the series. They create delicious recipes, such as Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal, that I'm anxious to try! Dara and Erin focus on practical things like meal planning tips and on 'healthful eating through food, not numbers' which is a refreshing approach.

Why did you become a RD?

We both grew up with a love for food, but really never thought of food and nutrition as a career. Actually, growing up, we didn't even now what a dieititan was! As we completed our first University degrees in Kinesiology and were trying to figure out what the heck to do with our lives, we discovered the food and nutrition program and thought this would be a great compliment to our kinesiology knowledge while satisfying that passion for food and cooking we had developed.

Fast forward to today, and while our knowledge of the field of dietetics has expanded, that same passion for food and cooking remains. And that's why we ultimately chose to become registered dietitians - to share our passion and knowledge for food, nutrition, and cooking with others in the hopes of inspiring them to pick up a knife or spatula and create delicious and healthful home-cooked meals to share with their friends and families.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

We work together in the clinical setting at a large teaching hospital in Toronto. We are also co-creators and owners of How To Eat, where we work in recipe development, nutrition communication, and meal planning. One part of How To Eat is our food and recipe blog, where we have been sharing easy and healthful recipes and kitchen tips for the past five years. So we are definitely never bored!

How would you explain what you do?

In our clinical roles, we work as inpatient dietitians as part of a large multi-discplinary team, involved mainly in nutrition support. At How To Eat, we are doing something completely different, working with individuals to support them in building their confidence as home cooks by helping them with meal planning and cooking. We also work with brands to provide recipe development and nutrition communication for them. Lastly, we continue to share easy, healthful, and delicious recipes through our blog.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

In our clinical roles, our days involve assessing patients' nutritional status, implementing the appropriate nutrition intervention, and following up on patients in our areas. We also attend daily and weekly multi-disciplinary team rounds, monthly nutrition department meetings, and other professional development sessions.

In our How To Eat role, we are constantly developing and testing new recipes, creating content for our blog, attending networking events and meetings, and working on the the latest special project or event we have on the go.

What has been your career path?

It should be no surprise that we ended up as colleagues, close friends, and business partners as we share such similar career paths. In fact, we often refer to ourselves as "foodie soul-mates!" We both started out with undergraduate degrees in kinesiology and then went on to complete our second degrees in food and nutrition at Ryerson. From there, we both completed our dietetic internships in Toronto where we both still work as inpatient clinical dietitians. We also both share previous experience working as outpatient dietitians counselling on cardiovascular disease, HIV, and general healthy eating.

So when we first met at our clinical positions, we actually both already had our own individual food blogs. And after realizing that we shared pretty much the same food personality, we joined forces to start How To Eat and it has now grown to the business it is today. We love having that balance of utilizing our clinical skills as well as sharing our love of food and inspiring others to cook.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

Well as we mentioned, we both have degrees in Kinesiology as well as Food and Nutrition. Erin also holds the professional home economist (PHec) designation. We also have a very important type of training - motherhood! We are both moms who have learned and developed a system to feed our own hungry families.

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

Tough question! In our ideal world, the term dietitian would be associated with "food expert." At this moment, we feel there is a big disconnect between dietitians and food - people hear the term dietitians and immediately think "diet" and "what NOT to eat." There is a shift that has begun and we hope it continues, one that shows ourselves as a profession who not only knows nutrition, but food as well. And enjoys eating it! All of it! We hope to be part of that first step in the right direction.

What is your favourite meal?

This was the hardest question! We love so many things! But there was this one dinner on a trip together in NYC at a restaurant called ABC Kitchen. It was one of those multi-course dinners that was enjoyed with a bottle of wine over several hours and absolutely everything was delicious. We were there over 5 years ago and STILL think about it, it was that good! What sticks in our mind the most was the dessert - salted caramel ice cream topped with popcorn and a rich chocolate sauce. That sweet and salty combo gets us every time!

More about Erin & Dara:

Website: www.howtoeat.ca
Facebook: How to Eat
Twitter: @How_To_Eat
Instagram: @how_to_eat



Thanks ladies! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What RDs Do: Zannat Reza MHSc, RD

ZANNAT REZA
FOOD & HEALTH STORYTELLER
THRIVE 360
for something nutrishus


Zannat and I have crossed cyber paths a few times with the clients we consult for. It seems that she was always meant to work in communications with her career starting in marketing and media positions. She loves sharing tips and recipes and has a great focus in her practice: "eat better, move more, stress less, boost brain power & create happy moments." As with others, we see the trend of misinformation around what we as dietitians eat and that we're not judging you aka we're not the food police!

Why did you become a RD? 

I’m the accidental dietitian. I was studying biochemistry and switched to nutrition because I like food and I like science. I also wanted to help people live better lives. 

What area of dietetics do you work in? 

Media and communications

How would you explain what you do? 

At thrive360, we go beyond food and tackle other health promotion pillars such that we inspire people to eat better, move more, stress less, boost brain power, and create happy moments. This is the consumer-facing part of the business.

The agency side of the business helps organizations with knowledge translation, content creation and media outreach.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks? 

I wake up at 5AM, and work for an hour. This usually means reading the news, replying to emails, and planning out my day. I work out at 6AM, and then deal with kids & school drop off until 9AM. I then get back to work. I try and schedule all my meetings for the week on the same day.

I read up on news of the world, politics, technology, social media, entrepreneurship, business trends and health promotion articles.

What has been your career path? 

I was studying biochemistry at McMaster University in my undergrad and decided to change track in third year. I took nutrition courses at U of T so I could apply to the Masters’ in community nutrition program. I got in and took Marketing and Management courses as electives. 

After graduating, there weren’t many jobs in public health, so I approached a social marketing firm, Manifest Communications, to find out what type of work they were doing. I got hired. The learning curve was steep as I was immersed in the creative process, advertising and understanding how to run an agency. I was there just under two years, but it felt like the amount of learning you would get in five years.

I then got a position at Dairy Farmers of Ontario as their Nutrition Media Specialist. And by the end of four years, I was their Media Relations Manager for nutrition and marketing activities.

After my first mat leave, I wanted more flexibility with my time, so I went into nutrition communications consulting. I did that for 11 years before launching my food and health communications social enterprise (a business that has a social purpose) in 2016. Thrive360 is a health promotion social enterprise.

What advanced education or special training do you have? 

I have a Masters of Health Sciences in Community Nutrition (similar to an MPH). I recently completed a certificate in Digital Strategy and Social Media Management at U of T.

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

Where RDs are in leadership positions outside of traditional roles.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up? 

That we do eat chocolate and indulgent foods. We are *not* the food police.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD? 

Misconception that we are the food police.

More about Zannat:

Website: thrive360
Twitter: @thrive360ZR
Instagram: @thrive360ZR
LinkedIn: Zannat Reza



Thanks Zannat! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What RDs Do: Jill Merkel MS, RD, CSSD, LD

JILL MERKEL
NUTRITION FOR ENDURANCE 
RUN.EAT.SNAP.
for something nutrishus


Jill found the series on Instagram and was eager to take part. Her work with athletes and thoughts for the future are ones that I hope will trickle into Canada as well, as our colleges don't seem to have full time dietitians yet (there's an opportunity there!). I can totally relate and I agree with Jill, that I often feel judged about my food choices because of what I do for a living, yet most (if not all) dietitians I know love food and things like wine and chocolate too!

Why did you become a RD?

My journey into dietetics began in 2009 when I started running. I began training for my first half marathon and naturally started to make nutritional changes as well. I was surprised at how much better I felt and how my running improved from making a few simple nutritional changes. I also lost 20 pounds without trying and I thought “hmm… maybe I should go back to school to become a dietitian.” So that’s what I did!

What area of dietetics do you work in?

Currently, I am in private practice in Nashville, TN and virtually – Nutrition for Endurance - specializing in sports nutrition and weight management. I also teach an online sports nutrition course for the university back home, do some consulting work and manage my blog RunEatSnap.

How would you explain what you do?

In my private practice, I see clients individually to assess their current nutritional habits and see where we can make some positive changes. I am a big believer in making small changes that are sustainable and realistic versus trying to make a complete overhaul overnight. I also do group presentations for sports teams, clubs, and organizations. 

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Every day is different. I see clients, write blog posts and social media posts, manage my online course, and whatever else comes my way! 

What has been your career path?

Once I decided to go back to school to study nutrition, I did a 2-year undergrad degree in dietetics back home and then I did the Coordinated Master’s Program at the University of Utah because they had a sports nutrition emphasis, which is what I wanted! While at Utah, I spent a year working with the sports dietitian and the collegiate athletes. Following graduation, I did a sports nutrition fellowship at the University of Virginia working with their collegiate athletes. After that, I moved to Minneapolis to work for EXOS at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine where I worked with athletes of all ages including youth, high school, collegiate, professional, and adult “weekend warriors”. I loved the variety of clients and athletes I saw in that job but ultimately decided I wanted to be closer to home so I moved to Nashville, TN and joined the crazy awesome entrepreneurial world! 

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I have a master’s degree in nutrition with an emphasis in sports nutrition. I am also a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD), which is a credential for dietitians with a minimum of two years of professional practice experience and 1500 hours of specialty practice experience in sports nutrition. 

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

Sports nutrition is a rapidly growing field now with more than 70 colleges having at least one full-time sports dietitian and 17 NFL teams now have a full-time sports dietitian. It is definitely becoming a more well-known and respected part of athletics, which is great! In 5 years, I anticipate even more colleges, professional teams, clubs, and even high schools will have a sports dietitian on staff in some capacity. As it continues to grow in those settings, I believe more adult “weekend warriors” will also realize the importance of nutrition in their athletic training and for overall health. 

What would you like people to know about RDs?

Becoming an RD takes years of education, hours of internship practice, passing a board exam, continuing education, and often specialty credentials such as the CSSD. It is a very competitive field with less than 50% match rate for dietetics internships across the country right now. 

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Just today, I was asked “are you a health coach?” I think the main challenge as an RD right now is people don’t know or understand the difference between RDs and “nutritionists” or health coaches. Also, people think I am going to judge what they are eating, when, in reality, I feel like I am judged more often for what I am eating because I am a dietitian. I love chocolate! 

What do people think that you do for a living?

Honestly now that I work for myself, I think people have even less of a clue about what I do. I recently wrote a blog post – What Does a Sports Dietitian Do? to hopefully provide some clarity. 

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Like I said before, I got into nutrition when I began running and made some nutritional changes to support that. I am passionate about helping others realize that small changes over time can lead to big results!

More about Jill:

Instagram: RunEatSnap
Facebook: RunEatSnap
Twitter: @RunEatSnap


Thanks Jill! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What RDs Do: Andrea Falcone RD, FIS, PTS

ANDREA FALCONE
PRIVATE PRACTICE 
& CERTIFIED FITNESS PROFESSIONAL
for something nutrishus


I was able to meet Andrea IRL at last year's DC conference and I know she was excited to be part of this series. As with other interviews, I often feel like I've 'found my people' when I get to know more and more dietitians. Andrea and I are both passionate about working with students, helping people make informed choices and supporting them to be their best self. Her cooking camps look and sound fabulous and are a great way to encourage healthy eating by reducing barriers related to food skills. As a busy person, she also understand the importance of balance and finding time for herself, something she shares with her clients too.

Why did you become a RD?

There are so many “why’s”. But I feel the most important one was when I started learning about the science of food, how food digests in our bodies, what our bodies need to function optimally and best. I endured many years of bullying when I was young, which led me down the path of striving to “look” like the models and thin people, trying diet after diet, failing and then developing an eating disorder. This was something I hid from everyone, getting myself to a “weight” and “image” which I then worked to maintain. Until I started to learn about the science of food and nutrition, actually realizing the harm I was putting myself through. When I started to learn all of this, things started to click – yes I went through a long journey of healing my mind and body, but I eventually got there. As we continue to live in a society dominated by image and diets, I strive to educate people to not only love themselves and the bodies they were given, but also to understand food and what each person needs for their personal health.

What area of dietetics do you work in?


Private Practice

How would you explain what you do?


I have the privilege of meshing a few different ingredients of private practice which includes running Cooking Camps for students during their winter, spring and summer breaks, conducting group presentations for schools, parent council groups, and corporate affiliates, writing and recipe development for a number of outlets, including online and print magazines, and seeing clients one-on-one. I also co-chair the Dietitians of Canada Consulting Dietitians Network which is a great opportunity to support other private practice RDs and liase with DC.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I teach fitness classes in the morning at 6AM before my dietitian job begins! Throughout the week I see clients 1-2 days for one-on-one counseling, and then based on the week I will either have 1-2 presentations, prepare a written article, develop recipes, or work on the program development for my camps which are well distributed throughout the year.

What has been your career path?

I have been in the nutrition and fitness industry for 10+ years, prior to becoming a dietitian, working as a “nutritionist” at a wellness clinic, in research and as a fitness instructor. Following internship I worked for the Loblaw’s Dietitian program, which also steered me towards program development and training. I always dabbled in private practice, seeing clients on the side during my free time. I then spent 1.5 years managing a community diabetes clinic which was very fulfilling from a management role. I missed being a dietitian too much, so continued with my private practice, and worked part time with a Family Health Team until I felt there were too few hours in the day to complete everything, pursue my other goals, and take care of my mental health. I left the Family Health Team in October 2015 and have been working in private practice ever since!

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I am Food Skills Certified and have completed many hours in Children’s Behaviour and Development, which allows me to support their learning. I am also a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor.

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

The food world changes at an exponential rate. Dietitians are so profound in the work they do and the support they give to clients. As we continue to make headway in making this information more known to the public, the demand for dietitians to serve the nutrition and food worlds is increasing, which I am so incredibly grateful to be a part of through many facets. I see this more and more, and I truly believe dietitians will gain on this momentum and be able to educate the public in all areas of nutrition information.

What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?

We work for our clients’ best interest, which means no one is the same and each individual may just get a different “prescription” of nutrition information. In media and writing, I know my primary goal is to give all of the information in the right fashion, which means digging deeper into the headlines, and making sure people are informed about how to make the best choices for their health.

What are challenges you encounter as a RD?

Competing with the easy quick-fixes and the celebrity-driven diets that many people fall privy to, often resulting in yet another failed attempt. Then, sometimes, having to change people’s mindset and support their learning for what is actually true!

What do people think that you do for a living?

Teach, inspire, motivate, educate, develop recipes, write, garden and workout!

What are you passionate about in dietetics?

Finding the simple solutions that will support the public and help them realize they can cook more from scratch, create their own healthy meals and still be able to balance all of life’s other commitments.

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

I truly feel our professionalism around serving clients (client confidentiality), conducting research, speaking to or with others is what makes us differ. I find that more and more dietitians are still seeking the research and evidence as a first line of support for anyone, but continue to be open to other practices, protocols, and the grey area of practice.

What is your favourite meal?

Simply – arugula with tuna, cheese and avocado! I could eat that every day. Comfort, I love my Cauliflower Mac and Cheese!

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

Be you – whatever or whoever you may be! Be your best self by giving to yourself and then give your gift to the world!

More about Andrea:

Website: AndreaFalcone.ca
Facebook: Andrea Falcone
Instagram: @andreafalcone.rd
Twitter: @AndreaFalconeRD
Podcast: Healthy You


Thanks Andrea! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Where are they now? 10 years later...

I recently met up with 6 of my undergrad classmates as they were celebrating their 10 year reunion. I was always the 'odd' one out - I joined them a semester late due to Team Canada volleyball training and I didn't intern with them, due to Team Canada training and heading to Finland to play pro volleyball. So, I won't actually have my 10 year reunion until 2020 based on when I went back to complete my internship year. I was definitely part of the group thought and was happy to catch up with them.


Over supper I couldn't help thinking about a blog post. I spend some of my time sharing dietitian stories and information about our diverse background and varied careers with the #WhatRDsDo interview series. There I was, in a room with my fellow Bachelor of Science in Nutrition classmates and we were all doing different things, and spread across the country. I decided to reach out to the whole group and see who would be willing to share what area of dietetics they work in or if they no longer work as a dietitian. This is what I have so far from our class of 23 (or 22 + me) and yes, we did have two male counterparts!

Heather Millar: "I work as a clinical dietitian in the area of inpatient oncology and stem cell transplant with adult patients. Congrats on the blog, you've put so much work into it."

Robin Hartl: "After just about 10 years of working in as a community dietitian in food security and child development, I am now working as a clinical dietitian in long term care."

Sabrina Bovee: "I'm not actively working as a dietitian in the region currently - trying to impact dietetics from a different approach as a LTC (long term care) manager."

Alana Melsted: "I am working as a Rural Community Dietitian :)"

Melissa Lachapelle: "I like to say I am in the business of feeding and growing babies ;) I work in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Inpatient pediatrics and Outpatient pediatrics. I represent my zone on multiple provincial networks and provide nurse and dietitian training in neonatal and pediatric nutrition. I enjoy the diversity within my job and am privileged to be part of a child's care from life's first breath into childhood."

Cheryl Krug: "After 9 years in pediatric weight management, I have recently started working with one of our primary care networks here in Edmonton as an outpatient dietitian. I see anything and everything....but the majority of what I do is chronic disease management. "

Brendine Partyka: "I've worked as a bariatric dietitian at the Kingston Bariatric Centre of Excellence for the past 5 years. We support & counsel on clinical nutrition and cognitive behavioural change pre & post bariatric surgery (VSG, RNY). Our program is part of the Ontario Bariatric Network, a growing collection of centres targeting obesity as a chronic disease. I'm also pursuing a masters in sociocultural studies of health, with intention to unite my background of dietetics and yoga studies."

Chelsey Matson: "I've been working for the last ten years as a Diabetes Educator at an outpatient clinic in Calgary. Most of my work is as an insulin pump trainer."

Kimberly Engel: "I worked for a few years with a non-profit organization focusing on food security and working mostly with immigrant populations. I then took a position with First Nations and Inuit Health- Health Canada, first as a Health Services Manager and then as the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Dietitian. I am now working as the Community Dietitian for two rural Primary Health Care networks within Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region."

Stephen Wan: "I am a Director of Operations in the primary healthcare system in Calgary, Alberta. With this role, I work towards enhancing access to integrated and comprehensive primary care, with focus on improving patient experience and health outcomes. Prior to this role, I have been directly involved in dietetics and management in the last 9 years of my career."

Tracy Sentes: "I have yet to hold a legit 'RD' role. I've done a few things but most recently I've been a Project Coordinator with a bilingual early years health promotion initiative called Healthy Start. I provide free training and resources to early childhood educators and teachers in licensed child care centres, pre-k programs, head starts and on-reserve daycares to help increase healthy eating and physical activity in the centre/classroom throughout Saskatchewan. Although I've been kind of removed from dietetics, one way I stay connected is by being a part of SDA (Saskatchewan Dietitians Association) through the Professional Standards Committee."

Heidi McClellan: "I am currently working casual at the Heart and Stroke Clinic at St. Mary's Hospital in Camrose, Alberta. I feel very lucky to be part of a team of very dedicated and compassionate cardiologists, neurologists, nurses, dietitians, and a pharmacist who all work closely together to educate and improve the health of clients who have CHF or have recently had a stroke."

Emily Ward Jones: "I have been working for the Cypress Health region for the past 9 years. I am currently employed with primary health as an outpatient dietitian. I am based out of Gull Lake and cover a few rural communities. Prior to this I was a clinical dietitian at Cypress Regional Hospital."

And who knows where we'll all be in another 10 years! Congratulations on all your successes.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What RDs Do: Carolyn Berry BSc., RD

CAROLYN BERRY
BERRY NOURISHED
for something nutrishus


Carolyn seems to have found her spot in the dietetics world, although we know that careers evolve and change as we do - which is why we're lucky that our profession has a variety of areas to explore. I love her daily work goal and will be trying her overnight oat recipe (as we enjoy them too!). For those who like atypical days along with variety in their tasks, dietetics seems to be the way to go. I continue to be amazed at what we do in a day or even a week. Carolyn also brings up the notion of taste, as we know that's important along with the enjoyment of food.

Why did you become a RD?

I always knew that I wanted to be in a profession where I could help people. That, combined with an interest in food, nutrition and fitness led me down this career path. I realized this during my first year of college. What I didn’t realize was how science focused a degree in Dietetics is. That part nearly scared me off, as I struggled with many of these courses, but in the end, it made me stronger, and I’m sure glad I stuck through it.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

A bit of everything:
  • Berry nourished is my private practice. I counsel individuals and couples, mainly in the areas of weight loss and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I also provide lunch and learn presentations for various businesses.
  • I am a diabetes educator in an outpatient diabetes clinic with Fraser Health. I counsel patients 1:1 and teach education classes.
  • I recently started a cooking class program within the Shapedown BC program. The program teaches families how to make healthy lifestyle changes, and I focus on the cooking aspect.
  • I counsel executive clients at Medisys Preventive Health Clinic located in Downtown Vancouver.
  • I lead nutrition tours at Save-On-Foods.
  • I work with clients over the phone, as well as provide lunch and learn presentations for NDC - Nutrition at Work.
  • I regularly contribute recipes and nutrition articles for Nourished Babe, a prenatal nutrition App.
  • I am a contributing writer for Huffington Post BC.

How would you explain what you do?

Though my day-to-day tasks vary greatly depending on where I am working, my goal is always the same: to motivate, excite and empower all types of people to make the best decisions to improve their health. I aim to provide informative and practical nutrition advice with my food-first approach to health. I connect with people through food, and strongly believe that food should be both healthful and delicious.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

There is no such thing a ‘typical’ day or week for me. With all of the different roles I have, I spend a fair amount of time building my schedule for the next few months. For example, some days I will work only at the hospital, and other days I will work at the clinic, present a lunch and learn, and see a few private clients all in one day. I also spend a fair amount of time working from home, which usually involves writing up assessments for clients, writing articles, or phoning my tele-clients.

What has been your career path?

I have been working as an RD for almost 4 years now. I started my blog Berry Nourished (formerly Wealth of Health) 5 years ago during my internship. I knew right away that I had a passion for cooking, writing, and food photography. However, my first official job was working as an inpatient and outpatient clinical dietitian for Fraser Health. As great of an experience as this role was, I realized early on that it wasn’t right for me. I didn’t feel energized. So I made a few changes over the years and started seeking out other areas of work. As busy and hectic as my schedule is currently, I feel energized at the end of most work days, and most importantly, I have an incredible amount of job satisfaction.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I’m currently working towards getting my CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) designation. This involves obtaining at least 800 hours of experience working in diabetes education, and writing the Canadian Diabetes Educator’s Board (CDECB) exam. I write the exam this May.

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

Ideally, the term “dietitian” will be recognized by the public as the profession to seek out for the best and most sound nutrition advice. We have come leaps and bounds promoting our profession, however we still have a long way to go. Continuing to make media appearances on tv and the radio; writing articles for various publications, and using social media as a means to communicate our expert opinions will continue to be important.

What is your favourite meal?

Overnight oatmeal – the perfect balance of protein, fibre and fruit! This has been my breakfast almost every morning for the past 3 years, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

More about Carolyn:

Website: www.berrynourished.com
Facebook: Berry Nourished
Twitter: @berrynourished
Pinterest: Carolyn Berry



Thanks Carolyn! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What RDs Do: Deanna Denny, RDN

DEANNA DENNY
HOME MODALITY DIALYSIS
for something nutrishus


We continue to see similarities in the personality types that are drawn to dietetics. Like many/most, Deanna is passionate about helping others and has a variety of skills to offer. It's also unique to continue to see the dietitians that are entering private practice. I don't think there are many other professions where individuals spend their 'off' hours working in their area of expertise - we really must love what we do! From dialysis to counselling, teaching classes and working in the grocery store, Deanna is making her impact to help slow disease progression.

Why did you become a RD?


I became a registered dietitian because I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives. I quickly realized at a young age that what you eat is really a reflection of what you are and what problems you will encounter in your lifetime. My dad is a type II diabetic who has had a minor heart attack in the past. I helped with the influence from other members of my family to make sure that his disease progression slows down through the use of good foods. I was so happy to have graduated from an esteemed RD program and be able to have this knowledge of what healthy eating really entails to better my lifestyle and many others including my dad.

What area of dietetics do you work in?

I currently work by day at a dialysis clinic that focuses on home modalities. It's one of the few stand alone home programs within the state of Michigan. I love my job and being able to develop close relationships with the patients and be able to impact their diet in meaningful ways. By night I help counsel clients 1:1 at a holistic gym that values all the key components to wellness. I also help teach Cooking Matters classes to areas of need. On the weekends I help out at a local grocery store with another RD with the support from the Wellness Foundation of that town.

How would you explain what you do?

As a registered dietitian I impact what people eat on a daily basis. I help them make more informed choices of what is actually good for their body. This is so key in this world where educational resources about diet by the media can be so skewed so I am able to help people decipher what is really right for them.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

I would say my week is never typical. I am always keeping my schedule full as most other RDs do, so for me it is always an adventure. I am always meeting new patients and clients. It is exciting for me to be able to immerse myself in their world and figure out an approach that will work for them to get them to that best healthy self they envision.

What has been your career path?

I started off working in foodservice management, even before I graduated and passed my RD exam. After that point I was still working in foodservice management. I helped manage a hospital kitchen, cafe and coffee shop. While doing this I was being trained on how to be a clinical dietitian in a hospital. Then I transitioned into an opening at a nursing home where I practiced over 2 years. I wanted a change from that so I took an opportunity at an incenter dialysis clinic. In that opportunity, I helped out over 13 clinics, which gave me experience in every single modality of dialysis. Then a brand new clinic opened up that specialized in home modalities and I have been there for the last three years. I have now started dabbling in more private practice consultant work on the side and probably will continue to do this for as long as I can.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

The dialysis company I work for really focuses on creating more leaders within its community so I have recently completed their 6 month leadership program.

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

In 5 years I see the industry continuing to grow as more individuals continue to make poor lifestyle choices and have more complex chronic diseases. The demand for RDs will continue to grow and they will be more valued as experts in nutrition that help others make better lifestyles for themselves, while slowing disease progression down.

What would you like people to know about RDs?

Registered Dietitians are the true nutrition experts within the community. They spend years learning and studying nutrition. They then have to obtain practice clinical hours and pass a certification exam. They have rigorous requirements so if you are thinking of seeing someone about altering your diet and food intake make sure that person is a registered dietitian.

What is your favourite meal?

There is nothing better than eggplant parmesan, my absolute favorite.

More about Deanna:

Twitter: @DeannaDennyRD
Instagram: @ddennyRD


Thanks Deanna! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What RDs Do: Natasha Haskey MSc, RD

NATASHA HASKEY
MICROBIOME/DIGESTIVE HEALTH DIETITIAN
for something nutrishus


It feels a little extra special sharing an interview of someone I know fairly well and who has also recently taken steps to pursue her passion in dietetics even further which is very inspiring. I have shared numerous meals (and some wine) with Natasha and while I didn't intern under her, I know the interns always valued her, and they're another reason this series exists!

Why did you become a RD?


Nutrition is something that has always been important to me. I have always believed that eating well was and is a key way to maintain health. Enjoying great food and taking time to prepare the family meal were values instilled in me at a very young age. I actually remember cooking with my father at four years of age!

What area of dietetics do you work in?

My love for life-long learning never ceases so I am now completing a PhD at the University of British Columbia with a focus on the microbiome! I also do some clinical practice on the side that focuses on probiotics, prebiotics and inflammatory bowel disease. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to complete more speaking engagements, specifically training colleagues about the fascinating area of nutrition and the microbiome.

How would you explain what you do?

At this point in my training, I lack routine which is very atypical from my previous work as an RD. I am doing a great deal of scientific writing, attending classes and running a clinical trial.

What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?

Life is ‘atypical” right now as I try to embrace every learning opportunity that presents itself. For example, I am learning about various mouse models as they are critically important to understanding the mechanisms of how diet impacts the microbiome. I never thought in a million years I would be learning how to pick up a mouse, weigh it and monitor it for health conditions!!!

What has been your career path?

I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of areas of dietetic practice, that is why I feel I have had such a diverse, fulfilling career. My first job was in a small rural community in Saskatchewan, where I travelled out to various communities and provided one-to-one nutrition counselling. My next career move was working as a pediatric dietitian, which I loved because you could see that nutrition had such an important impact on the children. I then moved on to be the internship coordinator for the University of Saskatchewan Professional Practice Program where I had the opportunity to work with many amazing dietetic students over the years! Many of which have become great friends and colleagues.

What advanced education or special training do you have?

I completed a Masters with a focus on prebiotics and probiotics in Ulcerative Colitis. I enjoyed my Masters work, particularly the research aspect so much that I decided to return to school and complete a PhD. Yes, at my age!

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

I would say embrace every opportunity that comes your way and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Some of the most amazing learning experiences I have had were in those moments where you doubted yourself the most. When you conquer that “thing” that you thought you could or would never achieve - it is an amazing feeling. Oh, and it is never too late to go back to school?!

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

My hope is that dietitians will truly find the respect they deserve. Based on emerging research on nutrition and the microbiome, perhaps dietitians will have the tools to administer personalized nutrition!

What is your favourite meal?


Tough question because I love great food – but I would have to say that some of my most memorable meals have been shared with family and friends over a great bottle of wine :)

More about Natasha:


Email: natasha.haskey@gmail.com
Website: Natasha Haskey, RD
Twitter: @nhaskeyRD


Thanks Natasha! Find out more about What RDsDo.

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